Doctors Overwhelmingly Choose iPhone Over Blackberry

27 07 2010

[Via C|Net Health Tech]

C|Net’s Elizabeth Moore relays the recently released results of the 2010 Spyglass Consorting Group’s report entitled ‘Trends in Mobile Communications’.  The group’s first investigation in 2006 found that 59% of doctors were using smartphones at the time; the number now has grown to 94%, exceeding adoption by the general public.

The group also reports that doctors prefer the iPhone over the BlackBerry 44 to 25% (I’ll assume that the other 25% prefer Android), and that 78% are frustrated with “difficulties accessing and communicating with colleagues in a timely manner”.

I find these statistics puzzling, and I therefore pose the following:

  • Why were only iPhone and BlackBerry surveyed?  What about Windows Mobile? (it is still around, after all)  What about Android?
  • I am actually surprised that BlackBerry lost by such a margin.  If the question was: “Which do you prefer?”  Perhaps doctors own personal/private biases might have influenced their answer (aka I think the iPhone is cool, so I must prefer it).  Also, perhaps their own personal experiences have frustrated them.  At least at Albany Medical Center, all the Pathology staff have company issued BlackBerrys, and none of them have iPhones.  I’d imagine most people can easily find gripes with their current devices, and, at the same time, look at other devices through rose-colored glasses.
  • At AMC, the only way to access your email on a mobile phone is via BlackBerry server since Exchange and OWA is blocked by our stellar IT department.  So for this reason, I think a RIM device actually makes more sense than other smartphones.  I hate that I can’t get my e-mail on my phone (I currently am using a Sprint Evo 4G running Android 2.1).  So perhaps it’s just my institution, but BlackBerry certainly keeps you more connected here than any other platform.
  • Sure the iPhone is constantly featured in the news and on the blogs for its cool medically relevant apps (my blog is certainly no exception), but how many are actually useful in day-to-day practice?  Very few for a Pathologist, and perhaps a handful for clinical docs.
  • Finally, while I might have guessed that most MD’s are quite tech savvy at one point in my life, I’ve since found that not to be true.  They probably mirror that of the general public more closely than most people assume, and as such, are equally as susceptible to the excellent marketing campaign put forth by Apple, and, therefore, have a better opinion of their products.

Ultimately, it’s probably a combination of all of the above observations/extrapolations that resulted in the great divide in opinion.  Alternatively, the results could be skewed by sample selection or sample size (as the C|Net article alludes to).  Finally, perhaps the results are totally valid, and my suspicions are unfounded! haha.

As to the 87% of people dissatisfied with their ability to communicate overall, I feel that this number is much lower than it should be.  Perhaps some docs don’t even realize how much easier life could be with new and evolving technologies being used in daily practice.  I mean, beepers?  Really?!?  Sigh.

Anyway, just some food for thought.  What are your opinions on this topic?  Is the a truly superior device/medical assistant?


Dragon Voice Dictation Arrives for iPhone OS4

26 07 2010

[Via Gizmodo]

The real question is: “So when can I start dictating cases on my phone?”  Basically as a joke, I’ve tried dictating a case or two using Android’s built in voice recognition, with laughable results.  With Dragon, however, you get some really solid architecture and a history of exceptional accuracy (at least in my opinion, on the desktop versions).  So, maybe companies like VoiceBrook should get on this ASAP so that if I’m not at my computer, I can still get out a coherent dictation on-the-go.  Necessary?  Absolutely not.  Cool?  Absolutely.

From the Press Release:

BURLINGTON, MA – July 23, 2010 – Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced the availability of Dragon Dictation 2.0, currently free on the Apple App Store. Dragon Dictation 2.0 is iOS4-compatible, and delivers multilingual support and a new easy-to-use interface for speaking text messages, emails and social media status updates without ever having to leave the application itself. First introduced in December 2009, the popular Dragon Dictation App has been downloaded by millions and ranks as a number one business productivity application that enables iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to speak text content for everything from email messages to blog posts.

Compendium of Pathology Links

23 07 2010

Below, you’ll find a list of links to some excellent Pathology-related websites from professional organizations, to study cases, to blogs.  These are all sites that I’ve found useful over the past three years, and hopefully they can be of use to you as well!

Obviously, this list is far from comprehensive, and if you have more links that you find useful, please post them as a comment below, as I’m sure we are all always looking for additional great online resources!



Helpful Websites (not exclusive):

Books with online resources (require purchase/registration):


  • See the Blog Roll on the right panel –>

The White Box

23 07 2010

Here in the Albany Med Pathology Department we maintain what’s called ‘The White Box’.  This box (which is actually gray, IRL) is for interesting cases that pop up during sign-out that are great, but not worthy of our weekly Uknowns conference.  It’s a great resource when you have some down-time, and the breadth of entities that cruise across the stages here at AMC is pretty amazing.

I’m sure most, if not all, programs have a similar box, or tray, or drawer, etc. available for their residents, but I have taken on a small project here to digitize and catalog the cases for easier retrieval, and, possibly, for online slide box publication.  So far, I’ve just been filing all the cases in a small folder on one of our servers, with an associated Excel spreadsheet containing case information and links to the images.  While I am user of the BioImagene-sponsored PathXChange, I’ve been keeping it local so far.

The two major problems I’ve run into so far are: 1)time and 2) support.  I can’t possibly maintain the database and image acquisition myself.  On any given week, 20-40 cases go through the box, and even if I tried my hardest, I don’t think I could maintain that pace.  I would love to have some help, but my coworkers are all as busy as I am, so that seems unlikely.  In addition, it seems that the creation of associated educational blurbs (a la Hopkins Unknowns Website), was not well received by the attendings here either (due to the same time constraint issue).

So, I guess the W-Box will never take off here to become a nationally or world-renown Mecca of pathologic entities and teaching sets, but it is still a fun hobby and a great way to build up a personal collection that I can tote around on a thumb drive instead of a steamer trunk full of brittle glass…

UPDATE:  I think it’s interesting how other people choose to share their cases online as well.  As you can see, on the right side panel, I have a Flickr page that I’ve posted some interesting cases to.  In addition there are a few Twitter Feeds that I follow that post cases and there’s at least two Facebook pages that have unknown-type photo albums.  I think that is REALLY cool.  Granted, it results in some fragmentation, but I like it because, ultimately, the more options you have at your disposal, the better off you are, imho.

MDiTV – Medical News IPTV Channel

22 07 2010

[From MedGadget]

Medical Doctor Interactive Television (MDiTV) is a new online network featuring daily medical news videos. Its presenters include ex-CNN anchors Andrew Holtz and Cathy Marshall, who present short videos on medical news mixed with longer items giving more background information. Additionally, they hope to premiere live surgeries and to broadcast medical meetings. Surgeries and medical meetings will be presented in a way similar to how ESPN presents a sporting event, according to Robert Lazzara, cardiac surgeon and founder and CEO of the website. A mobile application for iPhone and iPad users to access the network’s programming is also planned.”

PowerPoint: Tips to Giving a Better Presentation

21 07 2010

To be a pathologist is to be a teacher.   Whether it be giving resident lectures, conference presentations, tumor boards or even something as simple as in-house consults, we pathologists are constantly called on to share our knowledge with others.  One of the major vehicles for the delivery of said information is via PowerPoint (or maybe KeyNote if you are a Mac head, or maybe Open Office if you are a Linux hippie) presentations.  However, just because we are called on to teach, it does not mean that we are all GOOD at it.

As a PGY-4, I’ve basically been given PowerPoint presentations every day for… oh, say… the last 11 years.  I’ve seen every type of presenter/presentation over this time, and I’m sure you will all agree with me when I say that the success or failure of a lecture is almost more reliant on how dynamic the presenter is rather than how intriguing the content is.  I’ve seen the most boring, droll content be metamorphosed into vibrant memorable stories, and I’ve borne witness to the bastardization of  some of my most favorite topics.  Now, granted, not everyone is Steve Jobs, but there are a number of tips and tricks out there on how to improve on your presentations and your presentation skills.  I’ll link a couple of my favorite below:

And once you are done with your snazzy show, don’t forget to upload it to so for all the world to see (aka steal slides from).

In the end, the more ammunition you have before you go into a fight, the better off you are.  There is no substitute for good preparation (someone once told me about the 7 P’s, and I think they are certainly relevant here).  Hopefully some of these links will help you the next time you have to give a talk.

Cell Counting Cryptogram Challenge

13 07 2010

[via MedGadget]

GEN (Genetic Engineering & BioTech News) is sponsoring a contest over at it’s website.  If you can decipher the posted cryptogram, you get a cash prize as well as a free lab analyzer of your choice!  Let the nerdy fun ensue…

From the GEN website:

GEN’s latest online contest is based on Cell Counting. Crack the code and become a Challenge “celebrity.”  Wondering what this colorful image means? How does it relate to cell counting? Use your analytical skills to decipher the hidden message. Be the first one to reveal the solution and win $1,500 and your choice of one of five Bio-Rad benchtop devices.  Peter C. Johnson, M.D., President and CEO of Scintellix, LLC, has created this tantalizing cipher. […] you will get a free T-shirt depicting the cryptogram image if you are among the first 150 registrants.

Good Luck!

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