Moving storage around in the “cloud”

black_cloudByteandSwitch:” One of the great theoretical advantages of cloud computing is the implied portability – users can move data in and among cloud resources easily, and the cloud itself may move data between and among resources without the customer being aware that anything has changed. In practice, cloud data can prove just as firmly rooted in physical location as any “traditional” data resource – but that could be changing with the rise of applications like NetApp’s new Data ONTAP 8 cloud storage system.” – The article goes on to say that the Data Motion system “allows data mobility with no downtime required for storage-subsystem expansion or scheduled maintenance,” That’s a nice thing to have as the ability to shuffle data around without affecting end users is important, but don’t you think it’s a little weird to talk about moving data from one cloud to another. I thought the whole point of the cloud environment was to eliminate the need for things like this. Anyone?

Anthropomimetic robot is just a tad bit creepy

ecerobotEccerobot (Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) is an anthropomimetic robot developed by a consortium of labs in Europe. An antrhopomimetic robot imitates not just the human form, but human biological structures and functions as well. This gives the robot the potential for human-like movements and interactions.

From the website: “The ECCEROBOT project is a spin-off of the CRONOS1 project conducted at the University of Essex. The goal of this project was to investigate machine consciousness through internal modelling. For this purpose the first anthropomimetic robot torso was built. Within the ECCEROBOT project we will further enhance this torso, develop a controller for it, and investigate the development of human-like cognitive abilities.”

Reminds me a little of the “terminators” in Terminator movies. Like I said, creepy.

First impression – Motion J3400 tablet PC

I received a new Motion J3400 tablet PC today from our IT department. It’s for our ICU pharmacists and will be replacing the Motion LE1700 tablet PC they are currently using. The tablet has the same application configuration as our desktop machines: Siemens Pharmacy, Soarian Clinicals, internet access, etc.
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An infusion pump that can be used around MRI scanners…Cool!

pumpsyringThe MRidium 3860+ from IRadimed is the first non-magnetic iv pump with integrated SpO2 monitoring designed specifically for use around MRI scanners. According to the manufacturer: “The new 3860+ offers significantly upgraded performance and features to the already proven MRidium MR IV pump product line. With the addition of a 10 key numeric input keypad and its wider pumping range of O.l mL/Hr to 1400 ml/Hr, the 3860+ series allows quick programming and broad fluid flow control. The drug library has been enhanced to allow user profiles to be stored and easily transferred via the SD memory card to other pumps. With the addition of the Masimo SET Sp02 monitoring and specialized fiber optic sensor, the 3860+ facilitates both safe sedation AND monitoring in one portable MR safe unit. Approved for use in 0.2 to 3 T Magnets. Features: Dose Rate Calculator, Bolus Dose Programming, Secondary Drug Delivery, Syringe Delivery, Adjustable Occlusion Pressure, KVO, SpO2 monitoring, and Alarm Settings, [and] CQI Data Ability w/Tracking Software which records up to 3000 Entries.” A couple of things that stand out, besides being able to use it around an MRI scanner, are the wide range of infusion rates and the ability to use standard 10 to 60 mL syringes with the MRidium Syringe Adapter IV Set (image shown). I’ve seen several pumps that limit users to 999 mL/hr, which can create an issue in certain circumstances. The ability to utilize syringes comes in handy for pediatrics; most pediatric infusions require an entirely different pump.

Pharmacists aren’t typically interested in infusion pumps, but they catch my eye from time to time since my involvement with the Alaris Smart Pump project at our facility.

Needle-free injection system

The Engineer:

The Pyrofast system uses a fine, high-pressure jet stream to penetrate the skin and deliver liquid or solid drugs to the tissue beneath. According to the German company, the entire process takes 40m/s and creates a puncture that is four times smaller than that caused by conventional needle injections.

pyrofastDr Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of Anwendungszentrum Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), is working with IP management company, Patev to commercialise the technology. He claims that the system will prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases via needlestick and sharp injuries and provide a more attractive option to patients generally.

‘The pyrotechnical gas propulsion technology that is used doesn’t cause bleeding, so the transfer of diseases such as HIV will be eliminated,’ he said. ‘This is the same chemical gas technology being used in airbags to provide a fast and reliable pressure profile. Including it in an injection system means that it can easily be used by patients to self administer drugs through the skin.’

Most needle-free injection systems produce the initial penetration pressure using a spring or compressed gas. This can cause discomfort to the patient as the pressure applied is not uniform. Patev claims that the system overcomes this by using chemical substances that, after activation, generate a gas to create a constant and reliable pressure profile.

The system also has the advantage of distributing the drugs to a wider area under the skin and therefore speeding up absorption, whereas needle injections cause a bolus that slows drug delivery.

The team has developed a prototype and Rudolph is confident of working with industrial partners to begin trials in the near future.

You can read more about it here.

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

This really has nothing to do with pharmacy, but the technology is just too cool to pass up.

I recently attended my youngest daughter’s back-to-school night. One of the instructors at the school used a 600 series SMART Board to give her presentation. Much of what she had to say never registered because I was too busy looking at the SMART Board.
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View on technology-enabled practice from ASHP

The September issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy contains a vision statement written by the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology. The statement represents their thoughts on the current state of pharmacy practice and contains a healthy dose of ideas on how technology can help support and improve pharmacy practice.
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A great argument for being allowed to browse however you want

Slate.com: “The restrictions infantilize workers—they foster resentment, reduce morale, lock people into inefficient routines, and, worst of all, they kill our incentives to work productively. In the information age, most companies’ success depends entirely on the creativity and drive of their workers. IT restrictions are corrosive to that creativity—they keep everyone under the thumb of people who have no idea which tools we need to do our jobs but who are charged with deciding anyway.” – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I know my brother would endorse the sentiment as well.

Is bar code scanning really safer for pharmacy?

This is a great questions and one that I previously would have said is a no-brainer. I believe a bar coding system for medication dispensing from the pharmacy is an improvement in patient safety, but I would be hard pressed to prove it. A colleague of mine (John Poikonen at RxInformatics.com) is fond of saying that there is no evidence to support the use of bar coding. Here’s a quote from John: “The pharmacy profession is drunk with the notion that BCMA works for patient safety, in the face of little to no evidence.“ He has a point.
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