“What’d I miss?” – Week of October 11th

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.

Couples Retreat was #1 at the box office last weekend. Really?

– From the sad, but true file; it looks like two nurses that blew the whistle on a less-then-scrupulous physician may be facing jail time for their actions. For lack of a better comment, that’s jacked up.

– There were a lot of neat things to come out of the USC Body Computing Conference including this fun little app for the iPhone.The app is a game that leverages Corventis’ wireless “band-aid” sensor to transmit the players heart rate to the iPhone, which then can broadcast the heart rate over Twitter and Facebook or via text message or email. By using Bluetooth, the concept app also demonstrates that players can get a snapshot of nearby players’ heart rates in real-time.” I can see some entertainment in that.

Microsoft launched a personal health management service on MSN. The new online system includes tools to upload and manage data stored in HealthVault. I’m just about ready to take the PHR plunge. I’m trying to decide between HealthVault and Google Health. Any recommendations?

– According to GottaBeMobile Evernote will now allow Ink Notes taken on a tablet PC to be displayed on a Mac. That’s really good news, especially for people like me who use Evernote, a tablet PC and Mac computers.

– Another myth goes down in flames. Apparently knuckle cracking may not lead to arthritis. On The Wards is reporting that “This year’s Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Donald L. Unger of Thousand Oaks, California, for investigating whether knuckle cracking causes arthritis. The premise of his research, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, was to test the validity of admonitions from “renowned authorities” (i.e., his mother, several aunts, and mother-in-law) that cracking his knuckles would lead to arthritis. Over the course of 50 years, Unger cracked the knuckles of his left hand at least twice daily, while sparing his right hand to serve as a control. At the end of the 50-year observation period, Unger did not detect any difference between both hands. He concluded that “there is no apparent relationship between knuckle cracking and the subsequent development of arthritis of the fingers.” Great, now what do I tell my kids when the knuckle cracking starts bugging me?

Did you know that you can create an even more basic Google search page? I didn’t either until I ran across this blog at TechCrunch. It’s neat, but it looks a little weird without the buttons. Now I just need to figure out how to change it back.

– If you need more games for your iPhone make sure to check out this list of best new games.

– The FDA launched a consumer based website on how to dispose of certain drugs. Medication disposal is a sticky issue and one that generates many phone calls to our facility from loved ones of deceased patients. For the first time that I’m aware of the FDA is recommending disposing of certain medication by flushing them down the sink or toilet. The list can be found here.

– Do statins play a role in preventing infection? Medsacpe is reporting that they might. “Previous studies, including research reported by heartwire, have suggested that statins may reduce the risk of infections and infection-related complications. In this analysis, researchers performed a meta-analysis of randomized trials and cohort studies looking at the association between statin use and the risk of infection.” This is interesting information, but worthless without more data to support it. I wouldn’t go making changes to your practice just yet.

FierceMobileHealthcare: The Georgia Tech Research Institute, with the help of trade association AIM Global and device testing firm MET Laboratories, are developing “A comprehensive set of test protocols, which are sufficiently precise to permit repeatable results, is required to understand if there is an interaction between various types of RFID systems and active implantable medical devices, electronic medical equipment, in vitro diagnostic equipment and biologics,” Craig K. Harmon, chairman of the RFID Experts Group of trade association AIM Global, explains, according to Health Imaging & IT magazine. “Only after the protocols are developed will we be able to investigate the cause of any interactions, the result of any interactions, and ways manufacturers might eliminate or mitigate interactions,” Harmon adds.” This type of information is sorely needed. I’m looking forward to the results of the Georgia Tech Research Institutes work.

– Speaking of RFID, Barcode.com is reporting that “a team of Spanish researchers developed a system using RFID technology to remind elderly and special needs persons to perform necessary tasks, such as taking medication. The system was designed by researchers at the University of Granada in Southern Spain and recognizes everyday actions by using RFID labels. The labels themselves can be easily placed on objects that the individual uses and needs most often and then they can communicate with a computer or mobile device in the house or care center.” It looks like healthcare may finally be catching up with grocery stores and clothing retailers.

– There is an interesting article eHealth Insider on the VAs use of telehealth. Here’s something in the article that I found a little disturbing: the VA consciously chose the term “telehealth” over “telemedicine” because the former suggests something broader than direct physician care.” Changing the name doesn’t make it better, it only confuses people. Sheez, semantics.

– Twitter now has lists. I haven’t had a chance to look at the functionality, but it sure is a popular topic of conversation. Brian Ahier (@ahier) has a little blurb on it here.

ePocrates is offering 2009 H1N1 virus resources for clinicians. Cudos to ePocrates for providing such a great service. Get more information here.

– Another day, another Sidekick post. This time, however, it’s good news. Microsoft is “pleased to report that [they] have recovered most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage. [They] plan to begin restoring users’ personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts, after [they] have validated the data and [their] restoration plan. [They] will then continue to work around the clock to restore data to all affected users, including calendar, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores, as quickly as possible.” And you all thought Microsoft was evil.

Top five search phrases that brought people to my site this week: “dell xt2”, “iphone apps for pharmacists”, “omnicell better than pyxis”, “pharmacist curriculum vitae”, “advantages of verimed”. I always find these interesitng.

– I knew it was going to happen, but I’m still not ready. Notre Dame vs USC this weekend in college football. I’ve been a USC and Notre Dame fan for many years and this game is always hard for me to watch. I find myself pulling for whoever has the ball. Nonetheless, it will be a great game.

– Have a great weekend everyone.

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