Archive for February, 2010
Those who’ve watched their Windows Mobile phones languish without an update, ever, probably have watched enviously as smartphones using new platforms (Android, iPhone, webOS) receive frequent updates. Better than that, if a rumor is true, all Android phones, including the very ancient (by tech standards) T-Mobile G1 will receive an update to Android version 2.1.
That’s the latest version of the OS, and the one running on the so-called Google phone (the HTC Nexus One). One might think it would be a stretch for the G1 to run that OS, based on its age (it was launched in Oct. 2008, an eternity in tech), but that’s the rumor.
However, some of those phones that receive the upgrade will have to do a PC-based install (which is quite familiar to those running Windows Mobile or even iPhones, which don’t receive OTA RMO updates). That’s not really that big a deal, but some of them will be wiped in the process (also not that unfamiliar to WinMo users).
However, much of the data stored on your Android device is stored in the cloud anyway, with your Google account. The biggest issue here would be reinstalling applications. Still, many would probably go through the trouble, assuming the upgraded phone would run efficiently, which would be a question for the oldest among them, like the G1.
Prescriptions written by doctors have always been the brunt of comics. They are, in general, hard to read, and difficult to translate. That, however, isn’t the sole reason given by researchers for the seven-fold increase in errors by doctors eschewing electronic systems for prescriptions.
The study, conducted by Weill Cornell Medical College compared electronic submission of prescriptions with handwritten ones. The authors compared the prescription errors between 15 health care providers who adopted e-prescribtions and 15 who continued to write prescriptions by hand at 12 community practices in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
The researchers gave time for those adjusting to e-prescriptions to get used to the system. They examined errors at the start and one year later. After one year, the percentage of errors using the electronic system dropped from 42.5 to 6.6 percent. For those writing prescriptions by hand, the percentage of errors was static, and in fact increased somewhat, from 37.3 to 38.4 percent.
The higher perecentage of errors at the start of the e-prescription portion of the study may be explained by unfamiliarity with the electronic system. In fact, the study noted that without extensive technical support, “it is difficult for physician practices to achieve high rates of use of electronic prescribing and subsequent improvements in medication safety.”
Those performing e-prescribing were using a commercial, stand-alone system that checks for drug-allergy interactions, drug-drug interactions, duplicate drugs, and provides dosing recommendations. Those practices that adopted e-prescribing received technical support from MedAllies, a health information technology service provider.
Dr. Rainu Kaushal, the study’s lead author and associate professor of pediatrics, medicine and public health, and chief of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell Medical College said:
“Examples of the types of errors we found included incomplete directions and prescribing a medication but omitting the quantity. A small number of errors were more serious, such as prescribing incorrect dosages.”
Illegibility errors were, naturally, completed eliminated by e-prescribing. senior author Erika Abramson, assistant professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College added:
“Although most of the errors we found would not cause serious harm to patients, they could result in callbacks from pharmacies and loss of time for doctors, patients, and pharmacists. On the plus side, we found that by writing prescriptions electronically, doctors can dramatically reduce these errors and therefore these inefficiencies.”
The full study appears in the online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Despite that “sinking feeling” that many stockholders and employees are getting, in terms of the long-term viability of Palm, given the latest reports from the beleaguered company, it hasn’t given up. It has just released version 1.4 of its webOS platform, which adds significant improvements to the platform.
According to Sprint, Version 1.4 adds / fixes the following:
- Time Zone bug fixed
- Network time sync bug fixed to reflect accurate Network time
- Bluetooth car-kit transition to device corrected
- No EV icon bug fixed (random)
- Random browser formatting bugs fixed
- Fixed bug that incorrectly displayed Sprint when actually was Digital Roaming
- Missing Contact issue specifically with swap down to 220.127.116.11 or less
- Phonebook Transfer (import & export)
- Adds Video Capture capability & edit
- Calendar Enhancements
- Messaging Enhancements
- Improved Performance (Phone & CAL)
- Email Enhancements
- Notification Enhancements
Perhaps the biggest change of note is that the update adds the necessary foundation for Adobe Flash support. That, however, will come as a separate download from the Palm App Catalog.
One other thing, Palm’s post on this update does not mention Verizon as a carrier receiving an update. It does say that “other carries will be coming soon,” however.
Soon after the huge Chilean earthquake which spawned tsunami warnings across the Pacific, while also devastating the country, Google activated an online Chile “person finder” tool.
Similar to one Google activated in January after the Haiti earthquake, the tool will help friends and relatives to (hopefully) find loved ones missing after the temblor, which registered magnitude 8.8 on the Richter scale. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck 56 miles northeast of the city of Concepcion at a depth of 22 miles at 3:34 AM (1:34 AM EST).
The tool is currently tracking 3,400 records at the time of this writing. In comparison, the Haiti tool, which has been tracking people since January 12th, is tracking 58,700 records.
To use either tool, those who either have information about a person involved in the earthquake, or are searching for someone involved, can simply go to the site and “I’m looking for someone” or “I have information about someone.” Much as with YouTube videos, Google allows the tool to be embedded in sites (as above; that is not an image but is live, and below).
In addition to the help being provided by Google and obviously, by organizations such as the Red Cross, social media is making an impact as well. For example, Twitter is being used at hashtags #Chile and #tsunami to distribute info about the disaster, as well as info from areas affected, or even evacuated, in relation to tsunamis.
Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile has killed at least 122 people, and tsunami alerts have been posted across the Pacific. The largest earthquake ever recorded was also in Chile, and is known as the Great Chilean Earthquake. It occurred in 1960, and was a 9.5 magnitude quake.