“What’d I miss?” – Week of August 15, 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.

The Expendables was #1 at the boxoffice last weekend. My wife and I saw it today. Good movie. My family and I took in The Other Guys last weekend. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. You really have to be in the right mood for Will Ferrell’s brand of humor.

– It looks like HP has finally confirmed the rumors that there will be a webOS tablet. “In their earnings call today, HP responded to a question about whether or not tablets (read: iPad) were hurting netbook sales. In reponse, HP publicly confirmed that a webOS Tablet is coming in the timeline we were expecting, saying they will release “a webOS-based product in Early 2011.” While it’s good to hear that the webOS tablet will indeed make it to market, I fear that “Early 2011” will be too late. The technology would be a welcome addition now, but who  knows what Apple and Android tablet manufacturers will be doing twelve months from now.

– Check out the new Dragon Medical Mobile Search App at the Apple App Store. The application allows clinicians to dictate a search query. Check out the video below for a demo. It reminds me a lot of the search functionality built into the Droid.

GigaOM has an interesting article on the use of the term “cloud”, and insinuates that it may have outlived its usefulness. “Cloud computing as a term is misplaced, problematic and unhelpful.” I’m not sure I agree with that statement completely, but I see where the author is coming from. The popularity of “cloud computing” is forcing the vocabulary to evolve. That’s nothing new. I recommend we just roll with it.

– Speaking of the cloud, Symantec “announced the successful compatibility testing between Symantec Health, a cloud-based medical image archiving solution, and Siemens Healthcare’s picture archiving and communication system (PACS) solutions.” Radiology gets all the cool stuff.

PhysOrg.com: “As part of its new iMedEd Initiative, the medical school has developed a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum, reinventing how medicine is taught in the 21st century and becoming the first in the nation to offer entering students a completely digital, interactive learning environment.” – The article makes several general references to what is included on the iPads received by new medical students, but doesn’t really go into specifics. Two things come to mind:

  1. I would really like to get my hands on one of the iPads supplied by UC Irvine to see how it’s set-up.
  2. Pharmacy schools should pay attention and keep an eye on the UC Irvine iPad experiment. They might just learn something.

– An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(15):1331-1336) discusses the benefits of using Clinical Decision Support with CPOE in patients greater than 65 years of age. The article concluded that “Specific alerts embedded into a CPOE system, used in patients 65 years or older, can decrease the number of orders of PIMs quickly and specifically.”

– The Toshiba Libretto W100 is a little dual screen UMPC multi-touch computer. It’s a slick machine that can be yours for the low, low price of $1,100. But you better hurry as the Libretto W100 is a limited run. You can read more about it in this Engadget preview from July of this year or see some great photos of it at the Pocketables website.

EMR Daily News: “Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) report that physicians who use an automated, electronic medical record (EMR) tracking system to follow-up on patients with an abnormal Pap test could increase the number of women who achieved diagnostic resolution and have women achieve resolution in less time than using traditional methods.” – The use of EMRs for information like this will become more prevalent as ARRA funds start trickling in.

KevinMD has an article talking about the indiscriminate use of healthcare resources, in this case lab work, driving up the cost of healthcare. When I was a pharmacy student we had one simple rule for ordering labs: only order a lab if you need it to direct therapy. If the outcome of the lab won’t make any difference in how you treat the patient, then don’t order it. Simple.

HealthCare IT News: “A small pilot study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found that sending text reminders to adolescent diabetes patients about their insulin treatments improved treatment adherence and blood glucose levels.” – It makes sense that texting teens is an effective way of communicating, just ask my kids.

Download Squad is reporting that we may see a Google Tablet running Chrome OS as soon as November 26th, i.e. Black Friday this year. One can only hope.

– Some guy named Rolf Potts is trying to travel around the world without carrying any luggage; just a ScottVest tropical jacket and cargo pants. Talk about packing light.

San Diego Business Journal: “Pairing tablet computing and wireless communication has the potential to push health care into new realms of quick and portable access to information and response, and San Diego stands to be at the epicenter.” – At least someone gets it. The article goes on to say some pretty interesting things.

AJHP News reports on the positive impact that pharmacists can have on The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). I mentioned the idea of pharmacist involvement in PCMH back in June 2009. The idea is as good now as it was then.

– Finally, the NFL season has officially started. Pre-season is in full swing. I’ve been watching replays on the NFL Network all week. It’s going to be a great season.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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