Monday, May 24, 2010

Mobile Medical Minute on ReachMD: Cracking the Barcode

There's a new series on ReachMD called the Mobile Medical Minute. This week, you can listen to me speak about barcode apps on Android in "Cracking the Barcode."

You may have noticed something that looks like a square barcode is popping up more and more in magazines, journals, websites, even on some of your colleagues' business cards. Unlike the barcodes you see on the products you buy, which give a cashier price information, these barcodes hold websites, contact information, messages, and more. Your key to getting that information is your smartphone's barcode scanner. Dr. Joseph Kim explains how.

Here's a transcript of that recording:
Smartphones with the Google Android operating system are gaining tremendous popularity in the healthcare community.

If you have an Android-powered smartphone, like the Motorola Droid, the Google Nexus One, or the Motorola Backflip, one of the more innovative features is the built-in barcode scanner.

You’ll need a barcode READER application, which you can download from your phone in the Android Market— Then, you’ll be off and running. Barcodes can code text, websites, phone numbers, even apps. Once you start paying attention to them— I think you’ll start noticing barcodes everywhere.

You’re listening to ReachMD’s Mobile Medical Minute. I’m Dr. Joseph Kim.

Some airlines will let you board with a barcode on your phone instead of a boarding pass. And these days, when the media reviews new Smartphone apps, they often include a barcode. If you scan the barcode with your phone — you’ve instantly downloaded the app.

You can use a Smartphone barcode scanner to check prices when you’re out shopping— and instantly compare prices and published reviews.

And we can encourage our patients to be more empowered healthcare consumers. Patients can scan the barcode on over-the-counter medication and use an app like Medilyzer to look up potential drug-drug interactions and consumer reviews. And WE can use it to look up side effects and dosages.

Maybe you remember the old Palm Pilot technology that let you ”beam” contact information from one Palm to another. Today’s Smartphone scanner technology lets you acquire medical information… calendar events. … ANYTHING can be made into a barcode — and all you have to do is point your phone at it.

This has been a ReachMd’s Mobile-Medicine Minute. I’m Dr. Joseph Kim — helping you stay smarter than your phone. For more news and education for healthcare professionals, visit And for more on mobile medical devices, read my blog, Medical

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