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Why is iPhone perfect for doctors

I purchased my iPhone about six months ago and it has in many ways changed my life for the better. This is especially true regarding my work as a medical doctor. I believe that iPhone is a perfect gadget and that it can improve any physician’s performance. That is way I decided to present some of many useful ways you can utilize iPhone in your practice.

Access your Electronic Medical Record

Life Record is a company which produces Life Record Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software. What is interesting about it is that you can access your records form an iPhone. You can also make updates and even write prescriptions.

View medical images

To view your radiology images remotely you can use the Mobile MIM iPhone Application. This application provides multi-planar reconstruction of data sets from modalities including CT, PET, MRI and SPECT, as well as multi-modality image fusion. Using the multi-touch interface, users can change image sets and planes; adjust zoom, fusion blending, and window/level.

Calculate, compute, add, subtract, multiply, divide

Medical Calculator gives quick access to calculations that are too hard to memorize or perform in your head. There are around 50 clinical calculations that you can do with it right now, and more are coming. To not get lost, favorite those you use often.

Medical calculator

Access drug information

Epocrates Rx software for iPhone puts continually updated peer-reviewed drug information at your fingertips. This can improve patient care and safety, save time, reduce administrative burden and enable confident clinical decisions.

Take notes

There are many powerful note taking apps for iPhone out there. But let me just present the two most interesting, Evernote and Jott.

Evernote allows you to take text, snapshot, saved photo and voice notes. When you take for example a voice note, you can add a title to it, some description and tags. The interesting thing happens after you have taken your notes. They synchronize with your online account and what this means is that you can access them from anywhere. From your computer using a desktop application or from any other computer in the World with an Internet connection via the web interface. Everything is always synchronized across all of your devices. One cool thing that Evernote can do is transcribe images, meaning that it is capable to find text inside an image and make it searchable. It doesn’t yet transcribe your voice notes to text, but I believe this feature will be coming in the near future.

There are some advices on how to use Evernote on The Efficient MD blog, but I am sure you can think of many more ways to utilize this app. For example you could take snapshots of your patient’s injuries in the ER or record interviews with your patients.

Well, this other application, Jott is capable of doing what Evernote still can’t. It can capture your to-dos and transcribe your voice into text and place the resulting notes in your lists.

If you like Evernote, but desperately need for your voice notes to be transcribed to text, don’t worry. There is this great hack from Lifehacker that can help you.

Stay on top of your field

As a modern evidence based medicine physician you have to read and follow new developments in your field. Often you find interesting articles on the Internet, but don’t have time to read them. My advice is to save them for latter and read them on your iPhone during your breaks, when you are on call and have some free time or while waiting in some line. Perfect little app that can help you do just that is Instapaper and it is one of my favorite iPhone app ever. When you find something on your computer that you want to read later, simply click Read latter bookmark. Then when you have time, just open Instapaper app on your iPhone and read those articles. You would think that the iPhone’s screen is too small to read, but you would be wrong. It’s high resolution screen and zoom capabilities make reading enjoyable.

Of course you can read whole books on the iPhone too. Use Stanza to transfer and read all your important medical e-books.

Apart from reading, you can do a little bit of watching and listening, to thousands of podcasts in the medicine category. A podcast is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet and can be transfered to your iPhone. Listen and watch podcast from The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine and many others while you, let say, travel to work.
Podcast directory

Enhance your scientific research

You can use your iPhone to find scientific literature. Download PubSearch and search among the millions of research papers indexed in PubMed. This app has a simple user interface with fast access to the PubMed database, and it lets you concentrate on finding the research articles you need without getting in your way. PubSearch Plus is on the way and it will allow you to not only read abstracts, but full-text articles too.

Convert your iPhone into a wireless external disk, one with a lot of memory. This way you can carry around all the important documents for your undergoing scientific project. Come to a meeting with your colleagues and have all your excel and powerpoint files with you. Also bring some scientific articles in pdf, or other format, related to your research. All these files can easily be opened on your iPhone or access from any PC or Mac in the room. This is all done using AirSharing for iPhone.

Play games

You too deserve to have fun from time to time. There are numerous great games for iPhone and if nothing these can help you relax during an intensive and difficult shift. There have been some results published about video games and their ability to enhance surgeons’ performance. So before your next surgery why not try playing a game like Labyrinth to get you all warmed up and focused.

As you can see there are numerous useful ways you can utilize iPhone as a medical professional. This is not all of course, there are many other interesting apps coming up everyday and I did not mention the obvious things like reading email, surfing the web and contacting people via sms or IM services. I am looking forward to new medical apps that might appear in the future. Also, wouldn’t it be cool if somebody introduced some iPhone medical accessories. I would like to see some pulse oximeter sensors or ECG cables for iPhone. They could plugin-in to it’s 30-pin dock connector to input data which, I am sure, due to it’s processing power iPhone would not have a problem to analyze. Are we getting closer to those great all in one medical devices from Star Trek? 🙂
Star Trek

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Examining the Medical Blogosphere: An Online Survey of Medical Bloggers

Journal of Medical Internet ResearchI am very proud to announce that my colleagues Ileana Lulic, MD and Gordana Brumini, Phd from Rijeka University School of Medicine and myself have published a new scientific paper. Title of the paper is “Examining the Medical Blogosphere: An Online Survey of Medical Bloggers” and it was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR).

JMIR is the leading peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal on health and health care in the Internet age. It is top ranked as the #6 journal in the health sciences category (out of 57 leading journals) and #2 in the health informatics category (out of 20 journals). Most importantly, JMIR is an open access journal, meaning that you do not have to pay to access and read articles.

To read our paper just visit the following link: http://www.jmir.org/2008/3/e28/HTML

We have also summarized our findings in a slide show presentation which you can see below.

We would like to thank all the bloggers who participated in our survey and made this research possible.

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Internet Addiction

From Wired Magazine: WTF!? Internet Addiction Nominated for Entry in the Manual of Mental Disorders.

First, we all had mild Asperger’s. Now, Internet addiction disorder? Give a geek a break. In the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Jerald Block proposed that Web abuse be added to his field’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Block cites research from South Korea, where, he says, the affliction is considered a serious public health problem, and the government estimates that 168,000 children may require psychotropic medications. In China, the Beijing Military Region Central Hospital puts the number of teenage pathological computer users at 10 million.

Like other addicts, users reportedly experience cravings (for better software, faster machines), withdrawal (logging off may cause irritability), a loss of sense of time (wee-hour fixes), and negative social repercussions (it’s so much easier to date an avatar). Sound familiar? Your friend the World Wide Web may be a monkey on your back. Or not. Just ask yourself this: If Google were a drug, would I smoke it?

My name is Ivor, and I am an addict. Where do I sign up?

Read the article mentioned by Wired: Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction.

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Ten simple rules for…

Professor Philip E. Bourne has been writing a series of “Ten Rules” editorials in PLoS Computational Biology for almost three years now. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the mentioned open-access scientific journal, who came up with this idea after giving a presentation on getting published to a group of students. Since then a total of 9 such articles were published, written by him alone or with a little help from his fellow colleagues. These articles are basically lists of ten simple rules, with some additional explanation, on various subjects mostly aimed at young researchers. Rules which professor Bourne and his coauthors propose are a product of rich personal experience and are written in a honest, concise and simple manner.

I am listing all the rules here, sorted by the publishing date. However, I strongly recommend that you visit and read the whole articles, as the short commentaries accompanying each rule are most valuable.

Ten Simple Rules for Getting Published

  1. Read many papers, and learn from both the good and the bad work of others
  2. The more objective you can be about your work, the better that work will ultimately become
  3. Good editors and reviewers will be objective about your work
  4. If you do not write well in the English language, take lessons early; it will be invaluable later
  5. Learn to live with rejection
  6. The ingredients of good science are obvious—novelty of research topic, comprehensive coverage of the relevant literature, good data, good analysis including strong statistical support, and a thought-provoking discussion. The ingredients of good science reporting are obvious—good organization, the appropriate use of tables and figures, the right length, writing to the intended audience—do not ignore the obvious
  7. Start writing the paper the day you have the idea of what questions to pursue
  8. Become a reviewer early in your career
  9. Decide early on where to try to publish your paper
  10. Quality is everything

 
Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants

  1. Be Novel, but Not Too Novel
  2. Include the Appropriate Background and Preliminary Data as Required
  3. Find the Appropriate Funding Mechanism, Read the Associated Request for Applications Very Carefully, and Respond Specifically to the Request
  4. Follow the Guidelines for Submission Very Carefully and Comply
  5. Obey the Three Cs—Concise, Clear, and Complete
  6. Remember, Reviewers Are People, Too
  7. Timing and Internal Review Are Important
  8. Know Your Grant Administrator at the Institution Funding Your Grant
  9. Become a Grant Reviewer Early in Your Career
  10. Accept Rejection and Deal with It Appropriately

 
Ten Simple Rules for Reviewers

  1. Do Not Accept a Review Assignment unless You Can Accomplish the Task in the Requested Timeframe—Learn to Say No
  2. Avoid Conflict of Interest
  3. Write Reviews You Would Be Satisfied with as an Author
  4. As a Reviewer You Are Part of the Authoring Process
  5. Be Sure to Enjoy and to Learn from the Reviewing Process
  6. Develop a Method of Reviewing That Works for You
  7. Spend Your Precious Time on Papers Worthy of a Good Review
  8. Maintain the Anonymity of the Review Process if the Journal Requires It
  9. Write Clearly, Succinctly, and in a Neutral Tone, but Be Decisive
  10. Make Use of the “Comments to Editors”

Ten Simple Rules for Selecting a Postdoctoral Position

  1. Select a Position that Excites You
  2. Select a Laboratory That Suits Your Work and Lifestyle
  3. Select a Laboratory and a Project That Develop New Skills
  4. Have a Backup Plan
  5. Choose a Project with Tangible Outcomes That Match Your Career Goals
  6. Negotiate First Authorship before You Start
  7. The Time in a Postdoctoral Fellowship Should Be Finite
  8. Evaluate the Growth Path
  9. Strive to Get Your Own Money
  10. Learn to Recognize Opportunities

Ten Simple Rules for a Successful Collaboration

  1. Do Not Be Lured into Just Any Collaboration
  2. Decide at the Beginning Who Will Work on What Tasks
  3. Stick to Your Tasks
  4. Be Open and Honest
  5. Feel Respect, Get Respect
  6. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate
  7. Protect Yourself from a Collaboration That Turns Sour
  8. Always Acknowledge and Cite Your Collaborators
  9. Seek Advice from Experienced Scientists
  10. If Your Collaboration Satisfies You, Keep It Going

Ten Simple Rules of Making Good Oral Presentations

  1. Talk to the Audience
  2. Less is More
  3. Only Talk When You Have Something to Say
  4. Make the Take-Home Message Persistent
  5. Be Logical
  6. Treat the Floor as a Stage
  7. Practice and Time Your Presentation
  8. Use Visuals Sparingly but Effectively
  9. Review Audio and/or Video of Your Presentations
  10. Provide Appropriate Acknowledgments

Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation 

  1. Define the Purpose
  2. Sell Your Work in Ten Seconds
  3. The Title Is Important
  4. Poster Acceptance Means Nothing
  5. Many of the Rules for Writing a Good Paper Apply to Posters, Too
  6. Good Posters Have Unique Features Not Pertinent to Papers
  7. Layout and Format Are Critical
  8. Content Is Important, but Keep It Concise
  9. Posters Should Have Your Personality
  10. The Impact of a Poster Happens Both During and After the Poster Session

Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research, According to Hamming

  1. Drop Modesty
  2. Prepare Your Mind
  3. Age Is Important
  4. Brains Are Not Enough, You Also Need Courage
  5. Make the Best of Your Working Conditions
  6. Work Hard and Effectively
  7. Believe and Doubt Your Hypothesis at the Same Time
  8. Work on the Important Problems in Your Field
  9. Be Committed to Your Problem
  10. Leave Your Door Open

Ten Simple Rules for Graduate Students

  1. Let Passion Be the Driving Force of Your Success
  2. Select the Right Mentor, Project, and Laboratory
  3. Independent Thinking Is a Mark of a True Scientist
  4. Remember, Life Is All about Balance
  5. Think Ahead and Develop Your Professional Career Early
  6. Remain Focused on Your Hypothesis While Avoiding Being Held Back
  7. Address Problems Earlier Rather Than Later
  8. Share Your Scientific Success with the World
  9. Build Confidence and a Thick Skin
  10. Help Select and Subsequently Engage Your Thesis Committee
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