Don’t dismiss the potential of Chrome OS just yet

The Cr-48 is Google’s first notebook sporting their Chrome OS. While the hardware is nice, it’s really the operating system and the concept that’s raising eyebrows and generating interest. The operating system is designed to make optimal use of “the web”. The features of Chrome OS include instant on, fast load times, cloud storage and recover, etc. A full list of features can be found at the Google Chrome OS website.

I’ve read several reviews of the Cr-48 and for the most part users haven’t been all that impressed. The reviews interest me because I don’t believe the people using these machines get it. First and foremost, the Cr-48 is clearly a work in progress as is Chrome OS. Second, the idea of an internet based, fully cloud enabled system is ideal for creating a hardware agnostic future. It appears to me that Google is testing the waters and collecting data for a future run at something bigger. Do you really doubt Google will continue to develop a better cloud concept for an operating system? It would be a mistake to do so.

I remember similar thoughts from the so called experts when the Android OS rolled out, and now it’s slowly becoming the most prominent operating system for mobile devices. I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.
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Wolters Kluwer acquires Pharmacy OneSource

You may not be familiar with Wolters Kluwer, but if you’re a pharmacist I’m sure you are familiar with their products: Facts & Comparisons, Medi-Span, Ovid, ProVation Medical, UpToDate. While Facts & Comparisons has become an afterthought in the drug information world, products like UpToDate and ProVation Medical are gaining traction in the healthcare industry. This is especially true as physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers look for ways to access information while on the go, i.e. access from mobile devices.

Wolters and Kluwer just bolstered their position and gained significantly more credibility with their purchase of Pharmacy OneSource. Pharmacy OneSource is the maker of several innovative pharmacy products such as Accupedia pediatric dosing software, Sentri 7 clinical surveillance software and Quantifi for pharmacist intervention documentation. Pharmacy OneSource not only provides several interesting and innovative applications, they also offer them by way of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, which is uncommon in the pharmacy world.

I’ve blogged about Pharmacy OneSource several times as I’m not only a fan of their products, but their distribution model and use of cloud computing as well. It’s no secret that I believe in cloud computing as the future for many applicaitons in pharmacy and feel that Pharmacy OneSource has created a solid foundation on which the rest of the industry can build. My only hope for the Wolters Klumer acquisition of Pharmacy OneSource is that their innovative products and strategy won’t change. Often times the first thing to go when a smaller company is purchased by a larger company is innovation. Here’s hoping that won’t happen.

MedKeeper acquires DoseResponse

It looks like MedKeeper is making a play in the therapeutic monitoring market by acquiring DoseResponse, a web-based outpatient anticoagulation management system from Keystone Therapeutics. The press release can be found here.

Outpatient anticoagulation therapy, i.e. warfarin management, became a big deal when JCAHO made it one of their national patient safety goals a few years back. I’m specifically referring to National Patient Safety Goal 3E: Reducing Harm from Anticoagulation Therapy. If you feel like giving yourself a headache you can read through the entire Abulatory Health Care National Patient Safety Goals (PDF). I wouldn’t recommend it.
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A new laptop plus the cloud equals bliss

I recently started using a new Dell Latitude e6510 for all my computing needs. It’s a significant upgrade from my old Dell Latitude 520 laptop, which was showing its age. The new e6510 has an Intel Core-i7 processor, a backlit keyboard, 128 GB solid state hard drive, 4GB of RAM, a beautiful 15.6” wide screen display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, Windows 7 Professional and so on. It’s also the size of a small sports car, which has me second guessing my choice of machine. I broke my own rule for selecting a laptop, i.e. keep it portable. I actually prefer laptops with 12″ – 14″ displays. I don’t know what I was thinking. Kind of like a moth drawn to light – “Look! It’s so bright and shiny”.

Anyway, it’s always a headache setting up a new laptop as most people like me have to transfer gigabytes worth of data from the old machine to the new one. Not this time.
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Conference note taking with a tablet PC

I took a trip to San Diego last Friday to visit with some colleagues. During one interesting conversation the subject of me using a tablet PC in place of almost any other type of computer came up. One of the things that has drawn me to tablet PCs is their functionality. They offer nearly everything I get from a laptop plus the added benefits of a touch screen and inking. While the touch screen is useful for navigating the web and playing with photos I find it most useful for taking notes, i.e. inking. I no longer carry one of those yellow legal pads that I see everyone writing on at meetings. What do people do with those legal pads when they’re full?
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“What’d I miss?” – Week of August 15, 2010

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.
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The cloud still slow to gain acceptance in healthcare

There’s an interesting article at InformationWeek about healthcare and the cloud. The article talks a little bit about the concerns surrounding security in the cloud and what I believe is an undeserved fear of using cloud based services and storage for healthcare information.

In the article a pediatrician that is also director of clinical informatics for Atrius Health is quoted as saying “At the moment I’m not convinced that there’s a secure enough place in the cloud or that the functionality exists for us to do everything that we need to do in the cloud. The cloud allows for a tremendous amount of interconnectivity between computers because it’s using data storage that’s free amongst different networks and I wouldn’t want healthcare information being scattered in a way that I couldn’t protect it appropriately.” I’m not sure I understand the perceived insecurity of the cloud as the existing infrastructure for storing patient information in healthcare is, by design, insecure.
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“What’d I miss?” – Week of June 13, 2010

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.
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Top blog posts and searches from last week (24)

I always find it interesting to see what brings someone to my website and what they decided to read once they get here.

Most read posts over the past 7 days:

  1. Medscape Mobile for the BlackBerry – Still rolling along after several weeks at the top. The BlackBerry is a long way from being dead.
  2. Participation in the ASHP Summer Meeting from afar #ashpsm10 – I would like to see ASHP adopt some form of live webcast during their large annual meeting like the Summer Meeting and Midyear. I don’t see a downside.
  3. Scanning difficulties with certain barcodes
  4. Cool Technology for Pharmacy – Practice Fusion EMR – Great piece of software.
  5. A recent trifecta for bar-coding
  6. Best iPhone / iPod Touch Applications for Pharmacists – Just throw any Apple product in the mix and it’s bound to make the list.
  7. Quick update: Pharmacy iPad use – See #6 comment
  8. Cool Technology for Pharmacy – This was before I started putting the name of the cool technology in the blog title. This particular post was from Jun 18, 2009 and covered Alaris Smartpumps.
  9. Curriculum Vitae
  10. Musings on the “cloud”

Top searchterm phrases used over the past 7 days:

  1. “cloud computing cartoon”
  2. “black cloud”
  3. “ipad practice fusion”
  4. “dynamed”
  5. pharmacist dispensing equipment
  6. ipad pharmacy applications
  7. drug information handbook and ipod
  8. medscape.com/blackberry
  9. latitude xt2
  10. ipad in pharmacy

My first “cloud” letdown

The cloud punched me in the nose recently and it’s still a litter tender. I’m a huge proponent of cloud based solutions from simple things like online document collaboration and storage to web-based enterprise SaaS solutions, and I have been slowly migrating my digital life away from the desktop toward the cloud. The cloud and I have been very happy together for well over a year now, but we had out first argument last week and I lost. It’s not serious enough to consider divorce, but it was a wake up call to re-evaluate the relationship.

I use both Live Mesh from Microsoft and Dropbox to manage and synchronize documents on multiple computers. The combination has worked very well for me. I use both applications because I like to try new things; Live Mesh came first followed by Dropbox at the recommendation of my brother.
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