Soon, thousands of physicians will receive an urgent bioterrorism message
on their personal digital assistants (PDAs)—but it will only be a test.
A 3-month pilot project from the AHRQ is evaluating a new network for
disseminating biological agent alerts. The aim, said officials, is to overcome
communications problems uncovered during the 2001 anthrax letter attacks.
Physicians will receive the "doc alert" messages via ePocrates, a commercial
PDA network. Each message will provide details of an "outbreak" of disease
caused by category A bioagents such as smallpox, as well as key diagnostic
and treatment information.
Vastag B. PDA Alert!. JAMA. 2003;289(15):1915. doi:10.1001/jama.289.15.1915-a