10 ways doctors could use an Apple iPad in the office or clinic

Sunday, January 31, 2010

So the current (first generation) Apple iPad probably won't run a robust electronic health record (EHR). However, it may run some iPhone/iPod touch EHR/EMR apps. I think most physicians will prefer to use a standard tablet PC instead of the iPad. However, given that a large percentage of physicians are not using the tablet in the outpatient office setting, perhaps they could leverage the iPad in the following ways:
  1. Use the iPad to teach patients. Leverage multimedia resources such as patient videos, animations, diagrams, charts, etc. to teach patients about specific diseases and conditions.
  2. Allow patients to use the iPad to learn about health/wellness as they're waiting for the doctor. Could you imagine what it would be like to walk into a doctor's office and to find an iPad on the chair? The screen could say: "pick me up and learn how to improve your health." Then, it could go through an interactive educational module with the patient while he/she waits for the physician to enter the room. Patients could also read the latest medical/health news on the iPad.
  3. Use the iPad to take notes. Who needs a clipboard? Even if you're not using an electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR) in your office, you can still use the iPad to take some notes.
  4. Allow patients to retrieve their personal health record or PHR information from the Internet. You probably don't want to hand them your tablet PC that contains your EHR/EMR data, but maybe you'll be OK handing them an iPad that's connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. 
  5. Let patients check their e-mail and browse the web while they're waiting. They're probably already doing that with their smartphones. Provide them a device that's bigger and easier to use.
  6. Mount the iPad on the wall and use it for some of the things described above. This way, it won't fall or walk away. Plus, you could use it as a digital photo frame.
  7. Play some soothing music in the exam room. Have anxious patients? Play some relaxing tunes. Treating depressed patients? Play some music that will cheer them up.
  8. Allow patients to use the iPad calendar to schedule their next appointment.
  9. Games. Do you treat children? Let them play some games on the iPad. They will love visits to the doctor's office! They'll be asking their parents, "Can we please go to the doctor's office today? Please?"
  10. As a physical exam tool. You could use the iPad to conduct mini mental exams and other diagnostic evaluations. Need them to remember 3 objects? Provide them with visual aids. Performing a psychometric evaluation? Skip the paper and go straight to the iPad.
There are obviously many other ways you could use an iPad in the office.  Once Apple drops the prices on these devices, we can expect to see many physician offices leveraging the iPad in creative and educational ways to improve patient health and to also enhance the clinical workflow.

McKesson and HP to Help Speed Electronic Health Record Adoption

Saturday, January 30, 2010

McKesson and HP to Help Physician Practices Speed Electronic Health Record Adoption for Better, Safer Patient Care
Practice-ready offering combines software, hardware and localized sales/support

ATLANTA, Jan. 26, 2010 – McKesson and HP today announced they are collaborating to accelerate and simplify electronic health record (EHR) adoption at independent physician practices across the country. The companies will offer physicians McKesson’s EHR/practice management systems bundled with HP office hardware preconfigured for easy installation. A national network of EHR-certified, value-added resellers will provide the bundled McKesson and HP solutions with training, implementation and support services for physicians in their local communities.
The new program from McKesson and HP is designed to offer many advantages to physician practices, including increased productivity, more focus on patient care, and the benefit of McKesson’s experience with more than 100,000 practice management system deployments. As the source for solutions that improve practice performance, McKesson’s offering includes clinical and EHR software as well as business management and revenue management solutions. The company also provides connectivity solutions for health information exchange and medical-surgical equipment and supplies.

Smartphone tethering speeds faster than free airport Wi-Fi

I'm sitting at the airport in New Orleans because our flight has been delayed. I connected via the airport's free Wi-Fi and my download speed was around 633 kbps. Then, I used my Verizon 3G smartphone to tether and I got download speeds of 1482 kbps. Surprised?

I'm sure www.iPad.com has seen a boost in traffic

If you type www.iPad.com, you won't end up on the Apple site. Instead, you end up on a site where the footer says:
Support Cancer Research and Organizations that Support Families Affected by Cancer
Cancer Support Community | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

I'd be curious to know how the traffic to this website has increased since January 27. 

More thoughs about the Apple iPad

Thursday, January 28, 2010


OK, I've had some more time to think about the recent announcements about the Apple iPad. I admit that my earlier post was mixed with emotions of frustration and disappointment. Why didn't Apple use the name iSlate? Why didn't they include a camera? I'm sure the iSlate will eventually come with a camera, so why release a first generation model that lacks that feature? I've given up on the user-replaceable battery issue, but that still bothers me because I'm frequently swapping out batteries on my mobile devices.

I had really high hopes for the Apple tablet. Compared to devices like the Amazon Kindle and the Nook, the iPad is a clear winner. Let's hope that the second generation iPad comes out really soon.

Why I won't buy a first generation iPad

Frankly, I was very disappointed by the name iPad. It sounds like iPod. I was really hoping that Apple would choose something like iSlate. After all, if you're a foreigner and you happen to have an accent, then people may have a difficult time understanding you if you say iPod or iPad.

Here are the reasons why I don't plan to purchase a first generation iPad:
  • Apple has a history of "fixing" problems and releasing 2nd and 3rd generation mobile devices
  • No multi-tasking? You've got to be kidding me. Does this mean that I can't listen to my music while I'm reading an e-book or browsing the web? 
  • Pay extra to get an iPad that has built-in 3G and GPS? Why make it an option?
  • No camera? How will I Skype?
  • Still can't easily change the battery.
  • Dock only in portrait mode? (I think the 2nd generation iPad will allow you to dock in both portrait and landscape modes)
  • Where's the Corning Gorilla Glass option?
Sorry, but I had much higher hopes for this device. I was quite disappointed and I don't think this first generation iPad will have any significant impact on the health care industry. Then again, the iPad is really geared for the consumer and not for the professional market. I just hope Apple won't punish the early adopters by dropping the price 3 months after the iPad gets released.

iSlate or iTablet?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's the day. Let's see what Apple announces. Will it be the iSlate or the iTablet? I'm guessing the iSlate (because www.islate.com comes up dead right now). Will the Apple tablet be a hit or a flop? I hope it will be a hit and I also hope that health care professionals will see how this device can be used to revolutionize the way medicine is practiced in the 21st century.

More info about the HP Slate tablet

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thanks to Engadget for pointing us to this video. HP has provided us with some more information about the HP Slate and I'm eager to hold this device in my hand. I had the opportunity to review an HP Tablet PC (HP EliteBook 2730p) last year and I really hope that I'll have the chance to review the Slate when it becomes available. Otherwise, I may have to go out there and buy one.  Will the HP Slate be a better tablet for the health care industry since it will run Windows? This Slate could run any Windows-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Plus, since it's so small and light, doctors would carry it everywhere.  Let's hope the price doesn't make this prohibitive. Let's also hope we see some Gorilla Glass on this!

How the iPad (Apple Tablet) could revolutionize health care

Monday, January 25, 2010

Some iPhone fanatics would argue that the Apple iPhone has revolutionized the health care system. I think there's some truth to that if you look at how physicians have used the iPhone in the outpatient (clinic, office) setting as well as in the inpatient (hospital, surgical) setting. There are so many health care professionals who have gotten familiar with the iPhone interface and many medical students are going through their clinical rotations using the iPhone.

So, how could the upcoming Apple tablet (iPad, iSlate, iTablet, etc.) revolutionize health care? I think it could do so in two major ways:

First: Consumers will become more empowered to manage their health. They will have the ability to use something like the iPad (or even their iPhone) to enter information into an electronic personal health record (PHR). They may use the iSlate as they're waiting in the doctor's office (forget clip boards) and once they fill out the vital patient forms, they may sit and view a few educational videos about health and wellness. Overall, the iPad could be a powerful consumer tool that can improve health, wellness, and disease management.

Second: Physicians and other health care professionals who are already familiar with the iPhone will have the ability to leverage a tablet in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. The iPad will become ubiquitous in the health care industry. You'll see them in hospitals, physician offices, etc. Doctors who are "on call" will use their iPad do access electronic health records (EHRs) and to place orders using computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems. Some of this can be done with an iPhone, but the small screen size really limits your ability to work on such a device. The iSlate will overcome the screen size limitation and allow health care professionals to be much more productive when they're mobile.

So, do you believe that the iPad will revolutionize health care? I suppose it will ultimately depend on what this thing looks like.

What will the Apple iSlate look like?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Will it look like this? I hope we'll all find out in a few days.

Will we see more Gorilla Glass used in health care computers?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Have you heard of Gorilla Glass?
Corning Gorilla glass is an environmentally friendly alkali-aluminosilicate thin sheet glass designed specifically to function as a protective window for portable display devices. What really sets Gorilla glass apart from the competition is that it’s both strong and damage resistant.
I'm sure we'll be seeing more use of Gorilla Glass in the health care setting. After all, smartphones and mobile computers get dropped quite frequently in the clinical setting. Just ask a medical student, "Have you ever dropped your smartphone or PDA in the hospital?"

Last October, we heard this: Motion’s C5 and F5 are the First Rugged Tablet PCs to Feature Corning’s Durable Gorilla™ Glass. It's great to see that Motion Computing will be using Gorilla Glass in the C5 MCA (Mobile Clinical Assistant). Wouldn't it be nice to see Gorilla Glass used in all the medical tablets and notebooks?

People are ready for the Apple tablet

Friday, January 22, 2010

According to this story on PC World, ChangeWave Research polled more than 3,300 U.S. consumers and discovered that one-in-five American consumers are saying that they're likely to buy the Apple tablet. Wow!

Are you ready for the iSlate? 

Apple iSlate vs. Newton

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Once the Apple iSlate comes out, I'll be very eager to do a little "iSlate vs. Newton" comparison. I'm sure others will compare these devices as well, but who still has an old Newton MessagePad 2100? I do.

Here's my preliminary iSlate vs. Newton comparison:

I bet the Newton will beat the iSlate in these areas:
  • battery life
  • handwriting recognition
  • novel and innovative apps designed before anyone had a smartphone like the iPhone
  • cases and peripherals (like the external keyboard, the different types of PC card accessories, etc.)
  • memory expansion capabilities (who still uses Flash PC cards?)
  • ability to change/swap batteries
The iSlate will beat the Newton in these areas:
  • color screen and graphics
  • wireless communications
  • processing power
  • total # of apps (including useful and useless apps)
  • multi-touch gestures
  • price
I'm eager to see what the iSlate looks like.

Using beta drivers on my Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After performing a clean installation of Windows 7 on my Lenovo ThinkPad X200 tablet PC, I noticed that the buttons on the screen bezel were not working. I have a few buttons that open menus, rotate screens, etc. They simply weren't doing anything.

So, I did some searching on Google and I found that Lenovo has a website where they list beta drivers for Windows 7. I installed the beta driver for the "Tablet Button Driver X200 Tablet" and my buttons started to work again!

If you're running Windows 7 on a Lenovo ThinkPad and you're experiencing any strange problems, you may want to see if Lenovo has a beta driver that could solve your problem. To view those Lenovo beta drivers, click here:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/WIN7-BETA.html

Run Windows 7 on a Mac (Boot Camp gets updated)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Have a Mac running OS X? Need to run Windows 7? You're no longer limited to Windows XP or Vista. Apple has updated Boot Camp so that you can install Windows 7. Click here to read the story on Engadget.

Re-installing Windows 7 on my Thinkpad X200 Tablet

I recently got a new hard drive so I'm now reinstalling Windows 7 on my Lenovo ThinkPad X200 tablet PC. I could have cloned my old hard drive, but I generally prefer the clean installation method. It gives me a chance to do a bit of housekeeping.

Thanks to a fast Internet connection, I was up and running in a very short amount of time. I used my Windows 7 DVD to install the OS, then I used a combination of the Lenovo System Update and the Microsoft Windows Update to install all the necessary drivers and system software.

If you're still running XP or Vista on a tablet PC, then you really should try Windows 7. I've found that this OS offers some great features for the tablet form factor. If you really need XP or Vista, then simply create a second partition and test drive Windows 7 on that second partition. If you're running out of space on your hard drive, then do what I did: upgrade to a larger HD.

More thoughts about the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid


I've always been a tablet PC user. I have a slate PC and a convertible tablet. In fact, my Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) is my notepad. I don't carry pens or paper when I go to a meeting. Instead, I pull out my executive case and my small little tablet.

the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is a novel concept and I'm very eager to get my hands on one of these devices. I think that this type of device could have many practical applications in the healthcare marketplace (both inpatient and outpatient settings) and I'd like to see how Lenovo will leverage this product in the healthcare sector. I'm sure other major hardware manufacturers will also come out with similar hybrid devices.

The IdeaPad U1 is a first generation hybrid, so unless you're a true early adopter, you're probably going to wait until the second or third generation hybrids hit the market. I'm anxious to also see what Apple will reveal when they announce their tablet (iSlate). I don't think it will be a hybrid tablet like the IdeaPad U1, but then again - maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.

Favorite Windows 7 Feature

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dell recently conducted a poll and they asked their customers, "What's your favorite Windows 7 feature?"

Are you surprised by the results? How would you have answered? Are you familiar with Aero Shake? Here's a description from Microsoft:
Ever need to cut through a cluttered desktop and quickly focus on a single window? Just click a pane and give your mouse a shake. Voila! Every open window except that one instantly disappears. Jiggle again—and your windows are back. (Who says the old mouse can’t learn a new trick?)
Personally, my favorite features is Snap:
Snap is a quick (and fun) new way to resize open windows, simply by dragging them to the edges of your screen.
Depending on where you drag a window, you can make it expand vertically, take up the entire screen, or appear side-by-side with another window. Snap makes reading, organizing, and comparing windows a...well, you get the picture.
With Snap, you can also do the following:
  • Arrange windows side by side on the desktop using Snap
  • Maximize windows using Snap
  • Expand windows vertically on the desktop using Snap

Waiting for details on the HP Slate tablet PC

Friday, January 15, 2010

We saw that HP revealed its "slate" tablet PC at CES. We want more details HP! Will this simply be a color digital reader running Amazon Kindle software? (in other words, a color Kindle) How well will it run Windows 7?

Here's a very short teaser video about the Slate.

My favorite mobile computer (Newton MessagePad)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I think my favorite mobile computer will always be the Apple Newton MessagePad. It really is a shame that Apple killed this wonderful product line many years ago. Just think of what could have happened with the Newton!

Maybe the iSlate will make up for it. Let's wait and see as January 26 rolls around. Will the rumors come true? Will the Apple tablet be a top seller in 2010?

Apple's iPad will be aimed at hospitals

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We all know that Apple will be announcing a tablet pretty soon. It's rumored to be called the iPad (and by now, I think we can depend on all the circulating rumors).

According to FierceMobileHealthcare, there are rumors of the Apple tablet circulating among doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Maybe this is not the consumer prototype and maybe Apple will launch a professional version of the iSlate for health care professionals. We really don't know and I'm not about to start rumors.

We all know that many physicians (and medical students) carry iPhone. Many nurses (and nursing students) also use the iPhone. The same can be said of pharmacists and all other healthcare professionals. So, if people are comfortable with the iPhone interface, then the iPad should be a piece of cake. We will definitely see more mobile devices used in the hospital setting. The iPad may even replace the use of some Mobile Clinical Assistants (maybe the iPad will clip to a mobile base that incorporates things like a barcode scanner, RFID reader, etc.).

Ubuntu on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm a big fan of Ubuntu because it's a free Linux operating system and it's always getting better with each release. The latest version is 9.10 and they even have a "netbook remix" version for netbooks.

I have an older ThinkPad X200 tablet PC (this model does not include a capacitive multi-touch screen). Although my tablet supports passive touch, it won't support multi-touch gestures. Ubuntu works just fine on my ThinkPad and it's a nice alternative for users who wish to avoid using Microsoft Windows.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge and X100e

I'm a big fan of mobile computers. I like my notebooks small and light. I'm also a fan of ThinkPads. I've owned ThinkPad laptops for over 10 years. They're very reliable and I have a high level of respect for these machines. My current mobile computer is a ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC. Lenovo just released two great ThinkPads:

The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge is a brand new system that is thin and light. It has a 13.3" screen and it's priced just right at $579. It's not too small like a netbook and it packs plenty of horsepower for people who wish to be productive while they're on the road.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X100e is an ultra-light ThinkPad that's priced at $449. Wow! The X-series used to be well over $1,000, but the X100e is breaking that trend by starting at a sub-$500 price point. This laptop has a 11.6" screen, so you may wonder if this laptop is more like a netbook. Rest assured, this laptop comes with a full-size keyboard. Here's how Lenovo describes this new X100e series: "Our first business entry ultraportable..."

These machines are priced just right. Hopefully, these low prices will drive the rest of the prices down on the Lenovo website. Although I like ThinkPads, I think they could be priced better. Plus, I think Lenovo should include Bluetooth as a standard feature. If you're looking for a nice ultra-portable laptop, you may want to consider the ThinkPad Edge and X100e.

Plastic Logic Que

Monday, January 11, 2010

According to the editors at PC World, the Plastic Logic Que was one of the "Best of CES 2010." Here's how they describe it:
E-readers were one of the hottest categories of the show this year, and the most compelling new model we've seen is the Plastic Logic Que. This 10.7-inch reader sports a capacitive-touch display that lets you gesture through page turns; it also downloads books from Barnes & Noble's e-book store. It will be available in April in a 4GB Wi-Fi version for $649, and an 8GB version with Wi-Fi and 3G for $799.
I'm not particularly excited about e-readers because I'm already a tablet user. I can read books on my tablets. So, why invest in a dedicated e-reader when I already have a device that does that already?

Mobile computers in the hospital

The last time you were in a hospital, did you notice many mobile computers? You may have seen some LCD monitors mounted on a rolling cart. Maybe you saw some nurses carrying little tablet-shaped mobile clinical assistants (MCAs) like the Motion C5. As hospitals become more digital, they will incorporate more computers into patient rooms, the walls, the waiting rooms, the common areas, and even the operating rooms. We'll have computers everywhere and they'll rely on wireless technology like Wi-Fi to communicate. Doctors will use them to enter orders (CPOE). Others will check labs and other test results on computes. Patient will also get to view some of their own health record information on tablets and other types of mobile devices. Plus, you can expect that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and social workers will all carry some type of mobile computer. The world of mobile computing will continue to explode in the health care industry as medical professionals recognize their need to stay connected and have access to vital information.

Tablets and netbooks are secondary devices

Sunday, January 10, 2010

For many individuals, gadgets like tablet PCs and netbooks are secondary devices. We may rely on a "heavy duty" desktop at home or in the office. We may even have a robust laptop/notebook that we use as our main machine. Then, we may carry a netbook, an ultra-mobile PC, or a small tablet as a secondary device.

For me, my Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC is my office "note pad." I try to avoid using paper whenever I can. So, I'm using Microsoft OneNote to take my notes during meetings. I'm constantly connected and I'm able to quickly look things up on a web browser. For these types of secondary devices, we really don't need to run a full operating system. Instead, a slimmed-down version or even a simple Linux OS is often quite sufficient. I think Lenovo has the right idea with their Skylight 10" mobile computer. Some are calling this a netbook, but this is somewhere between a netbook and a smartphone. It will be interesting to see how these secondary devices evolve as users recognize that they need for a robust solution at home and in the office and they don't need such a robust solution for a secondary device.

2010 will be the year of the mini slate tablet

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2009 was the year of the netbook.
2010 appears like it will be the year of the mini slate tablet.
  • There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the Apple tablet (iSlate).
  • HP unveiled a small slate at CES.
  • Lenovo revealed the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid (slate + keyboard)
  • Archos has been getting people excited about their Archos 9 PCtablet.
So, will these slate tablet gain momentum in 2010? I think that we're going to see this happen as more consumers embrace digital book readers like the Kindle, Nook, and QUE. People will become more comfortable with the idea of holding a slate in their hands and navigating that device using touch-screen gestures. Many health care professionals are already comfortable with the tablet PC form factor. Now, this comfort level will grow and expand as more physicians use touch-screen smartphones and recognize the value of always having access to a small mobile computer.

Missing the OQO at CES

Friday, January 8, 2010

I wonder if anyone attending CES misses the OQO. If I were in Vegas right now, I think I'd be looking for the OQO booth (I know that the company went out of business, but CES is the type of meeting where you'd expect surprises like an OQO exhibit).

There's a lot of buzz regarding slate mini-tablets. The HP Slate has drawn considerable attention. The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid has also received a lot of attention due to its innovative design. Forget about mini computers that have buttons and keyboards. Will 2010 be the "year of the slate tablet?"

HP Windows 7 Slate at CES

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Steve Ballmer revealed the HP Windows 7 Slate at CES the other day. Now here is a device that could be very applicable for the health care industry.You can view additional photos and videos at Gizmodo.

It looks like the Apple Tablet (iSlate) may be facing some competition when it gets released. Let's see when HP ends up releasing the Windows 7 Slate.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid looks very interesting

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lenovo may be coming out with a very novel device called the IdeaPad U1 hybrid. The photo on the right is from Engadget and they have several intriguing photos of this device. Why is it called a hybrid? It this a slate tablet? A notebook? A convertible tablet?

Does this remind you of the HP Compaq TC1000?

To view the images of the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid on Engadget, click here. I'm eager to learn more about the Skylight OS. Will Linux make it very far in the health IT world?

Will all future tablet PCs include multi-touch screens?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I think that all future touch-screen smartphones will include capacitive multi-touch screens. Will the same be true for tablet PCs? After all, I primarily use my Wacom digitizer when I'm using my tablet PC. Although it's capable of touch-based input, I don't use that very often since I'm a pen-based computing guy.

Will all future tablet PCs include a dual-input (some call this a dual digitizer) screen that will allow users to navigate using a pen as well as fingers? Are multi-touch features here to stay for tablet PCs? I'm still not entirely sure. Why? You see, capacitive multi-touch makes a lot of sense for smartphones that have small screens. I'm still not entirely convinced that they make sense for professional tablet PCs (I can definitely see their appeal for consumer-based tablet PCs).

Maybe the consumer market will drive tablet PC manufacturers to include multi-touch screens on all future tablets. Maybe the health care sector will only use tablets that include Wacom-based active digitizers that also include passive touch screens. After all, do you think you can use a capacitive touch screen if you're wearing hospital gloves? You can if you have a passive touch screen. 

UPMC vs. UMPC

Monday, January 4, 2010

UPMC = The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
UMPC = Ultra-Mobile PC

The two acronyms have the same letters, but in different arrangements. Can you see why people may get them confused?

Who came up with UMPC anyways? It's hardly used these days because the UMPC movement really never took off the ground and netbooks have swept the nation. Now, if a tiny tablet or other form of miniature PC appears, people are more inclined to call them "netbooks."

To add to the confusion, we're now seeing a major movement in digital book readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. As these devices evolve and incorporate color screens and Internet capabilities, how will they get classified? What will people call Apple's new iSlate tablet? Will they refer to it as a tablet PC? (I doubt that) or a giant iPod touch? (I doubt that too). They certainly won't call it a UMPC or a digital book reader (even though I'm sure it will be capable of displaying e-books).

We're causing mass confusion by adding more acronyms and names for these small gadgets that don't really fall into the category of "laptop" or "smartphone." Let's hope that 2010 is a year when we'll develop some type of standardization on this whole topic.

DisplayLink and using multiple monitors

Sunday, January 3, 2010


If you want to use multiple monitors simultaneously, then get a DisplayLink device. There are some monitors that incorporate DisplayLink technology so that you can use several monitors simultaneously. Some port replicators and docking stations also leverage DisplayLink technology so that you can easily use several monitors with your laptop, notebook, tablet PC, or netbook.

I'm able to do so much more by using multiple monitors simultaneously. At home, I mainly use my laptop, but I also use an external monitor and use the Extended Desktop feature so that I can work on both screens at the same time. At work, I have 3 monitors where I'm constantly moving windows around.

Omega-3 fatty acids and our health

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We've recently seen many reports talking about the health benefits of fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids. We've seen many health-related websites pop up such as http://www.omega3.org and others. Where did all of this excitement around omega-3 come from? Well, observational studies have shown that Greenland Eskimos who eat large amounts of fish have very low rates of heart attacks and other major cardiovascular events. Should we be eating more fish to avoid heart attacks? I enjoy eating fish, so I have no problems increasing my fish consumption on a routine basis. However, I know that many individuals either don't like fish or some are even allergic to fish. Maybe they need to use their computers and visit http://www.omega3.org to explore their options.

In a fairly recent clinical study, investigators noted that the use of omega-3 fatty acids decreased resting heart rate and also improved 1-minute heart rate recovery following exercise. This study was published in 2006 in the Am J Cardiol. One 2006 systematic review published in the journal Atherosclerosis explored how omega-3 impacted levels of triglycerides, HDL-C and LDL-C. HDL-C is the good type of cholesterol, so we want that to be high. Omega-3 lowers triglycerides and raises HDL-C and both of these are good changes. However, omega-3 also appears to raise LDL-C which is the bad cholesterol. So before you start taking any type of nutritional supplement, make sure to discuss things with your personal health care provider.

You can learn more about omega-3 fatty acids by visiting sites like http://www.omega3.org. Now that we've started the New Year, do you plan to eat more fish? Can't eat fish? Allergic to fish? Maybe you'll want to talk with your health care provider about taking some omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Become an empowered consumer in the New Year! Do your research by using the Internet and gain knowledge about the health effects of omega-3 fatty acids so that you can make an informed decision.

Google Chromium OS coming in 2010

I'm excited to test the Google Chromium OS in the New Year. I'm not a developer, so I'm not currently testing Google Chrome OS on any netbooks, but I think we'll see this OS appearing on more computers as a "quick boot" option. So, we'll see laptops and netbooks loaded with Microsoft Windows 7, but they'll also come with Google Chrome OS for users who wish to have an "instant on" option where they can quickly boot up, check their e-mail, browse the web, and turn it off.

Full color digital readers coming soon

Friday, January 1, 2010

When computers first appeared in the hands of consumers, they came with grayscale (aka monochrome) displays. The same was true for laptops and PDAs. Now, we're seeing that trend repeated with digital book readers. Books generally use black ink on white paper, so who needs color?

As digital readers like the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Digital Reader, and the Barnes and Noble Nook continue to evolve into a type of tablet computer, the need for a color screen will become inevitable. Soon, we'll be back to a tablet PC, but these devices won't have the same type of processing capability as what's found in modern computers. Let's see when Apple releases the iSlate.

So how will these digital readers evolve? I think it's fair to predict that they will incorporate color screens, have Wi-Fi, and have Internet capabilities. They will also be capable of e-mail and some type of multimedia (such as browsing images, playing videos, etc.). Will they get classified as a mobile internet device or MID? Perhaps they will get called a tablet internet device or TID. That will get confusing for physicians who prescribe drugs TID (three times/day).

At the end of the day, they will resemble very simple tablet PCs. How will this impact the medical community? Will health care students and working professionals get more comfortable working with slate tablets?

Happy New Year!

Wishing all my readers a wonderful Happy New Year! As we start 2010, think about all the computing advances that we'll see this year in the area of mobile computing. We're going to see smaller computers that are more power-efficient. We're going to see an increased uptake in mobile technology, ranging from smartphones to really small computers. We may even see Apple come out with a slate tablet (the iSlate) and digital book readers will gain more popularity.

About Dr. Joseph Kim

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Dr. Joseph Kim is the founder of MobileHealthComputing.com, 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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