“What’d I miss?” – Week of November 29th

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 Twilight Saga: New Moon was #1 at the box office for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend my family and I took in the Blind Side, which came in just behind New Moon at the box office. The Blind Side was a very good movie, but I would encourage anyone  interesting in seeing it to read the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game first. There are some important things from the book that didn’t make it to the big screen.

– Check out the Annual Ink Blog Awards posted by Warner Crocker. There are some great links to tech blogs.

– If you want to see a great list of Tablet PCs, Netbooks, Laptops and other gadgets to buy the geek in your life for Christmas, be sure to check out  Tablet PC2’s Annual Santa’s List.

– Just in case you missed it, the CrunchPad is dead. I’ve been reading about how wonderful the CruchPad was going to be for well over a year now. Am I disappointed? I don’t think so. It’s hard to miss something that never really existed. I’m still waiting on the Apple Tablet to arrive on the scene. On a positive note, here’s a cool concept for a Sports Illustrated tablet.

The Spoof: “I’m only as good as my suppliers,” Santa explained. “What am I supposed to tell all the good little girls and boys, and the good BIG boys and girls, who wanted a Nook for Christmas?” Shaking his head from side to side, he said, “As usual, I’m left holding the bag.” – This in response to the Nook from Barnes & Noble being sold out and not available until sometime in early 2010. Oops, there goes someones Christmas gift. If you’re interested in getting a better look at the Nook Engadget has some photos from an anonymous user.

PB901_frontThe Forrester Blog: “2009 has been a breakout year for eReaders and eBooks–device sales will have more than tripled by the end of this year, and content sales are up 176% for the year–but 2010 will be anything but boring.” – The blog goes on to list 10 eBook predictions for 2010. The two predictions that I am most hopeful to come true are: “eTextbooks will become more accessible” and “Magazine and newspaper publishers will launch their own apps and devices”. Are you listening ASHP? I would love to have a dedicated pharmacy, medical, and scientific journal e-reader.

The EBook: “The world’s first electronic textbook!” The PocketBook 901 offers a 9.7-inch screen and should go on sale sometime in the first quarter of 2010. It’s a nice looking device. The site is in Russian, but the translated page is here.

Healthcare Technology Online: “The application of RFID technologies in hospitals has been modest, however, primarily due to cost issues. Like most electronic technologies, RFID unit costs have fallen dramatically within the past few years, but have not yet reached the “tipping point” of economic rationality for cash-conscious hospitals. In the 2008 Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, 15 percent of respondents said their organization uses RFID and 43 percent anticipated using it within two years. To date, RFID in healthcare has been limited primarily to asset management and supply chain applications.” – I continue to believe that RFID is an underutilized technology just waiting for a home in hospital pharmacy.

– Information on using Google Wave in Healthcare: 1)  Healthcare Informatics Forum and 2) Archetypical. There are a group of pharmacists experimenting with Google Wave as a way to interact at ASHP MCM. If you’re interested in checking it out just type “with:public ashp” in the Wave search field.

Archives of Internal Med. 2009;169(21):1996-2002: “A physician and pharmacist collaborative intervention achieved significantly better mean BP and overall BP control rates compared with a control group. Additional research should be conducted to evaluate efficient strategies to implement team-based chronic disease management.” – One thing to make note of in the article is the 96.2 percent acceptance rate of pharmacist’s recommendations. This is a very high number. Well, certainly higher than the physician acceptance rate for my recommendations anyway.

Military Medical/CBRN Technology: “Automation at military pharmacies has streamlined and improved delivery methods in recent years to bring them into the 21st century, helping save pharmacists from counting individual pills, save pharmacies from suffering product loss because of inexact inventory procedures that lead to drug expiration, and sometimes even save the lives of patients, who might in the past have received the wrong prescription as a result of human error.” – The article is a rather simplistic view of things, but interesting nonetheless. The best part was the concluding paragraph: “it’s about the diagnosis, and the prescriptions and what interactions the medications are going to have—and here they come out of pharmacy school, and they go into a pharmacy and they spend all of their time doing manual work, running around trying to find out where the pills are,” Mullenger said. “It’s not the right work for them to spend their time on.” – Exactly.

Healthcare IT News: “The Department of Veterans Affairs and Kaiser Permanente are launching a pilot program to exchange electronic health record information using the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) created by the Department of Health and Human Services. The pilot program slated to begin mid-December 2009, will connect Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect and the VA’s electronic health record system, VistA, two of the largest EHR systems in the country.” – This will be something to keep an eye on as it will become a model of how large healthcare systems can link information.

Medhaps: “ Doctors Told to Ignore Facebook Come-ons – Medical Defense Union (MDU), a non-profit organization that seeks to “defend the professional reputations of our members when their clinical performance is called into question,” warns physicians that they should not respond to advances by patients on social networking sites–not even to politely say “no.” “– Very interesting. This kind of goes against the whole social media trend. Doesn’t it?

Florence dot com: “A decade of studying what actually makes high-consequence industries reliable has sent healthcare stakeholders back to some foundational behavior-based learning. It turns out that things like speaking clearly, repeating words to be certain they have been understood; taking turns; using “inside” voices; and getting plenty of rest matter when individuals rely on complex processes to deliver intended outcomes.” – Imagine that, it’s not all about the technology.

PLoS Computational Biology: “Here, we present a high-throughput approach to the exploration of such parameter sets, leveraging recent advances in stream processing hardware (high-end NVIDIA graphic cards and the PlayStation 3’s IBM Cell Processor). In analogy to high-throughput screening approaches in molecular biology and genetics, we explored thousands of potential network architectures and parameter instantiations, screening those that show promising object recognition performance for further analysis. We show that this approach can yield significant, reproducible gains in performance across an array of basic object recognition tasks, consistently outperforming a variety of state-of-the-art purpose-built vision systems from the literature.” – In other words, these scientists from Harvard and MIT are working to reverse engineer the brain’s ability to make something usable out of visual data. Now that’s pretty neat stuff. Check out the video below.

Finding a better way for computers to “see” from Cox Lab @ Rowland Institute on Vimeo.

– The most popular searchengine searchpharases that brought people to my site this week: “new lcd technology“, “droid lexi comp“, “lexi comp droid“, “siemens pharmacy program short cuts“,  “shareable ink“, “lexi comp for droid“. Take note of the number of lexi-comp references in the top six phrases, i.e. three times. I’m hoping to get my hands on a newer beta version soon.

– Epocrates is looking for beta testers for WebOS. This is exciting news for Palm Pre owners.

– I will be in Las Vegas again next week attending the 2009 ASHP MCM. I’m very excited about the trip as I plan to connect with several people and attend several interesting education sessions. I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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