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Fast Moving Technology: Is The Pager Completely Extinct?

It’s funny what we remember.  As a 3rd year medical student rotating in surgery I remember quite clearly sitting in my attending’s office at Worcester Memorial Hospital.  He was a vascular surgeon.  I don’t remember his name.  On this particular day I had followed him to his office after rounds.  He had just received his new pager and placed a call to whomever had sent him the device.

It seemed there was a problem.  The device lacked the latest pager feature: vibration.  His current pager only beeped.  The dialog centered around his on-call demands as a vascular surgeon and his love for the symphony.  With a buzzing pager he Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Using Your Mobile Phone To Change Behavior Patterns

There is excitement in the air about how mobile phones are the breakthrough technology for changing health behavior.  Last Saturday, I was convinced this must be true. In two short hours, I:

*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*

Track Your Sleep Patterns With Your Phone

Sleep tracking company Zeo has announced today that they’ll soon be selling a mobile version of their product, compatible with both iOS and Android.  The company previously only offered what amounted to a base-station clock with a sleep monitoring  headband. Together they tracked your sleep patterns, including Light, Deep, and REM, but in the process the data got a bit trapped in their clock. To upload sleep data to the web for easier analysis, users had to pull an SD card out of the clock, plug it to a computer, and complete the upload. This step presented a pretty high barrier to learning about your personal sleep.

The mobile version solves this Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Is Your Cell Phone Carrying Bacteria?

Alright doctors, time to give up the cell phones. (Never mind that there has not been a study linking cell phones and hospital acquired infections).

From the American Journal of Infection Control:

A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine bacterial colonization on the mobile phones (MPs) used by patients, patients’ companions, visitors, and health care workers (HCWs). Significantly higher rates of pathogens (39.6% vs 20.6%, respectively; P = .02) were found in MPs of patients’ (n = 48) versus the HCWs’ (n = 12). There were also more multidrug pathogens in the patents’ MPs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp, high-level aminoglycoside-resistant Enterococcus spp, and carabepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii. Our findings suggest that mobile phones of patients, patients’ companions, and visitors represent higher risk for nosocomial pathogen colonization than those of HCWs. Specific infection control measures may be required for this threat.

What specific measures might they consider?

They better be careful what they wish for or they might also have to take away all those dirty EMR computer keyboards, too.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Does Your Family Have A “Technology Gap?”

Older Woman and LaptopDo you have a technology participation gap in your family? We do. In fact, most families do somewhere.

For us, we have a few older relatives who firmly believe that technology is for “the younger generation.” What’s interesting is that some of these people are not that old — at least not “old” as I define it.

One relative, for example, was a working woman in her younger days. Retired now, she never bought into any technology past the 1970s! Beyond the automobile, refrigerator, TV, radio, dishwasher, washer and drier, she has seen no need for anything else.

Although  she has grudgingly begun to use email and the Web, she has deemed herself  ”old” and refused to use a cell phone or any other “high-tech device.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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