Beyond the idea of a medical-alert bracelet with the use of text messaging

I stumbled across an article in The Wall Street Journal that discusses the use of advancing technologies to improve first responder access to important patient information. Anyone that has a severe allergy or that requires special treatment for a rare or life threatening medical condition is probably aware of medical alert bracelets. Order forms for … Read more

Slow progress in pharmacy automation and stale technology creates ho-hum interest

Recently I’ve been in bit of a blogging slump. The world of technology suddenly appears a little less exciting. In fact, I find myself thinking of current technology as boring. I read lots of blog posts and articles that refer to new technologies as “revolutionary”, but I haven’t seen much revolutionary technology lately. In fact, most of the new technology is simply an iteration of the same theme; or worse, recycling of an old theme.

Consumer technology is clearly ahead of healthcare with the exception of scanning devices like MRIs, which are pretty cool when you stop to think about what they do. However, some of the most recently vaunted consumer technologies are devices aimed at information consumption like the iPad or devices designed to access data and social media while on the go, i.e. the new crop of smartphones. It’s not really new technology per se, but rather a new application of already available technology.

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Speech recognition demonstrates value in report tunrnaround time

I came across an interesting tidbit at referencing an article in the July edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology (Roentgenology definition here – yeah, I had to look it up). “According to the research team, the average report turn-around time for the department before implementation of voice recognition was 28 hours. After implementation … Read more

AJHP abstracts available for Kindle

I was pleasantly surprised today when I read my ASHP NewsLink and found the following tidbit: “Download AJHP Abstracts to Kindle Reader – Users of the Kindle wireless reading device, from Inc., can now automatically download abstracts of AJHP articles as they become available.” AJHP abstracts are delivered directly to the Kindle e-reader via … Read more

What type of techie are you?

Technology is a funny thing. It’s as diverse as it is interesting. Like many other disciplines, the field of pharmacy technology offers a host of options for pretty much every taste. And not everyone considers all types of pharmacy technology interesting, which has become abundantly clear to me as I continue to meet more professionals in my field.

My opinions on certain key pharmacy and automation technologies are clearly in conflict with many of my friends and colleagues. It’s an odd thing being in the minority and it can drive someone to think their ideas are wrong. However, after serious consideration I realized that the main difference between many of my colleagues and myself is that I tend to be drawn toward hardware based technology while they are drawn toward software technology and regulatory affairs. While it’s true that I like playing with certain types of software, in general it doesn’t have much to offer. Thinking about how to make a piece of software easier to use might be interesting, but if you really think about it that is a gray area between software and hardware, i.e. user interface not necessarily software functionality. That’s probably some type of human engineering discipline to be sure, but I don’t have an official term. And let’s face it, regulatory affairs is simply boring. It’s a necessary evil in healthcare as every governmental agency thinks they need to regulate pharmacy and medicine with more rules then you can shake a stick at, but there really isn’t a while lot you can do with it besides learn it and use it.

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Microsoft: the good and the bad

Microsoft has been in the news quite a bit lately, some of it good and some of it bad. The software giant has done everything from creating an incredible computing environment to building one of the most successful online gaming environments in history. And like most mega-companies they’ve collected their fair share of lovers and haters. With that said, it’s beginning to look like the haters are starting to out number the lovers.

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Technology to prevent medication errors (article)

Forni A, Chu HT. Technology Utilization to Prevent Medication Errors. Curr Drug Saf. 2009 Oct 7 [ePub] This is a nice review article explores current technologies available to healthcare and what role they play in the reduction of medication errors. The article provides a short review of literature to support each technology reviewed. Technologies covered … Read more

Quick Hit – “I don’t see the icon”

Several times on this blog I have discussed the need to advance pharmacy through the use of new and exciting technologies. Yesterday I experienced something that brings light to the reason pharmacy practice is still in the Stone Age, where it may live forever. We had a minor pharmacy system upgrade yesterday. The system was … Read more

The popularity of multitouch technology is growing

InformationWeek: “As touch-screen hardware and tools for developing multitouch applications become more prevalent, businesses of all kinds will want to leverage the technology. Get ready to see it in all sorts of apps, including those used in retail, stock trading, manufacturing, inventory management, healthcare, appliance repair, and delivery services. Touch-sensing interfaces aren’t new — operations … Read more

New bendable magnetic interface from Microsoft

Technology Review (MIT): “At the base of the new device a “sensor tile” produces magnetic multiple fields above its surface. By detecting disturbances to these fields, the system can track the movement of a metal object across its surface, or the manipulation of a bladder filled with iron filings or a magnetic fluid. A user … Read more