Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung just announced their new Note 7 and this new Android smartphone looks very promising. I wish it had a removable battery (the Note 4 was the last in its series to have a removable battery), but at least the Note 7 has a microSD slot for memory expansion. In case you missed it, Samsung skipped the Note 6 and jumped right to the Note 7.

The Note 7 has some very interesting upgraded features:
  • Iris scanner
  • Water resistance
  • Curved display
  • USB-C
I've continued with my Note 4 because it has a removable battery and a microSD card slot. Samsung got rid of those features with the Note 5, but brought the microSD slot back in the Note 7. To maintain a slim profile and water resistance, the battery on the Note 7 is not user replaceable.

I'm still a big fan of using a stylus pen for jotting notes, drawing pictures, and marking things up so that I can remember what's important. This is the biggest reason why I don't think I'll be going back to an iPhone soon.

Medical students, residents, and physicians can easily use the built-in stylus pen to jot notes when they're speaking with a patient at the bedside. If you don't always carry a tablet with you, then it's nice to use your smartphone. You can always sync your notes with your other devices. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When will the FDA guidance on mobile medical apps get updated?

The FDA Guidance on Mobile Medical Apps was released in Feb 2015. Apple has ResearchKit, CareKit, and HealthKit. Developers can build mobile health apps that integrate more closely into the daily lives of individuals using iOS devices.

ResearchKit is a software framework that allows medical researchers gather robust and meaningful patient data.

CareKit is a software framework for apps that let you better understand and manage your medical conditions.

HealthKit APIs work with your user’s shared health and activity data.

We're seeing confusing intersections across disease management, health and wellness, fitness and nutrition, and much more. Innovation is right around the corner, so let's hope that regulatory hurdles don't hinder tremendous opportunities for medical advancement that's powered by these ubiquitous mobile devices.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Optimal smartphone screen size? 5.5 to 5.7"

Seems like the "phablet" is gaining such popularity that the term may be disappearing as more people start expecting smartphones to have screen sizes in the 5.5 to 5.7" range. The latest Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 fit those dimensions and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" display.

I'm still a fan of the traditional active digitizer pen, so that's why I'll continue with the Samsung Galaxy Note series (as long as they continue to support the S Pen). I'll pass on the Note 5 for now since I'm a big fan of the removable batter and microSD card slot that I currently have on my Note 4. The newer Note 5 has gotten rid of these features in exchange for a smoother, nicer overall design.

Here's the key question that I'd like to see answered someday: if the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were priced equally, which would be more popular? Right now, the 6 Plus is $100 more, so I'm sure that deters many potential customers who would prefer the larger screen but is perfectly willing to settle on the smaller iPhone 6.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Apple announces ResearchKit

Apple is making it easier than ever for anyone to participate in medical research.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world have an iPhone in their pocket. Each one is equipped with powerful processors and advanced sensors that can track movement, take measurements, and record information. With ResearchKit, researchers can easily create apps that take advantage of iPhone features to gather new types of data on a scale never available before.

Mount Sinai, Weill Cornell Medical College, and LifeMap developed their Asthma Health app to gain greater insight into triggers for the disease.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 could be the ideal phablet for medical students

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may be the ideal "phablet" for medical students who are often busy scribbling notes while standing. Maybe I'm from a different era, but I still rely heavily on using a pen. In fact, it still amazes me that other manufacturers are not actively incorporating an active digitizer into their devices. Doing so adds cost and some additional thickness to the overall device, but aren't people still jotting notes and scribbling on their smartphones? You shouldn't have to buy a special Bluetooth stylus pen to write accurately on your screen.

The iPhone 6 Plus is a great phablet if you don't need to "write" on the screen, but I'm still someone who relies too heavily on "inking" (to use some old tablet-PC jargon) directly, which is why I'll always be biased towards devices that offer a solid pen-based interface.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Which iOS app will effectively block "Unknown" callers?

Lately, some people may have seen an increase of SPAM calls from "Unknown" numbers. You can't easily block these calls since your phone does not recognize a specific phone # to block. Your mobile carrier may be able to block these "Unknown" callers, but you may have to pay a monthly fee for that service.

Shouldn't you be able to block these "Unknown" callers on your iPhone using a mobile app? There are a few apps that offer this capability, but how well do they work?

For many people, it may not be a good idea to block calls from "Unknown" since physicians will often block their phone # (caller ID) so their calls will come in as "Unknown."

Friday, October 03, 2014

Apple Health app in iOS 8

I've upgraded to iOS 8 on my iPhone and I'm now experiencing the new Apple Health app. I'm feeding it with health and fitness data from MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, and Jawbone UP. Someday, I wonder if the consumer side of health IT interoperability will allow Apple, Google Fit on Android, and Microsoft HealthVault to share data seamlessly. For now, I'll continue to have my health data stored in different silos that don't talk to each other.
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