Posts Tagged iPad


We all know how quickly things change in the ER. One minute you’re quietly browsing the Web, the next you’re running a code. Ironically, with all the chaos that surrounds our workplace, your laptop, iPhone, smartphone, iPad or other personal mobile device may actually be more at risk than your patients are.
All kinds of people move through the ER. Some are more than willing to commit crimes of opportunity. All it takes is for an expensive device to be left unattended for a moment and it can be gone. And despite what you might assume, not all homeowner policies cover the full value of stolen personal devices, especially ones used professionally.
It only gets worse. If somehow your device crashes to the floor and is rendered unusable, factory warranties won’t cover the repairs. Even supplemental policies, the kind offered by many retailers, exclude damage caused by full liquid submersion. (Before you ask where or how full submersion occurs, consider how many people carry cell phones and iPods in their shirt pocket wherever they go—including the bathroom.)
It wasn’t until all this was pointed out to me that I looked into the coverage for my devices. There were significant gaps. I became concerned that accidental damage would not only leave me without the use of my laptop or iPhone, but also that sensitive professional data would also be compromised or lost, raising liability issues.
My advice is for you to check out your policies for yourself. Considering how important our mobile phones and computing devices have become, the last thing you want is to face an expensive repair or replacement due to something that happened on the job. (In case you’re wondering, there are insurance companies that cover mobile devices against theft or virtually any kind of accident. The ones I found were The Worth Group, Apple Care, Square trade, mobile protect for iPhone. Some of these do not cover theft some do. The one I felt that was the most cost effective and covered thief was The Worth Group. As always do your own research and look at all your options. For now, I have only covered the items that the kids play with and the electronics at risk of being stolen.

Also, one important item to remember. Make sure you have any electronic device that might have access to patient data or has patient data under PIN. You dont want any HIPAA fines..

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Apple of my eye

You have to understand- I have been a conscientious objector staging my own quiet campaign against Steve Jobs because when I was in medical school the Macintosh program, which everyone SWORE was compatible with my PowerPoint presentation over which I had labored to produce a riveting lecture for the Neurosurgery in-service on Robotics in Medicine, ate my presentation.  Grrrrrr.  I would have cheerfully strangled Mr. Jobs with a mouse cord.  Then Pixar came along with some of my favorite movies of all time, and my heart began to soften.  Macs became cuter and sexier, though they remained expensive and though I cast an occasional appreciative glance at the curves and bright colors, I remained steadfastly a PC Person.  I loved the modular quality of my PCs and usually did my own maintenance (I am still the Tech Support in our house).  Apple had iTunes, a proprietary interface that grated against my do-it-yourselfedness.  Then came the iPown- er- iPhone.  Its meteoric rise caught my attention.  Sleek, smooth, and it had all that screen real estate!  Tragically, though, it was only available on AT&T.  I didn’t want to change to a new carrier, and hacking the iPhone to use on T-Mobile seemed more trouble than it was worth.  I made due with other phones that I liked well enough, and I was happy.  Then a Sexy Beast arrived on the scene.

The name was terrible- iPad sounded like a feminine hygiene product, and it was nothing more than a glorified iTouch.  Or so I thought.  I researched and read one article after another, though took each with a healthy dollop of sodium since the reviewers were usually dazzled by shiny objects of every kind.  I heard murmurings that it would revolutionize the notebook, but I did not believe.  So one morning after a particularly rough night shift, I decided to see what all of the fuss was about.  I hadn’t gotten a decent gadget in a long time.

It was beautiful.  Smooth.  Clean.  The screen was bright, crisp, and the whole thing felt right in the hands.  Not too heavy, not too light.  Whoa.

Do you remember when the Grinch from the cartoon realized the true meaning of Christmas and his heart grew ten sizes to break open the screen that showed the shriveled thing?  The WANT did that in my brain when the sales guy showed me more than I realized was possible.  It wouldn’t replace my laptop, but it would become my constant companion.  I am not ashamed to reveal that I sleep with it.

So for those who are contemplating joining the iCult of iPad, here is a rundown of some of my current favorite apps, in no particular order:

1)    Medscape – Free- just like the iPhone version, only bigger screen. Lists drugs, interactions, diseases, and procedures.

2)    ePocrates- Free- same as every other ePocrates.  Useful drug information.

3)    MedCalc- Free- Medical calculator.  Just like it sounds.

4)    Medical Spanish- Batoul Apps- $4.99.  Very good medical Spanish app.  It talks!

5)    PubMed on Tap- Free- Easy access to PubMed.

6)    ECG Book- Free- ECG tutorial

7)    Facebook- Free- rapid access to FB, but no live chat available on the free app (there is a paid app that will do that)

8)    Pandora- Free streaming internet radio.

9)    Netflix- Free app with subscription to the service, and movies that are marked “Watch Now” can be watched on the iPad with internet connection.

10) Beat the Traffic- Free, and indispensible in Atlanta, where we have actually had a live zebra running on the interstate.  I am not making that up.  Also helpful for avoiding the bison hazards.

11) iSpy- Free webcam app for those of us with voyeuristic tendencies.  Nothing too racy here, but beautiful views from webcams of Red Square, Lyon, Tokyo, etc.

12) Various news outlets, all free, including WSJ, AP, USA Today, Newsy, NewsPro (Reuters), Bloomberg, BBC News, etc.

13) StarWalk for iPad – $4.99- My favorite astronomy program.  Hold overhead and it will switch to a live view of the skies.

14) iBooks and Free Books- both free, but Free Books is ALL free, and iBooks is a free reader for books that you purchase.

15) The Elements- $13.99- Totally worth it for the song alone, but brings the periodic table to life in an eye-popping display.  This above all others shows the potential of textbooks on the iPad.

16) Pocket Pond- Free- Koi pond.  Weird, but cool.

There are hundreds more, and I am sure you will find your own personal favorites (let me know  None of these programs include movies (available for rent or own, for a fee, of course) or Podcasts, which have become my new guilty pleasure.  My current favorite is Skeptoid, a skeptical look at pop culture.  ACEP, EM:Rap, and Annals of Emergency Medicine have podcasts, as do many of the specialist societies.  QuackCast deals with medical matters in a gratifyingly snarky fashion.  There are many choices, and your mileage may vary.

These are but a few of my favorite things.  iPad does all the usual email, pictures, web browsing, and contacts, and it does them beautifully.  It doesn’t do Flash video, so some web pages won’t look right.  Another of my favorite things is that my calendar automatically pushes with a subscription to Mobile Me.  I can change my schedule on the iPad and it updates my online “cloud”, which then automatically updates my PCs.  Yes, I still have them.  Still a PC person at heart, I still have room for other loves.  And you can have my iPad when you pry it out of my sleep-deprived hands.

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Would you like to know your Ranking?

As an emergency medicine resident, I remember taking tests and wondering where I stood compared to my peers. I would review different materials and focus on areas that I did not feel strong in. As a resident, I took the Ohio Acep review course and took their 700 question CD and reviewed all the explanations. I later was able to review the quiz questions and make suggestions.

Interesting enough, I was able to create the iPhone, Ipod Touch, * iPad edition of the quiz question for Ohio Acep. The app was just released and should show up on the app store in the next 48hrs. The app allows users to take the test and review each answer. It allows the user to focus on the questions or course materials they need to work on by creating custom test. The app also allows users to “know their ranking”, the app will ask users for an alias and will upload their test scores on each section of the test and will give an overall rank based on the users that have already taken the test. The ranking will update every time someone takes the test and clicks on ranking. To see the current ranking of beta testers and updated ranking please click here. To download the app or to see screen shots of the app click here.

* on iPad you will be able to double the size of the screen but the images might be slightly distorted.

Below I have included more information about the app.


Emergency Medicine Quiz Questions
On Sale for limited time, Price is 20% off.

Includes a new, 50-question pictorial review! Contains 700 review questions and referenced answers in an easy-to-use multiple choice format.

** “New Rankings feature, only users to see where they are ranked compared to their peers around the world. The app will rank each person based on subject and overall ranking depending on percent correct! Visit our website for more information.” **

The Emergency Medicine Review Course held annually by Ohio ACEP offers a comprehensive review for the physician preparing for the Qualifying examination, ConCert examination or continuous certification, or who simply desires an intensive review of emergency medicine. Attended by hundreds of physicians each year from across the country, this premier review course promotes high pass rates and receives high compliments.

Email us your feedback so we can make this app even better.

They have created this CD based on years of experience with preparing Emergency Medicine Physicians. The CD edition of this program retails for 100$ US Dollars.

The iPhone app is easy to use.

Topics include:
Endocrine, Metabolic & Nutritional Disorders
Infectious Disease
LifeLong Learning Self Assessment (LLSA)
Pictorial Review
Rheumatology/Soft Tissues

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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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