“What’d I miss?” – Week of December 27th

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.

Avatar was #1 at the box office for a second weekend in a row. It really is a great movie.

– The New Year was ushered in this week.

TechCrunch: “Ten Technologies That Will Rock 2010 – There are beautiful Android tablets , concept tablets, and, of course, the one tablet which could define the category, the Apple Tablet. “ – Yep, the iSlate tablet from Apple is the most yet-to-be-seen-in-the-wild device I’ve ever read about. Here’s hoping that it lives up to the hype.

GottaBeMobile : “There’s an eerie silence amongst all the excitement, though, and it is coming from none other than Microsoft and its’ partners. This silence is very concerning and it will cause Microsoft to suddenly see something they owned get snatched from their hands if they don’t quickly change their ways.” – Unfortunately I think Rob’s words are far too true for my taste. Microsoft has been blazing a trail in tablet development for years and now they are going to sit around and watch companies like Apple snatch it away from them.

PubMed got a face lift. I know it’s been that way for a little while, but I thought I would mention it anyway. PubMed is the premiere search engine for scientific literature.

The New York Times: “How to Train the Aging Brain – Recently, researchers have found even more positive news. The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can.” – I spent a good chunk of my life playing football; spring football, passing league in the summers, conditioning in the early fall, the season in the winter, etc. This had a definite impact on my brain. To this day, the smell of freshly cut grass makes me think of football fields and certain sounds in the weight room bring back fond memories of good times with close friends. It’s a great article.

Barcode.com: “CardBank conveniently stores all of your retailer preferred cards in your iPhone. By eliminating the need to rummage through card after card on countless keyrings, CardBank centralizes the location of your cards for easy access.” The CardBank application has remained among the Top 50 Paid Utility Applications on the iTunes Store with at least 80 loyalty card programs programmed into CardBank. Users have easy access to the programs and are able to request new programs. CardBank has the ability to display barcodes in both landscape and portrait pieces to help generate positive scanning results.” – I love this idea. Doesn’t everyone have a ton of those “rewards cards” in their wallet; Barns & Noble, Borders, UA Movie Theaters, Best Buy, Starbucks, HardRock Café, etc? You can get more information on CardBank at their website.

Green.TMCnet.com: “Zebra Enterprise Solutions, a division of Zebra Technologies, announced American Barcode and RFID has joined its partner program. The ZES partner program enables AB&R to integrate a broader range of technology solutions with its existing offerings. American Barcode and RFID is a technology integrator of Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) solutions that help customers manage assets, track inventory, mobilize their work force, and secure their work place.” – There’s that RFID thing again.

Health Content Advisors: “In the healthcare industry, where I focus most of my attention, the possibilities for making the world run better by exploiting research, outcomes, and administrative data are enormous. Yet, the healthcare sector lags other industries by more than a decade in data management, data access and interoperability.” – Everyone knows that the healthcare industry is more then ten years behind other industries in several key areas, but the question remains; what are we going to do about it?

– The Entourage eDGe Dual Screen eBook Reader was caught on Video. This is a very exciting little device. Check out the hands-on review at CNET News.


– There is a must read article at Technology Review called The Year in Biomedicine. The article speaks of 2009 “as the year human genome sequencing finally became routine enough to generate useful medical information”. I don’t know whether to be excited or frightened by such a thing. Anyway, the article covers some fantastic material, be sure to check it out.

TechCrunch: “Android Finally Gets An Official Yammer App” – Think of Yammer as Twitter for use from within your company. Yammer is advertised as “Enterprise Microblogging”. Is anyone out there using this service? I’d certainly like to give it a try at my hospital. You can get more information at the Yammer website.

GottaBeMobile has a list of ten free apps “that will help improve your overall Droid experience.” That’s cool, considering my overall Droid experience to this point has been fantastic.

– I visit a site called MobileRead.com several times a week because I have an interest in e-readers and e-ink technology. They have a feature called “MobileRead Week in Review” that any e-reader/e-book enthusiast should check out.

Simon Bramfitt : “But no matter how you look at it thin-clients are expensive in comparison to PCs. I’ve tried to get straight answers from thin-client vendors in the past, as to why their machines cost so much, but while they are very willing to share information about sizable cost of ownership benefits, I’ve never had a complete answer to the question I was asking.” – I completely agree with this sentiment. Thin clients offer bare-bones configurations and often times cost more than a bare-bones desktop client with better specs.

– The Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, “Meaningful Use”, program was released this week. John Poikonen points out that pharmacists are listed a total of zero times in the 556 page document. That my friend is a complete travesty.

– Speaking of John; please stop by the RxInformatics website and vote for the top 10 pharmacy/pharmacoinformatics articles of 2009. The list of related articles compiled by John is impressive, and I struggled mightily trying to select the “top” ten.

HealthcareIT News: “The government announced Friday $60 million to support healthcare IT research projects aimed at “breakthrough” advances. David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, said the money would support the development of Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP). SHARP projects will conduct focused research in critical areas where breakthrough advances are needed to address existing barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. Applications are due on Jan. 25, 2010, with awards anticipated in March 2010.” – That’s not much time to get my application in. I’d better sharpen my pencil.

EHR Bloggers: “Meaningful Use Quick Reference Guide – The following list has been excerpted from pages 47-65 of the CMS document. EHR vendors and providers should read the original document as part of any formal planning exercise and certainly in advance of any EHR purchasing decision.” – I love quick reference guides.

– Microsoft Word always tries to change “EHR” to “HER”; interesting.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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