“What’d I miss?” – Week of November 14, 2010

It’s been a weird week for me, people. I haven’t had much time to blog as things have been whirling past me at lightning speed. As with all things in this life some of it is good, while some of it is bad. The short of it is that I’ve left my post as IT Pharmacist at the hospital and am trying something a little bit new. Wish me luck.

On with the things that I found interesting this week.

Megamind was #1 at the box office last weekend pulling down a respectable $29 million. I haven’t seen it yet, but would like to. As everyone already knows, the new Harry Potter movie is out and that’s all you’ll see in the number one slot for a while. I find the Potter movies entertaining, but don’t see what all the hype is about. Some have been good, and a couple of the releases have been fairly boring to be honest. Regardless, it’s on my list of movies to see. Probably as soon as tonight.

– I use a DROID for most of my mobile communication needs. I’ve come to rely on the onscreen touch keyboard because I find it a lot better than the physical keyboard on the device. Fast Company has a great post on 5 Alternative Android Keyboards. I’m really impressed with SlideIT, and being an old Palm guy, I’ve tried Graffiti for the Android. It’s pretty cool. Check out the videos at Fast Company.

– The Samsung Galaxy 7-inch tablet has made quite a splash. I’ve read many of the reviews and they’re all over the board. Take each one with a grain of salt. If you’re an Apple Fanboy, you probably won’t have much good to say. If you’re an Android lover, then you’ll have lots of good to say. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to play with the device and I like it. I like it a lot. It’s very responsive and the familiar interface – I’m a DROID user – makes getting around a breeze. I would like to see a wireless only version as I really don’t need the 3G. Regardless, it’s on my Christmas list of mush have toys.

– One of the great potential uses for the new wave of slate tablets is web conferencing. That’s one of the reasons I think the Cisco Cius may be a device for enterprise to take a good hard look at. According to TechCrunch, Fuze – a provider of web conferencing services – has announced an “Android tablet app [that] includes VoIP so users can attend a meeting via their tablet even if they don’t have a phone nearby.” Nice.

– Want to build an eReader Collection? Sounds cool doesn’t it. Take a look at the Digital Reader site. The author details how Duke University did exactly that. I thought about doing this myself as the bulk of keeping up with pharmacy literature can take up a lot of physical space.

KevinMD (post by Jay Parkinson, MD): “We must design solutions by truly understanding how humans use tools, form communities, live, move, engage with friends, and love.” – Yep, makes sense to me.

– Interesting video at MobileBeat showing the speed of the BlackBerry PlayBook browser. See the video below. I can’t wait to lay my hands on a PlayBook. There’s something compelling about the user interface. Just a thought, but one thing I think tablet manufacturer’s should stop doing is comparing themselves to the iPad. It’s a mistake. The iPad owns the space at the moment, and it makes them look foolish in my humble opinion.

Unofficial Google Blog: “If you have a phone or a tablet that runs Android 2.2+ or iOS 3.0+ and the Google Docs interface language is set to English, you’ll be able edit documents from your mobile device and the best thing is that you don’t need to install a new application.” – This is great news. Mobile phones, i.e. smartphones, are becoming the platform of choice for many people these days.

– Just in case you didn’t know, Wacom makes some incredible products designed with the pen interface in mind. If you have the opportunity make sure to check out the Medical & Healthcare section of their website, it’s really neat stuff. Don’t skip the case study page where you can read about the Radiation Therapy staff at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon using Wacom’s interactive pen display technology. After browsing through the site I’ve decided that I need one of these. Note to self: add to Christmas list of must have toys.

Healthcare IT Consultant Blog – “5 Reasons to Consider the Cloud for Health Data” ().

  • It’s easy to access
  • It’s cost-effective
  • It imporves efficiency
  • It puts patient information where it needs to be
  • It’s user friendly

Umm, that about sums it up.

NEJM This Week Audio – November 18, 2010. I absolutely love this format. It’s a downloadable mp3 file with this weeks article abstracts read out load. Simply awesome. AJHP should consider offering such a wonderful feature to their subscribers.

GottaBeMobile: “10 Pounds of Apple Mobility – According to Apple’s spec sheets, the combination of my 15″ MacBook Pro, 13″ MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone 4 weigh just 10.3 pounds combined. Add in one AC adapter for both MacBooks, an iPhone/iPad charger and the weight of my backpack and the whole package is still less 13 pounds.” – A compelling reason to look at Apple products. My equivalent travel bag is well over 20 pounds. Just sayin’.

Endgadget: “A team there led by Stephen Morgan and Michael Myrick [University of South Carolina in Columbia] have developed a so-called “blood camera” that uses a combination of infrared light and a transparent layer of the protein albumin — the latter of which acts as a filter and is able to highlight blood stains by filtering out wavelengths that aren’t characteristic of blood proteins.” – More information can be found at Analytical Chemistry, DOI: 10.1021/ac101107v.

ASHP News: “FDA and Newport, Kentucky-based Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals announced today that the company has withdrawn its propoxyphene-containing products from the U.S. market over concerns about cardiotoxicity.” – It’s about time. What a worthless drug.

Medscape – Ask the Experts – Is Vicodin the Right Choice for This Patient?

“The APAP [acetaminophen] dosage rules are:

* Patients should not take more than 4 g/day;
* Patients should take less than 4 g/day if taking it for a prolonged period of time;
* Elderly patients should reduce these limits to 3 g/day, or 2 g/day if taking it chronically; and
* Patients with liver insufficiency or a history of alcohol abuse should limit daily intake to 2 g and should not use APAP chronically (conflicting data exist on this point, but there are no studies of chronic use of APAP daily limits in this population).”

Vicodin is one of those drugs that is overused. Does it have a place in pharmacy practice today? Hardly. We have too many options for mild to moderate pain control. If you really need the hydrocodone consider something with more hydrocodone and less acetaminophen like Norco, Lortab 10/500, etc. Patients rarely, if ever, get themselves in to trouble with the hydrocodone in Vicodin. It’s usually the acetaminophen content that poses a challenge when several tablets are necessary to control pain. Of course mileage may vary and this is strictly my opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.

– There are some compelling games in the NFL this weekend like the Packers – Vikings, Colt – Patriots and the Giants – Eagles. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss out.

– And here’s my favorite commercial from this week. That kid makes me laugh, every time.

Have a great weekend everyone.

4 thoughts on ““What’d I miss?” – Week of November 14, 2010”

  1. Good luck on your new venture Jerry! Let us know how it goes. This is the first time I’ve looked at your blog. Love the random thoughts – good info! My daughter and I saw Harry Potter this morning. I thought it was good, but then again I’m a Harry Potter fan. The movies just give a bit of animation to the books, but the books provide so much more info and intrigue.

  2. Hey Wendy – Thanks for the good wishes. I’ve never read the Potter books so have nothing to compare them too. My brother, Robert, swears they are the greatest pieces of literature ever written.

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