Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Information Systems and Technology


This thesis addresses the feasibility of incorporating personal digital assistants (PDAs) into a problem-based learning (PBL) approach to medical education at the University of Wollongong (UOW). The contribution of this study highlights guidelines regarding what PDA functionalities and factor/aspects to consider for the adoption of PDAs into PBL-medical curriculum.

Four major PDA functionalities which are appropriate for medical education in PBL-approach are found based on the attitudes, knowledge and experiences of participants, these being (i) clinical-log, (ii) reference, (iii) communication and (iv) personal information management (PIM) functions.

Further, two major aspects which may influence the incorporation of PDAs are identified, namely technical and practical aspects. The technical aspects comprise (i) data security and information privacy, (ii) data transmission and network connectivity, (iii) maintenance and support and (iv) interoperability. The practical aspects emphasise (i) education and training, (ii) electromagnetic interference (EI) and (iii) resource and financial implications.