October 27, 2008

Sprint Providing Windows Mobile Smartphones and Wireless Medical Applications Supporting Student Productivity and Education

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct 27, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Medical students at the University of Louisville now will be able to use wireless technology to enhance their education and improve the clinical care of patients, thanks to an innovative new agreement with Sprint (NYSE:S). A first with medical schools, existing and incoming students will have the option of purchasing a discounted Sprint Windows Mobile smartphone, such as the Palm Treo 800w or the HTC Touch Diamond. The devices will include medical applications, such as ePocrates and medical and drug reference databases and can be used to access the university’s email program and address book.

With wireless technology’s increasing acceptance in the medical setting, the School of Medicine made the selection of the right wireless provider and devices a priority. The school’s academic technology task force, made up of administrators, educators and students, was tasked with selecting a technology partner. In choosing Sprint, the group conducted focus groups and online surveys to ensure they understood the needs of technology users.

"Sprint’s wireless technology will allow our students to access a virtual library of textbooks and medical references," said Edward Halperin, dean of the School of Medicine. "We believe it is worth investigating whether or not giving medical students these tools and technology will enhance their knowledge and sharpen their decision making. Ultimately, our graduates will require these skills as outstanding physicians. It is important to assess the role of technology in the acquisition of clinical skills."

This innovative and heavily discounted smartphone initiative will teach medical students how to use a wireless device to improve patient care and will ensure that students have the technology skills needed as practicing physicians. Key benefits of this program include:

  • A single device, which can replace the need to carry multiple devices, including a separate phone, PDA and pager.
  • Fast and easy access to medical information and other drug reference guides through applications such as ePocrates.
  • A virtual library of textbooks and medical references at their fingertips.
  • The ability to do research on medical topics anytime and anywhere, without being bound to a PC with Internet access.
  • The ability to customize a phone to include information on a student’s current rotations or areas of study.
  • The ability to sync with the university’s email program and address book, keeping students in touch with their classmates and professors.
  • A contract that allows for technology upgrades throughout a student’s medical school career.

"Wireless adoption in the medical field is rapidly growing, and this program will prepare medical students on how to use wireless technology in their future lives," said Stephanie Atkinson, managing partner & principal analyst at Compass Intelligence. "Hospitals across the country are using smartphones and wireless applications to write prescriptions, facilitate communications between physicians and nurses and give them the power to access critical patient information on their wireless device."

Stephanie Ferguson, general manager of the Mobile Communications Business, Microsoft Corp., said, "The wireless industry is experiencing an incredible increase in smartphone adoption within specialized fields such as medicine. Students at the University of Louisville can get the most out of their medical education and professional careers through the use of our familiar, customizable Windows Mobile smartphones."

Sprint offers one of the most innovative and diverse lineup of smartphones in the marketplace today. With devices that operate on the Palm, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry platforms, customers have choice and flexibility to meet their communications needs both domestically and while traveling abroad. Today’s portfolio of smartphones includes the HTC Touch Diamond and soon-to-come HTC Touch Pro, both combining HTC’s captivating 3D touch-screen experience, the broad functionality of Windows Mobile 6.1 and the blazing fast data speeds of Sprint Mobile Broadband. Regardless of platform, Sprint’s smartphones represent the best of wireless technology available today offering speed, ease of usability in accessing Sprint-specific features and worry-free pricing for an unprecedented customer experience.

"Smartphones and wireless technology are quickly becoming important learning tools in higher education," said Ed Davalos, national director of education sales for Sprint. "In the past year, we have seen a widespread growth rate among universities in the adoption of smartphones, increasing Sprint’s educational subscriber base by 7 percent, with more than 750,000 users nationwide. We are pleased to be working with the University of Louisville School of Medicine and offering innovative wireless devices and technology that meet its educational needs and enables a 24/7 learning environment."

For additional information on Sprint solutions for higher education, visit www.sprint.com/highereducation

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 52 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com

SOURCE: Sprint

Kristin Wallace
Sukhi Sahni
University of Louisville
Ellen de Graffenreid