S&R Blog

Will the Mac Tablet revolutionize EMRs?
January 7, 2010, 9:48 pm
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After a lull of about 6 months the Mac Tablet buzz has started to heat up again with Apple announcing its release for March. Like the iPhone before it, the medical community has started to hail the Mac Tablet as a revolutionary healthcare device, most notably for electronic medical records (EMRs). Ease-of-use has been a primary barrier to EMR adoption, so Apple – known for intuitive design and usability – would be welcomed by physicians.

The EMR possibilities for the Mac Tablet  have been covered in depth through an article at Softwareadvice.

“The Ultimate EMR User Interface
An Apple tablet would be the ultimate UI for electronic medical records. With a touch-screen display like the iPhone, using the EMR during an encounter would be simplified. For example, selecting an evaluation and management (E&M) code could be as easy as “dialing in” the code with a swipe of a finger…”

But are EMRs really making life for physicians easier? And will the Mac Tablet help? This video begs to differ.


25 things every pharma product manager should know before creating a marketing plan for 2010 and beyond
October 9, 2009, 2:52 pm
Filed under: advertising, behavior | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Plus a few more. If you are a non-believer in the effect of social media on the media landscape check out socialnomics. If you are a believer, then what you may not know is how other mediums are changing for the better or worse. Introducing, Did you know 4.0.

No longer a fantasy. Healthcare enters the realm of augmented reality.
September 1, 2009, 5:49 pm
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With the advent of mobile augmented reality apps and developers like Layar, what was once just a pipe dream in the minds of marketers just a few months ago is now a wide open canvas for innovation.  Recently, we discussed how healthcare could benefit immensely from the new augmented reality technology that was being developed for Android and the iPhone. And it looks like that day has arrived, according to a new interview Mobile Health News had with the developers of  Layar about new healthcare aps being developed for their augmented reality platform. Some of the key exchanges are below.

Are there any healthcare or related Layars currently available?

In the beginning, we launched in Holland and one of our original launch partners was Zekur.nl, which is a local healthcare provider. They have a specific health insurance offering, which is only available over the Internet and it is cheap because they only contract out their healthcare services to specific providers. So you can only go to “that” chiropractor and not the other one. In order to facilitate this and give their patients insights into which provider they can go to — they built one of the first Layars with us to point people to where they can go. This company is also very young so they needed the marketing push this platform would give them. The various healthcare providers covered by their insurance are what you can find [if you toggle] their Layar. That’s one of the first healthcare use cases.

Secondly, we have a general hospital Layar in Japan that enables users to point their phone in any direction and it shows them on their camera screen the closest hospitals or emergency rooms in that direction. This is like a healthcare directory service. Also, in Japan and in Holland there is a Layar that allows users to find the nearest AED, [which is an “automated external defibrillator” — a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation.] These are machines in public places that people can use on people who have heart attacks.

OK, I can see that service as being potentially useful — what’s next? Beyond just finding things through your mobile camera — how else can this platform better health or wellbeing? What other opportunities do you see?

Well, you know that I am a cancer survivor, right? So for me that is a good subject always and I know the Livestrong Foundation has a new campaign where you can make what’s called a Dedication Page. I made a Dedication Page for my wife, who was great to me and I express that through my Dedication Page. It is a great way to really capture that and to make other people aware of what people do in that circumstance. Those pages also include location information, so that could make a great Layar, where you could go to a Livestrong Dedication Layar and see, literally, how much “cancer” is all around you. I mean that in a good way — the Layar could make people aware of how much of an impact something like cancer has. Maybe as a part of that Layar you could make a donation or send flowers to someone, but really just to raise awareness and help people lend support, this Layar would be very effective. I didn’t know how much there was out there before I got sick. It’s good to put that information out there because for those who have it can know that they are not alone. I have emailed them, but I haven’t heard back yet.

Another way is for an epidemic type thing, which it may or may not be true for the H1N1, but you could use Layar to pinpoint where cases of [the H1N1 swine flue have been diagnosed], those may be areas that you might want to avoid.

One of the biggest challenges, especially in healthcare, is knowing where to go once you are in the hospital. This is more of a future application — we are not doing this yet — but say, you have an appointment with your specialist: Those are very expensive appointments so you need to make sure people know how to get there. Layar could point you to which door you should take to get you to the place you need to be in. This is not possible now, but I see it as a common use case for the future.

Read the full interview here.

Is pharma ready for the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?

I think so. Welcome to the world of socialnomics.

Want to avoid the swine flu? There’s an app for that.
August 11, 2009, 7:25 pm
Filed under: mobile | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

With news that Sanofi-Aventis has submitted a supplemental application with the FDA to get a license for its influenza A (H1N1) monovalent vaccine, it’s the perfect time to revisit what other apps (smartphone) have been submitted for review for help against the H1N1 virus.

Back in April, the swine flu craze was taking the world by storm, and useful applications and interactive tools were being introduced on a daily basis to make sure that the world was kept in a state of calm/paranoia.  Although some are more useful than others, the results prove that creative and effective tools can be developed for healthcare issues in record time.

Here are some of the contenders:


Swine Flu Tracker – An iPhone app developed by IntuApps allows you to see the current Threat Level for the disease, a map showing confirmed and suspected cases, a symptoms area to inform people, and an alert page for breaking news on Swine Flu.

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Swine Flu Map – An iPhone app developed by Andrea Albani displays the current spread of the H1N1 virus on a map and allows you to view global and local locations to pinpoint specific cases.

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Maps and trends

Google Flu Trends – A trends tool which uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity up to two weeks faster than traditional systems.

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Health Map – Interactive map that tracks the latest world-wide swine flu outbreaks through the use of Google Maps.

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Swine Flu Twitter Tracker – Allows you to track  the latest swine flu outbreaks using real-time Tweets and Goggle Maps.

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Which smartphone apps will own the healthcare market?
August 3, 2009, 4:11 pm
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Now that we know the iPhone (and other smartphones) have a place in the healthcare market, you might be interested in finding out how the healthcare market is using smartphones and what could be helpful  in the future.

Thankfully, the folks at Software Advice put together a piece called Smartphone Will Own the Healthcare Market, in which they surveyed 700 healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, students) about the use of smartphones in healthcare.

Some highlights are below:

Apps currently being used on smartphone

Smartphone uses

Desired apps for use on smartphone

Future smartphone uses

See all of the results here.

Augmented reality + mobile + pharma = bright future

Coming to a mobile phone (Android and iPhone) near you, in the not so distant future, is the world’s first Augmented Reality Browser – Layar. Layar is a free application for your mobile phone, which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone.

Layar is derived from location based services and works on mobile phones that include a camera, GPS and a compass. By looking through the phone’s camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, jobs, etc. I can see a world of opportunity for the healthcare industry, especially for providers and physicians. What do you see?