Reed College has released a detailed report documenting the outcomes of their iPad pilot study — and the results look good. The college had first tried a pilot study using the Kindle, but the Amazon e-reader came up short in key areas that are important for education: highlighting and manipulations of texts.
The study was focused on how the iPad could be used for learning, especially in regards to reading texts and PDF files.
Some of the highlights of the study:
* Students found the iPad’s LCD screen to be more friendly than the Kindle’s e-ink for reading textbooks.
* Although the iPad’s battery does not last as long as the Kindle, students found their iPad’s battery lasted almost twice as long as a standard laptop battery.
* Students liked how they could annotate PDF files using touch responses on the iPad, something that the Kindle lacks. Because of this students were able to save from having to print thousands of papers by using the iPad.
We recently highlighted how medical textbooks customized for the iPad are being released, and this pilot study should only further reinforce notions of how mobile devices could be used for medical education.
Source: Reed College iPad pilot study PDF via Fast Company
By: Philip Xiu (Medical Student at the University Of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine)
SkyScape undeniably puts a huge amount of resources in the fingertips of medical professionals with the ability to use their BlackBerry to download free modules or more powerful pay for modules.
You are required to register a Skyscape account before the apps can be used; but once registered the ability to personalize the application with these add-ons is extremely powerful.
Free resources are available for download once you’ve got things up and running, including RxDrugs (contains information on different medications), Outlines in Clinical Medicine (OCM) and Archimedes (a rather comprehensive medical calculator). (read more)
On Tuesday, Apple announced new App Store rules that aim to redirect a larger share of revenues from app subscriptions and content sales to Cupertino. Widely expected by developers and consumers for some time now, these rules will have broad implications as they will apply all forms of digital media accessed through iPhone and iPad apps. The rules essentially mandate that apps that sell content, either as one-time purchases or subscriptions, include an in-app purchase option – with 30% of revenues going to Apple.
As Steve Jobs puts it,
“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.
NewsCorp, which recently released “The Daily”, is an example of the standard that Apple is seeking to apply to all digital media developers. While most press around this announcement focuses on the impact on large companies like Amazon, the Washington Post company, and so on, these rule changes will also have big impacts on the fledgling industry growing around mobile medical apps and should serve as a warning to the health IT industry as a whole.
The word cancer comes from the greek word for crab “karkinos”, so named by Hippocrates who visualized the tumor and its surrounding vessels looking like a crab, dug stubbornly into the sand with its legs. We know far more about cancer today than the ancient Greeks but the vision of an entrenched opponent, almost impossible to extract whole, appears to be vividly prescient.
What we have realized over the last half century is that removal of the visible tumor is not enough. Even as we learned how to do bigger and more destructive surgeries, the cancer still managed to sneak back in, growing later at different locations. The crab’s legs are still embedded in the patient.
Thus the discovery that certain chemicals could extinguish these rogue cells opened the modern era of cancer therapy and led to the first “cures” from cancer. Many of these compounds were exquisitely toxic. Early experimenters even used nitrogen mustard, quite literally a poison, as Siddhartha Mukherjee recalls in his excellent history of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies.
To many, the battle looked grim. For the founder of CollabRx, who himself was living in the shadow of advanced melanoma, this was the signal to take his expertise in internet information technologies and apply it to cancer. Thus a “biomedical software company” was founded, with the mission
… to save lives by using information technology to personalize cancer treatments and accelerate research.
Just under a year ago, HP announced the purchase of Palm for over $1 billion. In initially announcing the purchase, HP made it clear that what they were really acquiring was the WebOS platform.
As HP put it, the acquisition would enable them “to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets.”
HP is now finally making some big moves in the hopes that they were right and that it was a billion dollars well spent. Last week in San Francisco, HP announced a whole new cadre of hardware around the webOS 2.0 platform – the Pre 3 and Veer smartphones as well as the TouchPad tablet.
Preliminary reviews are pretty mixed and information is somewhat limited at this point. The Veer is basically a small phone (with a 2.6 inch screen) aimed at the general consumer market, the Pre3 a bulkier phone with a larger display aimed at the business community, and the TouchPad is basically designed for anyone who is thinking about buying an iPad.
Frankly, there’s not much about the hardware on these devices that really make them stand out in terms of usability in medicine – however, there are a few notable exceptions.
The real underlying question about these devices is the following: Does WebOS is bring anything new to the table that will entice the healthcare industry.
At Mobile World Congress earlier this week, Samsung announced they are adding approximately 90 custom APIs to the Android operating system that will run on their phones and tablets in the future.
These custom APIs (application programming interface) will allow companies to make more secure and enterprise compatible apps for Samsung phones and tablets that are running the Android operating system.
Two key companies with mobile medical ties have already signed on to use these enterprise APIs, SAP and Calgary Scientific. You might remember that Calgary Scientific is the same company that makes the ResolutionMD radiology viewing app for the iPhone and iPad.
Samsung went on to announce that their custom Android operating system will enable health care providers to use SAP’s Mobile EMR, a medical application that gives secure access to a chronological view of a patient’s vital signs, to clinical documents, and to medical imaging.
So what does this all mean? Basically, Samsung wants enterprise users, and they clearly want to go after the medical community. By adding special layers of security to the Android operating systems that will run on their phones and tablets, Samsung wants to alleviate the concerns of Hospital CIOs and other information technology officers.
By the way, Samsung made sure to let attendes at the conference know these APIs will be available on the tablet Android operating system — HoneyComb (Android 3.0).
The “dynamic medical textbook” we have been waiting patiently for might be one step closer to fruition. Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology, a trusted textbook for medical student education, was just released on the Inkling platform. Inkling is a textbook application that was built exclusively for the iPad platform and features “interactive textbooks” — basically, bringing textbooks alive.
Withings recently made huge headlines at CES for their iPhone connected blood pressure peripheral. We thought the actual medical peripheral was innovative and exciting, but fell short of calling it a game changer due to its niche appeal.
Withings continues to take the mHealth medical peripheral category by storm by announcing that their WiFi Body Scale can now sync wirelessly with your smartphone — and automatically record your body weight and BMI into Gazelle, a personal health record app.
We definitely see more potential with this device than Withings iPhone Blood Pressure peripheral due to it’s ability to connect to multiple devices, and its ability to share data with a personal health record app — hopefully this ability will be expanded to other personal health record apps as well.
Not too long ago iMedicalApps was the first to break the news of Blackberry showing off a medical app in their first live event for their Playbook tablet. It appears major players in the enterprise software business are banking on the Playbook being used in the hospital setting.
QNX, a large software company, recently showed off a medical reference design that allows the Blackberry Playbook to connect to medical peripheral devices via Bluetooth. The medical reference design is built on the QNX Neutrino RTOS, a platform that has a history of being FDA approved in regards to medical usage.
QNX states their software allows the Blackberry Playbook to connect to certain Continua Certified medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors, weight scales, and pulse ox devices.
The following picture on QNX’s blog of the software design in action also reveals telemedicine usage: (read more)
Kaplan has updated the promo code for their Step 1 Q bank. The promo code expires on 3/31/2011, and gives you 25% off a 3 month USMLE Step 1 Qbank subscription. Also, be on the lookout for a review we’re going to be doing of Kaplan’s Step 1 Mobile Qbank app — it allows you to sync your online Qbank with your mobile app, really interesting.
Until then, use the promo code we have listed in the screen shot, or download the Demo Qbank on iTunes here.
Two key announcements last week should have physicians excited about the future of mobile medical imaging. FDA approval of a radiology viewing app and approval of a smartphone connected ultrasound probe peripheral.
Last week the FDA announced the first FDA approved diagnostic radiology app for mobile devices — Mobile MIM. We held off on announcing the news because we had read several reports last year stating another another diagnostic radiology app had been approved by the FDA already, ResolutionMD. We never reported on this because of the lack of information from the FDA.
The creators of Scutsheet made the same observation as countless other medical students preparing for morning rounds, but came to a different conclusion. The observation was that it does not make sense to spend hours laboriously hand copying information from bedside flow sheets and ward computers to note cards only to copy them back into progress notes in bedside charts. Their conclusion, however, was that they are going to try to make a better way. So they created Scutsheet, an iPad app for tracking patients.
In their own words :
To recap, vitals, which were entered into the computer by nursing, are hand copied onto a progress note, then again into the sign out, and in some cases, a third time onto notecards and scutsheets.
By their own admission, Scutsheet does not entirely solve the problem. In particular, the patient data entered into Scutsheet is still entered manually and, as of now, cannot be shared with other doctors. However, for anticipating how tablet computers may actually be used at the bedside and for creating a visually beautiful app, we should congratulate the makers the Scutsheet.