Archive for category Twitter

SAEM Phoenix Was A Success!

Just returned from SAEM Phoenix — what a great conference! It was especially good for like-minded EM computer nerds. There was tweeting, there was wine and cheese, and It Was Good. Slowly but surely, I think EM physicians will catch on to tweeting, especially at conferences, and especially when there’s free Wifi available. Celebrity sightings included:

  • Nick Genes, SAEM Social Media Chair, Mt. Sinai EM attending and blogger at Blogborygmi;
  • Michelle Lin from UCSF-SFGH and blogger at Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (and with a poster about the blog, too);
  • Rob Cooney, aka @emeducation on Twitter, from Conemaugh Emergency Medicine Residency. I met Rob for the first time, and he’s really doing great stuff, sending out a daily question via Twitter and his residents respond with their answer. It’s a great, fast learning tool that I’ve already started using. He also had a poster about it.
  • Finally, I bumped into Steve Smith from Dr. Smith’s ECG Blog! Steve has an insanely huge archive of EKGs and talks through both his interpretation of them as well as some of the more subtle findings, along with the Cardiology literature that supports it.

Looking forward to hopefully meeting more EM folks in the future!

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The next Vaccine rush

Texas A&M was recently given a 40 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop vaccines from tobacco.  What is amazing is that this 21 aces with 145,000-square-foot facility could produce a billion vaccines in a month. Clinical trials should begin late 2011. Dont worry about nicotine. The plants do not have any.


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Brush up on your Ultrasound skills with the iPhone Sonosite app

Sonosite has released a FREE iPhone app that will help improve their ultrasound skills.

The videos are amazing! Containing many tips, pointers on techniques, great sample cases, image gallery.

The app even has an abbreviated manuel for the Sonosite.  The app also contains the latest news concerning sonosite machines.

Here are some screen shots:

For a sample video click here

If you do not like the app, you are out time but not money.

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Emergency Room Communication

One of the key ingredient to running an efficient Emergency Room is good communication. Depending where you work finding charts, immediately finding a nurse  or calling radiology can take longer than expected. Huntington Hospital is currently using an Iphone/Ipod device that allows the health care staff better communicate with each other. It does this via VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), basically the set up the system in the hospital to call each other using these devices instead of the hospital PBX or screaming across the ER. The Voalte One system provides voice, alarm and text services all on one device. Overall helps reduce the noise level and makes it easier for the staff to text each other or call each other.

Over all points:

  • Receive Voice calls, alarms, and text messages all on a single device
  • Easily manage multiple text message conversations
  • Intuitive user interface and ringtones
  • Allows simple alarm acceptance or rejection
  • Custom, user-generated “quick messages” facilitate instant messaging of common items to other users or a web-based client

Overall I see both pros and cons, on one side I think it would be useful to have one device to do it all.

On the other side, I worry that it might make it to easy to interrupt us from patient care. In the end it is all about the balance act.

Huntington Hospital is a 636-bed  trauma hospital. For more information, visit

Company website:

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iPad and Medicine

The future of health care

iPad Medic

After Apple announced the iPad device, I immediately began to think of   all the medical applications that could be used for this device.

Currently the app store has about 140,000 apps and is growing at an amazing rate. The medical app store has about 1,920. Health apps number about 3,100. According to Apple, most of these apps should work on the  iPhone and will transfer to the iPad as long as you use the same login. It will be interesting to see what the apps that were created initially for the  iPhone will look like on the new iPad device. It is interesting also to note that the device does not have a camera, however the iPod Nano does. My guess is the device would take up more  bandwidth if it had a camera.

I am curious to see if the iPad will  work with apps like Skype and Google Voice.  If they do, then with a $20, 3g plan, you could use the device as a  2nd phone. For example Google Voice allows you to set up a local  phone number that others can use to call you. If you do not answer then you will get a transcribed text with the first couple of lines of  the missed callers message!

What medical applications can we expect from this device?

Blausen Medical App

Patient education company Blausen makes an amazing product that has short video animations on multiple medical diseases. They are very basic and range from half a  minute to two minutes. Electronic medical records would be interesting. You have to wonder how they would work in the ER. I cannot imagine keeping up with an expensive device in the ER. At least one I can’t put in my pocket. I can see myself losing it during a code or dropping it as I run to the floor for a “code blue.”

I am interested in hearing from our readers and seeing how other ER  doctors use technology at work. Currently, I use Pepid, although it is expensive, it has almost everything I need in the app.

Feel free to post if you are likely to purchase the next iPhone (new cell phone carrier to be announced in June), iPad wifi only will  be out around March 27 and the iPad with wifi/3g service around late  April in the United States. The rest of the world will get it after  June which will be just in time for the new iPhone.

I look forward to your emails and post,

Harvey Castro MD

Picture from iPhone life magazine.

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Headlines and Updates

CMS Scam Alert

Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said recently that scam artists have been contacting physicians’ offices by fax, claiming to be a Medicare carrier or Medicare Administrative Contractor. The fax instructs office personnel to respond to a questionnaire and provide an account information update within 48 hours to prevent an interruption in Medicare payments. The fax may have the CMS logo and/or the contractor logo to enhance the appearance of authenticity.

The CMS advises physicians who have received such a request to contact their Medicare contractor immediately. Medicare providers should only send information to a Medicare contractor using the address found in the download section of the website 

Follow the ACEP Board Meeting on Twitter

The ACEP Board of Directors will met in Dallas on June 23 and 24. And for the first time, updates will be sent live from the meeting by Twitter. Follow the ACEP Board meeting at

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