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The PDA Will See You Now

Community-acquired pneumonia affects about 4 million Americans and costs about $10 billion a year to treat, according to U.S. government researchers. As a result, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has made available a PDA-based software tool called the Pneumonia Severity Index Calculator.

Doctors enter patient demographics and symptoms into the calculator, which can be downloaded free from an AHRQ Web site. The tool determines the level of severity of the illness, letting doctors decide on the most appropriate care.

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