Doctor’s Going Digital

My husband fowarded me this interesting graphic.

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
The Doctor's Tech Toolbox  | Infographic |
Image Source: Spina Bifida


Some of my thoughts on the graphic:

63% of doctors are using mobile devices that aren’t connected to their practice! 79% prefer the iPad and 75% have purchased an Apple device. Another 38% plan to purchase an iPad in the coming year. Finally with 86% of physicians wanting to use their mobile devices to EMRs, hospital IT departments Needto get on the ball and deal with iPads and iPhones in their institutions. Clearly they make think it is a personal device, but the graphic clearly shows that doctors think it is more than a personal device, are using it in their medical practice. 

All of that information also means that librairans and library vendors need to make sure their electronic resources are accessible on the iPad.  That means no Flash. It also might mean other formatting issues like reduce the need to scroll. It is a lot easier to scroll with a mouse than to flick scroll with your fingers.  Even if publishers/vendors adhere to the no Flash rule, there are still ways to build interactivity into the material and have high resolution pictures, videos, sounds, etc.  I know a doctor who used his iPad to access a video on WebMD to show at the patient’s bedside what their surgical procedure would be.  Give electronic resources dimension, but make sure it can be accessible on the dominant platform, which appears to be the iPad (if this graphic is correct).

Interesting that despite the growth and popularity of the Android phone in the consumer market, it seems their tablet is much less popular because only 9% of physicians would want an Android model.  Like I said interesting the difference between the phone and tablet market.

Librarians interested in medical apps should take note of the four relatively inexpensive (if you don’t count the camera attachment) medical apps that doctors are using on their devices.

Finally, I find it very interesting that with all the press that Sermo and other closed social networking sites have gotten that “physicians prefer open forums over physician only online communities.”  So it looks like closed sites are not the answer.  Perhaps something like Google+ which allows people to share in an open forum but also selectively restrict things to specific people/circles might become more popular among medical professionals. 

One statistic I find suspect is the one stating  2/3 of the doctors are using social media for professional purposes.  What social media and how?  I find it hard to believe that 2/3 of the doctors are on FB (Sermo, LinkedIn, etc.) for professional purposes.  If it means that 2/3 of the doctors are using some form of social media for professional purposes such as reading blogs and wikis, then I totally can see that statistic. I would like to see how that question was worded because if it asked them what of the following things have you done professionally and it listed read a blog, read a wiki page, use FB professionally, tweet a conference, tweet professionally, etc. I can totally seeing that kind of question skewing things.  They may be using it professionally, i.e. reading a blog post, but they may not be participating for professional reasons i.e. tweeting a conference.

I hope you find the graphic as interesting as I do.  Thanks Mike for passing it along to me.

Do You Really Want Flash?

“Flash…aaaah, Flash aaaah…”

Ok I am not Freddie Mercury, but as soon as somebody starts mentioning Flash and mobile technologies I immediately here Freddie singing in the BlackBerry PlayBook commerical.  It is no secret that I will be dumping my iPhone for an Android on VirginMobile very soon. (First we have to get my mother-in-law off of our AT&T account, and get her set up with something simple and cheap.)  The whole reason I am leaving my dear iPhone is primarily for money reasons.  I simply can’t see the rationale for keeping it at $85/month when I can get a smartphone that does all of the same things (not as intuitively, but it does them) for $40/month.  However one of my biggest complaints about my iPhone (aside from the declining battery life) has been no Flash.

David Lee King recently wrote a post stating he really hasn’t missed having Flash on his Apple devices.  He states that most of his browsing is through RSS feeds and he gets most of his videos through YouTube.  But he asks the question, “How about you? Do you find yourself missing Flash? Is it a problem?”

Uh Yeah…both professionally and personally

I work in a different library than David where YouTube is blocked.  Hospitals and a lot of other non-public and non-academic institutions block YouTube.   So if I or a doctor wants to watch a video of a medical procedure we either have to turn our Apple device to 3G (if we can get a signal in the hospital) and bypass the wifi which blocks it or the video has to be on non-YouTube site. 

For a long time Flash was a nice easy way to animate images, many medical resources online show simple Flash videos on surgical procedures, medical conditions, therapeutic excercises etc.  All of those videos are unavailable to doctors using iPads on rounds.  For example MedlinePlus surgical videos are in Flash and AccessSurgeryvideos are in Flash (I think I remember a McGraw Hill rep say they were gradually converting them from Flash.)  These are just a few of the high quality medical videos that are unusable to iPad docs.  

Steve Job’s stubborn refusal to allow Flash to work on iPads and iPhones is a pain in the butt professionally and it impacts what videos doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can access while on the job treating patients.

My iPhone is my computer when I am not at home, I am browsing way more than RSS feeds and I am watching more than just YouTube.  I am a power user of my iPhone, a total data hog.  I use waaay more than 2GB of data.  In my general surfing I run across more “No Soup For You” messages because I can’t get Flash.  It is annoying as hell and I hate it.  Like many typical American GenXers I want what I want NOW!  Don’t tell me it is Flash and I can’t see it, I don’t care, I want it to work.  Perhaps it is overly narcisitic of me but I don’t see that “I want it NOW!” mentality disappearing.  The Millenials are even more demanding and impatient about getting things online.

Now my the LG Optimus V on VirginMobile doesn’t get Flash but then again I will be paying $40/month for 1200 min of talk and unlimited texting and unlimited data (crucial to this data hog).  So while I will still have the lack of Flash frustration it will be at half the price of my iPhone.  For the amount I paid to get an iPhone and to use it on AT&T, the damn thing should have Flash.  Once, I can find a smartphone that can do Flash at the right price, I will definitely go for it.  And as much as I want an iPad, I keep hearing Freddie in my head and thinking about the BlackBerry Playbook.  I don’t know much about the Playbook other than “Flash…aaah” but that alone would me to look at it and consider it over an iPad.

What about you? Are you like David and don’t seem to mind not having Flash?  Or you frustrated by the lack of Flash?

When Your iPhone Dies

Almost 2 years ago I bought an iPhone and after reading and hearing stories about how fragile the little suckers were I decided to purchase insurance for my phone.  I am not cell phone abuser, I have only killed 1 1/2 phones since I have started carrying them.  I say 1 1/2 because my clamshell flip phone fell down a flight of stairs and it broke into two parts resulting in a definite cell phone death, while the “half” dead phone was the result of a spilled drink.  The drowned cell phone actually worked fine, the screen was just messed up and you couldn’t see who was calling.  But I still used it until my plan renewed.

Recently I began having difficulties with my iPhone.  The external speaker stopped working, thus no ring tone when somebody called and the alarm clock (which I used in hotels) was silent.  I could hear things when I had earphones in but that was about it.  Then the battery life on my phone went from typical smartphone paltry to downright nothing.  I would only get about 20 minutes of talk time out of it and maybe an 1 hour standby.  This was the death blow for me.  I cannot have a phone that I must leave plugged in constantly to receive calls. 

Thankfully I bought Square Trade insurance for the expensive little beast.  Why did I go with Square Trade over Apple Care?  Simple… Remember I told you I had one phone that broke in half and another drown?  Apple Care does not insure your phone against user inflicted damage (drops, water damage, etc.) but Square Trade does.  So logged on to Square Trade and filed a claim to replace my dying iPhone. 

The process was very simple (I had scanned in the original purchase receipt when I bought the insurance), I filled out the online form stating my problem and verified my address.  They sent out a replacement phone within 2 business days.  I received it and began charging it while I worked on syncing and getting all my stuff off of my old iPhone.  The transfer from old phone to new phone was a little clunky, but I blame iTunes primarily not the phones.  iTunes still can’t find my music but that happened with the old phone as well.  I then sent back my old phone in a prepaid UPS box.  It only took me a couple of days to do all of this.  It would have been quicker if Thanksgiving, kids, painting a house, work, etc. weren’t all demanding my attention. 

A few important things to note:

  • You must return your old iPhone within 15 days or they will charge you $500 for sending the replacement phone. 
  • If they determine the reason your iPhone is dead/dying is due to an accident such as dropping or liquid then you are charged a $50 deductible.  This is actually spelled out in the insurance contract prior to buying insurance. 
  • I had an iPhone 3G.  I would venture to say there are very few if any new 3G phones still waiting to be sold.  There might be a few 3GS phones hanging around but really the iPhone 4 is what is out there.  They try to replace like phone with like. So I did not get an iPhone 4, I got a refurbed 3G.  While I do wish I had a new phone (I am always worried about refurbs) my phone was 2 years old and dying fast, the refurb HAD to be better than it. 

Would I insure my iPhone again with Square Trade.  Yes!  I basically paid $80 for a two year plan and go a replacement phone.  If I didn’t have the insurance I would be without a phone (fairly soon given its battery life span) and I would have had to plunk down $400 for a new one while in the middle of my plan. 

The real question now is whether I stick with my iPhone.  I really like it but I have two major gripes about it.

  • No Flash. Sorry all you Apple fans and Steve Jobs but the Internet has a ton of stuff on Flash and if I want to watch a video that is Flash I want to watch it, I don’t want to hope that it is also on YouTube.  Who knows maybe this is problem is moot when HTML 5 becomes more prevalent. 
  • AT&T is EXPENSIVE!  3 years ago it cost me about $80 for three cell phones (mine, my husband’s and mother-in-law’s phones). Now I look at $170/month for three phones (and no, mother-in-law is not racking up the bill).  That is double. 

What am I going to do?  The Flash thing is tricky, I might not have as much control over that as I would like given the types of phones out there and carriers.  If I leave my iPhone I am leaving AT&T and looking at an Android.  I am seriously considering Virgin Mobile which $40 for all you can eat data, texting, and 1200/month/phone.  I would have to buy the Android outright and not have it subsidized by a contract but that is still a savings in the end. 

If I move from the iPhone I will still write about medical and library applications for it, but I will probably write more on what is out there for Androids as well.  We will see where things take me in the smartphone world.

100 Free Kaplan E-Books Through Apple Bookstore

According to Kaplan is offering 100 free e-books through the Apple Bookstore for a limited time.  There are 19 medically related books available including USMLE books, MCAT, and CCRN books.

Unfortunately this free book detail is only available to iPad and iPhone users (because the deal is only available at the Apple Bookstore) until August 30, 2010. 

Check out for more information and some good screen shots of what the books look like on the iPad (they state it is “significantly easier” to read the books on the iPad).