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Personal Digital Assistants (PDA)
 
1.Personal Digital Assistants
PDAs are small lightweight handheld computers that you can carry comfortably in a pocket or purse all day long. PDAs focus on helping you manage and access all the information in your life, at any time, in any location. PDAs are the way that everyone can manage personal information. They work with corporate applications and data, and mine the richness of the web.

2.Features
It's easy to add extra features to PDAs that are just right for you -- wireless modems, GPS systems, MP3 players, digital cameras, joysticks, voice recorders, data capture devices, barcode readers, printers and a lot more.

Because the extras are optional, you don't have to pay a cost or weight penalty for features that you don't want. That gives you a lighter system and generally a lower price.

You have tremendous freedom of choice to pick the handheld that's right for you or your company. There are numerous choices in expansion options, software bundles, and built-in features.

In the future, PDAs will become ubiquitous tools that everyone uses to manage information, conduct transactions, and communicate with one-another. The foundation for that future, with a special focus in several areas such as:

Wireless connections and services: PDAs already include some of the most innovative wireless communications products on the market. PDAs are being equipped to communicate wirelessly, and many already come with software and hardware to connect through a cell phone. Clip-on wireless modems supporting most of the world's major cellular networks are available. New handhelds have built-in modems and e-mail notification. Future PDAs are moving aggressively to support the Bluetooth and local radio standard, which will enable PDAs to communicate wirelessly with cell phones as well as other handhelds. Bluetooth add-on hardware will be available in 2001 manufacturers will build Bluetooth into every PDA as soon as Bluetooth prices drop low enough to allow it.

Graphics and multimedia: PDAs already have great multimedia options, including voice recorders, photo management software, color screens, barcode readers, portable printers and hundreds of games. Building on that base, Palm is working with its developers and licensees to add support for larger and higher-resolution screens, and enhanced video and audio playback. To support all that extra processing, Palm is also adding support for ARM microprocessors, while still preserving compatibility with the current Palm software base.

3.Architecture
 
 

This architecture describes various devices and the applications that can be developed on them.

4.Major Players
There are several major players in this market, among them 3Com / Palm, Newton, Inc. (formerly Apple), Microsoft, Psion, Handspring, daVini, Helio, Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Franklin Rex, Sharp, and other small entrants into this market.

It is interesting to note the differences in strategy employed by various PDA manufacturers. On one end of the spectrum, Palm has decided to acknowledge the current limits of wireless computing (bandwidth, speed, power, etc.) and develop a PDA, which effectively works within those constraints at a reasonable price. Psion on the other hand has decided to continue to push current technology and offer consumers added functionality for a higher price.

There are several operating systems, which are in use in the PDA market. Some of these operating systems are in use across a number of product offerings while others are proprietary to the company that developed them. Each player is desperately trying to establish itself as the standard for PDAs. Windows CE and Palm OS are two of the major players in the operating system market. They are currently the leaders in market share.

5.Overview of Related Operating systems

5.1.PalmOS
The GUI applications that run on Palm Powered handhelds are generally single-threaded, event-driven programs. Applications run one at a time. Users do not quit or exit an application; they simply choose to run a different application. In response, the Palm OS stops the current application and launches the newly selected one. Although Palm OS applications are event-driven, they may perform work outside of the event loop in response to other system requests. For example, if the user uses the find facility to search the device for a particular word, each application is launched and asked to search its databases for a record containing data that matches.

Palm OS applications are compiled into PRC files (Palm Resource file) and then downloaded to the handheld. The same PRC runs on all Palm branded devices as well as all licensee devices such as Handspring, Symbol, or Sony. Some devices do have individual characteristics that can be coded to.

Development environments are available for creating Palm OS applications in a number of different languages such as C, C++, Visual BASIC, or Java. You choose a development environment based on the programming language you want to use, but be aware of the consequences of the choice you make. The most commonly used development environments use standard C as the programming language, and add-ons are available to allow you to use C++ frameworks as well. With C or C++ applications, the Palm OS provides much of the functionality that applications need for memory management, string manipulation, drawing to the screen, and so on. Linking to standard C or C++ libraries is not necessary. This keeps your application compact and efficient. The development environments for Visual BASIC, Java, and even some of the C-based development environments require a runtime engine to be present. Some of these environments require the engine be present on the device, and others compile runtime elements into the application. In either case, the resulting code base is not as compact as with the C-based applications. However, the runtime engines are typically free to the user, and the development tool may very well add enough benefit to make the increase in code size worthwhile.

If you choose C or C++, you also need the free SDK that Palm provides. In addition to providing the necessary header files for C development, the Palm OS SDK also includes documentation and a number of useful tools.

5.1.1.PDA Models
Click Here for PDA Models

5.2.WinCE
Microsoft® Windows® CE is an open, scalable, 32-bit operating system that is designed to meet the needs of a broad range of intelligent devices, from enterprise tools such as industrial controllers, communications hubs, and point-of-sale terminals to consumer products such as cameras, telephones, and home entertainment devices. A typical Windows CE-based embedded system is targeted for a specific use, an often run disconnected from other computers, and requires an operating system that has a small footprint and a built-in deterministic response to interrupts.

Windows CE offers the application developer the familiar environment of the Microsoft Win32® application programming interface (API),

  • ActiveX controls
  • Message queuing (MSMQ)
  • Component Object Model (COM) interfaces
  • Active Template Library (ATL)
  • Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) Library.

ActiveSync provides easy connectivity between the desktop and the embedded device, whether by serial connection, infrared port, or network cable. Windows CE provides built-in support for multimedia (including DirectX), communications (TCP/IP, SNMP, TAPI, and more), and security. A variety of integrated applications, including Pocket Internet Explorer, Inbox client for Pocket Outlook, and Pocket Word expose objects that allow you to extend and customize the existing system, as well as extend the functionality of your own application.

Windows CE is the modular real-time embedded operating system for small footprint and mobile 32-bit intelligent and connected devices. Windows CE combines Windows compatibility and advanced application services with support for multiple CPU architectures and built-in networking and communications options to deliver a rich, scalable open foundation for building a wide variety of products. Windows CE powers consumer electronic devices, Web terminals, Internet access appliances, specialized industrial controllers, mobile data acquisition handhelds, and embedded communication devices. This highly modular platform allows developers to flexibly and reliably build the new generation of small footprint and mobile 32-bit devices that integrate seamlessly with Windows and the Internet.

5.2.1.PDA Models

 
  Palm OS Pocket PC Windows CE
Operating System Developed specifically for the palm-sized computer.

Considered very user-friendly for those who want all the essentials at the click of a button.
Newest version of Microsoft Windows® CE. These are all palm-sized computers and include pocket versions of Word, Excel and Outlook. Developed to be used in a variety of products as a scaled down version of Microsoft Windows®. Most devices have color displays.

Primarily developed to usher in the new smart phone technology.
Size Smaller and lighter compared to other makes of PDAs. Slightly larger than PalmT handhelds. Larger and heavier, but often include a keyboard and larger screens.
Cost Usually less expensive. Usually more expensive. Between 16-64 Megs of memory and up to a 206 MHz processor.
Battery Life Longer battery life on average. The PalmT V has rechargeable batteries, and will last for several days without recharging.

The active battery life on the PalmT IIIc is 8-12 hours.

Average battery life of 8-12 hours. Almost always uses rechargeable batteries.

Battery life is comparable to PalmT IIIc.

Battery life varies based on the model. The Revo runs on two embedded 700mAh AAA Battery life is comparable to PalmT IIIc.
Speed & Memory Either 2 or 8 Megs of memory with a 36MHz processor. Between 16 - 64 Megs of memory and up to a 206 MHz processor
Between 8-32 Megs of memory and up to a 190 MHz processor.
Internet Capability The PalmT VII uses web clippings for wireless access, which lacks the ability to surf the entire Net or type in URLs. The addition of a modem to the

PalmT III or V series will allow web clippings and/or full connectivity to the Internet.

The larger memory, faster processors, and bigger screens make it possible to surf the entire Internet rather than just web clippings. Has

Pocket Internet Explorer built- in with ability to scale web pages to fit screen.

Their larger memory, faster processors, and bigger screens make it possible to surf the entire Internet rather than just web clippings.
Software More than 6,000 software programs available.

Programs synchronize with desktop applications such as Microsoft Money, Quicken, Act!, and more.

Pocket PC was released April 19, 2000. Approximately 150 programs available at that time and growing. Around 1,500 programs available. Can run scaled down programs such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Manufacturers

3Com: PalmT III, PalmT V, PalmT VII

Handspring: Visor

TRG: TRGpro

IBM:WorkPad

Symbol: SPT 1500 or 1700

HP: Jornada 545

Casio: Cassiopei a E-115

Compaq: iPAQ H3650, Aero 1550

Compaq: Aero

Casio: Cassiopei

HP: Jornada

IBM: WorkPad z50

Vadem: Clio

Sharp: Mobilion
 
6.Industry wise application listing
 
Industry Application Type
Car Rental Electronic Data Capture
Audio Visual Entertainment Distribution Sales Force Automation
Banking Customer Relationship Management
Field Service Management Warehouse & Inventory
Food Distribution Custom Data Collection
Government Custom Data Collection
Government Real-time Traffic Information
Government Law enforcement Custom Data Collection
Industrial Goods and Wholesales Sales Force Automation
Health Care Pharmaceutical Custom Data Collection/ Clinical Trails
Hospitality Locking Systems
Insurance / Risk Management Internet-based Rish Mangement System
Manufacturing Sales Force Automation
Oil, Chemicals Corporate Standard
Agricuture Sales Force Automation
Real State Sales Force Automation
Airlines Athletics Custom Data Collection
Professional Sports Custom Data Collection
Automobile Care Custom Service
Computer Software Packaged Productivity
Consumer Beverages, Wholesale Custom Sales Order
Education Curriculum Infomation
Education Information Access
Entertainment , Telecommunications & ISP Corporate Standard
Health Care Patient Home Care Management
Health Care

Patient Care and Data Warehousing

Health Care Patient Homecare Records
Health Care Custom Patient care and Billing Application
Hospitality Safety Complience
HVAC Service and Maintenance Field Service Automation
Manufacturing Field Service Automation
Pharmaceutical, SFA Custom Sales Force Automation
Pharmaceutical Web-based Sales Force Automation
Pharmaceutical, SFA IMS Health Sales Force Automation
Recreation And Toriam Custom Scheduling, Information Access
Restaurant Custom Data Collection
Retail Sales/ Account Management Data
Retail/Hospitality Mobile Point-of-Sale ordering
Retail/Sales Custom Data Collection
Retail/Wholesale RW3 Inventory and Order
Route Sales/Food Distribution Custom Data Collection
Route Sales/Food Distribution Sales Force Automation
Transportation Field Operation Tracking/Billing
Government and Corporate Range Discussed
 
7.Success Stories

7.1.Case study

7.1.1.Category:

Health Care
Custom Patient care and Billing application

7.1.2.The Application
This application takes care of is a point of care, treatment capture and billing system developed on Personal Digital Assistant (Palm) which facilitates the Doctors carrying these devices in tracking the procedure and time spent on each patient and accurately bill the same.

7.1.3.The Problem
The Doctors face a daily problem in keeping track of the time spent on each patient and the treatment followed. The doctors would have to make note of all these details on their Laptops and update their billing systems on a day to day basis causing multiple data entry points which is more error prone, not centralized and time consuming.

7.1.4.The Solution
Xaptor is the solution developed on a pocket-sized pc, which is easily portable. It provides user-friendly screens and options, making it as easy as click and save at point of care. These saved data can be ported back to the billing system.

7.1.5.Architecture
 
 
7.1.6.Project Details

7.1.6.1.Screens

The Main Menu Screen
 

From The Main Menu Screen you could navigate to various parts of the application. The Main Menu has PDA, List of Patients and Exit Buttons.

Clicking on PDA takes you to the following screen

Patient Details Screen

The patient details screen is used to select Patient data such as Patient name, Date of birth gender, the physician's name and Date of Service. This screen has Menu, Next and Update Buttons.

Clicking on Menu takes you back to the Main Menu Screen and clicking Next takes you to the following Anesthetist Details Screen

Anesthetist Details Screen

On this screen you could choose the Anesthetist name and Hospital Location through user-friendly dropdown lists. This screen has Menu, Next and Update Buttons.

Clicking on Menu takes you back to the Main Menu Screen and clicking Next takes you to the following Treatment screen.

Treatment screen

This screen is provided to collect further data required, like Start Time - End Time, Procedure Code, Dx Code, Anesthesia type, Modifiers, Positions, Other Procedures, Pt. Services and comments if any. This screen has Menu, Next and Update Buttons.

Clicking on Menu takes you back to the Main Menu Screen and clicking Next takes you to the Billing screen

Billing screen

This screen lists out the Base units, Time Units, Modifying Units, Other Units, Total Units and the computed total fee. This screen has Menu, Back and Update Buttons.

Clicking on Menu takes you back to the Main Menu Screen and clicking Update saves the patient treatment data.

The Main Menu
Clicking on List of Patients, takes you to the following List of Patients screen.
List of patient screen
This Screen lists the patients for whom you have performed services. This screen has Menu, View Delete and Add buttons

The Delete button , deletes the selected patient record.

Clicking on View takes you back to the Patient Details screen where you can edit all required data and save the transaction.

 
7.1.7.Hardware Requirement
Palm OS based PDAs Palm III, Palm IIIx, Palm V or Palm Vx
IBM PC Compatible 166Mhz and above, 32 MB RAM

7.1.8.Software Requirements
Palm OS, MS Windows 95, MS Windows 98, MS Windows NT or MS Windows 2000.
 
 
 
 
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