“What’d I miss?” – Week of May 23, 2010

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.

Shrek Forever After did a cool $70 million last weekend making it #1 at the boxoffice. Here’s my opinion.

RxCalc got an upgrade this week. I’ll have more to say about that in a future.

The Student Pharmacist is a website created by a fourth year pharmacy student at Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy. The site features “short , concise, daily episodes covering one drug per episode starting with the #1 prescribed drug (Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen) and working towards the #200 prescribed drug.”

Each podcast covers:

  • Brand/Generic
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Indications
  • Dosage Forms
  • Doses
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Black Box Warnings
  • Contraindication
  • Precautions
  • Adverse Drug Reactions
  • MAJOR Drug Interactions
  • Pregnancy Category/Breast Feeding
  • Safety and Efficacy Monitoring
  • Major Counseling Points
  • Side Notes
  • References

This is a great idea. I’m glad to see a budding young pharmacist lending his talent to the profession, not to mention using technology to do it. The introductory episode can be found here.

– I’ve been playing with a new application called springpad. It’s like a miniature version of Evernote, which I use all the time and love. Springpad is available via the web, for the iPhone and for the Andrid OS. It offers a very nice interface and a great way to store items that you want to remember. However, it falls short in a couple of key areas; well, for me anyway. I use Evernote as a way to store and sort journal articles, i.e. lots of PDF files. So far I haven’t been able to duplicate that functionality in springpad.

RxInformatics: “Sorry Lexi-Comp, but I do not agree with your definition of subscription, nor your idea of digital rights management. You should review some of the more established online content distribution models, such ashttp://www.audible.com/. They charge per year, but you can put the digital content on multiple devices, and it always stays on your computer. The agrument that you are a medical information vendor and Audible is a book vendor won’t fly with me either. Last time I checked both companies sell print and digital versions of their products.” – I think Lexi-Comp provides some of the best drug information in the industry, but they should take a step back and look at their distribution and service model. Read the entire post and you’ll understand why I say that.

– The arrival of the iPad, the impending onslaught of Android and Windows based tablets on the horizon and the slow pace of e-ink development is a perfect storm for the utter demise of the stand alone e-reader. In addition, the continued failure of these devices to catch on at colleges and universities as a replacement for textbooks only makes matters worse. I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it going any other way.

– There are a lot of things in the pharmacy world that interest me and one of those is drug induced rashes; don’t ask why I think it’s neat, I just do. Anyway, there’s a great review article at Medscape Pharmacists on what causes beta-lactam induced rashes (“Why Do Beta-Lactams Cause Rashes?”).  Interesting stuff.

– Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (2010 May 14 [Epub]):  It appears that endoscopy performed via wireless capsule is safe and effective in children as small as 11.5 kg. According to the article, endoscopy by capsule “may be used to identify stenotic disease beyond traditional endoscopic and radiographic reach…across the spectrum of the pediatric population, from infancy to adulthood and with a weight as low as 11.5 kg (25.3 lb).” In addition retrieval of the capsule following the procedure did not appear to pose a significant risk. An example of a wireless capsule used for endoscopy is PillCam.

– Have you ever heard of using colored IV lines to prevent infusion errors? Neither have I. Well there’s a company out there that makes color tinted infusion sets. I went to the company website, but couldn’t find a whole lot of information. You can catch a glimpse of them in this video. I’m not sure I buy into the concept; for a lot of reasons. What do you think?

– There’s an interesting article in the most recent issue of Pharmacotherapy (June 2010) that gives an overview of some of the thinking that goes into making formulary decisions in an acute care setting. “Consideration of patient care and unbiased reviews of the biomedical literature are the cornerstone principles of formulary decision-making.” Notice there’s nothing in there about how nice the drug reps are or how much free stuff they give you. The complete article is available here (PDF).

– Need an extra 7” touchscreen monitor? Well look no further than the new Mino 720-F USB-driven touchscreen. At only $199 I can see mounting one of these bad boys in my office.

– I’ve been reading about Practice Fusion’s free EHR for quite a while. The idea of a free, cloud based electronic health record piques my interest. MEDINNOVATIONBLOG has a great piece on Practice Fusion. The author makes a great point when he states that “… Practice Fusion has adopted and modified the revenue model that has made Google so successful, namely gathering revenues from online advertising and lead generation tied to “free” access by users. It does not require physicians to install new hardware and software, but to off-load what they need in an EHR to the Internet using their existing office computers.” Why can’t we design a pharmacy system like that? The Practice Fusion Corporate Office is only about three hours up the road, which makes me think I need to take a field trip and have the Practice Fusion team give me an in depth look at their application.

WebWorkerDaily: “When it comes to mobility and collaboration, cloud computing has delivered advances that I already take for granted. Because I primarily work in the cloud, I can access my work from anywhere, using a multitude of devices. This is beneficial beyond just being able to hop between a desktop machine and a laptop. When most of one’s tools live online, switching from PC to Mac (or vice versa) is much less burdensome than it could have been in the past…… Having my work available online makes collaboration far easier than it ever was before. Rather than emailing files to my colleagues and trying (and failing) to keep track of all the different versions, using a tool like Google Docs means I can have one document that everyone can access — it’s even possible to have more than one person editing that document at any one time, if I wish.” – I couldn’t agree more. Following the fresh install of Windows 7 on my Dell tablet I’ve done everything possible to work from the cloud. Of course I still use local desktop applications for a lot of things, but that list continues to shrink.

– How’s this for a compact Bluetooth barcode scanner for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch: the KoamTac KDCi. Seriously, the thing is smaller than a deck of cards and only weighs 1.2 ounces. Amazing.

– I have been singing the praises of Pixel Qi LCD technology for nearly a year now and I’m finally fed up and tired of waiting for their screens to appear on the market. I promised myself I would purchase the first netbook, laptop or tablet that hit the streets using their technology, but it’s time to move on. Good-bye Pixel Qi.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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