Welcome to April 2013 everyone. The year is flying by.
The coffee mug to the right comes straight from Alien Fresh Jerky in Baker, CA. Baker is small town located near the Nevada border. The population is less than a thousand people, but they do have the worlds tallest thermometer, and of course Alien Fresh Jerky. My family and I drive right past Baker, CA every time we head to Las Vegas. I’ve seen the Alien Fresh Jerky sign a hundred times, but for one reason or another had never pulled in for a visit. This time I decided to swing in and take a look. Turns out that it was a good decision. Not only did I pick up a coffee mug, but I purchased some seriously good jerky. I’m a traditional kind of guy so I stuck with the beef in two flavors: Honey Teriyaki and their Road Kill Original. Great tasting jerky. Oh, I’d recommend staying away from their “Invisible Jerky”, it just doesn’t fill you up like the others.
No surprise here, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was #1 at the box office last weekend. My family and I took the time to go see it. Not bad. It’s exactly what you’d expect. The Croods continues to do well as it captured the #2 spot at the box office. Not sure what we’ll see this weekend, but a definite contender is the re-release of Jurassic Park; always a treat on the big screen.
– Caffeine isn’t just an addictive stimulant, it also has some therapeutic value as a medication. Those of us that have worked in pediatric pharmacy know that caffeine citrate has been used in neonates for years to treat apnea. Well it looks like caffeine may also prevent hyperoxia-mediated pulmonary inflammation, i.e. it may protect against lung injury from exposure to excess oxygen (ventilators). Results from a study published in the April 2013 issue of European Respiratory Journal says so. Scientists studied the effects of caffeine using 6-day-old rat pups. Turns out “these experiments suggest that protective effects of caffeine in the neonatal lung are mediated, at least in part, by reduction of pulmonary inflammation.”
– The most viewed post at jerryfahrni.com over the past 7 days is once again Why pharmacy continues to fail.
– I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my Samsung Chromebook has no dedicated “Home” or “End” buttons. I’m not quite sure why Samsung/Google decided to alter the standard keyboard configuration, but it is one of the things I’ve found frustrating about my Chromebook. For what ever reason I use those two buttons quite often. I mentioned it to another pharmacist earlier this week and he was kind enough to point out that I could get my “Home” and “End” functionality with some keyboard shortcuts that can be found here, at the official Google Chrome OS support page. Yeah, I felt a little embarrassed. What is it people say in all the forums when you ask a dumb questions, “RTFM”. I should have done that.
– Meaningful HIT News: “Though his job is to make people laugh—and ostensibly to upset conservatives—Stewart has been an outspoken advocate for America’s veterans, and when he heard the Obama administration has created a massive backlog for disabled veterans to receive VA health benefits, he went off. As far as I can tell, he got everything right, too.” – I like Jon Stewart, especially when he says stuff that is common sense yet seems to escape those that run the county.
– Here’s an interesting concept for you, AudibleRx. “Medication Specific Counseling Sessions(TM) and relevant Pharmacy Topics provided in audio format with the intent of educating and motivating individuals to participate in their pharmaceutical care.” Extended description of Medication Specific Counseling Sessions ™ can be found here. The list of sessions is quite extensive, and at $14.95 for a 60 month subscription it’s a bargain.
– Robert Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic died Thursday at the age of 70. I remember watching him and Gene Siskel every Sunday night on their review show “Siskel and Ebert At The Movies”.
– So it appears that throwing a basketball at a player’s head and using racial slurs isn’t appropriate coaching behavior these days. Just ask Mike Rice, the former NCAA Men’s basketball coach at Rutgers. After watching the video of his practices there’s no doubt that he crossed the line, but I remember getting smacked around a little by coaches when I was younger and being called some pretty nasty names. It happens. The difference these days is that everyone has a camera and internet access.
– There’s been quite a buzz over the past several weeks about Google Glass and healthcare. It seems that some really smart people are starting to realize the potential of these seemingly silly glasses as it relates to physician practice and patient care. I happen to think that Google Glass holds tremendous promise. So you can imagine my surprise when someone on Google+ commented that the government is considering making them a medical device. I don’t understand the logic here. Google Glass is basically a camera with internet access. They’re no different than a smartphone, tablet or laptop. If this comes to fruition and Google Glass is classified as a medical device it will only solidify in my mind the stupidity of the U.S. Government when it comes to healthcare.
– If you would like to get a good look at Google Glass just watch the video below. I have to warn you, it’s long. A bit too long actually. If you want to see some of the functionality without the fluff just fast forward to about the 12-minute mark in the video. That’s when Timothy Jordan plays around with Glass a bit.
– Apparently opening day came and went for Major League Baseball this week. That’s about as interesting as seeing a cactus in the desert.
– In another boneheaded move, the Arizona Cardinals acquired quarterback Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders. The Cardinals continue to search for a solution at quarterback. I don’t think Palmer is the answer. Perhaps shoring up the O-line would be in order first. I wonder if Kurt Warner is still available. I bet he can still sling the ball around the football field.
– Summer is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to break out the BBQ. My family and I like to BBQ in the Summer; tri-tip, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken mostly. Well, it’s time to try a new recipe this summer. Red Neck Turtle Burgers seem appropriate How can you go wrong with hot dogs (or sausage) embedded in a beef patty all covered in a bacon weave and topped with cheddar cheese? You can’t. That’s the beauty of it. You simply can’t go wrong.
– There’s an article in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy on the Effect of bar-code-assisted medication administration on medication administration errors (Am J Health Syst Pharm April 1, 2013 70:572-573). Sounds interesting, and I would love to read it. Too bad there’s a paywall to access the information. Lame.
– One of the best 7 minute gun speeches ever
– Facebook Home was announced this week. I don’t use Facebook much, just here and there. But after watching some video on Facebook Home I must admit that I found it pretty compelling. It’s a great concept. From The Verge: “Home is a family of Facebook apps that overhauls your entire device, turning it into a Facebook phone. An app called Coverfeed overhauls the homescreen and the lockscreen, giving you updates on what your friends are doing without you having to launch an app, or even unlock your phone. You can comment or like posts from your homescreen — it feels incredibly native. Everything is full-screen and incredibly visual, really looking nothing like Android.” Check out Facebook Home running on a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in the video below. It certainly speaks to what can be done with Android. I can think of uses for something like this in healthcare. Imagine how you can setup your lock screen to receive results, view information, get alerts, etc. Take some time to watch the videos at The Verge. It really is quite impressive.
– The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Annual International Meeting & Trade Show will be held May 5-7 in Austin, Tx. I’m intrigued by telemedicine in general, but specifically with how mHealth will impact the technology and use cases. I’m thinking about heading to Austin in May. Anyone else planning to attend? Anyone attended in previous years?
– Hand washing is an extremely important activity for healthcare workers in hospitals. Proper hand hygiene helps prevent infections and basically makes things safer for the patients. This is especially true in areas like the intensive care unit or post-operative recovery areas. It’s common sense. In reality people don’t always do what they’re supposed to. I used to watch people fail to wash their hands between patients all the time. The biggest offenders? Physicians. Well, here’s a product that might help intelligentM. RFID technology at its finest.
– medGadget: “Researchers from Oxford University have reported in journal Science a new technique to 3D print a new type of material made of large numbers of water droplets trapped within lipid films. As an example of how the material may turn out to be useful in medicine, the team was able to make protein pores within the droplets that can serve as biological pathways for functional activity.” Printing human tissue may be creepy, but it has its place. Raise your hands if you think 3D printing is cool (my hand is up).
– The New York Times: “A federal judge on Friday ordered that the most common morning-after pill be made available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger.” – As a pharmacist I’m not sure how I feel about that.
– Journal clubs are a part of every healthcare professional’s education, both as a student and as a practitioner. It’s how we learn. Journal clubs allow us to gather with other healthcare professionals and dissect an article, bounce ideas off one another and consume content. Well, Dr. Steven Palter has taken the idea of journal clubs to a whole new level with The Journal Club Live! Platform. The program is marketed at “The world’s first online Cyber-Journal club platform”. It’s nothing earth shattering, but it is definitely a good use of technology. If you’re interested you can go to the official website and watch a video of the first Journal Club Live session.
– If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the Motion Computing J3600 Tablet PC. I’ve used its predecessor, the J3400. At the time it was the best tablet PC available, hands down. Of course you’ll have to empty your wallet several times over to own one, but that’s the price you pay for that type of functionality with a rugged design. However, I was a bit disappointing when I read about the “new” J3600. It’s basically an upgrade in hardware without optimization for Windows 8. It’s still running Windows 7 Professional. They really need to do something about that.
That’s it folks. I was supposed to be at a track meet this morning, but the schedule got changed so here I am with a free Saturday. I have no idea what to do with myself. Work? Heck no! I think I’ll get out and enjoy this fine weather while it’s here. It’s supposed to be sunny with a high of 77 F today, i.e. perfect. Have a great weekend everyone.