Posts Tagged residents

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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My Take Home Message…

It’s been my experience that conferences are often like great big pep rallies, except usually the night or day following the pep rally the big game happens.  Keeping motivation and spreading it tends to be more difficult when it comes to motivating people towards advocacy.  I decided that this time I would be prepared for my trip back home.  I loaded up with copies of the EMRA Advocacy Handbook, and filled my head with information before departing D.C., but it seems that I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been.

Once home, I found that by and large the residents that I spoke to could largely be grouped into one of two classes: 1) Those who wish that the knew more about health policy and health care legislation, but didn’t know where to find it, or 2) Those who were glad that I enjoyed “that stuff”, but it wasn’t for them.  

The first group, I’m sure all of us reading this blog are familiar with; If it isn’t us now, it was us at some point in our careers.  What I found funny was that I found more interest in the latter group.  Many of them because I knew well enough to know that the DID have a stance on health policy.  Most were surprised when they learned that many of the things that interested them not only “counted” as advocacy, but were discussed at the conference.   Whether the interest was EMS diversion, patient literacy, or on call coverage, each person had an advocacy interest; Most of them thought that their interest fell outside of the lines.

 Additionally, many complained that too often in residency we get so caught up in treating the patient, doing paperwork and making rounds that we neglect the non-clinical aspects of medicine.  Just as how EM was left out of the EMTALA talks years ago, this goes on in hospital administration today.  The sentiment seemed to be “we don’t know how, we don’t have time, so we don’t.”  This made me reflect on my biggest fault.  I an terribly guilty of the “If I Don’t Do It, No One Will” mentality.  It dawned upon me that there are many people who are ready to step up and fill in the big roles; including the resident level.  However as residents we are new to the field and what many of us need is someone who will show us the way.  Admittedly, one of my strengths is in seeking out new opportunities; however, because if my aforementioned fault I often kept them to myself.  As my residency continues it is my goal to pass those opporunities on to others for the betterment of myself, my peers and our collective careers.

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Solutions Shopping?

What a day on the hill!  With 350 members of ACEP storming the congressional building, the chance for impact wasa real.  Unlike past years where receptions may have been brief, the report from so many was positive.  From liberal advocates of total health reform to conservative republicans, the audience this year was bigger than ever.

One of the most surprising interests came from none other than the minority leader, John Boehner’s office.  Without so much as an appointment, we were able to drop by and meet with the deputy chief of staff for 20 minutes to discuss the merits of HR1188.  This is unheard of for many in the ohio chapter.  The reality is that they were interesting in the legislation but also the support that might exist for an alternative to government run universal healthcare.  Unlike prior sessions, we had a receptive audience and a place to build from.  Other members of the minority party as well as the majority also expressed a growing interesting in the ACEP message.

This leads to the big question, are the Republicans shopping for their healthcare reform alternative?  Might the emergency physicians find a home in such a conglomerate of alternative plans?  All of these questions still remain to be seen.  The reality though is that this was one of the most successful visits to the hill in years.  With continued grassroots movements from members like you, there is a real chance that our legislation may find the light of day in congress either as a stand alone, part of medicare SGR reform, or a broader healthcare reform effort.  All of these developments should encourage the average physicians to continue the fight.  Make your voice heard!  Whether from home, DC, work, or play, we need you to speak up and support HR 1188.

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Success! Residents Going Strong

The first day of LAC can only be described as an overwhelming success. With record residents signed up (109), the attendance at the Resident and First Timer’s Track at LAC on Sunday April 19th was beyond capacity. Over 140 people swelled the room for the lectures by Jen Wiler, James Eadie, and myself. Media training was packed. The reception co-hosted by EMRA and YPS was overflowing.

With a record start, LAC is shaping up to be one of the best this year. Your voice will add to the strength of our position on the hill. I hope to see you there!

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Approaching the Launch of LAC

It is now four days from the start of the Leadership and Advocacy Conference on April 19th. Figuring out what to write about for this pre-LAC blog was a challenge. The key I figured was to keep it short since we are all busy with work, home, life, and advocacy. So what to write about?
I thought I would tell you about the exciting track at LAC this year for residents and first-timers. This year EMRA (Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association) and YPS (Young Physicians Section) of ACEP have worked together to come up with a dynamic event. With great lectures, exciting roundtable discussions, media training, and a reception with the leaders of our specialty, it will be an exciting start to the conference on Sunday. Even if you are not a resident or first timer, I encourage you to come and start LAC off with a bang if you are in the area. Having the presence of the veterans would also inspire the many first-time visitors to the conference to keep coming back.

I have the honor of giving the first lecture and welcoming you all to the Resident and First Timer’s Track this year. I have been working hard to hopefully make it an entertaining introduction as well as informative. Jen Wiler and James Eadie of YPS will be following with excellent discussions of the current challenges, economics, and quality issues that are going on right now. They are both lectures not to be missed if you can make it.

I am also excited to say that all attendees at LAC this year will receive a copy of the EMRA Emergency Medicine Advocacy Handbook, supported by an ACEP educational grant. It is an original publication by EMRA members, but for all emergency physicians. Especially for those that have interests in subjects that they may not be as familiar with, the handbook will be a valuable launching point for you. I hope that you find it helpful. I also welcome feedback on areas for improvement, additional topics, or any other comments as we look forward to future revisions of the handbook.

Best close as this is already longer than many would want to read. I look forward to seeing many of you there. It should be a successful and exciting event! Safe travels and see you this weekend.

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