Saturday morning coffee [January 31 2015]

“Fast is good, accurate is better.” – unknown

So much happens each and every week, and 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….


American Sniper remained #1 at the box office last weekend, pulling down a little more than $64 million. The movie has had some surprising staying power. To date American Sniper has collected more than $200 million at the U.S. box office.

Not everyone is thrilled with American Sniper, however. Apparently Jesse Ventura isn’t impressed with Chris Kyle. “The former Minnesota governor [Jesse Ventura] tells the Associated Press that he’s skipping the movie because Kyle is no hero to him. “A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There is no honor in lying,” said Ventura, 63. Ventura won a defamation lawsuit against Kyle over an unnamed person in the book, Scruff Face, who disparages the war and the SEALs. Kyle later said Scruff Face was Ventura.” (Source: People)

As if coffee wasn’t good enough already. “Brazilian scientists have discovered a protein in coffee that has effects similar to pain reliever morphine.” (Source: Medical Xpress)

Business Insider (BI) has an interesting slide deck on the Internet of Things (IoT). Only time will tell whether or not IoT will be as big as everyone thinks or simply another bridge in the evolution of human’s use of technology.  One of the driving forces for IoT will be cheap sensors. See the image below from the BI slide deck. This is consistent with what Michio Kaku wrote about in his book Physics of the Future. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it.

BI Sensors IoT

Read an interesting article in AJHP from 2009 – Microbial contamination of syringes during preparation: The direct influence of environmental cleanliness and risk manipulations on end-product quality. Tested syringes were prepared in three areas:  ISO class 5 horizontal laminar-airflow hood in an ISO class 6 cleanroom, an ISO class 7 drug preparation area of an operating room, and an uncontrolled decentralized pharmacy in a ward. A total of 1500 syringes were prepared. I bet you can guess the results. “None produced within the cleanroom contained microorganisms, 6% were contaminated in the operating room, and 16% were contaminated in the ward (p < 0.0001).” No surprises there, except perhaps for the fact that the pharmacy cleanroom made the operating room look like a dump.

MIT Technology Review offers some great newsletters, and they’re all free. If you’re interested you can sign up here to have them delivered to your inbox.

The Next Web: “This quarter, half a billion users out of a total 1.39 billion accessed the social network using only a mobile device, making an increase of 26 percent year-over-year. That’s 37.8 percent of Facebook users that never log in to the desktop site.” Over a third of Facebook users only ever visit using a mobile device. Crazy.

Popular Mechanics: “The device, called the Forced Finger, guides the hand and fingers through haptic feedback, guiding the muscles through robotic levers. The idea is to instill muscle memory in the wearer. To call it a cooperative lesson might overstate your own agency in the lesson—the robot takes control, forcing your hand to learn circles and hoping you internalize the message.” – Sure it can teach you to draw or play the piano, but can it teach a surgeon not to make mistakes?

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2014;24(2):176-186: “Of 2262 patients attending the ED during the study periods, the hospitalization of 366 patients (16.2%) was related to one or more caADEs of which 97.5% were considered predictable and 62.0% were classified as preventable. The mean caADE-related diagnosis related group costs were €2743 (95% bias-corrected and accelerated CI: €2498 to €3018). Extrapolated to a national scale, this corresponds to caADE-related costs of €2.245bn for the German health insurance funds, annually. Costs of €1.310bn could be attributed to events classified as predictable and preventable.” – Catch that part about how many ADEs are predictable and preventable? Seems like a great opportunity for a pharmacist intervention.

It’s quite possible that nanotechnology will make traditional medication therapy obsolete in my lifetime. At least I hope it does. Can you imagine treating cancer at the source without the need for blasting the body with chemotherapy? Would be nice. “The advantages of nanoparticle cancer treatment are enormous. Targeted delivery avoids damaging otherwise-healthy organs that would be adversely affected by traditional cancer treatment. For example, nanoparticles carrying drugs are so small they can pass right through the liver, thus avoiding the complications that often come from traditional drugs, such as the death of hepatic tissue. Attacking specific tissues without harming adjacent areas allows doctors to use drugs that are more potent and leave them in the body longer.” Read the entire article. It’s written for a layperson, but it’s still pretty cool. (Source: HP MATTER)

Google Now for Android can now show cards from third-party apps. “Google updated its main Android app with a big enhancement to Google Now: It can serve cards from third-party apps. So far, the new functionality is supported by 40 different apps, bringing you Now cards that offer information when it might be most useful.” This is a welcome addition. I use Google Now all the time. (Source: VentureBeat)

I’m no fan of Dell computers. I’ve worked at places that use Dell machines, and their laptops have always been a bit disappointing. But I have to give Dell credit where credit is due. They’re making some impressive moves lately. The new Dell XPS 13 is a site to behold with its razor thin bezels and diminutive size. Dell managed to squeeze a 13-inch screen into a 12-inch body. For those of you that need considerably more from a laptop how about the Dell M3800 mobile workstation. The newest version boasts Core-i7, a 15.6-inch 4K display, and up to 2GB of solid state drive space. Amazing machine. Would love to get my hands on one. And let’s not forget about Dell’s new Venue 8 7000, the Android powerhouse. It’s an 8.4-inch tablet rockin’ a 2560 x 1600 OLED display, front facing speakers, and new Intel camera technology. All in something that’s a mere 6mm thick. If I were to buy a new Android tablet right now, it would be the Venue 8 7000.

I use Evernote for quite a few things. I currently have more than 8000 notes in several different notebooks. Every once in while I have the need to combine things. Fortunately for me Evernote has the ability to merge notes. “In Evernote, select multiple notes while holding down Ctrl+click on Windows. Then, select Merge Notes in the window that appears beside the notes list. This will combine the selected notes into a single note and place the original notes into the Trash. If you’d like to add tags to classify your merged notes, enter them in the space provided.” (Source: Evernote Blog).

I think the Lytro Illum camera technology is really slick. The images that a skilled photographer can produce with it are amazing. To see what I mean, head over to Mashable and look at the images of the NFC Championship game between the Seahawks and Packers shot by photographer Mike Sternoff. They’re really cool.

Super Bowl XLIX is Sunday. The game features the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. I will not be watching this year’s Super Bowl. The latest line has the Patriots at -2. Give me the Seahawks and the points.

Have a great weekend everyone.


3 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [January 31 2015]”

  1. A few comments regarding the 2009 IV syringe preparation study:

    (1) Only one of the areas, the pharmacy IV room, used a laminar air flow hood. Given that, my conclusion is that using a laminar air flow hood is better than when you don’t. To further test this hypothesis, they should have prepared another batch in the Pharmacy IV room, but NOT in the laminar flow hood.

    (2) It is also not clear if they ruled out the influence of who was preparing the syringes in the different environments. The same operator should have prepared the syringes in all areas.

    Given that, I’m not sure if this study proves anything…

  2. This is one where I do not agree with your thought process. Does a laminar airflow hood really provide the best environment? Probably, but there are some important takeaways from this paper. First, the paper shows that practice area many not be as important as manipulation. “Although uncontrolled or poorly controlled air is commonly thought to be a source of contamination, our results indicate that direct aero-biological contamination is rare”. In addition the study found that touching the hub was problematic, as was ungloved hands. No surprise there. Second, the paper relates real world environment to common practice. The problem with academic papers in pharmacy practice is that they rarely apply to real world situations. I can relate to the importance of the method chosen for this study.

    I think this paper gives the reader plenty of great information.For someone who rails against the overreaching nature of USP <797> I thought you would appreciate the simple, applicable nature of the paper. Guess not.

  3. Before reading this study, I assumed several basics relative to sterile preparation of syringes and other products:

    (1) Preparing sterile products in a laminar airflow hood is better than not preparing it in a laminar airflow hood,

    (2) Wearing gloves and avoiding touch contamination of the syringe is important, and

    (3) You should alway keep a sterile syringe closed when not in use, especially outside of a laminar air flow hood.

    After reading the study, I learned that the author found that all of the above factors are true.

    I guess that would be helpful for someone who thought it was appropriate to prepare sterile syringes in a non-sterile environment by individuals with no training regarding touch contamination, and lacking common sense when using sterile syringes. But, if they didn’t know this before seeing this study, they probably shouldn’t be working in an IV room anyway.

    Likewise, these basic sterile preparation principals were well established long before USP 797 was imposed on pharmacy practice.

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