Tag Archives: mobile

Calibre ebook management & Dropbox

23 Sep

                

Today was a day of discovery. A discovery which looks to help with book management using the popular Calibre e-book management tool (http://calibre-ebook.com/) and file management across several (mobile) devices and the popular cloud service Dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com ). I can now integrate these with my favourite ebook reader on Android, Aldiko (http://goo.gl/2fnCH )

Introducing dropsync (http://www.ttxapps.com/dropsync) which seems to be the answer to the prayers of many people trying to keep their cloud storage synchronised with their laptop, desktop and any other mobile devices. An amazing thing about this – it is Android only at the moment! For an extra £3.99 you can unlock the full functionality of this tool (http://goo.gl/kDAGU ).

Anyone who uses an ebook reader like the Kindle and Kobo should have Calibre on their desktop. Using dropbox on the desktop with dropsync permits 2 way real-time synchronisation with your work at home, work and on your mobile device. You have full control over the folders you wish to manage in this way.

For my ebooks, this provides a very efficient way of keeping your ebook readers synchronised (be warned this will use a lot of data on your mobile plan, so you should only sync on WiFi unless you are on an unlimited data plan. If you are like me the tablet is not always available, so it can be helpful to have the document (book) updated automatically on the phone. For aldiko, the books are saved to /sdcard/eBooks so this is the folder which is synchronised on Dropbox.

Keeping working documents synchronised is also straightforward with dropsync.

Calibre companion (http://goo.gl/FEhO3 ) is a paid app (£1.99) which efficiently keeps your ebook library on your mobile device(s) up to date with your main Calibre ebook library. Just wirelessly connect the mobile device with your PC, tell Calibre companion where to store your ebooks (I chose the Aldiko ebook directory).

So one great program for Mac or Android to exploit cloud storage (dropbox), with two fabulous programs for android only at the moment to go further with real time synchronisation of any files/folders (Dropsync) and ebook management on your mobile devices (Calibre companion).

QR Codes

Calibre book management (Windows/android/Mac/Linux) (free)
Calibre companion (android) (£1.99)
Dropbox (android) (free)
Dropbox (windows) (free)
Dropbox (Mac) (free)
Dropsync (android) (free)
Dropsync Pro Key(android) (£3.99)
Aldiko ebook reader(android) (free) ($2.99 [in 2010])

eLearning Needs in NHS Sept 2012 #mobimooc

13 Sep

Mobimooc 2012 is up and running.  2 webinars have been well attended.  Regrettably the timing is not great for me – but the team has recorded the lectures 

By coincidence two new systems are due to launch in my region of UK.  An electronic prescribing system (EPS) and new telephone triage service (NHS 111)

NHS 111

http://goo.gl/ra2IE points to introduction to the system.  The NHS has also provided online introduction with accompanying slideshow here with direct link to the video Introduction to NHS 111

Here is a great example of mLearning in action but the local NHS managers insisted on practice teams send delegates to a meeting somewhere in my town.  Clearly this was a poor use of time for my practice manager.  With such a good presentation created, it is clear to me that the time taken for many people to get to the meeting would be better spent watching the slide show.  How patronising of our service managers!  There is apparently good evidence that the new system will be good for patients and reduce some of the demand on emergency services from (trivial) emergencies.

It does look like no-one locally is aware of mobile learning project management.  Here is  an excellent opportunity which has passed us by!  Notice there is no system on the website to help visitors assess their learning after reading the transcript while watching the slide show.  Why is the slide show an embedded video rather than posted on Slideshare, Brainshark, or other public cloud service?  How hard would it be to have a feedback form?

Whether the UK really needs another emergency number is a moot point now.  As a GP, this system looks to me a threat for the future primacy of General Practice as the first point of contact for health care questions by UK citizens.  This is sad.  In the not too distant future UK may come to regret the demise of the family doctor as an independent gatekeeper to healthcare services.  That is a discussion for a future post.

Electronic Prescribing System

I wish to share the following from my local medical committee concerning the roll out of the new electronic prescribing service because the rational behind it is described and the questions from my representatives focus us on another opportunity for eLearning.

NHS Bedfordshire and NHS Luton are working for Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) Release 2.  This will mean that the PCTs would then be enabled to allow practices and pharmacies to take part in EPS, if the practices and pharmacies want to.  This is part of a national programme.  We were told that EPS has been available in Hertfordshire for some time and that just under 30 practices are taking part in EPS there.  
We’ve seen documentation from Bedfordshire and Luton about what EPS is; what practices would have to do under EPS; what the criteria would be for selecting patients who could use EPS and what participating practices would need to do to support patients in making their choice; how patients would nominate which pharmacy they want to use for EPS and what the participating practice would need to do to facilitate this.

Beds LMC members recognised the positive objectives of the scheme, e.g.
It is supposed to reduce GP work load ultimately
It may be more convenient to the patient
It may reduce waste
It is understood that EPS will be optional for practices.
But Beds LMC members did have some concerns:
To what extent is it a whole new area of unfunded work in general practice?
Beds LMC members thought that EPS would create the following work:
1. GPs will be expected to identify suitable patients.
2. The GP has to look at all applications for it and make sure they do not have any of the exclusions (large groups of patients such as those on controlled drugs, anticoagulants and some others).
3. The GP or GP staff will be expected to promote and explain the process and follow this up in writing and collect a signature 
4. The practice will be expected to telephone suitable patients and offer it to them.
5. Time will be need to train GP staff.  Nothing about backfill for this.
6. All prescribers will have to use smartcards and be wary of prescribing some formulations or brands of medication which do not have a suitable barcode.  Not all practices use their “smartcards” when consulting because they cause their system to run slow and time out.  So clinicians log in and work offline.
Patients with regular repeat prescriptions tend to be patients on chronic disease registers.
On the rare occasions when patients such as this come in “just for a repeat prescription” it gives the GP an opportunity to pick up on preventative care, QoF items and other aspects of the health and wellbeing agenda.  In other words, the aspects GPs do not always have time for when dealing with acute illness in a 10 minute consultation.  Could the use of EPS actually reduce the level of care available for some patients?
Concerns that the EPS will not be a simple scheme, as some items cannot be included in EPS, so there would have to be two prescribing systems for EPS patients: one for EPS-included medications and one for EPS-excluded medications
Is there any evidence that EPS has saved time for GPs or staff in primary care?
If any Hertfordshire practices who are using EPS would be willing to share any of their experiences or would be able to answer any of the specific concerns listed, it would be very interesting to hear from you?

Here is my response:

Wow! How can such a simple idea as electronic repeat prescribing become so complex?

FIrst thoughts: I want nothing to do with a system with more bureacracy to set up. We have enough to deal with without this additional burden.

Second: The system is doomed unless bandwith of broadband connections is increased to cope with the demand from our desktops (and mobile devices). Currently broadband speed is around 10megabits per second down and 0.5 mb/s up, at least in Watford. Divide this by 8 prescription terminals and you can see the speed drop makes the system inoperable.

Third: Barcodes are not immune from corruption; at least several times a week a popup warns there has been a problem and the barcode should be scratched out. How do you do that with an electronic script?

Fourth: The main benefit of EPS is prescribing from mobile devices. With 4G/LTE imminent this seems practical so long as all prescribers have feature phones with the necessary hardware. I fear the powers that be are focussing on the wrong systems. We need secure login systems for iPhones/iPads and android devices to make EPS useful (e.g. prescribing urgent scripts on home visits, or residential facilities)

FIfth: How are pharmacists supposed to be persuaded to adopt this?

Sixth: Prescribing2U is already available. How does this differ from EPS 2?

Seventh: All HCPs who access clinical system must log in with NHS Smartcard. If there are hardware problems managing this, the IM&T teams across our area must fix these before rolling out EPS.

This system is being imposed on us on the background of a longterm agenda to cut the printed script costs.  There is also an agenda to improve security of prescribing.  Since proposed several years ago, IM&T systems and devices have evolved.  Mobile devices are so much more capable than before.  For example, my smartphone (HTC One X) is more powerful computer than my desktop system 10 years ago!

There is nothing in my local medical committee concerns nor in the NHS EPS background documents to indicate any desire to develop a mLearning project to aid in the implementation of this system.

Conclusion

Two new systems are being implemented shortly with the intention of improving patient care in an NHS region.  Two sophisticated organisations are responsible for the roll out of NHS 111 and EPS.  Neither seems to embrace education technology which, in my opinion, would ease the pain involved in changing behaviour of health care professionals and the public.

There is clearly a very long way to go to embed eLearning into the NHS.  This is a terrible state of affairs for a developed society.  It is ironic that some countries with large health care burdens (e.g. sub-Sahara Africa countries; South America countries) may be receiving superb instruction in mLearning systems.

I would love to see some discussion about the particular systems described above – your experiences of similar systems in your country, ideas on how to improve implementation, or anything else you think would be interesting.

Thank you in advance…

Barbara Ficarra: Social Networking On The Front Line Of New Modern Medicine

28 Jun

Barbara Ficarra: Social Networking On The Front Line Of New Modern Medicine.

 

In this post,  examples of medical professionals and hospitals engaging in social media, useful health sites and online communities for patients and more. Below, the questions:

  • How are medical professionals using social media to improve patient care?
  • Are hospitals embracing social media?
  • Why are patients so receptive to social media?
  • Why do patients engage in health communities and what kinds of communities are out there for patients looking for support?
  • What is the best advice for patients to get the most out of their health care?

Top 15 Free Android Medical apps for Healthcare professionals

23 Jun

Top 15 Free Android Medical apps for Healthcare professionals.

 

I am an unashamed android fanboy.  This post is just what healthcare folks who are android lovers have been wating for.  Worthwhile signing up to stay abreast of Android market additions for us.

Medical Apps for Android

23 Jun

Android

 

.Some of our favorite iPhone and iPad medical apps have finally come to the Android platform — and 5 medical apps we’re hoping come to the Android marketplace soon.

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