Notes & Links: August 19, 2013

iPad Applications in the Healthcare Industry: Fad or Future?

Todd Riddle posting to Healthworks Collective takes a look at apps on the iPad and its utility for both patient and HCP. There has been a huge growth of iPad apps in healthcare albeit slower due to legal, medical, and patient issues. But it is changing rapidly and growing. Riddle quotes data that states by 2015 there will be 500 million smartphone users accessing healthcare application. Pretty impressive. 

Advantages of iPad healthcare apps

  • Patient safety
  • Easy access to information
  • Increases efficiency
  • Minimizes costs
  • Effective use of audio, video, visual communications modes


  • Not always accurate and consistent (I believe we need to expect studies on apps and outcomes
  • Security and confidentiality 
  • Regulatory challenges

Top iPad healthcare applications

  • Medscape
  • MedPage Today Mobile
  • Radiology 2.0: One Night in the ED
  • Calculate by QxMD

 Riddle concludes with

Since healthcare apps are extremely sensitive, it is developer’s responsibility to rigorously test app. Quality compromises could be costly. It is equally important that user conducts a thorough due diligence of app such as checking developer’s bio, user feedback, and its reputation on the net before actually installing/using it. 

Jenny McCarthy and the Selling of e-Cigarettes

Orac on ScienceBlogs points out Jenny McCarthy is now hocking blu eCigs. Now this is the same Jenny McCarthy who is anti vaccine since it is an unproven cause of autism. Let’s think about this. No evidence based proof of the link between vaccinations and autism but there are clear causative data about tobacco and disease. Orac goes into great detail to examine the data on eCigs and clearly we don’t know yet. 

Although short term studies of e-cigarettes appear not to have found any evidence of significant harms, there are currently no solid long term data regarding the effects of inhaling the vapors produced by e-cigarettes. A recent review concluded that the vapors are likely safe, but did so based on primarily on a review of chemical analyses of e-cigarette vapor. A more recent analysis finds some toxic chemicals in e-cigarette vapor butat much lower levels than in tobacco smoke. Again, however, there are no long term epidemiological or observational data in actual humans using e-cigarettes.

This is an excellent review of eCigs but more important how the hell can Jenny McCarthy do this while trashing vaccinations? 

What Americans Don’t Know About the Affordable Care Act

Danyell Jones posting to HealthWorks takes a look at where we as a nation stand with our knowledge of ACA and offers ways we can learn more and be better informed. 

There is the chart from Kaiser Family Foundation showing that country feels we will be worse off.