HP ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Tablet. Tah-da!

Engadget: “…the ElitePad has a premium look, marked by a machined aluminum back cover and 400-nit IPS display coated in Gorilla Glass. Also similar to the EliteBooks, it meets the military’s MIL-spec 810G durability requirements, and can withstand three-foot drops, among other accidents. All told, it weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 9.2mm thick. Going by weight, that’s more along the lines of what you’d expect from a larger, 11-inch tablet, but 1.5 pounds is still manageable, especially considering how armored this thing is.

Add to that 10 hours of runtime, a 1,280 x 800 resolution screen, an SSD, and a gaggle of accessories – docking station, “smart jackets” (seriously cool), NFC enabled pen support – and you have one impressive machine. It’s good to see someone going above and beyond and thinking outside the box a little bit.

The ElitePad 900 is scheduled to be released sometime in January of 2012. I can’t wait to see this thing in person.

Hospital called “hotbed for healthcare innovation” with “state-of-the-art NICU” also definition of irony

According to good ol’ Merriam-Webster irony is defined as “the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning”. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I read the article referred to in the Tweet below from @ClinicalInnTech.

The article talks about a state-of-the-art NICU at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. The article has some great information in it and paints a great picture of some of the cool things that are being done there, but the presentation embedded in the article made me laugh.

Slide #10 shows “resident pediatrician Carly Guss, MD, [pushing] a workstation on wheels [W.O.W.] through the NICU hallway toward a patient’s room”(image below). How much paper do you think can actually fit on that W.O.W.? It’s a good thing they’re using state-of-the-art technology. I’d hate to see what it would look like if they were using antiquated technology. The full set of slides can be found on SlideShare.

Re-evaluating my travel gadgetry

I enjoy my gadgets. I enjoy them a lot. I take them everywhere I go. I’m not obsessed with them, but I find that they help me pass the time when I’m by myself or during quite periods when my crew is still sleeping.

Everyone in my family has an “electronics bag” that they carry their stuff in when we travel. During our summer vacation this year I got tickled watching everyone pack their gadget bags. I had everyone lay their stuff out on our coffee table and I snapped a quick photo. The image is below. As you can see it’s quite a bit of stuff.

I change up my travel gear all the time. I have both a work laptop and a tablet PC. I used to travel with both machines, but it became cumbersome, especially with all the security at airports. So now I only take one machine depending on what I’m doing, i.e. when I travel for work I take my work machine and when I travel for fun I take my tablet PC.

My other options when I travel include:

I’ve been trying to pare it down a bit as my bag is getting heavy. I’m considering going in two completely different directions.

Option 1: Get a Lenovo X1 Carbon to replace both my work laptop and my tablet PC, and add a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 to replace my need for note taking on a tablet.

Option 2: Get a new Windows 8 hybrid tablet like the Samsung ATIV Smart PC to replace my work machine and take the place of my aging Lenovo t201x tablet PC. With this scenario I’d continue to carry my Samsung Tab 7.0 Plus.

Option 2 is much cheaper, but Option 1 has a pretty solid coolness factor associated with it. I’ll mull this over for a while, at least until the new Windows 8 machines appear on the scene.

Project Austin: A new not taking app from Microsoft designed specifically for Windows 8

Microsoft Blog (Visual C++ Team): “…For the past few months I’ve been working on a Windows 8 app along with a small team of developers from the Visual C++ team, we call it Project Code Name Austin.

Austin is a digital note-taking app for Windows 8. You can add pages to your notebook, delete them, or move them around. You can use digital ink to write or draw things on those pages. You can add photos from your computer, from SkyDrive, or directly from your computer’s camera. You can share the notes you create to other Windows 8 apps such as e-mail or SkyDrive.”

When I saw “Project Austin” start showing up on tech blogs over the last couple of days I have to admit I got pretty excited. I’m a tablet PC guy to the core, and one of my favorite things about tablet PCs is their inking ability, i.e. I can use them in place of pen and paper for a great many things. No other tablet OS – iOS, Android, webOS – has been able to give me the same experience; not even close.

According to the Microsoft blog Project Austin is “a very simple digital replacement to the real paper notebooks people carry around to meetings at work, to school, around the house, where they scribble things and take quick notes.” That’s all I want. That’s what I’ve been waiting for. The blog post goes on to say “Austin doesn’t aspire to be a full-featured note-taking app such as OneNote. It doesn’t give you a way to organize your notes other than by their position in the book, it also doesn’t enable typing or searching.” Perfect.  I have nothing against OneNote. OneNote is fantastic, and I use it all the time, but it’s overkill for most things. And Microsoft Journal, while good for taking quick notes, just doesn’t always cut it.

Two other things that really made me take notice of Project Austin were: 1) it is supposed to be deeply integrated with Microsoft SkyDrive, which is getting better and better everyday. It’s still not on par with many other cloud based storage/syncing/sharing applications out there, but it’s gaining ground; and 2) “ [Microsoft is] making the majority of the source code available for download here.  We also plan to publish a series of blog posts here in the Visual C++ Team Blog talking about our experience building it, and some of the technologies we used.” I’ve been hammering on my brother, Robert, for a few months to build me a better note-taking app for Windows 8. He and I have talked about it a couple of times and I’ve even gone as far as to start sketching out the design and requirements for “my note-taking app“. Microsoft apparently read my mind. Scary and cool all at the same time.

What can I say, I’m excited. I’m newly energized about the potential for the host of new Windows 8 tablets hitting the market over the next year. It’s a great time to be a tablet PC guy.

Changes to Twitter finally hit home

I’ve read quite a bit lately about all the changes to Twitter. The incessant complaining, the non-stop blood-clot cryin’, the “Twitter has gone too far” rhetoric, and so on. Whatever Twitter has done has irritated a lot of people, but doesn’t seem to have hurt them much, if at all. I don’t really care one way or the other. I use the native Twitter client on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Tab 7.0 Plus; seems to work just fine.  No problems noted. I use the Silver Bird add on for Google Chrome to handle my Tweeting when I’m online, and I use Buffer when I’m inside Google Reader. Haven’t seen any problems there either.

I’ve been using a service called IFTTT – awesome tool by the way – to send all my Tweets directly to an Evernote Notebook where they’re archived for all eternity, or until something happens to the cloud. So each time I compose a new Tweet it’s automatically captured and appended to my “IFTTT Twitter” Notebook in Evernote. It’s great.

Unfortunately it looks like that’s all about to come to an end. I received the following email yesterday:

It’s a real bummer. It won’t stop me from using Twitter, but it’s still a bit frustrating that something so incredibly effective at automating the archiving of my Tweets is being shut down.

PEG coated nanoparticles improves drug delivery into the brain

Delivering drugs into the brain is notoriously difficult. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have published a report in the August 29 issue of Science Translational Medicine that they have designed nanoparticles that can safely and predictably infiltrate deep into the brain. Pretty cool.

A Dense Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Coating Improves Penetration of Large Polymeric Nanoparticles Within Brain Tissue Elizabeth A. Nance, Graeme F. Woodworth, Kurt A. Sailor, Ting-Yu Shih, Qingguo Xu, Ganesh Swaminathan, Dennis Xiang, Charles Eberhart, and Justin Hanes Sci Transl Med 29 August 2012

Prevailing opinion suggests that only substances up to 64 nm in diameter can move at appreciable rates through the brain extracellular space (ECS). This size range is large enough to allow diffusion of signaling molecules, nutrients, and metabolic waste products, but too small to allow efficient penetration of most particulate drug delivery systems and viruses carrying therapeutic genes, thereby limiting effectiveness of many potential therapies. We analyzed the movements of nanoparticles of various diameters and surface coatings within fresh human and rat brain tissue ex vivo and mouse brain in vivo. Nanoparticles as large as 114 nm in diameter diffused within the human and rat brain, but only if they were densely coated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Using these minimally adhesive PEG-coated particles, we estimated that human brain tissue ECS has some pores larger than 200 nm and that more than one-quarter of all pores are ≥100 nm. These findings were confirmed in vivo in mice, where 40- and 100-nm, but not 200-nm, nanoparticles spread rapidly within brain tissue, only if densely coated with PEG. Similar results were observed in rat brain tissue with paclitaxel-loaded biodegradable nanoparticles of similar size (85 nm) and surface properties. The ability to achieve brain penetration with larger nanoparticles is expected to allow more uniform, longer-lasting, and effective delivery of drugs within the brain, and may find use in the treatment of brain tumors, stroke, neuroinflammation, and other brain diseases where the blood-brain barrier is compromised or where local delivery strategies are feasible.

Cool Pharmacy Technology – RxAdmix

In this issue of The Imaginary Journal of Pharmacy Automation and Technology (IJPAT) we take a look at RxAdmix, a system designed to provide barcode scan verification in the IV room. Now why didn’t I think of that? Great concept when you consider the dangers associated with compounding an intravenous medication incorrectly. Doxorubicin? Daunorubicin? Eh, what’s the difference.
Continue reading Cool Pharmacy Technology – RxAdmix

Saturday morning coffee [September 15 2012]

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right is from UCLA, obviously. I accompanied my daughter down to UCLA a couple of weeks ago to attend her orientation. It’s a beautiful campus. While I was creeping around I ran into Jim Mora, head coach of the UCLA Bruins football team, sitting on the steps outside of Ackerman Union. I’ll admit, I thought it was pretty cool to see him. I made eye contact and gave him “the nod”, i.e. the male equivalent to saying hello. He blew me off completely. Nice to know he has standards.

The Possession was #1 at the box office again last weekend. Still haven’t seen it, and still have no intentions to. And Lawless was #2 at the box office again last weekend. Still haven’t seen it either, but would like to. Maybe today or tomorrow.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [September 15 2012]

Pharmacists’ Recommendations to Improve Care Transitions [article]

No big surprise here. An study that used pharmacists to “[provide] perspectives on admission and discharge medication reconciliation, in-hospital patient counseling, provision of simple medication adherence aids (eg, pill box, illustrated daily medication schedule), and telephone follow-up” found that “pharmacists are well positioned to participate in hospital-based medication reconciliation, identify patients with poor medication understanding or adherence, and provide tailored patient counseling to improve transitions of care“. Makes sense, don’t you think? After all, that’s what pharmacist do. They deal with medications. All things to do with medications, which includes medication reconciliation.

When I was in pharmacy school at UCSF fourth year pharmacy students were responsible for medication reconciliation. Each “general medicine” team had a fourth year pharmacy student on it, and when there was a new admission the student would interview the patient and reconcile their medication lists. Then we’d simply place the reconciled list in the chart for the attending. When it was time for discharge we’d do it all over again. Often times we’d go as far as to get the discharge prescriptions filled at the outpatient pharmacy and deliver them to the patient bedside where we would provide consultation and education before the patient went home. Pretty cool stuff. This is how it should be done at every hospital. Just sayin’.

Nice presentation on NFC development [Slide deck from SlideShare]

Here’s a nice slidedeck on NFC stuff, and it’s recent.

Slides 1-26 are pretty much just an introduction and various tid-bits about NFC. Slide 26 shows some of the NFC enabled phones over the past several years. That particular slide is already out of date though. Almost all new smartphones coming to market today are NFC enabled.

Slides 27-97 contain some pretty extensive informaiton about NFC development, apps, testing, platforms, etc. Good place to start if you’re interested.