The most recent issue of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education featured a Technology in Pharmacy Education section. There is some really interesting reading in this section including, “Use of Twitter to Encourage Interaction in a Multi-campus Pharmacy Management Course” by @Brent_Fox. Brent actually authored several articles including, “Knowledge, Skills, and Resources for Pharmacy Informatics Education“, which he wrote along with the newly installed Chair of the ASHP Informatics Section Allen Flynn, informatics luminary and frontliner Chris Fortier (@FortiPharm), and I. With this article, we tried to summarize the baseline informatics knowledge that pharmacy students should possess upon graduation, framed within med use processes. My hope is that it will be of real practical use to educators and others as specific recommendations are provided regarding activities and resources for class and curricular integration, rather than just observations made from 30,000 feet. Also, as with all articles in AJPE, this one is open access (OA) in that it can be accessed free, full-text by anyone.
Source: Fox BI, Flynn AJ, Fortier CR, Clauson KA. Knowledge, skills, and resources for pharmacy informatics education. Am J Pharm Educ. 2011;75(5):Article 93.
I already miss the sound of the techno music from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at the 2010 mHealth Summit. Because I’ve seen a number of questions about what mHealth is, here is my preferred definition from lecture courtesy of @mHealthAlliance: “the use of mobile devices and global networks to deliver health services and information”. One reason I like this definition is its emphasis on the ‘network’ piece. It allows for a much broader application. I understand the desire by some for the term uHealth (u=ubiquitous) and others, like one presenter at AMIA 2-3 years ago from Rockefeller, who yearn for everything to eventually just be ‘health’. While recognizing that the types of labels like mHealth can definitely be problematic in the long-run, they also can be really useful in the short term for conveying a basic context, getting people to the table, and creating rallying points…which brings me to my next point. One of the oft-parroted comments of the Summit was that there was too much hype about mHealth. Unfortunately the word ‘hype’ was being used interchangeably with ‘excitement’ in many cases. Of course mHealth isn’t a panacea and there are serious obstacles to navigate. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that it is really hard to motivate people, to excite people, and to generate momentum…and mHealth is accomplishing those things. So please let’s not be so terrified about overpromising and under-delivering that we squash genuine enthusiasm. Of course there are speed bumps and as @joncamfield noted, there are definitely some mobile parlor tricks to be wary of out there (he also had the fantastic idea of an implementer track for next year). In the interest of being fair and balanced, here is an example of a public health/mHealth app featuring augmented reality that may mean well but has questionable execution [EDIT: yes, the video below is for an actual app].
Onto the conference proper…David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance, began with a pseudo-demo of wearable body area networking for basic vitals. Side note: Aylward closed the conference while wearing a Bugs Bunny tie that I speculated was an ode to Ted Turner and his Cartoon Network. This remains unconfirmed. Slightly more relevant, the conference was livestreamed and h/t to @planetrussell who noted that videos from the stream are starting to appear in various YouTube channels.
The first two WOW moments of #mhs10 for me included the announcement of the 2011 NIH Summer Institute on mHealth Research, which will provide specialized training opportunities for 25 researchers.
The second was during a panel presentation by @JoshNesbit in which he shared a word cloud of the tweets from Haiti following the earthquake. The wow moment was when he pointed out that the second most tweeted word was ‘please’. That revelation definitely gave me pause.
End ATF: Part 1
Part 2 may or may not highlight snarky entrepreneurs, bedsore-preventing robots, keynote Star Wars quotes, and actual data.
Two-thumb typing on telephone at twenty to thirty thousand feet while things are still fresh in my mind from Digital Pharma East.
Digital Pharma was the first Pharma-centric conference I’ve attended. My usual professional meeting haunts are either focused on HCPs or are a blend of healthcare industry and technology. I wasn’t completely certain what to expect other than I would likely be among the minority as a ‘representative’ from academia and pharmacy. That’s plenty of preface, onto the Notables…
As much as I enjoyed keynotes by Ian Talmadge, Dr. Bertalan Mesko (@Berci), etc., the one that completely floored me was delivered by Dr. Ian Morrison (@seccurve). It was the perfect blend of style (his seamless comparison of Pimp My Ride to the state of US healthcare) and substance (holistic view of drivers of medication non-adherence). Spot on observations, great timing, and natural, unforced humor. The clip on his site does not do him justice.
@LenStarnes is just a really interesting cat. I found him to have a fascinating global perspective, wealth of experience, and he is a darn good storyteller in his own right as well as being a fellow ZX81 owner.
Phil Cranch (@cranchtweet), MSPharm, MComm at The Crystal Agency. He was the only other self-identified pharmacist there who I saw and tied for my fave Aussie.
Congrats to the folks at Pixels and Pills who are a very precocious, collective one. Remarkable energy, nice approach, no doubt headed for great things.
You just watch, I am totally going to figure out a way to poach @Shwen Gwee and get him back to academia where he belongs. Academia needs more driven people who are also savvy. Don’t worry; I’ll still let him help the ExL Pharma folks.
None. I detected no transparency of note. I get that it’s canine-devour-canine and all that, but still a bit disappointing.
Notable Mobile Experience
I can’t help but think if I had talked to @CynthiaNorth 6 months ago that it would have cut off about a month of prep time for our mHealth research protocols and that we, in turn, would have added perspective and experience that would have enhanced their patient adherence piece.
My post. My rules. Multiple parts to this Notable. @PhilBaumann of Health is Social may just end up being the first social media healthcare futurist. I feel like Dr. Mike Sevilla (@doctoranonymous), despite his notoriety, is underrated as a presence especially given his remarkable longevity. Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) simply gets the need for rigorous research in this area and authors a thoughtful, relevant blog. After speaking to Gilles Fry (@gfry) a few times, I finally figured out a one-word descriptor for where he resides on the ‘Rage Against the Machine’ to ‘Endearing Curmudgeon’ continuum: Fierce.
See above re: rules and limits. Somehow digilicious by @JaeSelle did not fit into the Nine despite a potent combination of sculptor, visual enthusiast, and embracing the inner geek. And where was @jonmrich curator of the Social Media Wiki? Great googly moogly that thing is useful. I planned to thank him for those efforts and to tell him to cheer up. Health literacy, while not omitted from the conversation, was limited to cameos. Civility seemed to be omitted at a handful of sessions. Barely activated patients and hesitant healthcare professionals would have made fine additions to some panels to give a fuller picture. I did not omit any of the stargazing targets. However, I’ve obviously omitted at least one great connection, one great conversation, and one great find.
It is encouraging when something brings all of the major pharmacy players together. In this case, it is the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative, and it is comprised of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). It has also been announced that the Collaborative will have Tom Menighan, BS Pharm, MBA, ScD as Chair and Shelly Spiro, RPh, FASCP (@shellyspiro) as Director.
The information volley from APhA seems to indicate the Collaborative will initially be focused on the electronic health record (EHR). That makes sense for now given the mandatory nature of EHR adoption and the financial incentives and disincentives tied to its use. I’m also heartened to see the formation of this group given the warning signs for pharmacy in the ‘meaningful use’ criteria (which will apparently undergo some minor revisions to “correct a few inconsistencies”). My hope is that after the Collaborative tackles the admittedly daunting task of EHR implementation, that it turns its attention to other facets of eHealth in which pharmacy is underrepresented and lacks much of a voice.
This should be a really interesting semester since it is first time I will be teaching “Consumer Health Informatics and Web 2.0 in Healthcare” in the College of Medicine – Biomedical Informatics Program and in the College of Pharmacy (COP). This is the third time I have taught this elective in the Masters of Biomedical Informatics (MSBI) Program, but it is the first for Pharmacy (and obviously the first time concurrently).
The COP elective is more traditional as it primarily meets in a classroom; however, it does have some hybrid aspects in that some of the lectures will be asynchronous Tegrity sessions. The plan is for the students to view those on their own and then have discussion-driven classes following those. I am also using an audience response system during the COP course to try and promote student engagement. It is a course delivered via live, interactive video to two of our sites this semester (i.e. Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach). One of the most exciting aspects of the COP course is the calibre of the guest lectures who have agreed to participate this semester. It is a bit experimental as the guest presenters will be contributing lectures via asynchronous recorded lectures, live via videoconference (e.g. Skype) so that we can also have live Q&A, and live in-classroom.
For the MSBI offering, it is built to accomodate students in a much wider geographic distribution. Most of the students this semester are in Florida, but there are also students spending much of their time in places as far as Saudi Arabia. Regardless, South Florida lends itself to a very diverse population and so there is a strong international presence in most programs anyway. Because of this distribution, the course is basically delivered online through the use of asynchronous sessions and Live Sessions. This is a really interesting course due, in part, to the heterogenous nature of the students. Even though the program is housed in the COM, it allows for varying types of students seeking their Masters. So far I have had students with backgrounds including practicing pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and scientists along with teachers, businesspeople and computer science experts. It makes for some pretty lively discussions as the range of experience and expertise among the students can be eye-opening!
So that is a pretty long preface to say that I have posted the slides from one of my favorite lectures of the semester – mHealth. I think there is enormous potential for mHealth. I am also happy to be involved in a panel on this topic at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting in December of this year. Please feel free to share any feedback you have about the scope, contents, or emphasis of this slide deck. Every semester in this course I add and delete lecture topics and then tweak and update the existing ones – so your opinions are all welcome.
If you’re not familiar with the website for TED (Technology, Education, and Design) Talks, you are missing out on a great resource that also happens to be free. Suffice to say for now that the TED events are expensive ($6000), exclusive (fill out an application just to be eligible to pay the 6K), and according to attendees - well worth it. Fortunately, the Powers That Be at TED decided back in 2007 that if they were really about “Ideas Worth Spreading” then they probably should unshackle them. For anyone who has to teach or present, these talks represent a mini-master class in communicating in the one-to-many model. For those looking to see content experts, there are plenty of those. And for futurists, think-tank wannabes, and people sincerely looking to be inspired to create change – TED has those talks in spades as well.
I recently viewed a TED talk by data journalist David McCandless on The Beauty of Data Visualization. I decided to watch the video because we’ve been dabbling with data visualization for displaying some of our research findings. Employing data visualization techniques appears to be growing trend in informatics as one way to help process the unprecedented volume of data that can be accumulated in a relatively short time.
It turns out McCandless also wrote the book The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia, which a student had given to me earlier this year (Köszönöm!). The technique is akin to a visual version of performing a content analysis to find what themes emerge in qualitative research. In that way it can also act as its own information filter, detect patterns that are not readily apparent, give context to potentially misleading ‘facts’, and prompt further lines of inquiry. This book has a little more modern, pop-science feel than the more precise works by Tufte, but definitely prompted me to think about things a bit differently…and that is a pretty big value itself.
The TED video was quite good and had some clever bits such as the examination of military budgets by raw numbers versus as a percentage of GDP, followed by the number of soldiers by country and then per 100,000 people. It’s a little specialized, but if you’re interested in the topic – it is a treat.
I recently gave a presentation at the Nova Southeastern University 21st Annual Contemporary Pharmacy Issues program with the above title. I uploaded the deck to Slideshare and it can be accessed by clicking the image or here.