Ever wonder why forklifts have roll cages?

I’ve driven my share of forklifts. I had several manual labors jobs before deciding to become a pharmacist. In fact, it was those manual labor jobs that helped me decide to go back to school and become a pharmacist in the first place. But that story is for another time.

I was searching for something completely unrelated to forklifts when I came across the video below. I was both horrified and amused.

ASHP’s Handbook on Injectable Drugs is online and interactive

I received an email this morning informing me that ASHP’s Handbook on Injectable Drugs is making the leap from paper to electronic media. Welcome.

You can get a peak at the open beta test going on now, just follow this link. I played with it for a while. The UI needs a little work, but it’s nice to see it online.



Cool Pharmacy Technology–Rowa Vmax

I became aware of Rowa Vmax a few weeks ago when I read an article about CareFusion purchasing the small German-based company.

From the Rowa brochure:

The Vmax Hospital from Rowa provides hospital pharmacists with an extremely flexible and high performance storage and dispensing system. When combined with the wide range of product options (almost) any thing is possible:

  • High level of scalability in terms of capacity and speed
  • Input speed per machine: up to 900 packs per hour
  • Output speed per machine: up to 2,000 packs per hour
  • Safety features: UPS, backup storage drive, stock scan, user identification with various permissions, refrigerator with data logger
  • Recording of expiry dates and batch numbers
  • Conveyor system: for optimised stock picking and commissioning for the wards

Combined with perfect integration into the hospital’s stock control system the result is clear, streamlined medicines management.

Stock intake, recording, storage and order picking for the wards: all of these previously manual activities can be done with Rowa in a fraction of the time normally required. Qualified personnel can now do qualified work, on the wards for example. This is a huge advantage, especially in times of increasing pressure on hospital staff budgets.

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More fanboy douchebaggery

Someone, actually several people, posted this on Google+ today “Android is No. 1 in 35 countries, approaches 50% global market share”. The article attached to the headline can be found here.

Simple, right? Of course. It’s just someone passing on a bunch of shipment numbers from an article.

Enter the Apple fanboy:

#1 by what measure? Sales volume (# of units)? That is interesting, but Android still appears to be a very very distant 2nd (or maybe 3rd) in terms of application ecosphere for both users and developers. Compared to iOS, the typical Android app is flaky/buggy and incomplete….Android may be selling a lot of handsets, but they have a very long way to go to be the “#1″…”

I hate it when someone throws out an opinion like it’s fact. Saying something is better than something else with nothing more than an opinion is absolute worthless. Can you say something is faster? Sure, if you have the numbers to back it up. Bigger? Yep, piece of cake. Tougher? Absolute, if you have the data to prove it. More apps? If you know how to count. But to simply say something is #1 because the alternative is “flaky/buggy” makes you sound like a complete idiot. Unfortunately this is typical of the conversations I get into when iPhone users see that I use an Android smartphone or when I say I prefer Android over iOS. They just can’t understand why I’d use an “inferior device”. First of all I don’t think my Android smartphone is inferior. Furthermore I have reasons to choose Android over other operating systems, but they are my own. My opinion, my choice, my smartphone.

Is Android #1? I don’t know. I don’t care. And just in case you were wondering, the next time you feel the need to tell me how great your iDevice is, do me a favor and keep it to yourself.

Tablet hunting – the Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q550 not so good

I’ve been contemplating a new slate tablet PC. The market is full of them, which should make choosing one a piece of cake. Unfortunately it’s turning out to be much more difficult than originally thought.

The most common problem, for me at least, has been short battery life. Less than four hours just isn’t an option, which eliminates what I think is the best slate tablet on market the Eee Slate EP121. So you can imagine my elation when I saw the specs for the Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q550. The screen size of the Q550 is a little small, but the pen and multi-touch input along with the claims from the manufacturer of extended battery life, up to 8 hours, caught my attention.

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Palm scanner for patient identification in NY City hospital

Reuters: “A New York City hospital has stopped asking many patients to dig out health insurance cards and fill in endless forms, instead identifying them by scanning the unique lattice of veins in their palm.

The new biometric technology employed by New York University’s Langone Medical Center was expected to speed up patient check-ins and eliminate medical errors.

The system also has the virtue of not requiring the patient be conscious at the time of check-in, as is sometimes the case in emergency rooms.

The scanners are made by the technology services company Fujitsu and exploit the principle that, as with fingerprints and iris patterns, no two individuals’ palm-vein configurations are quite the same.

Using near-infrared waves, an image is taken of an individual’s palm veins, which software then matches with the person’s medical record. The initial set-up for a new patient takes about a minute, the hospital said, while subsequent scans only take about a second.”

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Taking a break…

I started this blog more than two years ago at the behest of my brother, Robert. He and I used to spend a lot of time talking about technology and he encouraged me to put my ideas in writing in the form of a blog. It took quite a while before I finally took his advice, but eventually I got around to it.

It’s been quite a lot of fun, but my desire to keep up this blog has finally run its course. I find little interest in pharmacy technology these days as everything has turned into rehashed content presented under the guise of something new. The technology world has become one of followers with few true leaders and I find myself becoming more and more disgusted with “revolutionary” products and ideas. There are few real thinkers left in the world.

I watched Iron Man 2 last night with my girls. At one point in the movie Tony Stark tears his house apart to build the equipment necessary to synthesize a new element. Funny I know, but that image isn’t much different than one of the founding father’s of this country. Men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the like weren’t beyond punching a hole in the floor of their home to build a clock for example.  Those men were truly revolutionary thinkers. My brother and I have discussed the loss of such minds over time, and it’s disheartening.

I told myself when this blog was no longer fun that I would stop. Well, I’ve reached that point. I find myself generating more rants than informative posts these days. In fact this post went off in the direction of a rant for just a moment. I had to reel myself back in just to finish it up. But I’m not ready to completely give up on the idea of having a blog just yet. After some thought I’ve decided to just ignore it for a while and see if my interest returns. I’m skeptical that my interest will be jump started, but I think it’s worth a shot. Most of the time when I tire of something it’s usually for good. We shall see.

For now I’m taking a break.


Conclusion of the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)

I attended one final session at the Summer Meeting today before heading back to the hotel to pack up my stuff, have some lunch and head for the airport; which is where I’m sitting now.

The session was titled Mobile Devices and Social Media: Enabling Your Professional and Personal Lives, and was delivered by Bill Felkey and Brent Fox. It was great. I thought I was pretty technology savvy, but I quickly found out that I still have a lot to learn. As with many sessions at this year’s Summer Meeting, this one was recorded and should be available at http://ce.ashp.org shortly. Do yourself a favor and go watch the audio-synched presentation. You won’t regret it.

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The gray area between a smartphone and a tablet

I’m in the market for a new smartphone so I’ve been looking around. My Motorola Droid still works just fine, but it’s starting to show its age. I’ve been waiting to see what the next Android phone version, i.e. Ice Cream Sandwich, has to offer before making a decision.

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