Saturday morning coffee [July 7 2012]

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the taps that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right comes straight from Philadelphia. I picked it up at a Starbucks near my hotel during a “Siemens Innovations” conference in 2009. The city is certainly full of history, but not my kind of town. It didn’t help that I was there in August. Yeah, it was hot and humid. On the bright side I had my first authentic “Philly Cheesesteak”, although there was some argument at the hotel when I asked where to get it.

Ted was #1 at the box office last weekend. Haven’t seen it. Not sure if I’m going to see Ted or not. The humor may have been more appealing for me when I was a younger lad, but not necessarily these days. My family and I did take the time this week to see Brave and we all liked it. The animation was incredible. The story line wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was good nonetheless.

Just in case you were under a rock this week, the 4th of July came and went. We had family and some of my girl’s friends at the house for swimming, BBQ and fireworks. We had a great time. No permanent damage was done to friend or foe.

Started using Winamp media player this week. I’ve been using Google Music to manage and listen to my music collection, but I need a WiFi connection to do that. As much as I travel it can be difficult to always have WiFi, so I went in search of a desktop alternative. Prior to Winamp I was simply using the stock Windows Media Player that comes with Windows 7. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. The one thing I feel is really missing from Winamp is the inability to control the flow of music with keyboard shortcuts. They’re probably there somewhere, but I haven’t had time to really dig into the application. With Windows Media Player I can use the “Fn” key along with the “arrow” keys to change songs (move forward and back), pause, play, etc. I didn’t realize how often I used those keys until I started using Winamp.

Consumer Reports: “Bad things happen in all hospitals, but they happen a lot in some. That’s one of the conclusions of our first ever Ratings of hospital safety.” The article lists the “Bottom 10 Hospitals” in the U.S., and #10 on the list is our Valley’s very own Hanford Community Medical Center in Hanford, California. It’s literally an hour from my home. Hanford Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in the valley that I haven’t worked for. It’s had a horrible reputation as long as I’ve lived in the Valley. Not only is it said to offer poor care, but potential healthcare workers, i.e. nurses, pharmacists, lab personnel, etc. are often scared away with horror stories of poor working conditions and terrible management. It’s really quite sad as the patients are the ones that suffer the most.

AJHP July 2012: Suggested definitions for informatics terms… this article in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy gives “standard definitions” for interfacting, integration, and interoperability. Not exactly rocket science, but it’s nice to have a professional pharmacy organization put something in writing. The piece is free, which is pretty uncommon these days, so I’d go grab it if I were you.

Speaking of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacy , I let my membership expire. Not exactly sure why, but I don’t feel like I’ve been using the membership to its potential for the last couple of years. I no longer attend the conferences (Summer Meeting and Midyear) as a pharmacist, and I don’t read through the journal like I used to. Just not feelin’ it. Know what I mean?

Minimally Minmal is the site of Andrew Kim where he showcases some of his design work. I was unaware of the site until a link on Google+ led me his design concept for “The Next Microsoft”. It’s quite brilliant.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new memorandum on the Safe Use of Single-Dose/Single-Use Medications to Prevent Healthcare-associated Infections. It states the following: “Under certain conditions, it is permissible to repackage single-dose vials or single-use vials (SDVs) into smaller doses, each intended for a single patient: The USP has established standards for compounding which, to the extent such practices are also subject to regulation by the FDA, may also be recognized and enforced under “501” and “502” of the FDCA. These USP compounding standards include USP General Chapter 797, Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations. Under USP <797>, healthcare facilities may repackage SDVs into smaller doses, each intended for use with one patient.” This is an important ruling, especially for hospital pharmacies. I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it.

“A Day Made of Glass” – The video below comes from Corning. I love the concepts. I actually have some thoughts on the application of this kind of technology in pharmacy. Wouldn’t that be cool? Of course it would.

Dual-sided touch screen? Why not. I found an article in technology review from 2007 that talks about using a two-sided touch screen. Additional research took me to a present day article in the The Digital Reader. “The prototype is being developed in partnership with Fujitsu. As you can see, it is transparent to some degree,  and it is an LCD screen. The screen measures 2.4″ with a resolution of 320×240. Yes, that’s tiny, but NTT is planning to develop a larger screen.” Check out the video below, it’s pretty cool.

Speaking of cool videos, here’s another that demonstrates Touchcode technology. Slick.

Started looking at this week.  It’s a place where you can keep a daily food diary and/or fitness log. I went through a weight loss process a few years ago. I won’t lie, it was a struggle. I ended up losing more than 90 pounds, but it took me over a year. I had to completely change the way I ate and exercised.

The Samsung Galaxy S III has started to leak out. This is one awesome smartphone and should be available to the masses shortly. It sports a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display along with enough horsepower to take on anything you can throw at it. It’s a beautiful phone. My youngest daughter is in love with it and desperately wants on. She’s do for an upgrade in August. I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of awesome Android devices, the Nexus 7 tablet from Google is up for pre-order. Simply put, it’s a must have. The functionality plus the insanely low $199 price point makes it a no-brainer. And for a limited time you get a $25 credit to spend in the Google Play store just for ordering one. Basically Google is giving you free access to your first few movies, books, magazines, games, songs, etc. The Nexus 7 has a 7-inch 1280×800 HD display, a 4325 mAh battery for 8 hours of play time, quad-core Tegra processor, WiFi and Bluetooth, and the best part of all….Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

And from medGadget (one of my favorite sites) even more smartphone technology: “… the LifeWatch V, a feature-packed healthcare smartphone for patients and health conscious consumers. At its core, the LifeWatch V is a pretty standard Android-based phone. However, what sets it apart is the presence of a plethora of medical sensors powering seven health tests, combined with wellness-related applications and cloud-based services. The health tests are operated by placing a finger on one of the sensors, allowing users to measure, track and analyze their medical measurements, take corrective action, plan meals, activities and more.” How about  tests that “include one-lead ECG, body temperature, blood glucose, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, body fat percentage and stress levels as expressed by heart rate variability.” Not bad for a phone.

Have a great weekend everyone. The end.

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