“What’d I miss?” – Week of August 30th

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.

The Final Destination was #1 at the box office last weekend followed by Inglourious Basterds.

– Earlier this week John Poikonen at RxInformatics.com posted a very interesting discussion on the use of auto-verification for medication orders entered via CPOE. The nuts and bolts of the discussion center on the approval of certain types of medication orders without a pharmacist review. The idea makes a lot of sense and is a very interesting topic. To understand how this might work take a look at this, also from John.

mobihealthnews : “Sprint announced a multi-year agreement with M2M [machine-to-machine] company DataSmart to help embedded device makers to bring their products to market sooner. As part of the announcement the carrier quoted Yankee Group’s Vice President of Research Steve Hilton: ”The demand for sophisticated M2M applications that provide data transmission is growing. Specifically, the rapid growth in M2M healthcare, energy and fleet services is fueling the need for faster and easier deployment models.”” – The article also mentions that Verizon Wireless and AT&T have both made similar moves. This looks like great news for healthcare as these companies can leverage their relationships with mobile device developers to improve healthcare technology.

– After only two years in beta it looks like Microsoft’s HealthVault is ready for primetime. HealthVault was launched in October 2007 and is now “available in the production and pre-production environments”, which means Microsoft is removing the beta label from the product. Final release notes are available at the HealthVault blog. I don’t hear much about Google Health anymore. I wonder why that is.

– Check out the touchatag RFID system. The touchatag system is a web-based client that interacts with your PC to perform all kinds of functions. Just get close to the reader and make your PC do pretty much anything you want. Cool.

– Ever heard of healthBase? Neither had I, but it turns out that it is a search engine that aggregates medical content from health sites including WebMD, Wikipedia, PubMed, and the Mayo Clinic’s health site. HealthBase uses search technology to read sentences inside documents and understand the meaning. Check out the video of healthBase on YouTube. It looks pretty impressive. I did a couple of cursory searches using some pharmacy/medical terminology and the results I received were accurate. I won’t replace my bookmarks to PubMed, UpToDate, or Lexi-Online just yet, but I’ll certainly add it to the list.

University of Southampton News: “A hand-held device which could offer point-of-care blood cell analysis in doctors’ surgeries is being developed by University of Southampton researchers led by Professor Hywel Morgan of ECS. The research team, which is based in the School of Electronics and Computer Science’s Nano Research Group and involves collaboration with Professor Donna Davies and Dr Judith Holloway of the School of Medicine, has developed a microfluidic single-cell impedance cytometer that performs a white cell differential count. The system, which can identify the three main types of white blood cells – T lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils, is faster and cheaper than current methods.” There is an abstract of the device in Lab on a Chip this month. Lab on a Chip is a real journal, seriously.

– You should already know how I feel about tablet PCs and touchscreen technology. Well, there is a great video (inserted below) of the soon to be released Fujitsu multi-touch tablet PC at Gottabemobile. The tablet in the video is very nice, and the screen behaves a lot like an iPhone/iPod touch screen. Watch the video and listen for the word “surface”, and notice how the person performing the demo is able to handle the photos on the screen. This is very impressive technology.

– “Can Opioid Tolerance Be Treated by Increasing the Opioid Dose?” – This is a good question and the pharmacist answering it did a fine job. People are often afraid to treat pain as aggressively as they should. How much “pain medicine” is too much? There’s no such thing as “too much” as long as the patient has pain. You treat the pain until the patient can no longer handle the side effects of the medications or they stop breathing.

– Check out the Nao robot playing with a Microsoft Surface table. It’s just a little bit spooky.

Windows 7 will be available for purchase October 22. Apparently we already have some copies available in our IT department. I asked for a copy for my new tablet PC and was firmly rejected. It looks like I’ll have to wait until October 22 to purchase my own copy just like everyone else. Bummer.

– Everyone can relax; the NFL regular season begins in less then a week. My Arizona Cardinals open up at home against the SF forty-whiners (i.e. the 49ers). Here’s hoping the Cardinals look better in the regular season then they did in the preseason. They were atrocious.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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