Lexi-comp making headway on drug information software for the Palm Pre

lexipretweetEarlier today Lexi-comp offered a sneak peak of their new drug information software for the Palm Pre. That’s exciting news for all you Palm Pre owners out there. Lexi-comp offers one of the most comprehensive drug information packages available and is certainly a favorite among pharmacists.

The Palm Pre is a great device to use as a peripheral brain for pharmacists because it allows you to keep several applications open at once. That’s a nice feature to have when you need to access something quickly.

The one thing I would ask Palm to do to improve the Pre is offer a form of the device in the image of the HTC HD2 with its massive screen. The screen on the current Pre is just a tad bit small for my taste. Even better would be if Palm would offer the device without 3G service like the iPod Touch. It’s just a thought.

Fujitsu playing healthcare angle with Windows 7 touch features

eWeek: “Health care is a particular market that can benefit from the combination of touch- and pen- input combined with multitouch, and Moore offered the example of a physician meeting with a patient: viewing the patient’s records vertically, turning the tablet PC horizontally to view an X-ray, and quickly pinching or expanding his or her fingers to take a closer look at the image. “There’s a lot of intuitiveness here,” said Moore, and with built-in connectivity, “There’s no more, ‘Can you get me that chart?’ By the time the patient leaves the office, the prescription is at the pharmacist.’” – I agree that Windows 7 has potential to make a big impact on healthcare for the exact reasons mentioned above. Touch is good, people.

As I said in a previous post: “Touchscreens are becoming more and more popular, especially with the increased use of smartphones, UMPCs, and MIDs. Touchscreen navigation on these smaller devices is a must if you hope to make them useful to the user. While a touchscreen isn’t a necessity on larger device yet, it is a welcome luxury. Like most great technological advances, it will take quite some time for touchscreens to filter down into pharmacy, but I think it’ll eventually get here. After all you don’t have to use the touchscreen for navigation, but it sure would be a nice option to have. Imagine entering an order on a CPOE system with nothing more than the tip of your finger. If properly designed, the physician wouldn’t have to type anything. Simply tap a pre-built link with the drug, dose, route and frequency desired and hit “send’. “

Using bar codes and a cell phone camera to avoid food allergies

scanavert_beta

ScanAvert is an application that uses the camera on your cell phone to read product bar codes and compare the ingredients to a personalized allergy list on the company website. The product was launched at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco this week and is apparently still in the beta phase.

Consumers register for the service at our website, creating a profile from the allergy, prescription, dietary requirement/restriction, and illness categories. They may also establish limits on any of the nutritional values, e.g., carbohydrates, calories. In store aisles, customers scan product barcodes, with their auto focus camera phones, to receive instant feedback as to product compatibility/incompatibility and suggested compatible substitutes.

Our technology will enable shoppers to determine that the products they are purchasing for themselves and their families are compatible with their allergic, prescription, or dietary profiles, e.g., void of peanuts, or, do not contain gluten, an ingredient considered harmful to an individual with Celiac Disease.

The value proposition of ScanAvert is its simplicity and ease of use for the numerous and varied demographic populations that will reap its benefits. For the supermarket, restaurant chain, or food service vendor, it is a unique way to distinguish itself from competition and to provide a new and valuable service for a significant portion of their customer base.

ScanAvert uses First DataBank, a well respected drug information source, to check for information on incompatibilities between prescription drugs and substances found in grocery products. This would be a great application for those with food related allergies.

Additional thoughts on the Motion J3400 and Dell XT2 tablet PCs

I’ve had the Motion J3400 and Dell XT2 for a few weeks now and thought I would update my opinion on these tablets.

Motion J3400 configuration:
Windows Vista Business
1.4 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor
2 GB RAM

Dell XT2 configuration:
Windows XP Tablet Edition –SP3
1.6 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor
2 GB RAM
Continue reading Additional thoughts on the Motion J3400 and Dell XT2 tablet PCs

Epocrates in the news this week

epocrates-screenshotEpocrates is a suit of mobile medical reference material, with their drug information application being the most popular. The applications are available for a variety of mobile devices including Palm, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and of course the iPhone. Despite the popularity of Epocrates I still think Lexi-Comp offers better products for mobile devices.

FierceMobileHealthcare: “Epocrates: Nurses prefer Palm but physicians love the iPhoneA recently released survey from mobile healthcare software developer Epocrates indicates that nurses still prefer Palm PDAs and smartphones for viewing Epocrates reference tools, though the iPhone/iPod touch and BlackBerry platforms are gaining. But in an interview with FierceMobileHealthcare last week, Michelle Snyder, Epocrates’ senior VP for subscriber business, said that the iPhone is far and away the most popular device among physicians.” – The article goes on to say that Epocrates is gaining “more than 300 new docs a day on the iPhone“.No surprise there.

Medical Smartphones: “Epocrates has announced that they will be phasing out support for older Palm OS and Windows Mobile/Pocket PC devices. Specifically, older devices, including those with Palm OS less than 5 and Pocket PC 2002 OS, will lose support. If you have a Pocket PC, go into Settings, and then click on “About” to see what version you’re running. Some older devices (like some of the HP iPaq models) run Pocket PC 2002.” – This is interesting, but pretty much irrelevant. I think most healthcare professionals using mobile technology as a reference device won’t even notice the loss of support for these older devices.

Best iPhone / iPod Touch Applications for Pharmacists

iPhone_pharmappsThe iPhone and iPod Touch have created quite a wave in healthcare, and along with the wave has come a plethora of healthcare applications. The user interface on the iPhone/iPod Touch combined with the ease of accessing applications on Apple’s iTunes store and the relatively inexpensive nature of most applications, have made these devices a favorite among healthcare professionals.

With the volume of healthcare related applications available, I’m surprised at how few I actually use. I spend quite a bit of time surfing the app store looking for new applications that I can apply to pharmacy. I’ve downloaded numerous applications, but have deleted most for one reason or another.

My “research” has led to the list below of applications that I find most useful as a pharmacist.

Continue reading Best iPhone / iPod Touch Applications for Pharmacists

Palm OS aficionados can continue to run their old software on the Palm Pre.

classic_weboxMotionApps has a piece of software for the Palm webOS called Classic. It is basically an emulator that allows webOS-based devices like the Palm Pre to run legacy Palm OS software. The benefits are obvious: you have access to tons of software and it allows you to hold onto your old Palm OS apps just a little bit longer. Classic creates a virtual Palm environment on the Palm Pre, similar to what VMware’s Fusion software does with Windows on the Mac.

Because the emulator runs inside webOS, the Palm created on the Palm Pre doesn’t have hardware buttons; however all the normal Palm buttons are available on the screen. You can continue to utilize all the basic Palm functionality, including your calendar, contacts, and memos. In addition, MotionApps is working on a software update that will allow users to HotSync the emulated Palm. I don’t know when the update will be available, but you can follow the MotionApps blog here.

Classic looks like a great piece of software, and for only 30 bucks you really can’t go wrong. If only Palm would have been smart enough to use Verizon as their exclusive carrier, or vice versa, I think I’d be using a Palm Pre right about now.