A humbling experience and time to reflect

This post has nothing to do with pharmacy, automation or technology. In fact, it is decisively about a personal experience. I wasn’t going to post this, but a little voice kept gnawing at the back of my mind. In hopes of calming the voice I decided to put pen to paper.

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Yeah, my Twitter account was hacked

A couple of nights ago I fell for a phishing scam on Twitter. I pride myself on being careful while online and especially when I use social media, so you can imagine my embarrassment when I discovered that I’d been duped.

Many of my followers were kind enough to tell me I’d been hacked prior to unfollowing me. And of course Twitter followed suite several hours later by sending me an email letting me know they’d reset my password and encouraging me to check my settings for suspicious third party apps. It didn’t really matter by then as I had already changed my password a couple of times. The damage had already been done.

I don’t typically believe in violence to resolve a problem, but this is one of those rare occasions where I think violence is the perfect answer. Just me, a locked room with the person who created the hack inside, a blowtorch, some sharp objects and a long rope with a noose at the end. Sounds fair to me.


Evaluating my travel technology

My typical travel gear includes:

Lenovo T410S Laptop or Lenovo x201t Tablet PC – I go back and forth between these two machines. The T410S has a bigger screen, faster processor and more memory, but it’s not a tablet PC. The x201t is smaller, easier to use and I can take notes directly on the screen. The smaller size is especially important when I have a long flight; the T410S doesn’t fit well in the cattle-car seats on planes.

Motorola DROID – I love this phone and haven’t seen anything new to convince me to change, although I think I’ll have a Motorola DROID BIONIC shortly.

Kindle DX – Still nothing better than an e-ink screen for reading. Period. When I see a journal article worth reading I simple dump it in a “To Read” folder on my computer. Every so often I move those on to my Kindle DX and read them when I have down time. The DX’s large screen works well for PDFs.

Android Tablet (my rooted NOOK Color) – Games, email and social media in a small package with long battery life.

Verizon MiFi, a.k.a. “Mobile Hotspot” – Simply can’t live without connectivity

I recently purchased an HP TouchPad. It’s turned out to be a really nice tablet. I’ve enjoyed using it over the past few weeks.

On a recent trip to Cincinnati, OH I decided to leave my Kindle DX and Android tablet at home, and take the TouchPad instead. I used it for email, web surfing, social media and games; just like its Android counterpart. I tried using it for reading in place of the Kindle DX. It worked, but found that I like the e-ink screen better.

I’ve heard people say they use their tablets, specifically their iPads, for document creation, editing, etc. I managed to use the TouchPad to compose a blog post for another website while en route to Cincinnati, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it on a regular bases. Sure, I was able to create the post, but there were several things I missed. I’m not a natural writer and many of my blog posts go through several edits before getting pushed to the web. In my opinion a keyboard and mouse work better than a touchscreen for editing a document. Overall it worked, but certainly not as good as a laptop.

So, what’s the final verdict? The TouchPad could easily take the place of my Android tablet and my Kindle DX, but I still prefer the Kindle for reading. And you can forget about using something like the TouchPad in place of a laptop, it’s not even close.

Pharmacists impact on osteoporosis management (review article)

Pharmacists are pretty good at helping people with chronic medical conditions manage their medications, hence the term Medication Therapy Managment (MTM). You can find more information about MTM at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) website.

Anyway, I came across an article this morning that gives the results of a literature review “to examine the impact of pharmacist interventions in improving osteoporosis management“. While I’m not a big fan of review articles in general because the information can be skewed, I found the conclusion to my liking. The articles concludes that “[d]ata support the potential role for pharmacists to help reduce gaps in osteoporosis management through improved identification of high-risk patients.” And then the article goes on to say that more research is needed. I personally think it’s time to move beyond the research stage and start integrating MTM into the care of all patients. It should be the standard.


Johns Hopkins ABX Guide for Android

imageOnce upon a time I used to use the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide on my trusty Palm Pilot. I thought the guide was well done, easy to use, accurate and full of great information. The application has come a long way since then and is now available for the Android OS. While it’s no longer free – actually is fairly pricey at $22.99 – it looks to be of similar quality in both design and information. The reviews on the Android Market tend to agree.


Johns Hopkins ABX Guide: Diagnosis and Treatment of Infection Diseases

The Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, Mobile Edition continues to provide current, authoritative, comprehensive information on anti-microbial agents, infectious diseases, and commonly-encountered pathogens in one portable volume. Written by experts at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, this must-have resource features expert recommendations, clinical and diagnostic decision-making tools, and drug-to-drug interactions. Concise, thorough, and current, The Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, Mobile Edition is designed for quick reference and comprehension. Information is featured in an easy-to-access format that facilitates rapid application of knowledge at the point of care.

12 month subscription includes content and feature updates.

What do pharmacists want?

pulling_out_hairIt’s a simple question with a simple answer. In today’s pharmacy environment pharmacists want to do more “clinical” activities and distance themselves from the physical pharmacy. See, I told you it was simple.

For the last several months I’ve been listening to people tell me what pharmacists, and pharmacies, want. I find it interesting that most of the opinions differ from mine. No big deal as opinions are opinions, remember? But today I had a brief, albeit passionate discussion over what pharmacists want. The people telling me what pharmacists wanted weren’t healthcare professionals. They were engineers, sales people, etc. I know that comes off a bit elitist, but it’s not. I don’t pretend to know what an engineer knows, so perhaps they shouldn’t pretend to know what I know. Fair? I think so.

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Better late than never, a week with my HP TouchPad

hp_touchpadSince HP announced that it would discontinue operations with the webOS and kill off the TouchPad I’ve been scouring local stores and online retailers looking for one. I was willing to buy one for $299 just a few weeks ago so why wouldn’t I be willing to purchase one for half that? Anyway, I stumbled across one at dynamism.com and instantly ordered it. It arrived last week.

I’ve had a little less than a full week to play with the TouchPad, but I have to say that the user experience is top notch. The card view and ability to move between multiple applications quickly is great. The universal inbox and calendar work like a charm, and the notification system is second to none; including Motorola’s system on their Droid series. Of course applications for the device are scarce, but I’ve been able to scrape together enough to make the device useful and fun.

Overall I think the device is great. It’s a shame that HP killed it without giving it an opportunity to mature and develop a following. I personally prefer the interface of the TouchPad to that of the iPad and would say it’s at least on par with the Android tablets I’ve used; the potential is better. I haven’t experienced any significant problems with the device, but I’ve only had it a short time. The biggest issue for me is the lack of applications. I’d be hard pressed to use the TouchPad for more than email, calendar and web surfing. Then again, with the addition of games that’s about all I use my FrankenNook for these days.

Let’s hope someone decides to take the webOS from HP and continue to develop it. It would be a shame to see something with so much potential die.