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Best Tech Medicine Posts of 2008 (Part 2)

New Years 2008Image by satosphere via Flickr
Happy New Year. The following is part 2 of a collection of the best posts from Tech Medicine in 2008.

The New 3G iPhone, Doctors, The App Store, and Medicine
What follows is the result of a brief brainstorming session about potential applications of the iPhone for doctors. Some have already been announced for the iPhone, are available on other platforms, or are currently in development. Let's see how many of these applications are eventually released and sold in the App store. My guess? All of them.
Your Next Stethoscope Should be Electronic. Here's Why. (Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Review)
To test the performance of the Model 3000, an internal medicine resident and I listened to the heart of a patient with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. We each auscultated the patient's murmur with both a conventional acoustic stethoscope and the Model 3000 — but to level the playing field, we placed the electronic stethoscope on the patient's hospital gown and placed the acoustic stethoscope directly on the patient's skin. We heard the patient's murmur better with the electronic stethoscope on the patient's clothes than we did with the acoustic stethoscope on bare skin.
The Doctor's Room on FriendFeed
Enter FriendFeed, founded by a few ex-Google employees. The entire service is based on an obvious concept — that people you like can introduce you to information you’re likely to enjoy. (Strangely, although the concept is obvious, it’s difficult to wrap your brain around, and it took me months before I really understood it.) Briefly, FriendFeed allows you to create a stream (or feed) of your activities on the net — blog posts, pictures or videos you like, comments on Twitter, and data from over 40 other services that you may choose to share. Other people can then “subscribe” to you, see what you’re doing, and post comments on your feed.
How Doctors Can Use Evernote As A Professional Memory Accessible Anywhere (Part 1 of 3)
In contrast, the digital world — and we can substitute "cyberspace" or
"the cloud" or your favorite phrase here — is inhabited by electronic
medical records, web-based email, and online databases. The
characteristic of this world is that information is searchable,
available-anywhere, and (hopefully) securely backed-up online in
multiple locations.
Bulletproof Backup Strategies
The ideal backup system should be invisible — that is, you should "set it
and forget it," but trust that it will work when you most need it.
Fortunately, the price of online storage and of external hard drives
has plummeted in recent years, and backup systems have become simpler,
more reliable, and less expensive.
Creating a Voicemail System for Patients using Free or Inexpensive Services Online (Google's Grand Central and CommuniKate)
One of the biggest flaws with the telephone system in many doctor's offices
is that human beings — with limited time and attention — are often
involved when they don’t need to be. They spend too much time triaging
calls and scribbling down messages. And when humans really do need to
be involved, they’re busy, much to the frustration of patients calling
the typical doctor’s office.
100+ Tips for Doctors on Call (Part 1)
Several weekends ago, while seeing nearly fifty patients in the hospital, I
asked readers of this blog and my followers on Twitter a question:
"What advice do you have for physicians on call?"
Twitter Dispatches from the New England Journal of Medicine's Horizons Conference
We can be thankful for a new trend that's emerged among medical bloggers: twittering useful dispatches from the conferences they attend.
Medical Applications in the iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch
As of this writing, there are are over 100 medical applications for the
iPhone and the iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store. (The link is here.)
Less than six months ago, as the store was launched, I tried to guess
what applications might become available. Let's revisit that list to
see which apps have been released so far.
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About the Author


Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.