“What’d I miss?” – The week of December 5

It’s been a busy week, and pretty much all my attention was focused on the ASHP Midyear event in Anaheim, California. Of course as a pharmacist that’s where my focus should have been, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the world stopped moving. Here are some of the things I found interesting this week:

  • Tangled was #1 at the box office last weekend. I haven’t seen it, so really can’t comment on the movie. My wife and I went to see Faster instead. It was exactly what you would expect from Dwayne Johnson playing a touch good-bad guy. I’d see it again.
  • I found an interesting article about a company called RCG Holdings Limited. RCG specializes in the commercialization of RFID and biometrics technology. “The Group offers a vast service of products and solutions, including RFID-enabled asset management systems, machine to machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. It has developed an intelligent surveillance system using facial recognition technology called Fx Guard Windows Logon, which has been adopted by international computer manufacturers like Acer and NEC.” The FxGuard Windows Logon really caught my attention. You can find more information here. It’s pretty cool stuff.
  • GottaBeMobile: “The QNX operating system was unveiled for the company’s forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBooktablet, which boasts a smooth operation with multimedia prowess and multitasking capabilities. Since the PlayBook was unveiled, RIM has been forthcoming in saying that the next-generation OS would appear in the company’s smartphone offerings as well and won’t be limited to tablets, demonstrating the scalability of QNX much like what Apple has done with iOS, Google with Android, and Nokia and Intel with MeeGo.” –RIM is doing some remarkable things, evident by the video below. My only concern is that it may be a little too late as the iOS and Android operating systems are slowly becoming the two giants in the industry. Only time will tell.

  • There’s a great article at EMR Daily News that discusses the differences between SaaS and hosted solutions. As so eloquently put in the article “These terms [SaaS and hosted] are sometimes used interchangeably and they shouldn’t be. If you’re hearing these terms from the vendors you are speaking with you need to understand the difference.”
  • I found an excellent list of things to consider when designing a user interface (UI) at the Ellen Beldner website. The list includes great tid-bits like “When in doubt, take it out” and “Users matter more than we do”. Healthcare vendors could certainly learn something from this list of recommendations for UI design.
  • There’s been a lot said recently about the use of telemedicine including telemonitoring of patients and telepharmacy to handle remote checking. I think the concept is great, but I’m not quite sure where it fits in the overall scope of things. A recent New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med 2010; 363:2301-2309) article found that using telemonitoring for patients with chronic heart disease didn’t improve outcomes. I can’t say that I’m surprised by this, as heart failure may not be the right disease state to employ heightened monitoring and interaction. Disease states where medication timing and compliance is crucial like diabetes and HIV might be worth exploration. Information presented at the mHealth session at ASHP Midyear where SMS reminders were successfully utilized in those disease states reinforces this idea.
  • Clinical Transplantation “Taking Immunosuppressive Medications Effectively: A pilot randomized controlled trial in adult kidney transplant recipients” ( published online Nov. 16): “Using a randomized controlled trial design, 30 adult renal transplant recipients were screened for medication non-adherence using electronic monitoring. Fifteen non-adherent participants were randomized to receive either a continuous self-improvement intervention or attention control management.” The electronic monitoring consisted of medication bottles with microcircuits that recorded information on medication compliance and wirelessly transmitted the data to the healthcare provider. The study concluded that “The continuous self-improvement intervention shows promise as an effective and feasible approach to improve medication adherence in adult renal transplant recipients.” So a little bit of technology plus gentle reminders equals better compliance. Go figure.
  • Pharmacotherpy: “Clinical pharmacists have served as principal investigators on a wide range of grants and contracts from all available funding sources, including peer-reviewed funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most important, clinical pharmacist development needs to be an academic and practice priority to ensure an adequate supply of clinical pharmacists as principal investigators to continue making substantial and meaningful contributions in meeting the needs of patients, improving public health, and expanding the roles of clinical pharmacists.” Well there you have it. I find it interesting that people keep saying the same thing over and over again. All pharmacists know this, so what are you going to do about it? Writing another article with outdated information certainly doesn’t help.
  • Here’s an interesting product at IDAutomation.com: Native Barcode Generator for Google Docs. It’s a little pricey, but worth a look.
  • This video at the Beacon Community site says it all. “Death by decimal point” and “it’s about system design”. Someone gets it.

  • Wolters Kluwer is busy gobbling up various pieces of the healthcare market. From the EMR Daily News site: “Wolters Kluwer Health’s unit Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) today announced the acquisition of iCare LLC, makers of iCare EMR, an educational Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software program.” Last week they acquired Pharmacy OneSource, the maker of some pretty cool pharmacy applications. What are they up to?
  • Interested in an eSeminar on mHealth? Well look no further than the HIMSS Event Center website where you can register for “Mobility and Population Health: A Clinical Case Study on the Role of Mobile Devices – The mCare Project”.
  • MobileBeat: “Google’s Andy Rubin tweeted last night that over 300,000 Android phones are activated daily— that’s up from 200,000 daily activations in August. The news puts Android’s daily activations over both the iPhone and BlackBerry, and it even surpasses Nokia’s 260,000 daily Symbian activations (though research firm Canalys says those numbers may be closer to 325,000), Fortune reports. Android’s daily activations also point to Google nearing 10 million Android activations a month.” – It appears that people throughout the universe are beginning to realize they have a choice in the matter. Hmm, why would anyone want a choice? According to Apple we’re all supposed to just shut up and do as we’re told. Fickle people.
  • I really love Acer’s ingenuity. At a press release last week, they announced the details for a dual-screen tablet, the Iconia. It sports a pair of 14-inch touchscreens. Here’s hoping it makes it to the market so we can all have the opportunity to drool on it.
  • Google just keeps rolling along. It looks like the Google operating system and Chrome OS notebook will be available sometime early next year. Take a look at the video below showing a demo model of the Cr-48 Google OS notebook. I must say that I like the looks of the thing. They’ve clearly taken queues from Apple and their line of MacBook laptops. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve been wondering for quite some time when someone was going to start doing that. I love you Google.

  • The activity at my site was pretty much status quo, but between Sunday, December 5 and Friday, December 10 the posts on Midyear were clearly on everyone’s mind. Here are the top four posts from those dates. See a trend?:
  1. #ASHPMidyear rolls on
  2. #AHSPMidyear, the end
  3. #ASHPMidyear 2010 part deux
  4. #ASHPMidyear day one comes to an end
  • Time for a quick rant. Please avert your eyes if you don’t want to see it. Twice while at ASHP Midyear someone commented on the fact that I wasn’t wearing a “coat and tie”. I don’t like to wear a coat and tie. Never have and never will. I come from a fairly humble background and didn’t consider wearing a suit until much later in life. Will I wear one when required by my employer for my job? Of course I will. Someone is paying me to be a cog in the wheel. A grunt if you will, and as long as I take their money I’ll do as they ask. As I’ve said before either live with it, change it, or move on. However, when I’m on my own time I wear what I like. I dress in a professional manner most of the time and that should be enough. For some reason people equate a business suite with intelligence and station in life. I don’t. My initial thought of someone in a suit is that they’re trying to distract me from the important stuff by presenting me with something shiny, i.e. like a used car salesman. So, if you want to sit down with me and shoot the breeze or talk about informatics, pharmacy, life, kids, football, or whatever, feel free to approach me. I’d be happy to talk your ear off. On the other hand, if you want to size me up by what I’m wearing, don’t bother. I’m just sayin’.

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