So, I am watching this big football match between Barcelona and Chelsea. Me, 100.000 people at the stadium, and millions at their homes across the World. No football fan would ever want to miss this semi final UEFA Champions League game, which is just a special treat.
Anyway, during the first half an incident happens in the Barcelona’s penalty area. Didier Drogba, Chelsea attacker, was running towards Barcelona’s goal, trying to catch a ball passed to him. He was followed closely by Barcelona’s defender Gerard Pique. However, Barcelona’s goal keeper, Víctor Valdés, got to the ball first, and in the process knocked out Pique. He deliver a forceful blow with his hip to Pique’s head. It was not a pretty sight to see. His head made several uncontrolled movements, first from the blow, and then when he fell to the ground unconscious. OK. So what happens now. Me, I am thinking (and tweeting) they should immobilize this guy immediately, put a cervical collar on as a minimum, and surely not let him continue to play. OK. But what do they do. Some guys from Barcelona’s medical team rush to him, start slapping him. OK. His head is flying in all directions. They are not even considering to maybe at least manually stabilize his neck. So he is lying there unconscious for 30 seconds or so. OK. He starts responding, and all is good for these guys. They get him up on his feet, literally do a 5 second exam on him, and yeah man, no worries you are good to go. Get back in there champ.
Take a look at the video.
Is it just me? Or is this totally unacceptable. And sure, what happens next. He starts feeling quite unwell, and 8 minutes after the incident asks for a substitution. The latest news is that he suffered a light concussion and was being kept overnight in a hospital as a precaution after undergoing medical tests. With the medical care he received on the pitch, he is lucky if you ask me.
This is a game for the iPhone for which I wanted to do a video review, but I see that others have already done it, so I will just embed their video.
Here is a description of this game:
Prepare to go micro! You are Dr. Awesome, the world’s most popular microsurgeon. A deadly strain of virus is attacking the population and you are tasked to defeat it before time runs out!
You must perform microsurgery to isolate and eradicate the mutagens that have infected your friends, personalized from your contact list. Cut and trap the offending viruses with your accelerometer-guided micro scalpel, avoid disruptive virus counter attacks and collect various power-ups to succeed. You’ll need a need steady hand to be the best!
So, the game doesn’t make any sense from a medical perspective. You are a surgeon cutting cells with some kind of micro laser ??!!##?? to kill the viruses. Although, Rocket Scientist’s Laser Scalpel Targets Individual Cells article from Wired got me thinking. One cool feature of this game is that it incorporates with your contact list on the phone, so your friends become your patients. Scary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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? 🙂