Cancer Control Research1R43CA097600-01
Mccarthy, Margaret M.
DEVELOP AND TEST SOFTWARE AND SHORT CME COURSES FOR PDAS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The amount of new medical information physicians must, and want, to learn and understand is roughly inversely proportional to the amount of time they have in which to do so. And the gap is rapidly and steadily increasing. At the same time, licensure requirements regarding CME are also becoming more stringent. In addition, new personal computing tools come on the market at an astonishing rate. By using the latest in personal digital assistants (PDAs) to provide access to the latest in medical information, we can dramatically reduce the amount of time physicians have to spend accessing and learning new material. There are more than 135,000 physicians in the United States who all have a need for up-to-date information on the latest developments in cancer treatment. These include medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, our primary audience, as well as family/general practitioners and internal medicine specialists who are often the first-line healthcare providers for cancer patients. This represents a very significant potential market for our initial PDA-based CME courses focusing on oncology. In Phase I of this project, we propose to develop innovative, prototype software that can be used by physicians to test the feasibility of providing a subscription service to physicians that will allow them to access and download "short-burst" CME course modules to transfer to their PDAs. PDAs are small, easy-to-use anywhere, anytime digital tools that allow physicians and others to take their downloaded information with hem - to the surgical suite, Grand Rounds, clinical office, professional conferences - anywhere they might have a few minutes of free time. There are numerous CME courses available over the Internet from hundreds of accredited CME providers. To take advantage of these courses, physicians must be at their desktop or laptop computers and be prepared to spend a significant amount of time reading the material and completing the required post-tests to get credit. Our new process will allow physicians to access the Web page, download the necessary software, review the CME selections and download the desired short (15-minute) modules and tests. These can then be transferred to their PDAs. The courses can be stopped and re-started at any point in the material, including during the post-test. Our software will also provide a database for physician subscribers to monitor their CME course choices at our site and will possibly link directly to state licensure boards for automatic transfer of credit. We expect the combination of software and short-burst CME to provide an invaluable benefit to our target audience as well as a profitable revenue stream for us and our strategic partners.