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ER Physicians Are The Number One User Of Mobile Apps

At iMedicalApps, we’re always wary of physician surveys that claim to predict mobile use. We even did a feature article highlighting how sampling bias could be inflating the numbers of many of these surveys.

With that said, Bulletin Healthcare just released a survey based on a large sample size of physicians, using the following methods:

The analysis, based on the reading habits of more than 550,000 healthcare providers, including more than 400,000 physicians who subscribe to Bulletin Healthcare’s daily email briefings, focused on mobile device usage between June 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011.

While the report went on to talk about the increased usage of mobile devices by physicians, with Apple continuing to dominate the market — the iPhone and iPad had a more than 90% share of physician use — we were more interested by the intriguing comparison of physician mobile use by speciality.

Their survey found that Emergency Medicine physicians and cardiologists were the highest users of mobile devices and content, while Pathologists and Oncologists were the lowest. Of note, the survey looked at specialists, not primary care. Emergency Medicine physicians had more than double the usage of mobile technology than Pathologists, 40% verse 16%. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Surgeon Reaches 100K Medical Students With iTunes Podcasts

One of the beauties of mobile medical education is how quickly you are able to distribute multimedia content, especially if it’s free.  This is due to the ubiquitous nature of certain platforms, such as iTunes, on every iOS device — over 120 million of them.  These mobile devices have significantly lowered the barrier of entry for medical professionals wishing to reach millions of individuals.

A University of Alberta professor and surgeon, Dr. Jonathan White, decided to make 10 to 30 minute iTunes podcasts of his lecture material in order to reach his students at a different level.  His medical students feel the free Podcasts are more captivating, and enable them to consume a greater amount of content when they are short on time:

“When you’re short on time, you have the podcast to rely on in order to get the bulk of information that you need to learn,” said medical student Todd Penny……The podcasts are less dry than reading out of a textbook,” he said. “You have someone talking to you as if you are in a lecture. They try to make it a little more interesting. They add music.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

NLM Launches Mobile-Friendly PubMed Search App

Recently, we reviewed six medical apps for the iPhone and iPad that promised mobile PubMed searches — an essential functionality since the PubMed.gov website is extremely difficult to view on a smart phone. As of last week, this is no longer the case. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) just launched a mobile friendly version of PubMed.gov last week.

The Web App they have created is currently in beta, and as of this publish date, if you go to PubMed.gov on your smart phone’s browser you will still be directed to the original non-mobile friendly website. However, if you point your phone’s browser to the following URL, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/, you are presented with the mobile version of the site.

The National Library of Medicine states the significant increase in mobile browsing for medical content is one of the key reasons they released this mobile web app. The folks at the NLM already have a plethora of mobile medical web apps available, such as the recently added MedLine Plus.

Continue on to see pictures of the PubMed app in action. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Japanese Download Medical App In Record Numbers

With the tragic events that have recently unfolded in Japan, there is a large segment of the population who require medical attention, certainly in excess of what Japan’s health care system is used to supplying.

Many of them have turned to the medical app, “Medical Encyclopedia for Home Use” — an application that offers basic first aid advice for treating medical injuries.  The developers of the app have made it free of charge due to the recent catastrophic events.

The application is currently the number one downloaded free app in the Japan iTunes store, reflecting the tremendous need for continued healthcare treatment in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent events.

The iPhone has done extremely well in Japan, with millions of Japanese users.  In the future, as smart phones become more ubiquitous, it will be interesting to see if governments release apps specifically for situations like the current one.

Official government sanctioned apps that help look for lost loved ones, or provide resources for those affected by these types of events could provide significant utility.  App Stores allow for quick and streamlined distributions for these types of apps, allowing them to get to millions of users at once.

Donations to the Red Cross

iTunes Link to Medical Encyclopedia for Home use app

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Robotic Pharmacy Prepares 350,000 Doses Of Medication Without A Single Error

Pharmacy robot selects medications from drawers.The University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) has made a significant announcement that could be a watershed moment for how medications are given to hospital patients in the United States.

In a typical hospital setting, patients are receiving many different types of prescription medications — ranging from mundane vitamins to more intense drugs such as chemotherapy. In the thousands of times medications are given to patients, and with the high number of humans handling the process of organizing and giving the medications, human error is bound to occur. And medication errors can be life threatening — especially if related to a chemotherapy agent.

UCSF wants to make the rate of error for medication administration to be zero. In order to do this, they are using robot technology to prepare and track medications, with the main goal, obviously, being to improve patient safety. In the phase-in of the project, not a single error occurred in the 350,000 doses of medication prepared — remarkable.

Here’s how it works (from the UCSF press release):

Once computers at the new pharmacy electronically receive medication orders from UCSF physicians and pharmacists, the robotics pick, package, and dispense individual doses of pills. Machines assemble doses onto a thin plastic ring that contains all the medications for a patient for a 12-hour period, which is bar-coded.

There are some key advantages this system brings to the workflow of a hospital setting:

— The robots can do chemotherapy dosing, one of the toughest and most sensitive things to do. They can also do complex IV medication dosing.

— There is no touching of the medications by hand. The medications come from the manufacturer, are processed by the robots, and then sent to the nurses and the patient’s bedside in sterile packaging.

— The robots allow for pharmacists and nurses to be more efficient by taking away repetitive tasks. While they do not replace either, they enable a healthcare system already stretched for resources to increase productivity.

 — The system costs $15 million, but with the payoff in regards to improved patient outcomes, as well as time saved, the investment should make this endeavor by UCSF more than worthwhile.

Watch this video to see the robots in action:

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

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