Saturday morning coffee [February 23 2013]

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….

MUG_MinneapolisThe coffee mug from the right is straight out of the Twin Cities area, i.e. the Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Minnesota. I picked it up at a Caribou Coffee shop in Minneapolis. Apparently Caribou Coffee is a locally owned business in the Twin Cities area. I have no idea really, but that’s what I was told and the website does list a local address (3900 Lakebreeze Ave N., Minneapolis, MN 55429). The coffee is pretty good I thought the mug looked cool. It was the first time I had ever been to the Minneapolis area. I don’t recommend it as a tourist spot in the winter. It was cold boys and girls. The first night I was there it was a cool 0 (zero) degrees F. One neat thing about the trip was that I got a chance to go to the Mall of America. Impressive place.

A Good Day to Die Hard was #1 at the box office last weekend. However, it only brought in about $28.6 million on its opening weekend. Not exactly mind blowing numbers for a “blockbuster”. My wife and I found a couple of hours to take it in between rushing from here to there. Not bad. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a Die Hard movie; lots of bad one liners, crappy dialogue, but lots of violence and explosions. I enjoyed it. I don’t see how they can possibly do another one, but as long as they keep making millions of dollars someone is going to try. Identity Thief came in a close second with about $27.5 million. That’s respectable. I love Jason Bateman’s acting style, but it’s a movie I have no desire to see.

– Would you like to know what the best coffee in the world is? Look no further than Coffee Review. I find it interesting to read the description of some coffees. Like this one: “The fruit notes suggest in particular tartly sweet tropical fruit like guava, passion fruit or fresh lychee. The floral notes are almost as complex, provoking associations ranging from bitter lavender to lush honeysuckle”. Funny. I think all coffee tastes, well, like coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cup of coffee, but I couldn’t describe why if my life depended on it. I couldn’t tell you the difference between floral notes and “theatrical sweetness”. Whatever the heck that means.

– Good Drive has a brand new feature that allows you to “preview more than 30 file types and quickly flip between files until you find the one you want”. It’s a great feature. Learn more about the Drive viewer here:

– This week Google also announced the Google Chromebook Pixel. All of a sudden Google has gotten serious about Chrome OS. The Pixel laptop features a 12.85-inch (weird) 3:2 ratio display with a, wait for it, 2,560 x 1,700 resolution (PPI of 239). Holy moly! And to top it off, it’s a touchscreen. Tadah! The guts of it features a dual-core 1.8Ghz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and two SSD options — 32GB or 64GB. And for those of you that need a bit more space, how about a free 1TB of Google Drive storage in the cloud for  three years. That’s pretty sweet. The down side is that the Pixel starts at $1299. That’s a lot of cold hard cash, but you’re getting a lot of machine for your money.

– I’m imposing a new rule for people who fly on airplanes with me. If you chew gum, don’t pop it. If you pop it I get to cause you physical harm. First offense, open slap to the face. Second offense, closed fist to the face. Third offense, I get to bust your toes with a 22 oz. framing hammer. Bare feet. Cold concrete floor. Nothing is more annoying and classless than someone popping their gum. Drives me up the wall.

– With all the traveling I’ve been doing lately I’ve decided that all my future computers will require 4G. Wi-Fi only works when it’s available, and let’s face it ladies and gentlemen we now live in a connected world 24/7.

– Finished reading Killing Floor by Lee Child this week. It’s a Jack Reacher book. My boss passed it on to me recently. Good book. Highly recommended.

– Most visited post at over the last 7 days: Why pharmacy continues to fail. Posted over a year ago it continues to get quite a bit of traffic. Not a lot of comments left by readers, but frequently visited.

Google Glass has been getting a lot of press this week. I’m pretty excited about the prospect. While I don’t see myself wearing Google Glass, I think the technology has a lot to offer people in general. I can think of several real life use cases in healthcare. Google should consider that. Are you listening Google? You should consider exploring opportunities for Google Glass in healthcare.

– Speaking of Google Glass, my brother said something the other day that got me thinking. Would people wearing Google Glass be so preoccupied with the display in front of their face that they’d cause harm to themselves or others? Maybe. It’s something to consider for sure. But I have some thoughts on the subject. First, the “data” for people causing accidents while texting and driving is suspect at best. It’s a study that no one in their right mind would do. The thought is sound, i.e. if you’re texting you’re not paying attention to the road. However, there’s data out there to suggest that the simple act of making a call while in the car via your phone or Bluetooth headset leads to accidents. It’s the act of concentrating on speaking with someone over the phone that leads to problems. There’s also data out there to suggest that driving alone is more dangerous than driving with a passenger. Doesn’t mean we should require two people in every car. Second, the display on Google Glass is right in front of you, i.e. it’s a HUD. You don’t have to look down to utilize it. You don’t have to type to send a message. And most importantly you don’t have to look away to take video or snap a photo because what you’re filming is the same thing you’re looking at. Finally, smartphones are insanely popular. There are millions of them out there. I don’t see Google Glass being nearly as ubiquitous. Cost alone will keep it out of most average Americans hands. I would have loved to discuss it more with him, but Twitter isn’t very good for that type of thing. Google+ or even, gulp, Facebook would have been better because you can write much longer comments back and forth. They again I could have simply picked up the phone and called him, too.


Medscape: “Multidrug-resistant gonorrhea is increasing in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its treatment recommendations…In 2011, 11.8% of isolates studied were penicillin-resistant, 22.7% were tetracycline-resistant, and 13.3% were fluoroquinolone-resistant. In the United States, gonorrhea is the second most frequently reported notifiable infection, with more than 300,000 reported cases in 2011.” I had no idea gonorrhea was still so prevalent in the U.S.  It used to be relatively easy to treat. Looks like things have changed. The treatment of choice, however, remains ceftriaxone 250mg IM x1 followed by either 1 g azithromycin as a single oral dose or 100 mg doxycycline orally twice per day for 7 days. Of course there’s one sure fire way to make sure you don’t get gonorrhea….

– What if wild animals ate fast food? [0:55 to 1:15 – I laughed my butt off]

– It turns out that all of you conspiracy theorists, and pharmacists, out there that thought people going into care homes took too many psychotropic medications were right. According to a study February 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society “Psychotropic drug use was higher in care homes than the community; 20.3% of those in care homes were dispensed an antipsychotic in January 2009, compared with 1.1% of those in the community. People who entered care had higher use of psychotropic medications before entry than those who did not enter care, but this increased sharply in the month of admission and continued to rise. Antipsychotic drug dispensing increased from 8.2% before entry to 18.6% after entering care (risk ratio (RR) = 2.26, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.96–2.59) and hypnotic drug dispensing from 14.8% to 26.3% (RR=1.78, 95% CI=1.61–1.96).” Not good.

– Interesting article in Pharmacy Purchasing & Products on pediatric safety and barcoding.

– I have my Lenovo x201t Tablet PC set to dual boot to Ubuntu or Windows 8. I’ve enjoyed using Ubuntu. It was crazy simple to install, intuitive and has lots of free software options for productivity. I still prefer to use Windows 8 on my tablet because I prefer the applications that support my addiction to digital pens; OneNote and Evernote specifically. With that said, I believe Ubuntu would make a great alternative to iOS or Android on a tablet. Check the video below for specifics. Looks like they borrowed heavily from Android and Windows 8 “Metro”. Very nice.

HealthEd: “In early November, HealthEd answered a call for designers to “create a better patient experience” by “reshap[ing] the way health records are presented.” … Our submissions [Health Resume] can be found below; both entries demonstrate how PHR can be integrated into clinical systems, yet rendered accessible across multiple formats…The Health Resume provides a holistic view of the patient’s current health.”” – I’ve looked through the images supplied by HealthEd; very consumer-like. Not sure whether I like this or not. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?


– I’m sure by now that most of you with any interest in healthcare reform have read Steven Brill’s Time article titled Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us. The article is a rant about the cost of medical treatment. It’s an obvious problem, but not as straight forward as many might think. It’s worth a read. For a rebuttal to the article in Time, slip on over to Wired and check out the article by David Dobbs titled Actually, Mr. Brill, Fixing Healthcare Is Kinda Simple.  While Brill’s article makes some great points, Dobbs’ article is better.

– Interesting presentation from IMPACTMeds. Take a close look at slides #12 and #13. Huh.

Code Blue for Paper and the Death of the Medical Journal [Forbes]: “The power of the concept is that they give the physician the opportunity to read multiple journals and news sources in one place, to customize the reading experience to suit themselves, e.g., with custom built topics, and to make connections with other physicians.” – I almost laughed when I read this. Healthcare professionals have been doing this for years with RSS feeds, email notifications, daily briefs, etc. For years! I love the idea, but all they’ve done is wrapped it in a pretty little bow. Something I’d like to see is an application that aggregates all open source medical material in one place, and then put a nice bow on it.


Thursday I wrote about an idea I had for an automated syringe filler for pediatric oral syringes. The video I used in the post is from some work being done by Denis Lebel (@Hamstav). Denis left the following comment: “We already have developed some technology to make this high volume of preparation ( – french). The solution included barcoding confirmation of the drug, visual assistance with a photograph of the bottle needed, a display of the syringe as it should be when filled. I also added a lot of sound cues that were played when reading the bar code to let the user know when some special situations needed his attention.” I ran the article, what I could get of the article anyway, through Google Translator. Cool stuff. Denis also mentions the need for a robotic arm to shake suspensions prior to unit dosing. Good idea.

Pulse+IT: “Of particular interest to the Australian telehealth sector is Microsoft’s plans for the integration of its Lync unified communications platform with Skype, which Microsoft purchased in 2011. Microsoft recently announced that the “federation” of the two products would begin in June.” – I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, the upside to using Microsoft Surface in Healthcare is extreme. You don’t have to give up anything in terms of functionality, power, or portability.

– Sometimes I feel just like Stan….

That’s it folks. I’m off to a track meet. Have a great weekend.

4 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [February 23 2013]”

  1. Watch this. This is why I think Google Glass, in every day use, is dangerous. For specialized use, they’ll be great. E.G. Under the IV hood. Think about pilots, highly skilled, highly trained to fly by their instrumentation, so it makes sense for them to have a HUD. Very different than driving a car on a busy street, or near people.

  2. “The fruit notes suggest in particular tartly sweet tropical fruit like guava, passion fruit or fresh lychee. The floral notes are almost as complex, provoking associations ranging from bitter lavender to lush honeysuckle”.

    Sounds like they borrowed that from a Napa Valley advertisement.

    BTW, I feel like Stan most of the time.

  3. Your screen name flashed in my mind when I came across this part while watching the full episode. It’s funny, you should watch it. You’d appreciate the humor.

    As far as the coffee goes, I’ve never been able to distinguish the different “flavors” like fruits, chocolate, nuts, etc. I like many different coffees, but dislike any that are bitter.

  4. “Your screen name flashed in my mind when I came across this part while watching the full episode. It’s funny, you should watch it. You’d appreciate the humor.”

    Been there, done that.

    “As far as the coffee goes, I’ve never been able to distinguish the different “flavors” like fruits, chocolate, nuts, etc. I like many different coffees, but dislike any that are bitter.”

    That’s too bad. I enjoy the different flavors.. and just happen to be drinking a mug full of double-dutch chocolate coffee as I’m typing this.

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