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
  9. latitude xt2
  10. ipad in pharmacy

RxCalc 1.1 now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch

After a week of sitting in iTunes store limbo, RxCalc 1.1 was finally approved and released for download yesterday afternoon. For those of you that don’t know about RxCalc, it is a pharmacokinetics calculator made by Apple Core Labs specifically designed to handle aminoglycoside and vancomycin kinetics, i.e. new starts and adjustments. It’s exciting for me because I was involved in the creation of the application. You can read more about what drove the idea and the development of RxCalc here if you’re interested.
Continue reading RxCalc 1.1 now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch

Efficacy of handhelds for radiologic consultation

To continue with the radiology theme from yesterday: Toomey RJ, Ryan JT, McEntee MF, et al. Diagnostic Efficacy of Handheld Devices for Emergency Radiologic Consultation. Am. J. Roentgenol. 2010;194(2):469-474.

Abstract: Diagnostic Efficacy of Handheld Devices for Emergency Radiologic Consultation
OBJECTIVE. Orthopedic injury and intracranial hemorrhage are commonly encountered in emergency radiology, and accurate and timely diagnosis is important. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the diagnostic accuracy of handheld computing devices is comparable to that of monitors that might be used in emergency teleconsultation.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Two handheld devices, a Dell Axim personal digital assistant (PDA) and an Apple iPod Touch device, were studied. The diagnostic efficacy of each device was tested against that of secondary-class monitors (primary class being clinical workstation display) for each of two image types—posteroanterior wrist radiographs and slices from CT of the brain—yielding four separate observer performance studies. Participants read a bank of 30 wrist or brain images searching for a specific abnormality (distal radial fracture, fresh intracranial bleed) and rated their confidence in their decisions. A total of 168 readings by examining radiologists of the American Board of Radiology were gathered, and the results were subjected to receiver operating characteristics analysis.
RESULTS. In the PDA brain CT study, the scores of PDA readings were significantly higher than those of monitor readings for all observers (p 0.01) and for radiologists who were not neuroradiology specialists (p 0.05). No statistically significant differences between handheld device and monitor findings were found for the PDA wrist images or in the iPod Touch device studies, although some comparisons approached significance.
CONCLUSION. Handheld devices show promise in the field of emergency teleconsultation for detection of basic orthopedic injuries and intracranial hemorrhage. Further investigation is warranted.

I’m not as sharp as many of you so I had to actually look up the word roentenology, which means “Radiology, the science of radiation and, specifically, the use of both ionizing (like X-ray) and nonionizing (like ultrasound) modalities for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.”

According to the article “the scores of PDA readings were significantly higher than those of monitor readings when all observers’ readings are taken into account” and “no statistically significant differences between handheld device and monitor findings were found for the PDA wrist images or in the iPod Touch devices studies, although some comparisons did approach significance.”

An interesting follow-up to this study would be to insert an iPad into the same scenario against the iPod touch. I would be very interested to see how radiologists would react to that. The iPad would offer similar functionality to the iPod touch with the advantage of a larger screen. I can only speculate that more screen real estate would be preferred over less screen real estate for radiologists if given a choice. Just a thought.

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

My personal vacation technology

I spent most of last week at the beach with my family enjoying some much needed time off. Because I’m a little bit of a gadget geek and enjoy playing with all sorts of electronic toys, I thought I would give you a quick glimpse of the technology that went on vacation with me. All the little gadgets were designed for pleasure, not work. Hey, I was on vacation after all.
Continue reading My personal vacation technology

Pharmacokinetics on the iPhone/iPod Touch

iphone_mainmed2Apple Core Labs Blog: “Apple Core Labs first iPhone/iPod Touch application, RxCalc, is now available on the iPhone App Store.”

RxCalc is an idea that my brother and I have had for quite some time. The idea for a portable pharmacokinetics calculator originated many years ago during my infatuation with the TRGpro and the Palm Operating  System. The timing for the application was never quite right, but the appearance of the iPhone changed all that. The portability, advanced features and popularity of the iPhone make it the ideal platform for developing a portable pharmacokinetics calculator.

RxCalc was designed as a tool for pharmacists to perform aminoglycoside and vancomycin kinetics, including new starts using population parameters and dosage adjustments using levels.

The code and user interface was written and developed by Apple Core Labs (Robert Fahrni), while I was responsible for the math and user experience (i.e. the workflow).

Apple Core Labs would like to recruit some pharmacists to use the application and provide feedback, good or bad. To receive a free promotional code redeemable at the iTunes store stop by the Apple Core Labs Blog and simply follow the instructions.


rxadjust rxnewresults

Pen and paper versus technology.

Early morning hours on the weekend often provide me with a little quiet time to get some work done. Usually my wife and kids are still asleep and the day hasn’t really started yet. Last Saturday morning was one of those days. As I got up from my work to get another cup of coffee I felt a little amused at the image in front of me. My days are spent working with various types of pharmacy technology, computers, automated storage devices, barcoding equipment, etc., but there on the table in front of me was a paper notepad and an ink pen.
Continue reading Pen and paper versus technology.