Physician mobile choice driving IT development “With an estimated 81% of physicians using smartphones (up from 72% in 2010), according to a survey of 2,041 physicians released May 4 by Manhattan Research, Albany Medical Center was not alone in feeling pressure from physicians to allow them mobile access. Hospitals and health information technology vendors are realizing that the way to sell physicians on health information technology is to make it mobile. Instead of hospitals and vendors telling physicians to adapt to their preferred ways of using technology, physicians are gaining the power to sway hospitals and vendors to their preferred way of using it.”

There are a couple of take home messages from this article. First, the increased use of mobile technology is finally forcing healthcare systems to make changes to their approach to technology. It’s something that’s been needed for a long time. Second, the article clearly demonstrates that our healthcare system remains physician centric. It isn’t until physicians cry foul that changes are made. I first asked for “mobile support” in a hospital setting nearly a decade ago, and continued to ask for it until I left the industry about six months ago. Unfortunately I’m a lowly pharmacist. Even at the last facility I worked in, which considered themselves quite technologically advanced, it wasn’t until physicians began demanding iPad support that we got it.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Just sayin’.

BlackBerry PlayBook impressions

Mobile Health Computing: “I had a chance to briefly see the BlackBerry PlayBook at HIMSS 2011, but then I had a chance to spend some time and play with it recently when I was at the airport. The device is small and light and my first impression was: “this is simply too small.”

The PlayBook is really slim and has a solid feel. You’ll notice that the device does not have a “home” button like the iPad. You’ll need to play around to figure out how to navigate back to the home menu. Try a few on-screen gestures and you’ll quickly figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, try swiping up, swipe down, swipe left, etc. The new mobile Operating Systemis not like your typical BlackBerry. This new OS is much closer to HP webOS (formerly Palm webOS).”

I also had an opportunity to play with a BlackBerry PlayBook recently while at the airport (I wonder if it was the same airport). I found myself in a BlackBerry store, which I didn’t even know existed. I agree with much of what is said above, but I didn’t feel the device too small. I like being able to hold the PlayBook in one hand while controlling it with the other. I feel the same way about the 7” Galaxy Samsung tablet. It’s personal preference at this point.

One thing I think BlackBerry did especially well was the OS, which I also think is similar in approach to the webOS. I found it a breeze to navigate through several open apps without having to jump out of any single applications. With that said, it may take you a second to figure out how best to navigate using “off screen” finger swiping. It wasn’t immediately obvious.

The bottom line is that I’d like to have one.

Taking a look at the new Lenovo X220t Tablet PC

I purchased a Lenovo x201t Tablet PC back in November 2010. It’s been a great machine.

The new x220t is every bit as impressive as the x201t, but has a slightly larger 12.5-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen. In addition it has a new ThinkPad battery pack that should provide the user some serious portability without the need to continuously be tethered to a plug. I get about 5-6 hours of continuous use  on a single charge with my x201t extended battery pack. I expect the new x220t will get at least that. Throw in the new batter slice and users could potentially get up to 16 hours on a single charge. You simply can’t ask for more than that.
Continue reading Taking a look at the new Lenovo X220t Tablet PC

BlackBerry devices in healthcare (Video)

I found this interesting video (below) showing some of the things BlackBerry is doing at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The name BlackBerry really doesn’t come to mind when you think of healthcare. Maybe the new BlackBerry PlayBook will help change all that. It’s a compelling device for anyone already using a BlackBerry smartphone.

There’s a great review of the BlackBerry PlayBook at if you’re interested in learning more about the device.


Disinfect your tablet PC without the chemical mess

Check out the video below from HIMSS 2011 demonstrating a product by Advanced Technical Support, Inc (ATS) called ReadyDock:UV. It’s really quite neat.

ATS makes a host of ReadyDock products for the entire range of Motion tablet PCs including the LE, C5, F5 and J3400. According to the company website:

“ReadyDock:UV – Chemical-Free disinfection for the Motion C5 Tablet in 105 seconds Flat! The world’s first and only product offering automated general purpose disinfection for TabletPCs. Disinfect without the mess.

ReadyDock™ products are used around the globe to support workflow and the overall management of tablet PC applications in hospitals, field service, and other applications that require charging, storage, and security of tablet PCs.”

Pharma certainly understands the need for mobile apps

mobihealthnews: “According to a recent report from Ernst & Young, pharmaceutical companies led by Merck and Novartis have increased their investments in mobile phone apps and educational websites by 78 percent. The apps and sites generally aim to encourage patients to take their medications, eat well and exercise more often, according to the report. “ – The article goes on to say that of the 97 projects launched by pharma companies that made use of information technology, 41 percent were designed for smartphones. That’s no accident people. Smartphones, i.e. mobile computers that can make calls too, are becoming ubiquitous in the U.S. I don’t think the desktop computer is going away any time soon, but computing on the go is certainly getting easier.

“What’d I miss?” – Week of January 9, 2011

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.
Continue reading “What’d I miss?” – Week of January 9, 2011

Chrome OS for healthcare? At least someone thinks so

Medgadget: “Yet on the whole, playing with the CR-48 is like peeking into the future – the far, far away future. And though it’s hard to fill in all the details now, there’s a lot of potential for Chrome OS in the world of medicine.” – The author does a great job of covering why the Chrome OS, and a CR-48 like device, would be good for healthcare. Reasons include disposability in which “the ultimate machine for the medical world is the one in which the doctor, nurse, patient, etc, cares the least about if it’s dropped, lost, or broken”; interchangeability by allowing any user to simply log into any CR-48 and have their information instantly available; security; and hardware customizability. It’s a refreshing change to see someone thinking outside the box when it comes to computing in healthcare.
Continue reading Chrome OS for healthcare? At least someone thinks so

The state of mHealth – a survey from research2guidance

Over the summer I participated in research2guidance‘s online mobile health developers‘ survey.

In total there were 231 participating companies ranging from start-up mHealth specialists to traditional healthcare market players.

Basically the survey reveals that smartphothes, i.e. mobile devices, will have a significant impact on healthcare over the next few years. I don’t think anyone is surprised by this information, but it’s certainly nice to see validation in the form of a survey. Granted, surveys aren’t the best way to gauge whats happening in the market, but it’s better than nothing.

Some of the results of the survey are:

  • Nearly 80% of respondents see diabetes as the therapeutic area with the highest business potential
  • Almost 70% of survey participants agree that app developers and agencies will be the main players in the market
  • Smartphone penetration is seen as the main driver for mHealth by 63% of respondents
  • Lack of standardization (50%), regulation (49%) and market transparency (49%) are the main barriers facing mHealth
  • Doctors and hospitals are seen as the best distribution channel for mHealth apps by 2015
  • Android and iOS will be preferred mobile platforms for mHealth solutions

You can get a free copy of the basic results in the form of a whitepaper at the research2guidance website.

A more detailed report called “Global mHealth Market Report 2010-2015” can also be found at the research2guidance website, but you’ll have to open up your checkbook. As a participant I received a dicount code for the full report (10% discount code: 3EEX8QH). Enjoy.