Phone, Phablet, or Tablet? It's all about the pen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

These days, everyone seems to be replacing their smartphone every 2-3 yrs. As people consider upgrades, they're often wondering if they should get a phone or phablet. A mobile device that has a screen size between 5.1 and 6.9" is generally considered a phablet (although some may disagree). The iPhone 5 has a 4" screen and there are ongoing rumors about a larger iPhone 6 that will be coming out this fall. The entire Samsung Galaxy series feature larger smartphones and phablets that run Android. Some support an active digitizer pen that allows you to accurate write and scribble on the screen.

The Samsung S-Pen is truly a differentiator in my book, especially for medical students and medical professionals who need to jot things down quickly while standing by a patient's bedside. When you don't always have the luxury to sit down and "type" on your device, writing notes by hand works very effectively. Plus, writing isn't nearly as disruptive in your patient encounter compared to thumb-typing.

I'm a big proponent of the "active digitizer pen" concept and I hope we see more companies embrace the usefulness of a precise stylus pen on a digital mobile device. A smaller smartphone probably doesn't need one, but anything larger than 5" should support an active pen.

Samsung GALAXY S5

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Samsung GALAXY S5 is the latest flagship smartphone that Samsung has released into the market. I'm still an iPhone user, but if I had to purchase an Android smartphone today, I'd get the S5.

It features a unique battery-saving feature (the screen goes into grayscale mode and disables unnecessary functions) which sounds like it's something that every smartphone should have. How many times has your smartphone run out of power? Or, maybe you've been very close: 5% or 10%. Well, the Samsung "Ultra Power Saving Mode" could be something we see in other gadgets like tablets and laptops.

The S5 also includes a heart rate sensor, although I'm not entirely sure that you're going to get more accurate readings from the S5 compared to using a standard Heart Rate app on your iPhone (placing your finger over the camera and the LED flash lights your finger). Samsung is moving aggressively in the personal fitness and health market, so S Health may gain traction quickly since Samsung also has the Gear Fit - a wearable activity tracker / smartwatch that has a nice color display. I'd like to play around with the Gear Fit, but I don't have a compatible Samsung smartphone or tablet that will work with it. Samsung is building a closed ecosystem for their fitness gadgets.

For health care users, perhaps the most promising feature of the S5 is the fact that it is water resistant when you close the micro USB cover. I don't see other smartphone manufacturers trying to add water resistance to their feature list, so it's nice to see Samsung taking the lead on this one.

Qualcomm acquires PalmOS from HP

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Earlier this week, we heard that Qualcomm acquired PalmOS from HP. I had a Palm Pilot. I still have a few PDAs and smartphones in my personal museum that run various versions of PalmOS. Then, we had WebOS. LG now has WebOS running on some of their television sets.

What will Qualcomm do with all these patents? Perhaps we will see remnants of PalmOS in the next generation of smartwatches sold by Qualcomm. The current Qualcomm Toq smartwatch is a first-generation gadget, but I can see how these smartwatches will eventually incorporate more robust functionality and will need more functional operating systems.

Stay tuned as we learn more about what Qualcomm plans to do.

Fitbit iOS app update transforms your iPhone 5S into a Fitbit

Monday, December 30, 2013

The latest Fitbit iOS app update now taps that M7 Motion Coprocessor to transform your iPhone 5S into a Fitbit activity tracker. The key question is: do you wear your iPhone all day to make it an effective activity tracker?

The app update also did something unexpected for me - still using a Fitbit Classic from 2011. Read about that here.

Smartphone tip for medical students

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Here is a very simply tip for medical students who carry smartphones in the hospital: carry an external battery pack in your white coat pocket so that you can charge your smartphone. Inevitably, your smartphone battery will go low. You may be looking for a USB port or power outlet to charge your phone, but then you may quickly get called off to see a patient or attend to a Code Blue emergency in the hospital. It's not worth leaving your phone plugged in somewhere.

Keep the battery in your pocket. If your senior resident needs a quick charge, you'll quickly become a hit by offering an easy way to recharge.

Don't miss the FCC mHealth Innovation Expo this Fri

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be hosting an mHealth Innovation Expo at the FCC on Friday, December 6, 2013.

They are anticipating over 20 exhibitors that will demonstrate medical apps, mobile health care technologies, telehealth solutions and provide medical resources that will help improve health and healthcare for all Americans.

FCC mHealth Innovation Expo
Fri. Dec. 6, 2013
FCC Commission Meeting Room
445 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20554

For more information about the event, visit:

For a tentative agenda, visit:

Happtique is Looking for Physician Content Reviewers for Mobile Apps

Friday, November 08, 2013

Note: They have an immediate need for endocrinologists.

Happtique’s Health App Certification Program (HACP) is seeking Physician Content Reviewers with minimum 5 years’ experience and board certification in the areas of endocrinology, pediatrics, OBGYN, behavioral health, primary care, ophthalmology, cardiology, and neurology (open to other areas as well) who will:

• Review of assigned app’s content (inclusive of materials submitted as well as downloading the application on the smart device) based on the HACP Content Standards;
• Provide an informed and professional review of the app being reviewed;
• Provide a pass/fail Content Review Report via Happtique’s portal within 2 weeks but in no event greater than 3 weeks following the assignment;
• For any Content Standard that an app fails to pass, provide succinct commentary and critical comments in a manner that will help the App Publishers use it to remediate the issue and improve the content quality of their app.
• Complete a conflict of interest attestation form for each assignment.

Reviewers need to have experience utilizing health-related smartphone and/or tablet applications.

Assignments are based on Reviewer’s access to the specific device that is needed to review the app. Experiences in the content area technology sphere, inclusive of informatics, mobile, or similar experience preferable as well as prior experience as a peer reviewer for a scholarly journal (online or print). Reviewers will be compensated for their services.

Those interested should contact:
Sandy Maliszewski, Director Health App Certification Program

About Dr. Joseph Kim

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Dr. Joseph Kim is the founder of, an independent website owned and operated by Dr. Kim. He is also the President of MCM Education, a professional medical education and publishing company that develops continuing medical education (CME) activities in joint sponsorship with medical universities, hospitals, and medical associations. Dr. Kim is a digital entrepreneur and technologist who has a passion for health information technology, mobile health, and social media. He frequently speaks at conferences about non-clinical careers for physicians, continuing medical education, mobile health technology, and social media in medicine. Dr. Kim holds a bachelor of science in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a doctorate of medicine from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, and a master of public health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health.
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