“What’d I miss?” – Week of October 4th

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 October 4th

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.

BlackBerry versus iPhone popularity in healthcare.

mobilehealthnews: “For the record, BlackBerry has conducted clinical trials with smartphones paired with Bluetooth-enabled medical peripheral devices for years. Three of the company’s smartphones are among the five most popular smartphones in North America. At least one executive at BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is a bit curious about all the hype around Apple’s recent medical foray with the iPhone. mobihealthnews recently had the chance to discuss wireless healthcare trends with Research In Motion’s Fraser Edward who heads the company’s Healthcare Marketing Group. In this second installment, Edward explains the points above and much, much more, including: which types of BlackBerrys physicians prefer, why wireless health needs to adopt a “belts and braces” approach, how RIM’s latest acquisition — Chalk Media — fits into wireless health, and what the BlackBerry App World’s advent signifies. Edward also shares his favorite App World app.” – Edwards goes on to talk about physician preferences for various BlackBerry devices, going as far as to say “to pinpoint the phones that I’ve seen us getting a lot of traction on within the medical community — it would be the Storm and the Bold“. If I were to use a BlackBerry device, I believe it would be the Storm. I like the idea of a touch screen more and more each day. However, I’ve heard many people claim the Bold is much better for messaging. The future of BlackBerry devices appears fuzzy as the iPhone’s popularity continues to grow. It seems that every physician, pharmacist and IT professional I see in the hospital is carrying an iPhone. Remember the days of the Palm Pilot and its incredible popularity? There was a time when Palm powered handheld devices enjoyed the same popularity as the BlackBerry devices do today. As the smart phone revolution got underway, Palm devices simply disappeared. The popularity of the iPhone will eventually do the same to the BlackBerry, especially when Apple begins offering the iPhone through other carriers. Among pharmacists in “my circle”, I am one of the few that chose not to change carriers for the iPhone. Only time will tell what will happen to BlackBerry smart phones, but I see the end sooner than later unless Research In Motion has something up its sleeve. Apple and the iPhone are simply too powerful. Good luck BlackBerry, you’re going to need it.