The Unwired Medic

Teaching EMS providers & other public safety pros about using mobile tech to improve their practice, patient care, continuing education, scene safety, general entertainment, & productivity.

September 18, 2014
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

Are You Kilted?

More than half of September has passed and the Kilted To Kick Cancer (KTKC) campaign is gaining a lot of attention nationally, spreading the word to gain awareness about male specific cancers. Fantastic! It’s gaining traction that it’s okay to talk about male health concerns as openly as women discuss breast cancer. But… we have a long way to go.

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If you are reading this, you’re already of the fact that you are or know a man who is going to get prostate and/or testicular cancer. The statistics for prostate cancer compared to breast cancer are truly alarming. Women face the likelihood that they are the 1 in 8 who will contract invasive breast cancer, whereas men face the high probability that they will be the 1 out of 7 men who get prostate cancer (the good news being that is this improved from last year’s rate of 1 out of 6). The fatality rates are identical for breast and prostate cancers at 1 in 36.

So why aren’t we talking about it more?

Breast cancer advocacy is strong in the US, due in no small part to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and awareness tools like the Pink Ribbon. Some fun with awareness has made its way into mainstream society too. For instance, “Save The TaTas” or “Save Second Base”. Not having a ribbon color to adopt, the KTKC founders adopted the most manly thing they could find… the kilt!

So, for September, the KTKC Army wear kilts every day we can to raise awareness about male-specific cancers. It’s a great conversation starter, and every day this month I have worn mine, it has been the conversational segue into proselytizing about KTKC. I keep a few business cards around and pass them out to people I tell about KTKC. Men, women, young, old, it doesn’t matter. I tell everyone.

Prostate cancer risk increases proportionally after the age of 40, and it is recommended that men get their prostate checks and PSA blood draw annually, just as women should be getting their mammograms annually.

So man up!

If the ladies can endure a machine squishing their bosom for 15-30 minutes. A prostate check is over in less than a minute. Suck it up and get your caboose to the doctor and get it checked. The longer you wait, the harder the treatment course. Women should do monthly breast exams. Men, check your sack! 5 minutes of self-exam is more than enough. Hey, it can even be a co-ed exam! Your mate may spot something you don’t!

So you know to Get Checked, now Get Kilted!

So you say you have or will get checked. Super! But you’re hesitant to get a kilt. Why? You aren’t Scottish? So what! You can get a plain kilt like the one I have pictured above, which is more formal, or a tactical kilt :-* , or a clan tartan. You can wear the colors of your branch of military (my Leatherneck Tartan will arrive in a couple days), or even your favorite pro football team.

So this is your multiple choice challenge from me. Pick one, pick many, pick all:

  1. (Required:) Get Checked!
  2. (Strongly Recommended:) Get Kilted! (see recommendations below)
  3. (Critical:) Go to bit.ly/getkilted – Learn more about male-specific cancers and make a tax deductible donation to KTKC! Make sure to select “Team Unwired Medic” on the donation page!
  4. (Extremely Dedicated:) Take the #DunkYourJunk Ice Challenge! Go to  the KTKC Facebook page at to see how it’s done! Note: Not for the faint of heart. This also provides demonstrative proof that you do not suffer from Low-T! You also don’t get credit for this unless you publicly post video proof.
  5. (Altruistic:) Spread the word! Reblog this! Share it on your social media profiles (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc.!

Thanks for reading my blog and learning about male-specific cancers and the Kilted To Kick Cancer campaign. Be safe and be blessed!


Where to get a kilt:
Alt.Kilt (KTKC Sponsor)
SportKilt (KTKC Sponsor)
Atlanta Kilts
Highland Kilts
5.11 Tactical (limited availability annually)
UtiliKilts
Linda Clifford
Kilt & Thistle Scottish Shoppe
The Celtic Croft


 

What does a kilt cost?
Economy kilts can be found at some of the sites I mentioned for even as low as $50, but you get what you pay for, so it may be adequate for your needs or suitable for short-term use, but may not hold up over time. Mid-grade kilts that use only ~3 yards of fabric and are fleece or acrylic fabrics are about $89-120 off the shelf, with custom options adding cost (buckles, belt loops, fringe, stitched pleats, etc.). True wool, formal kilts can start at $400 and go up, but are suitable for weddings and black tie events, and you usually get 5-8 yards of fabric.


 

What accessories can you use?
Sporran (essential)
Kilt pin (essential)
Leather Belt, 2″+ (recommended)
Sash and broach (formal)
Highland shirt
Headgear
Kilt hose and flashes
Ghillie brogues (footwear)

September 8, 2014
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

Infomercials Inspire Confidence

I have to say I find more confidence in a product advertised on an infomercial. When they slash 75% off the retail price, then as I’m picking up my phone to dial and order, they double-down and offer a second identical item and add some special bonuses for just the cost of separate postage and handling! Mind blown! Then they add an additional money back guarantee, so I feel like I have nothing to lose!

I wonder if we can start selling backboards this way?

They’re so versatile! Use them as a coffee table or a spare surfboard, then, when you are out of project space, flip it and turn it into a portable workbench! Did granny FDGB? Get her to the car with your backboard and some duct tape!

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Image credit: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/67/8a/4f/678a4f7fe41c876ccb65b2c52c9fde75.jpg

Did the po-po kick down your door in another bullsh– raid? Just take two backboards and tape them to the door frame! Got a saggy mattress? Just slip your backboard between the mattress and boxspring! Having a hard time painting that second floor of your house? Just place a backboard between two ladders and VOILA! Instant plank!

Don’t wait! Order now… But, wait, if you call in the next 30 seconds, we’ll throw in a second backboard ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! (Just pay separate processing and handling) Not enough? Well act now and we’ll throw in a set of removable seatbelts and a roll of camouflage duct tape! Call 1-800-4-DARWIN right now!

Disclaimers: Not available in all areas. Product shown may not be identical to the product you receive. This post is satirical. If you don’t understand the word “satirical”, please visit the following website: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/satirical

August 30, 2014
by The Unwired Medic
1 Comment

Feast Yer Eyes!

I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a few months (3 jobs, a family, and full-time school to get my BS-IT will force you to do that). Well, if this Jarhead expects to make a triumphant return, I guess this is about the best reason to have…

Team Unwired Medic” Joins The

Kilted To Kick Cancer – 2014 Campaign

This will be my first year participating in the Kilted Army. I feel so strongly about supporting this year that I’m getting my very first kilt, even though I haven’t the faintest idea how Scottish I am. But, I am Once A Marine, so I’ve at least earned the right to sport the Leatherneck Tartan. So, ladies and mateys, get ready to…

“Feast yer eyes!”

image

 

That’s (an older) me, flashing Kelly Grayson, by the way. Join me and the rest of the Kilted To Kick Cancer (KTKC) Army throughout September as we raise awareness (and funds) for Prostate and Testicular cancers.  So far, in its short history, KTKC has raised over $50,000 for male-specific cancers. Jump in and help us raise more. Raise awareness by talking with your bro’s. Need some talking points? Got ‘em right here…

More euphemisms and puns than you can shake a stick at:

  • Don’t get sick – Check your stick!
  • Don’t be a putz – Check your nuts!
  • Before it turns black, check your sack!
  • Don’t be a dud – Every year, check your blood!
  • Although it ain’t super to get checked in the pooper, your monkey will say thanks during the subsequent spanks!
  • Check your prostate before you become prostrate!
  • Don’t be silly – Go see your doctor and check your willy!
  • Don’t get the funk – Check your junk!
  • Check ‘em in the shower – You have the power!
  • You can’t go wrong if you check your schlong!
  • Here’s a PSA to get your annual PSA!
  • Even a monk needs to check his junk!

Feel free to comment with your own. :-)

This is my rifle! This is my gun!

This is my rifle, this is my gun! This one’s for fighting, this one’s for fun! – From Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 movie, “Full Metal Jacket”.

Now, for a brief (hahaha, brief) pause in the silliness – Time for some serious facts:

September is prostate cancer awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 7 men will contract prostate cancer, whereas 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. Men, it is just as fatal as breast cancer (which, incidentally, also can affect men). Presently, 1 in 36 men will die from prostate cancer, just like 1 in 36 women will die from breast cancer. This trails just behind lung cancer deaths for both sexes. Additionally about 1 in 270 men will contract testicular cancer. These are mostly treatable diseases. Prostate cancer is predominantly diagnosed in mature men (>60), but it isn’t exclusively old man’s diseases. Some are diagnosed as early as their 40’s. In fact, testicular cancer is more of a younger man’s disease, most prominent in post-adolescent and middle-aged men. 1 in 5,000 will die from testicular cancer. Serious enough?

Are you willing to live with those risks? What about you as a cancer survivor? Are you willing to live with the complications? It’s not just about live-or-die. What about impaired sexual function? Sex is an important part of life and a man’s self-image, in your teens, adulthood, and, yes, even your years in maturity (eww, grandparent nookie!). Besides, if sex wasn’t so great, we wouldn’t have a booming world population, right? What about just going to the bathroom? Is it more honorable to be stoic and go 30x/day and to get up at least 4x/night to dribble a little pee than to be the guy who doesn’t have to fight his own body to pee?  I don’t know about you, but my penis is EXIT ONLY! I don’t relish the idea of having to stick a catheter or dilator wand (read: Roto-Rooter) up there just to go to the bathroom.

As is mentioned on the KTKC blog PSA, if 1 in 36 men were getting killed by buses, we’d be doing something more about it. Now is the time! You are the person to act!


 

How can you help?

The first step is to spread awareness. Wear a kilt – ladies, there are kilts designed for you too. Talk to other men (and women!) about exactly “what’s going on under there”. Get a KTKC t-shirt and wear it everywhere you can, whether you have a kilt or not. Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, MySpace, AOL, Prodigy, Earthlink, your own webpage, e-mail, or even by word of mouth. Also, check out this video by The Happy Medic and Motorcop, “Dunk Your Junk” at http://youtu.be/F_fxdMCysBc/. Don’t forget to share it too!

Second, get yer arse to the doctor! Literally! Get your annual prostate exam. Suck it up, buttercup! Drop your drawers or lift your kilt and get poked and prodded. Is it uncomfortable? Perhaps, but it isn’t as bad as a mammogram, right ladies? Oh, and speaking to the ladies, nothing can move a stubborn ox like a good nagging from the old ball and chain. (See what I did there?) Be relentless and remind him that his duties to you and family include taking care of himself. Ladies, you get your annual squishy smooshy, so make him go get his annual blood test and grab his knees. It’s only fair, right!

Third, to find a cure takes research; to research takes money. Funding for research of causes and treatments for these cancers matters. Last year, it was 1 in 6 men. Now it’s 1 in 7 men. It may not seem like a lot of difference, But personally, I’d rather be one of the seven that doesn’t get prostate cancer or can at least catch it early.

To provide awareness campaigns also takes money. If you are so motivated and enabled, PLEASE make a tax-deductible donation to KTKC, a 501(c)3 organization, on the following page:

http://bit.ly/ktkcdonate

Follow the tips in this infogram to help Team Unwired Medic win the team contest! Whether you donate and pick Team Unwired Medic, don’t donate and can spread awareness, or if you donate without picking my team, THANK YOU!!!

KTKC Team Donation Helper

Select “Team Unwired Medic” to help us win!

 

Thanks for helping to raise awareness! Now go forth and spread the, um… er… good news… in a kilt!

Kilted To Kick Cancer

Kilted To Kick Cancer

April 1, 2014
by The Unwired Medic
1 Comment

FDNY Agency Name Change

EMSNY's proposed uniform patch design

Here’s a sketch of the new EMSNY uniform patch. Details should be finalized early June 2014.

In a stunning move, today FDNY formally announced they are changing their agency name to EMSNY.  This move comes in light of agency audits conducted of FDNY’s call statistics dating back more than two decades.  For example, just in February 2014, FDNY ran 4,609 structure and non-structure fire calls, but ran 15,167 medical emergencies (grand total of 38,188 calls)* (330% more than fire calls).  FDNY’s EMS division, however, ran 110,154 ambulance calls in February 2014**.  (Editor comment: please note the enormous disparity in call volumes for fire suppression and non-medical – 20%, versus medical calls – 80%.)  This is a typical monthly example.

FDNY’s Interim EMS Chief, Phil Anselmo, says this name change has been considered for the last three years, but has been put off due to the expense of changing station shirts, patches, and stationary.  “Really, this should have happened years ago, as FDNY has run more significantly EMS calls than fire for the last two decades.  You know the old adage, ‘150 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress.'”

While the FDNY’s ambulance drivers are lauding the decision which they believe shines a bright light on the department’s most significant investment of time and labor, not everyone is pleased with this bold move.  Firefighter/Engineer Terry Glaze believes this will remove firefighters from the limelight.  “I have over 25 t-shirts with flames and bulldogs, and my favorite one is ‘Find ‘Em Hot and Leave ‘Em Wet‘.  I’ll have to replace them as they won’t be authorized under the new uniform standards,” says Glaze.  To pad the egos of the single-function firefighters who may not fully embrace this long-overdue change, the department will allow blue EMS-themed t-shirts that feature the grim reaper, blue flames, and skulls, and references to “cheating death”.

Union vice chairman David Peacock is expected to file grievances against FDNY EMSNY and are considering filing for legal protection of the FDNY department name.  As the case is ongoing, no comments were offered by the Union.

Ambulance driver Donnie Hart hopes the city will start spending less money on suppression apparatus and more money on better ambulances.  “Honestly, who spends 3/4 of a million bucks on a fire truck? I could buy, like, 10 ambulances for that!”

* – http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/pdf/stats/2014/fire/cw/fire_cwsum_0214.pdf

** – http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/pdf/stats/2014/ems/cw/ems_cwsum_0214.pdf

*** – Legal disclaimers: This post is a spoof article on honor of 01 April 2014.  The names used in this article are not intended to reflect actual staff of the FDNY EMSNY.  Names and likenesses are purely coincidental, even though they do accurately resemble men known to sport big hair in the 1980’s.  If you believe that the nation’s largest fire department, a.k.a. New York’s Bravest, would actually change their agency’s name to reflect the significant majority of work they actually perform, you should consider seeking counseling and researching the word, “gullible” (I hear if you say that word slowly, it sounds like “oranges”).  No part of this article should be construed to imply that the author does not appreciate the fine work firefighters perform all over the world everyday and the value they bring in support of the EMS mission.  The author himself has even been a firefighter in the distant past.  The article is intended to bring light to the dark side of the fire service, gollum.

March 18, 2014
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

Who’s Packing Your Parachute?

I read an article today in the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) magazine about “Life’s Parachutes”, a story about Charles Plumb, a Naval Fighter Pilot shot down over Vietnam and was subsequently a POW for six years. Plumb was back in the US dining with his wife at a restaurant when a man walked up to him and said, “You’re Plumb. You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down.” The man who approached Plumb said he packed Plumb’s parachute. You can imagine Plumb’s gratitude.

parachute

Photo credit: www.sxc.hu; User: pixelbase; http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=616941

This story made me think of how we often take our vehicle stock techs and maintenance staff for granted. They’re packing our parachutes every day so we can go out on our missions to provide EMS to the communities we serve. Their ability to do their jobs correctly and completely ensure we aren’t doing a disservice to our communities or putting us at liability for abandonment or failure to provide adequate care to our patients.

I had a significant problem with some supply techs at a previous employer, and was burned a few times, having LSB’s with incomplete straps (when it was still acceptable to use them for all manner of trauma patients), missing a pedi BVM from the cabinet on a traumatic arrest peds (I had my second in the peds bag, but that cost me time to ventilation), etc. I worked with the logistics manager for several months to refine the restock process, implementing a QA process and shrink-wrapped bins through a supply-line, and one of the goals was to ensure every unit in the fleet of 43 ambulances was identically configured for consistency. I got a lot of flack from management for leaving the HQ over an hour late every shift for several months (no overtime was allowed so I couldn’t come in early to complete my checks) as I checked every single piece of equipment and inventoried the entire unit, but there were failures and missing items every day. I made a deal that if my unit was perfect every day for two weeks, I would leave on time and perform my checks in the field on my downtime, but not until then as it was my license on the line. No one would come back to a logistics manager or supply tech and tell them they couldn’t practice supplying anymore, but I could be held liable by the state for failures or missing equipment, and I wouldn’t live with causing harm or not being able to help my patient due to a problem. I still opened every single shrink-wrapped bin (much to the chagrin of supply and management) for another two weeks until I was comfortable with results of the new process, but eventually, I didn’t even need to do that anymore. The deal worked and I never had another supply problem at that agency. It took time to trust, but eventually, I trusted my parachute to open every time without fail and it did. I don’t work for the agency anymore, but I still keep in contact with a few of the supply techs and supervisors. They aren’t nameless, faceless, automatons. Many of them would later move on to becoming field providers there or at another agency. I never made friends with the fleet people, but I didn’t cause them any trouble and when I had an issue, they took it seriously and fixed it the best they could, and I’d like to believe it was due to some mutual respect.

Plumb delivers speeches and presentations now and one of his questions to his audience is, “Who’s packing your parachute?”

Read the DAV Magazine article on page 27 of the pdf magazine here: https://www.dav.org/wp-content/uploads/magazine_201402.pdf

February 19, 2014
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

It’s like Instagram for Healthcare

I just got word that the Figure 1 app that was previously only available for iOS is now available for Android.  I now have an account, and if you happen to be one of the first 1,000 to sign up for a free account, you are in the mix for a $25 Google Play gift card.

Figure 1 is like Instagram, but for healthcare professionals.  You can crowdsource a photo to see if you can come up with a probable diagnosis, say for something like a skin rash, or use the app as a way to share a rare encounter with a medical condition.  I have seen radiology films and quick smartphone snapshots uploaded through the app.  I expect to see a lot of images of dislocations, avulsions, amputations, obvious fractures, rashes, and more.

The Figure 1 apps could also be a great teaching tool to support anatomy and physiology lectures.

You can register for a free account right from the app, and if you are also a presently licensed physician, you can have your account verified.  If you are a Paramedic, you should choose “Other Healthcare Professional” and scroll down to “Paramedic”.

If you happen to grab the app, sign up for an account, and connect with Figure 1 on social media (Twitter and Facebook), please let them know that The Unwired Medic pointed you their way. :-)

November 2, 2013
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

Mutual Aid Requested – November 2013

I have been more than busy with working at three jobs and going back to school to get my Bachelor’s Degree in IT, so I am sorry I haven’t posted much on my blog or social media sites.  I’m making a diligent effort to get back into posting regularly.  This time, I haven’t had the occasion to test any new apps or equipment, but I have come across a few tech articles that I think are worth mentioning.  Be safe out there!

Health data on your smartphone:

Samsung and Cigna are partnering to harness the broad base of users on the Samsung S Health platform (announced on October 28th, 2013).  Apparently, when used on the Galaxy S4, the S Health app has the ability to monitor activity, ambient temp and humidity, and allows you to log your food and exercise activity, which for now sounds just like  what you can do with apps like Edomondo and others, but it will allow partnering with many other devices, probably like the Samsung Body Scale, a heart rate monitor, probably a pedometer or FitBit, glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, etc., in an effort to bring telemedicine to a cell phone.  I hope to be able to bring you much more on this as my full-time job is expecting to replace my iPhone 4S with a Galaxy Note 3 in the next couple of weeks to upgrade me to 4G and a better platform to administrate the Critical Incident Management System (CIMS) I’m in charge of.  From what I’ve found, it too will include access to the S Health app.  Unfortunately, the price of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is too high for me to pick up as an accessory, though I’m sure the S Health app will use data retrieved from it too.

Read what the HIT Consultant has to say about this partnership here: http://www.hitconsultant.net/2013/10/28/samsung-partners-with-cigna-mobile-health/

MobiHealthNews: http://mobihealthnews.com/26771/samsung-cigna-partner-to-expand-s-health-app/

Cigna made an official announcement on their site here: http://newsroom.cigna.com/NewsReleases/cigna-and-samsung-team-up-to-deliver-digital-health-improvement-platform-worldwide.htm

iMedicalApps.com:

From time to time, I write professionally for iMedicalApps.com, providing special project articles on EMS-relevant technology or apps, but I’m not linking to any of my own articles in this post.  Instead, I’d like to show you some of the neat things their regular writing staff have come across and evaluated that may be of use to us in the prehospital care arena, and maybe also for some of you branching into Community Paramedicine.  Caveat: Not every app or device is free…

I miss having my old OB Wheel app for my Palm m125 and Treo.  Unfortunately, it isn’t compatible with any newer generation devices.  Finally, a good substitute has arrived.  A new OB wheel app: http://www.imedicalapps.com/2013/10/medical-app-replace-pregnancy-ob-wheel/

The future of wearable sensors in healthcare: http://www.imedicalapps.com/2013/10/body-computing-conference-panel-sensors/

Use of a virtual procedure app improves intubation success rate: http://www.imedicalapps.com/2013/09/virtual-procedure-app-intubation-success/

 

September 24, 2013
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

iOS 7 Security Flaw in Siri

Apple is waving the victory banner over the tremendous amount of users who have upgraded their devices to iOS7 or have bought the new iPhone 5c and 5s with iOS7. Truly they have achieved success, but because of that success, they are the target of those who would hack and compromise the security of their devices and software.

Application security vendor, Cenzic, has discovered a flaw that allows a person to access a locked device without the password using Siri to send Facebook messages posing as the device owner. They have also been able to text, e-mail, and access contacts. The flaws also exist in iOS6, but apparently to a more limited extent. They recommend disabling Siri until Apple fixes the compromised code.

Read more about this from: Dark Reading article

August 15, 2013
by The Unwired Medic
0 comments

Not ANOTHER Business Card!

Networking and socializing

Business Card HandoffYou just made a new contact at the conference. Great! Networking in action! It helps you to find a new job, learn about a new product or training, or catch up with a colleague from years past. Now how are you going to remember their info to get ahold of them later? Yep, they gave you yet another business card. You drop that in the free promotional materials bag right next to the 200 others that are probably meaningless. How in the world are you expected to keep track of all these things? You could write a note on the back of the card. Like so many others’ cards, my cards are UV coated on both sides, so you’ll need a Sharpie. If you have one, my background graphics don’t facilitate legibility. So, this tactic may not work right in all cases.

As for myself, I like to digitize the card. If it’s a routine card exchange, I drop it in the bag and scan it that night when I have a chance to lay out my promo materials and books, and I’m recapping the day. If I think it is really important, I make sure to scan it right away. I’m a geek! When I do that, I leave an impression on the person that I get the card from. Usually, they stop what they are doing or talking about and ask me about what I’m doing. I reply that their info is important and I don’t want it lost in the shuffle, so I’m scanning it. They ask me what I’m using, how did I find the app, and is there one for their smartphone platform. I believe it even adds to my credibility as a customer, information seeker, or colleague as I’m ensuring I don’t lose their contact info. Finally, I , like most other EMS’ers out there, don’t have a bundle of cashola laying around for me to buy every hip device and slick app on the market, so I look for free apps. Sometimes that means “ad-supported”, but I can live with that.

Are there any apps that works across multiple smartphone platforms?

In a word… yes. There are two I found on multiple platforms.

CamCard Free: It’s one I have less experience using, so I’m not terribly sure about all it has to offer… yet. I have signed up for an account and am working on using it’s features, including one called an “AR Card”, which is their specialized digital business card, which can include images of your traditional business card, front and back, but it also can include digital multimedia so you can deliver a custom audio and/or video message to your card viewers.  It’s called CamCard by IntSig.  I found it on Blackberry, Android, and iPhone. Curiously, they offer it for Windows 8 and RT on their website, but not for Windows Phones [scratches head]. A simple search on the Windows Phone Marketplace revealed it was available and I got it for my Windows Phone 7, so I’m sure it will also work on Windows Phone 8. I guess CamCard’s folks just overlooked adding a link to that app to their website.

Yolu Card Reader: I think it has a few less features than the CamCard Free app, but it is still a decent app overall. It doesn’t support more than 20 languages like some apps, but it does support English, Chinese, and Japanese. It offers two-sided card scanning, as with CamCard. Other features include the ability to drag-and-drop cards between groups and to sync to the cloud backup service in real-time. I also think the interface is easy to navigate and refined, and you can create a digital business card in the app. It’s available on Android, iPhone, and even Windows Phone 8 (sorry Windows Phone 7 users).

What’s available for Android?

Many apps are available for Android.  I found only one other than Yolu and CamCard that I thought was worthwhile:

CardToContact Card Reader: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.akhmallc.andrd.bizcard
What I like about this card scanning app is that you can select the e-mail account you want to synchronize with, whether it is Outlook or GMail or another account, you can export a card to .vcf format, backup and restore cards across multiple devices, and you can do it in one of 20 languages. Although they don’t offer cloud synchronization through their own services yet, they anticipate releasing that feature soon. Presently, it appears you can save the file to your device or a memory card, so you may even be able to select the file and sync it to Dropbox, SugarSync, or SkyDrive. The app has an easy to navigate, well-laid out interface.

Apps for the iPhone?

I have to say the best app I found for collecting business cards digitally is CardMunch by LinkedIn: http://www.cardmunch.com/
It really is a shame this isn’t available for the Android or any other platforms. I have used this app for a year and a half on my iPhone and one of its instant appeals is that unlike MANY other iPhone apps I found for business card collection and scanning, it didn’t have a limit to the number of cards you could scan and save per week. Additionally, after your card is scanned and uploaded to the LinkedIn service, it is cross-checked against the LinkedIn user database and if the card matches to someone on LinkedIn, you are offered a chance to connect with them. I first used this feature at the WebEOC User Conference in Denver in 2012 and it helped me to connect to several of the presenters and people who were willing to mentor me and share their ideas and status boards. If I were job hunting or trying to connect professionally to anyone with whom I exchanged cards, this tool would have to be my most highly recommended. The only drawbacks to this service and app are that it doesn’t offer two-sided card scanning, and processing (OCR or optical character recognition, which is what scans and “reads” the image for text) is not performed on the device at all, so you must have a connection to the internet. It’s a minor issue for me. I’ll continue to happily use the app as long as I have an iPhone (my work is supposed to replace it with an Android phone soon).

Evernote Hello: https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id484359282?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
So there I was, thinking how cool it would be to make one of my BS-IT programming projects into a card scanning app for Evernote, but someone thought about it long before I did. Check out Evernote to be your all-in-one notes taking, organization tool, that now manages contacts.

How about other platforms?

I didn’t find anything else on a simple search of the Windows Phone Marketplace, but I did find one more free app on the BlackBerry World app store, called Business Cards for Blackberry 10: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/20399554/?countrycode=US, but since I neither own nor have access to a BlackBerry 10, I can’t tell you anything about the app.

I don’t worry so much about collecting dozens of cards at conferences or national trainings I attend any longer. I accept and even exchange cards, then I snap a photo of their card, I write a note or two in the notes section of the contact card that is generated on my smartphone, I categorize it, and I move on. I hope one of these apps proves to be as beneficial to you as they have been to me!

August 5, 2013
by The Unwired Medic
2 Comments

The Future of Health Informatics

Health Informatics…

It is the IT (information Technology) of the medical field.  Your standard geek (term used affectionately) with a couple basic Microsoft and CompTIA certifications managing your health information, electronic patient care records (ePCR’s), and medical billing probably isn’t good enough any longer if you want to meet the standard acceptable qualifications.  No one is going to come knock on your agency’s door and demand you upgrade your IT department’s qualifications, but, really, you want someone who knows the intrinsic requirements of healthcare-related information management (including knowledge of HIPAA).  You’ll want someone who has, at the minimum, training in Health Information Management (HIM).  There are accredited programs that help set a baseline of core knowledge to be considered a health information manager.  You can learn about what academic programs are accredited here at CAHIIM: http://www.cahiim.org/accredpgms.asp.  CompTIA also has created a certification for Healthcare IT Technicians for what they and their members feel is a minimum standard of proficiency for IT techs.  You can learn more about that here: http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/hittech.aspx

This job field is already obviously growing and analysts predict it will grow very quickly in the coming few years.  In recent searches, I have found nearly every hospital with IT openings is looking for someone with HIM qualifications, plus the feds are too, especially at the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the VA medical centers.

If you want a quick overview of what Health Information Management is all about, take a look at the following infographic from the U of Illinois, Chicago:

 

The infographic links back to the UIC website, but they did not sponsor this post and have no affiliation with The Unwired Medic.