Friday, April 30, 2010

Medscape Mobile for BlackBerry

Medscape Mobile is now available for the BlackBerry as a free medical app.

> FASTER & LARGER Drug Reference
Look up info in seconds for 7,000+ prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) brands and generics, including herbals and supplements.

> FASTER Interaction Checker
Quickly check interactions between drugs, herbals, and supplements - input as many drug combinations as you want.

> IN-DEPTH Medical News
Review the latest medical news in your specialty right in the app - news updated daily across 30 specialty areas.

> EASIER Navigation
Our app is designed to make it easier to look up and save drug information, read medical news, and access features.

Go to to install this free medical app on your BlackBerry.

MyWi: Turn your iPhone to a WiFi HotSpot for tethering


Want to tether with your iPhone?  MyWi now supports tethering on 3.1+ and all iPhones (including 2G/3G/3GS)! Create a WiFi HotSpot with a press of a finger!

Product Description

Create a WiFi HotSpot with a press of a finger! Wherever you are - you can connect your laptop or other mobile device to your iPhone easily!

- Create WiFi Hotspot to connect mutiple laptops or mobile devices to share your iPhone's internet connection
- 40 bit and 104 bit WEP Security to prevent others from accessing your WiFi HotSpot
- Ability to enable USB and Bluetooth Tethering on your iPhone as well
- Broadcasts the Network Name (SSID) - no need to fuss with creating an adhoc network on your laptop
- Uses less battery and much faster then PdaNet due to native routing
- Shows up and down bandwith usage

Click here for more information about MyWi by Intelliborn. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

When will iPhone tethering become available?

Here's one of the biggest complaints I hear from people who switch to the Apple iPhone: "I can't tether."

Tethering is when you use your smartphone as a wireless modem for your laptop, tablet, netbook, or desktop. It's a great way to get online without using a dedicated wireless card.

If you're someone who used to tether with a Treo, a BlackBerry, a Windows Mobile, or an Android smartphone, you'll miss the ability to tether if you get an iPhone. AT&T has been talking about tethering for a while now, but I don't think their network can handle that level of data bandwidth if a significant percentage of iPhone users started to tether with their iPhones.

The nice thing about having a Windows Mobile phone is that I can still tether. When I'm using an Android smartphone, I can tether. If I switch to a BlackBerry device, I can tether. The Apple iPhone 3GS is capable of tethering, but AT&T is not allowing it, so it's a useless feature on the iPhone. When will tethering become available on the iPhone?

HP to Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion

Did you see it coming? HP to Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

MedAnywhere App Will Benefit from iPhone OS 4.0, Says Developer

This is a guest post by by Greg Bartlett. Contact me if you'd like to submit an article.

Emerging Healthcare Solutions, Inc. released a statement praising Steve Jobs' presentation of the iPhone's new OS 4.0 this past month. Apple's new smartphone operating system includes support for simultaneous apps, a feature lacking in previous versions that were compared unfavorably with Android and Blackberry, which both support limited multitasking. EHSI, which is developing the MedAnywhere app for Apple's smartphone, said that use of its program will be much easier for doctors now that it can be run in conjunction with other medical software.

The MedAnywhere app, which has not yet been released, is described as a comprehensive medical software package that includes standard data reference material as well as communications features that allow interaction with local doctors. The program can aid the patient in self-monitoring at home, and can feed information to a doctor when a condition becomes severe.

The app also takes advantage of the iPhone's Bluetooth capabilities by allowing it to interface wirelessly with a few specially made medical accessories, such as a blood pressure cuff, heart monitoring set, and even a camera system which will allow doctors to examine patients remotely. EHSI hopes MedAnywhere will provide doctors a comprehensive telemedicine solution that runs on a platform-i.e., the iPhone-accessible to anyone.

Medical students leveraging podcasts for lectures

You don't need an Apple iPhone or an iPod to listen to podcasts on your smartphone or PDA. However, given that this story is on the Apple website, let's see how medical students at Ohio State University are listening to medical lectures as podcasts.

Justin Harper, a medical student at Ohio State University, championed the concept of using an iPod touch as an educational tool for medical students. Now, the first two years of the Ohio State medical school’s lectures are now available on iTunes U. Medical students can now access these lectures while they're at the gym, walking outside, or while they're driving.

Read the full case report here on the Apple website.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BlackBerry 6 sneak peak at WES 2010

For those of you who are eagerly awaiting BlackBerry 6, here's a video that will give you a sneak peak on the next BlackBerry Operating System:

Android Market reaches 50,000 apps

The Android Market has reached the 50,000 app milestone. I think it's fair to say that we'll see over 100,000 apps by the fall. We'll definitely see many new medical apps for Android. Have you switched to Google Android?

Want to see what kinds of apps are being developed for Android? Visit:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Smartphone app for Sermo?

I've heard many people ask, "When will Sermo come out with a smartphone app?" The real question is: do we really need a smartphone app for a website like Sermo? After all, I can access the forum through my mobile web browser. Can you? I've tried it on Opera, Skyfire, and a few other mobile browsers.

I agree that it would be easier if we had a dedicated mobile app for Sermo, but I don't know that many physicians would use it. Maybe the ER docs and the anesthesiologists would use their smartphones to access Sermo. If you're always in front of a computer, then you don't need to use your smartphone to access websites.

Are you interested in discussing politics and healthcare reform? Make sure you get on Sermo so that you can hear what other U.S. physicians have to say.

About Sermo

Sermo is the largest online physician community in the US. It’s where practicing US physicians—spanning 68 specialties and all 50 states—collaborate on difficult cases and exchange observations about drugs, devices and clinical issues. And find potentially life-saving insights that have yet to be announced by conventional media sources.

Medical students discussing smartphones

On the Student Doctor Network, tech-loving medical students are busy discussing smartphones trends in the Technology/PDA forum. Some of the hot topics include:
  • Pics of new iPhone 4th Gen  (yes, even busy medical students are keeping up with the latest rumors!)
  • iPhone Medical Apps
  • DROID vs. iPhone
  • Ads on the iPhone
  • iPad
  • Medical apps for Android
Medical students are using smartphones for so many things these days. If you're on call, perhaps you're watching TV on your smartphone. Maybe you're texting someone during rounds but you're pretending to research a medical condition. How often do you get pimped by residents and attendings who want you to quickly look something up on your smartphone?

Given how quickly smartphone trends are changing, I'm sure that medical students are being challenged to keep up with the latest and greatest smartphones that are coming out these days. New apps and devices are being released all the time. However, if you're someone who likes to stay current on this type of technology, then maybe you'll impress your senior resident or attending with your smartphone knowledge. They'll be calling you the "smartphone expert." That would look nice on your recommendation letter, wouldn't it?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SIRIUS XM Radio Coming Soon to Android-Powered Smartphones

Free SIRIUS XM App for Android-powered smartphones will deliver exclusive sports, talk, entertainment, comedy and commercial-free music channels to the DROID by Motorola and the Google Nexus One

All users of the SIRIUS XM App will receive a 7-day free trial of the SIRIUS XM Premium Online service

NEW YORK, April 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SIRIUS XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) today announced that a free application for Android-powered smartphones will be available in May, giving consumers access to over 120 channels of sports, talk, entertainment, news, comedy and commercial-free music on the DROID by Motorola and the Google Nexus One.

The free SIRIUS XM App for the DROID and Nexus One will give mobile consumers the freedom to listen to SIRIUS XM Premium Online content on the go on their smartphones over cellular and WiFi networks.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Epocrates® Essentials Deluxe now available for BlackBerry®

Epocrates Essentials Deluxe is now available for the BlackBerry. How is this version different from the other versions of Epocrates? Take a look at the comparison chart here.

You'll see that Epocrates Essentials Deluxe also includes:
  • ICD-9 and CPT® codes     
  • Medical dictionary
If you don't need that, then you'll be fine with Epocrates Essentials. Please note that a memory card is required to download Epocrates Essentials Deluxe. Remember that you can save $99 by purchasing a 2-year license.

To learn more, visit:

New Dell smartphones: Lightning, Thunder, Flash, Smoke

Dell will be coming out with some new smartphones.  According to this story on Engadget, they will be called: Lightning, Thunder, Flash, and Smoke. I wonder if there's a theme here.

Some will run Google Android and others will run Microsoft Windows Phone 7. I wonder who else will enter (or re-enter) the smartphone market here in the United States. Maybe all those companies that used to make PDAs will return. I used to have a PDA made by Toshiba. HP still makes the iPaq and they're still making a few smartphones. Lenovo has smartphones overseas and maybe they'll start marketing some devices here in the US.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Droid Incredible by HTC earns Editors' Choice from PC Magazine

PC Magazine has given the HTC Droid Incredible the Editors' Choice stamp of approval. In fact, they remark that the HTC Droid Incredible is one of the highest-rated phones in the past year.

Let's jump right to the conclusion:
The Incredible is the best smartphone on Verizon, and the second-best smartphone in America; it would outpace the iPhone if it weren't for all of those great iPhone apps. The Incredible renders the upcoming Nexus One for Verizon's network totally irrelevant, although it may yet be outmatched by Sprint's upcoming, WiMAX-based Evo 4G.
Click here to read the review on PC Magazine.

Garminfone coming to T-Mobile

Our family uses a Garmin GPS for one of our cars. I've also used TomTom and Magellan GPS devices in the past. I still use my Dash GPS that I received for being a beta tester.

Even though I have standalone GPS devices, I also run a TomTom app on my Windows Mobile smartphone. It's always handy to have a GPS in your pocket if you're traveling. I use Google Maps to view traffic data and I've played around with a Garmin GPS app and I also tried iGuidance. Since you can get GPS navigation apps for other types of smartphones like the Apple iPhone and the BlackBerry Storm, the days of the standalone GPS devices are numbered.

The Garmin Garminfone is coming to T-Mobile and it's going to be the first Android™-powered smartphone and Garmin GPS navigation device in one.
* Voice-guided and on-screen directions with automatic rerouting
* Real-time traffic, weather, ETA, and gas prices
* Thousands of downloadable apps from Android Market
* Access to personal and work e-mail, IM, and text messaging
Given that the Android 2.0 and 2.1 operating system already includes turn-by-turn GPS navigation, why would you want to get a Garminfone?  It's for people who want to have the Garmin interface. I don't have a strong preference for any particular interface, so I'll use whatever I can if I need a GPS.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Watch this guy running Android on his Apple iPhone

A first generation Apple iPhone running the Linux kernel and Google's Android mobile operating system. Details and source code available at

PEPID now available for Android

PEPID Google Android Medical & Drug Resources Now Available

PEPID has expanded its mobile platform offering to include Google Android devices. PEPID’s fully integrated medical and drug content and tools take advantage of the user-friendly interface and capabilities of the Android to create a powerful reference tool to improve care and increase efficiency, right at the bedside.

The new Android application includes all the trusted medical content and tools customers are accustomed to from PEPID — specialty-focused content, extensive drug database, drug interactions generator, dosing and medical calculators, evidence-based medicine and illustrations — as well as some upgrades.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Droid Incredible by HTC - Product Video

Verizon has released a product video for the HTC Droid Incredible:

Verizon HTC Droid Incredible could beat the Motorola Droid

I'm a fan of HTC phones. I'm also a fan of Motorola phones. So, which will be better? The HTC Droid Incredible or the Motorola Droid? If the Droid had a better hardware keyboard, then I'd vote for the Droid. However, given that the hardware QWERTY keyboard on the Droid isn't that great, perhaps the HTC Incredible will become the new #1 Android smartphone on Verizon Wireless.

I guess we'll have to wait until April 29. You can preview the Droid Incredible here:

LookTel: A Revolutionary New App for the Visually Impaired

This is a guest post by by Greg Bartlett. Contact me if you'd like to submit an article.

On March 24th, the CTIA E-Tech Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada gave first place in the healthcare category to LookTel, an amazing new smartphone app that employs smart video, artificial intelligence, and GPS tracking to provide a tremendous service to the visually impaired. The app acts as an extra set of eyes for the user, using the smartphone’s camera to identify common items and even read basic text.

The user can hold his or her smartphone in front of a common item indistinguishable to the visually impaired, such as a five dollar bill, and the application will run an advanced image-recognition codec to identify the object and name it out loud with the phone’s speaker. The app comes pre-programmed with plenty of items, and users can train it to recognize even more particular items they interact with on a daily basis.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A sneak peak at the iPhone 4G

Leaked photos of the Apple iPhone 4G are circulating on the Internet. These photos are from Gizmodo and you can view the entire article here.

Do we really believe that these leaked photos accurately represent the iPhone 4G? Engadget seems to think so. What about you? I think there's enough evidence to suggest that this is an iPhone 4G prototype, but what's to say that this will be the final product?

Here's what's new:
• Front-facing video chat camera
• Improved regular back-camera (the lens is quite noticeably larger than the iPhone 3GS)
• Camera flash
• Micro-SIM instead of standard SIM (like the iPad)
• Improved display. It's unclear if it's the 960x460 display thrown around before—it certainly looks like it, with the "Connect to iTunes" screen displaying much higher resolution than on a 3GS.
• What looks to be a secondary mic for noise cancellation, at the top, next to the headphone jack
• Split buttons for volume
• Power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Labs & Formulas for iPhone

Labs & Formulas By USBMIS, Inc is available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. You'll find it on iTunes in the App Store.

Labs & Formulas provides quick access to relevant lab values along with a set of useful calculators and decision making tools.

• Rapid access to over 1,000 common lab values
• Useful calculators and decision tools
• Bookmark feature
• Automatic updates
• Calculators include:
--Common unit conversions (weight, length, pressure, etc.)
--Apgar Score
--Creatinine Clearance
--Glomerular Filtration Rate (Adult & Pediatric)
--Glasgow Coma Scale
--Wind Chill & Heat Index
--…and many more
• New calculators and other useful tools will be added in future updates

The price is $3.99 and you can get it here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Epocrates Pulse Newsletter April 2010

Make sure you don't miss the April 2010 Epocrates Pulse Newsletter. This month's newsletter focuses on the following:
  • Talking with Dr. Rutledge
  • Drug and Disease Updates
  • Clinicians & Facebook: The Boundaries of Professionalism
  • FDA MedWatch Safety Alerts
  • Hospitalist Connection Mobile Resource Center
  • Visit Us at ACP
  • Clinical Question of the Month
  • What's This Disease? 
Click here to view the April 2010 Epocrates Pulse Newsletter. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Should HTC develop its own OS?

HTC currently makes a large proportion of smartphones in the US market. Many of their phones get rebranded, so you may not know that they're made by HTC. For instance, the Google Nexus One is made by HTC. Now that Palm is for sale, what would happen if HTC were to purchase Palm and create its own OS? Does it make sense for HTC to compete against Google, Apple, RIM, and Microsoft?

I hope we don't see yet another smartphone OS enter the market. I think we'll see more innovation and relevant medical apps if we focus on few operating systems. My prediction is that Apple and Google will be dominating the smartphone OS space in a few years, so that should mean that we'll be seeing some great medical apps for smartphones that run the iPhone or Android OS. I think HTC is a great company, but they should probably focus on developing hardware (even though they've come up with some great software enhancements like TouchFlo - now called Sense UI).

HTC Droid Incredible coming to Verizon April 29

The HTC Droid Incredible could beat the Motorola Droid as the "best" Android powered smartphone on the market. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. I got this image from Engadget, where they're reporting that the HTC Droid Incredible will be coming to Verizon Wireless on April 29.

If the HTC Incredible is going to be a CDMA version of the HTC Desire, then you can read up on the specs and the features by visiting this HTC page.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Advertising is coming to the iPhone

In the new iPhone OS 4.0, you'll start seeing advertisements on your mobile device. Google's Android already displays ads. I'm guessing that Windows Phone 7 will also have the capability for ads. Isn't amazing how we simply can't avoid advertisements? I sell ad space on my sites. Almost every medical publisher does as well. I just hope that these ads may fuel the availability of more free smartphone apps and smartphone services for medical professionals.

The Top Medical Apps for the iPad (So Far)

This is a guest post by by Greg Bartlett. Contact me if you'd like to submit a guest post.

The Top Medical Apps for the iPad (So Far)

Apple’s new laptop/smartphone unveiling certainly made a splash on its April 3rd debut. The iPad’s 9.7 inch screen is easily the biggest selling point, but the software capabilities it offers certainly adds value as well. While the techies debate whether it’s closer to a souped up mega-iphone (the WiFi model has 3G and an assisted GPS system) or a laptop (it runs just one app at a time), let’s have a look at some of the most popular medical apps upgraded to take full advantage of Apple’s new future toy.

One of the biggest hits thus far is perhaps the most simple: Dok LLC’s Eye Chart Pro. It features a randomizable eye chart that you can fiddle with on the go, allowing you to customize the letter arrangement and size to fit your patient. At only 300kb, it certainly won’t take up too much space, either. Just hurry—this app is only free for a limited amount of time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tarascon Adult Emergency Pocketbook

Tarascon Adult Emergency Pocketbook By USBMIS, Inc. is now available on the iTunes store. So, if you have an iPhone or iPod touch and you're working in the field of emergency medicine, you should take a look at this $19.99 medical app.
All of the vital information from the Tarascon Adult Emergency Pocketbook is now available for the iPhone or iPod Touch! The Tarascon Adult Emergency App is part of the popular Tarascon® Series which is an imprint of Jones & Bartlett Learning.

The Tarascon Adult Emergency App is the ultimate portable reference for the busy emergency physician or internist! Packed with essential lists, figures, & tables, this App provides instant reminders of hard-to-remember yet vitally important clinical information. Convenient searchable reference sections include dysrhythmia protocols, emergency drug infusions, antibiotic therapy, rapid-sequence intubation, toxicology, trauma care, burn care, and much more. Busy physicians now have all the information they need from the Tarascon Adult Emergency Pocketbook at their fingertips!
Click here to view the Tarascon Adult Emergency Pocketbook on the iTunes store.

Will we see a Verizon iPhone this year?

This question has been in the air for a few years now. Is 2010 the year when we'll see the Apple iPhone appear on the Verizon network? Last year, I think I would have said, "yes, we'll see an iPhone on Verizon in 2009." Well, it's now 2010 and there's still no iPhone on the Verizon network.

My gut tells me that we won't see the iPhone until 2011. I think it will be the iPhone 4G. I don't think we'll see a CDMA version of the iPhone 3G on the Verizon network. It's just a gut feeling, but I think Verizon is probably going to be in a better position to push the Android OS through smartphones like the Motorola Droid, the Motorola Endeavor, the Google Nexus One, the HTC Incredible, the HTC Droid Eris, and others. I don't think they should get "distracted" by the Apple iPhone this year. This way, if AT&T continues to suffer network problems due to the heightened bandwidth usage caused by the iPhone and iPad, then AT&T customers will be very eager to switch to Verizon next year.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How Smartphones Are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers

There's a great report on the California HealthCare Foundation written by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, M.A., M.H.S.A. titled, "How Smartphones Are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers." We've seen a rapid uptake of smartphone use (even among physicians who are not the most "tech-savvy" physicians), but do we know how smartphones will change the world of health care?   You'll want to read this by clicking here. Thank you Jane for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this report.

Palm is up for sale

The creator of the Palm Pilot, the Palm Pre, the Palm Pixi, and webOS is up for sale. I wonder what that means for medical students and physicians who are loyal Palm OS and webOS users. Will Palm survive the smartphone war as Apple and Google battle with the iPhone and Android? How about the competition brought on by BlackBerry and now with Windows Phone 7?

According to BusinessWeek, "The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners to find a buyer...the sale isn't public"

So, will webOS survive? Will HTC or Lenovo purchase Palm and install Android or Windows Phone 7 on the Pre or Pixi? Speaking of Palm, I still have a few of my old Palm Pilots. My wife also had a Palm (made by Sony and it was called a Clie). What's going to happen to Palm? 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

iPhone OS 4.0 keynote video

You can view the iPhone OS 4.0 keynote video on the Apple website by clicking here. Watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs give a sneak peek into the future of the iPhone OS. Given that I'm constantly multitasking on the PC and on my smartphone, it's great to see that multitasking support is finally coming to the iPhone OS.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Discussing smartphones with MD/MBA students

I'm in Boston this weekend covering the MD/MBA meeting (click here for meeting highlights from the Association of MD/MBA Programs 8th Annual Conference). Sure enough, my discussions with medical students start with us talking about non-clinical career opportunities, but then the discussion evolves into smartphones and health IT. They're asking me about the iPhone and about the Android OS. Tonight, I had a chance to tell one medical student that you can now use Epocrates on Android (still in beta, but it works!).

Today's medical students have so much power in their hands because of modern smartphone technology. Whether you're in an MD program or a joint (dual degree) MD/MBA program, the smartphone is a necessity these days. Medical students recognize the need to find information at the point-of-care and also to stay connected wirelessly (is that even a word?).

If you're interested in the  Association of MD/MBA Programs 8th Annual Conference, make sure to follow highlights from the meeting at

Five Steps to Follow if Your Smartphone Goes Missing

This is a guest post by Greg Bartlett. Contact me if you'd like to submit a guest post.

It’s happened to the best of us. A guy can step off the metro, run in and out of his favorite coffee joint, get home, look in his bag, and suddenly experience that sinking, gut-twisting feeling when he realizes that his $250 bundle of contact info, apps, and virtual joy isn’t where it’s supposed to be. At this point it’s good to take a long, deep breath, then follow this simple road back to normalcy.
  • Step 1: Don’t panic. The first rule of intergalactic hitchhiking is also the first rule of smartphone recovery. Losing one’s phone doesn’t mean the permanent disfavor of the universe; perhaps taking a break will do some good. Or not.
  • Step 2: Call the smartphone. The most obvious step is often the most overlooked. If someone answers, graciousness and offer to make it worth their while to return it helps. If no one answers, persistence is also good, but perhaps the phone was stolen.
  • Step 3: Shut down the smartphone. If the phone has certainly fallen into enemy hands, it’s best to call up the provider and have them suspend the account. The primary motive for cell phone theft is to steal service—free calls to whomever the thief wants, free of charge. The phone itself is rarely worth hawking. With an 80% black market markdown and the need to replace the SIM card, even the newest, slickest smartphones aren’t worth the effort. The little value in smartphone theft exists only until my IMEI IMEI or account activity is suspended. One tries to get that done before the impersonator orders fifty pizzas on the victim’s dime.
  • Step 4: Activate the GPS tracking system. If the phone has GPS tracking capability, one can go ahead and fire up the app or service and see if its location pops up. Many providers are also able to triangulate the position of stolen smartphones for their customers, so long as they’re in use. Regardless of method, however, the results are often pretty striking. Stories of people recovering their phones—and other property—by using simple GPS tracking gps tracking technology are a dime a dozen, so it’s best to take advantage. If the owner does manage to pin down a location of the smartphone and it’s substantially removed from the point of theft, then it’s best to turn over the information along with a stolen property report to the police and let them recover it. Fancy GPS tracking a superhero vigilante does not make.
  • Step 5: Relax. If the owner doesn’t recover his or her phone, then congrats. He or she now has a guilt-free excuse to grab a shiny new replacement.
Greg Bartlett runs He specializes in writing about health and technology, including GPS and insurance, and has earned two master’s degrees.

CaringBridge iPhone app

CaringBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing free websites that connect family and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery. A CaringBridge website is personal, private and available 24/7. It helps ease the burden of keeping family and friends informed. The websites are easy to create and use. Authors add health updates and photos to share their story while visitors leave messages of love and support in the guestbook.

iPhone Application
A free CaringBridge application is available for download from the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch users. This streamlined version of the website makes it easy to visit a personal CaringBridge site as well as leave guestbook messages.

Coming Soon: Mobile-Optimized Website
The CaringBridge mobile website will provide a streamlined experience for anyone visiting CaringBridge from their web-enabled smartphone. It is formatted to fit smartphone screens and provide CaringBridge users with quick access to their loved one’s health news.

Learn more by visiting

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Best smartphone on Verizon Wireless

The other day, someone asked me, "what's the best smartphone on Verizon?" If you surveyed 1,000 people using smartphones on the Verizon network, you'd probably get the majority of them answering either:
  • Motorola Droid (running Android), or
  • BlackBerry Storm2 (model 9550)
You may find a few dedicated Palm fans trying to get you to buy the Palm Pre Plus or the Palm Pixi (both running webOS). However, it's going to be difficult to find fans of Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS, even though Verizon has some of the best Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones (like the HTC Touch Pro2, the HTC Imagio, and the Samsung Omnia II).  To me, the biggest problem with buying a new Windows Phone is that none of the current models will get an upgrade to Windows Phone 7. I guess my Touch Pro2 will turn into a standalone GPS device.

If we look on the Verizon website and sort smartphones by ratings, the Motorola Droid comes out #1 (with over 7,000 reviews).  That smartphone gets my vote. If someone asked me for my opinion, I'd suggest the Droid. In a few months, the HTC Incredible could become the #1 smartphone on Verizon, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

GPS-Enabled Apps for Med Students

This is a guest post by Greg Bartlett. Contact me if you'd like to submit a guest post for

GPS systems have certainly come a long way in the past decade—who’d have thought military-grade tracking devices would be built into consumer telephones by now? Technological whiplash aside, the smartphone’s GPS system will do little good without some solid apps to take advantage. Here are a few suggestions for today’s med student on the go:

A medical campus can be a difficult place to navigate. iGO My Way may remedy this need. This route planning app for the iPhone and iPod Touch features one of the most attractive and intuitive interfaces on the market today. The hefty $55 price tag seems reasonable once its clear, up-to-date maps and global support are examined. For those in a large metro area who would prefer a cab, try Cab4Me, a slick little app that can be used on the Android’s GPS system to automatically place a call to the nearest taxi company.

To every student out there that simply can’t remember to set their phone to vibrate before class, here’s a solution: Locale. This app for Android lets the student choose different power or ringer settings for different coordinates as detected by their personal GPS system. For instance, a student can program their smartphone to switch to vibrate whenever on campus, but automatically switch back to the previous ringtone once they are back on the road.

Smartphone OS trends

According to comScore's February 2010 report (comScore Reports February 2010 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share), between November 2009 until February 2010, Google's Android jumped from 3.8% to 9.0% while Microsoft's Windows Mobile dropped from 19.1% to 15.1%. RIM's BlackBerry increased from 40.8% to 42.1%. Meanwhile, Apple's iPhone remained fairly flat at 25.5% to 25.4%. Palm dropped from 7.2% to 5.4%.

So, as we all anticipated, Google's Android OS has leaped to 4th place, and my prediction is that in the next 3 months, we'll see Android jump to 3rd place. By the end of 2010, it could be up there converting BlackBerry and iPhone users. I'm sorry Palm, but it looks like we're going to have to see you go. Let's see what happens when Microsoft rolls out Windows Phone 7 Series.

Read the comScore's report here.

A sneak peek at iPhone OS 4.0

Tomorrow (April 8), Apple will be providing a sneak peek at the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 which will be used on the iPhone, the iPod touch, and the iPad. Will this updated OS support multitasking? Yes! (at least, we really seem to think so). I think many iPhone users will really look forward to this update.

The lack of multitasking does not seem to have prevented many people from buying the iPhone, iPod touch, or even the new iPad. Let's wait to see what else the iPhone OS 4.0 has to bring.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

CME on your smartphone

There are several ways to get CME (continuing medical education) credit by using your smartphone.  Several years ago, there were only a handful of options. Today, there are many more ways to get CME on your smartphone.

Here are some examples of medical apps, medical websites, and other smartphone resources that will allow you to participate in CME activities on your smartphone:
  • Epocrates Mobile CME
  • Real CME
  • ReachMD
  • Medscape
  • Skyscape CME Stat
  • QuantiaMD
  • MedPageToday (mobile website)
  • UpToDate (point of care CME)
  • XtraCredit
This is not a comprehensive list, but you'll see that this list continues to grow each year. The bottom line is that busy physicians are looking for ways they can get their CME credit by using their smartphones. They're probably not going to spend a few hours going through a CME activity on a device that has such a small screen, but they'll spend 15 or 30 minutes reviewing something. As smartphone web browsers become more sophisticated and more powerful, we'll be capable of viewing almost any type of web page on a smartphone. This means that you'll get to view any type of online CME on your smartphone.

    What is the ideal smartphone screen size?

    We've seen smartphone screen sizes evolve from small 2.4" squares found on the Palm Treo to the massive 4.3" screens found on newer devices like the HTC HD2. So, what's the ideal size?  There have been rumored reports that Apple may be releasing a smaller iPhone. The current iPhone has a 3.5" screen. What if that was reduced to say 2.8" or smaller? That probably wouldn't make a huge impact on younger users who don't need to use reading glasses, but should Apple create a larger iPhone for those who use reading glasses? At what point does a smartphone become too large or too small to be usable? 

    This is a question I've been asking myself. I've used all sizes of smartphones in the past. I've worn them on belt cases and I've carried them in my pocket. I don't use my smartphone as a multimedia player, so I don't need a huge screen. I also don't need reading glasses (yet), so I'd probably prefer a smaller device.

    Well, let's see what happens in the smartphone market this year. My prediction is that we'll see a mix of smaller and larger smartphones and the major manufacturers will need to decide which size is "optimal."

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Thanks @Epocrates for mentioning my blog in the Advocate Spotlight

    Thanks to those at Epocrates for mentioning my blog in the Epocrates Advocate Spring Newsletter. was featured in the Advocate Spotlight.

    If you're an Epocrates user, sure to show your support by:

    Smartphone trends among Sermo physicians

    Sermo is an online physician community. About a year ago, someone conducted a poll of Sermo physicians and asked, "Do you use PDA/Smartphone technology?"

    Interested in the breakdown of responses? It wasn't a huge study sample, but here's what we saw in the early part of 2009:
    • I don't use a smartphone/PDA  31%
    • PalmOS (Treo, Centro, etc) 23%
    • iPhone (3G, etc) 21%
    • Windows Mobile (Dell Axim, HTC Touch, Tilt, etc)  13%
    • Blackberry (Storm, Bold, Curve, Pearl, etc)  10%
    • Google Android (G1, etc)  3%
    • Symbian (Nokia, etc)  0%
    This posting closed on February 7, 2009. I wonder how the responses would vary if we repeated a similar Sermo poll this year. I'm sure we'd see fewer people saying that they don't use a smartphone/PDA and we'd see more users with Android and even some with webOS. I doubt that Symbian will ever gain traction here in the United States among medical professionals.

    Reviving an old smartphone

    I had to revive an old smartphone for a family member the other day. We had to temporarily replace a misplaced smartphone, so I dug around my closet and finally found an old HTC Touch for the Verizon Wireless network. I quickly punched *228 option 3 and we were up and running in no time. In the past, I had to log in to My Verizon or call customer service. Now, it's so easy to switch phones on the Verizon network by dialing *228 option 3.

    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    HTC Incredible coming to Verizon

    The HTC Incredible is coming to Verizon. We don't know when this smartphone will arrive, but it should be a nice Android smartphone for users looking for a really large screen. Actually, some rumors are circulating that the HTC Incredible will only have a 3.7" screen instead of the 4.3" screen found on devices like the Sprint Evo 4G (Supersonic). In any case, it's great to see another Android powered smartphone arriving on the Verizon network. Meanwhile, everyone else is wondering when the iPhone will arrive on Verizon's network. 

    Friday, April 02, 2010

    Epocrates® Essentials Deluxe – Coming soon for BlackBerry®

    Epocrates Essentials Deluxe coming soon for the BlackBerry!

    Here's a note I got from Epocrates:
    We're excited to announce Epocrates Essentials Deluxe is almost here for the BlackBerry. As with the Palm®, Windows Mobile® and iPhone® versions, new updates include a comprehensive medical billing coder (with over 20,000 ICD-9 and CPT® codes) and a medical dictionary (complete with more than 100,000 medical terms). 
    If you're currently using Epocrates on your BlackBerry, stay tuned!

    Meet the Epocrates team at these major medical meetings:
    • American College of Physicians (Toronto, Canada): April 22- 24th
    • American Society of Clinical Oncology (Chicago, Illinois): June 5-7th
    • American Academy of Family Practice (Denver, Colorado): Sept 30th - Oct 2nd
    • American Osteopathic Association (San Francisco, California): Oct 24-25th

    Top BlackBerry medical apps

    If you visit the BlackBerry App World, you'll see a category called "Health and Wellness." Within this category, you can refine your search to "Medical Guides." Let's talk about this category for a few minutes. What happens if you sort these medical apps by popularity? You'll see a list that looks like this:
    • Woman Calendar for BlackBerry
    • Pregnancy Wheel
    • Cardio Calc
    • Age Calculator Pro
    • GI Calc
    • Heme Calc
    • Skin Cancer Image Viewer
    • Neph Calc
    • QuantiaMD
    • Skyscape OCM
    • Voxiva
    • RxDrugs Dosing Companion
    Now, if you sort by ratings, you'll see a similar list, but the apps will be in different order.

    Many of you may be wondering, "where's Epocrates?" The strange thing is that you won't find Epocrates in the BlackBerry App World. I'm not entirely sure why that's the case, but to install Epocrates on your BlackBerry, visit: on your mobile browser. Make sure to sign up for an Epocrates account before you install it on your BlackBerry.

    Would you leave AT&T and switch to Verizon for better iPhone features?

    The current iPhone 3GS on AT&T does not allow tethering. The current iPhone has been plagued with connectivity issues on the AT&T network and has been blamed as the source for dropped calls and sluggish network performance on the AT&T network.

    If Verizon got the iPhone, would you switch from AT&T to Verizon? What if the Verizon iPhone allows you to tether? What if the Verizon iPhone has a faster connection? What if...

    I realize that these are many "what if's," but they could come true. When will the iPhone arrive on the Verizon Wireless network? Will it be in 2010? Will it be a 4G smartphone? Will it have features that you won't find on the AT&T version? Will it be limited to CDMA or will it be a World Phone with GSM capabilities?

    New Drug Monographs on Epocrates

    If you're using Epocrates, make sure that you're regularly updating and syncing your device. Here's a list of some of the new drug monographs added to Epocrates:
    • Ampyra (dalfampridine)
    • Cayston(aztreonam inhaled)
    • cefditoren(first-time generic for Spectracef)
    • ibutilide (first-time generic for Corvert)
    • imiquimod (first-time generic for Aldara)
    • Iprivask (desirudin)
    • Menveo (meningococcal conjugate vaccine)
    • Mirapex ER (pramipexole)
    • Podocon-25 (podophyllin topical)
    • Prevnar 13 (pneumococcal polyvalent-13 vaccine)
    • tamsulosin (first-time generic for Flomax)
    • vitamin D3 (common name)(cholecalciferol)
    • Xiaflex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum)
    • Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine)
    Here's a brief summary of the recent updates/changes on Epocrates
    • 14 new drug monographs
    • 812 drug monographs edited
    • 987 drug-drug interaction edits

    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    Impressions of the Motorola Droid (Android)

    I'm not going to write a review about the Motorola Droid. You can read plenty of great reviews on sites like Engadget, CNET, PC Magazine, and others. I'm just going to share a few of my impressions of the Motorola Droid.

    First, the pros:
    • It's a very fast device and I really like the large capacitive touch screen. Great overall performance. Compared to other Android phones like the HTC Droid Eris, the Droid has exceptional performance.
    • The Android OS is very easy to use for both beginners and seasoned smartphone users.
    • The device is very thin and still has respectable battery life. In fact, this device is only barely thicker than the iPhone.
    • The voice recognition built into Google search and Google Maps works really well. Loved using the spoken turn-by-turn GPS navigation. No need to purchase 3rd party GPS navigation software.
    • You can tether. Can't do that (easily) with the iPhone.
    Now, the cons:
    • The slide-out QWERTY keyboard buttons are small and shallow. Not great for heavy typing if you have large fingers.  My HTC TouchPro2 has a much better keyboard.
    • The camera was only mediocre, although the camera button is easy for anyone to use. I liked the built-in flash.
    • Sorry international travelers, but the Droid is not a World Phone.  CDMA only. No GSM.
    So, if I had to buy a new smartphone on the Verizon Wireless network, which one would I get? I'd get the Droid.  What if the iPhone became available on Verizon? I'd still get the Droid. What about the HTC Google Nexus One? Hmm, now I need to think about that one.

    I want to thank the folks at Epocrates for lending me a Droid so that I could test the beta version of Epocrates.

    A smartphone that doesn't require a battery (user-generated power)

    Do you know how an automatic watch can reserve power from kinetic energy and convert that to electric energy? Well, there's a new smartphone that uses kinetic energy to operate. No batteries required! As long as you're swinging your phone around, you can talk, text, and browse as long as you'd like!

    April Fools!

    Actually, I'm sure we'll see something like this in the near future. We're seeing batteries that have built-in solar panels. It's only a matter of time before kinetic energy can be repurposed in smartphones as electrical power.
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