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­­­­Technology: Patient Care Apps; Increased Practice Efficiency.

Apps are everywhere, and have the potential to play an important role in patient care. Downloading apps will soon be an American tradition, similar to back in the day when fathers chased their kids around with power tools.  I told my boss I was turning thirty and getting my first smartphone, he smiled and said he had socks older than me. So, I did what any new associate would do. I bought him new socks. He chased me around the office with an alger brush.

Turns out your smartphone and sock drawer have more in common than you think.  When I was a youngster, not a whole lot went into the sock drawer.  It wasn’t hard to reach in and grab a matching pair.  The older I get though, the more socks go into the drawer and it’s much harder to find two that go together. In fact, I have a lot of lonesome socks.  Studies have shown, if the missing sock does not reappear within the first 24 hours, your chances of finding that sock decrease by 75%.  Sounds like my practice consultant on uncollected Co-pays.  The same applies to my phone, the longer I have it the more junk it collects.   I have a bunch of old apps cluttering my wallpaper in hopes one day I’ll actually use that Ab workout app I downloaded months ago.

Therefore, if you haven’t updated your smart phone or tablet devices this year, you’re likely in the floppy disk age of apps. So if you’re like me it’s time to ditch those lonely socks, stop living life in the cheap seats and get yourself some sexier apps!

1. Parks 3-step (Cost: $0.99)

Have a patient with double vision?? There’s an app for that, seriously. There can be many reasons patients have diplopia.  It’s possible they need prism, vision therapy, or need to lay off the eyeball martinis.  Or they may have a paretic extraocular muscle and you need to diagnose it. If you’ve forgotten everything about the parks 3 step except it involves hypers, obliques and head tilts you need the Parks 3-step app. It utilizes your device’s built-in gyroscope and accelerometer to predict the paretic EOM in two swift movements. Enjoy!

Pros: Simple, quick, accurate way of performing the Parks 3-step without diagrams.

 Cons: Needs option to input data manually in addition to turning phone and some updated animations.

2. Medical Lab Tests (Cost: $2.99)

Medical Lab Tests was designed primarily for doctors, nurses and medical students. It can also be used by anyone who wants to know the meaning of different blood tests. This app is packed full of very detailed and easy to find information. Can you recall the normal value of TSH or the reference value for triglycerides? This application will help you! This app isn’t free but will cost roughly the equivalent of a side of guacamole at chipotle. You may need it sooner than later because signed into law last year was AB 761, which in a nutshell allows OD’s to be defined as a “lab director” in order to perform CLIA waived tests in their office, rather than having to order these tests from a lab. You can read more about AB 761 on the COA website.  You probably won’t need this app for paternity or random urinalysis testing. Nonetheless, it has you covered for the most common laboratory tests and their interpretation for CBC, cardiac tests, liver and pancreas, lipids and much more.

Pros:  Offers you short and concise information including normal lab values of the most common clinical laboratory tests.

Cons:  Cost. I’m debating on that side of guacamole at Chipotle.

 

4. Eye Handbook: (Cost: FREE)

Optometry, being one of the areas of medicine that people outside of the field know very little about, has often been given the short end of the stick when it comes to the number of apps available.  However, unquestionably the front-runner among app for optometry is Eye Handbook. It will raise your eye Q. It’s my absolute favorite optometry app and it’s free! It’s a comprehensive app with plenty of useful resources and most frequently used app on my iPad. It’s loaded with an ocular disease atlas, ICD-9 codes, patient education videos on LASIK, multifocal IOLs, punctal plugs, uveitis and much more. It even has a built in fluorescein light. Color vision and amslers grid, yuppp. This is the party favor app you pull out to show your friends. But really, this app has it all.  It’s a great resource tool for clinical applications as well as networking in forums with other ophthalmic professionals.  Eye Handbook’s collaboration with the American Academy of Ophthalmology also gives it an instant injection of credibility. To top it off, for those in need of some new pediatric resources, they have pediatric fixation targets and an optokinetic drum.

Pros: Plenty of useful resources, patient education, OC disease Atlas, ICD-9 codes etc…

Cons: Few compared to the advantages.  The media center is a bit of a mixed bag, rough around the edges, not everything is particularly useful.

 

5. CL Calcs: (Cost: $4.99

This app is a lite version of the EyeDock app without the need for an EyeDock membership. Are you a little rusty on those RGP calculations?? This is a great tool especially for those that don’t see RGP’s on a consistent basis.  It’s especially useful for the initial start on designing an RGP lens including bitorics. The diagrams are clear and concise. Overall, it’s easy to use. It’s best utilized for designing an RGP, vertexing tool for spectacles, post-surgical keratometry conversions all in the palm of your hand. The oblique cylinder over-refraction tool is very helpful. It’s a good app, especially for those offices that don’t have any contact lens reference materials like a TQ.  It also provides contact lens calculators and much more.  In addition, this is an excellent app to begin, as well as for designing other contact lenses.

Pros: Easy to use RGP calculations, vertex converting, oblique cross- cylinder calcs

Cons: Cost and would love to see enhancement of adding the hybrid lens designs like the synergeyes A or Duette Lens

6. Epocrates: (Cost: FREE) 

Epocrates Rx is a a free drug reference application featuring thousands of drug monographs, drug-drug interaction checker, pill identifier, and health plan formularies. There’s a reason it’s the #1 mobile drug reference among U.S. physicians. I use this app often at work and is much easier & convenient than searching thru a drug book. You can check drug interactions with OTC medications and also has a great pill ID if you need it.  This product also includes free continual updates and medical news. It is simple to download and easy to use. The product is also available in versions that include information on disease diagnosis, including images, diagnostic tests, insurance codes, alternative medicines, and a medical dictionary.  Epocrates Rx is a great clinical reference for quickly accessing information regarding drugs, adult and pediatric dosage information, interactions, and contraindications. The information is always current and accessible instantly. I suggest everyone get comfortable with the software and take advantage of all it has to offer.

Pros: Quick access to reliable drug, disease, and diagnostic information

Cons: Doesn’t work great on older phones, mechanism of action is generally sparse

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Helpful eye care applications for your cell phone that inform and entertain.

It seems as though there is an app for everything nowadays―talking hamster apps, sing-a-long apps, even an app where you pop fake bubble wrap. While there are lots of strange cell phone apps out there, there are actually quite a few interesting, and even helpful, cell phone apps that have to do with eye care.

Here are some of our favorite eye care cell phone apps that are out right now (However, please remember that the tests and diagnosis’s made by these apps should not substitute for an examination by a qualified eye care professional):

Vision Test:

This vision accuracy test was rated the number one medical app in 2010, and for good reason. This application not only tests your visual perception, your far field vision, and evaluates your color accuracy, but it will also locate the nearest optician in your area.

The Vision Test app also features an eye quiz which tests your knowledge about eyesight and gives you advice and facts about your eyes.

Price: Free

Requirements: iPhone / iPod / iPad

(There are similar applications available for Android phones.)

Eye Care – Save Your Vision:

Studies have shown that prolonged use of electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones and tablets can lead to problems such as eye strain, blurred vision and dry eyes. In order to prevent these problems, they suggest that tech users follow the “20-20-20″ rule: Every 20 minutes that you are using an electronic device, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

The EyeCare – Save Your Vision app was designed to help alert you when it’s time to give your eyes a technology break. Named one of the top 10 new and noteworthy medical apps in the US, the app runs in the background of your phone and sends you an alert when it’s time to take your 20-20-20 break.

Price: .99

Requirements: iPhone / iPod / iPad

Disposable Contacts Schedule:

Are you a wearer of contact lenses? This cell phone application helps you keep track of your contact replacement schedule and alerts you when you should change your disposable contact lenses. If you’re not someone who replaces their contact lenses daily, the app also includes a widget which shows the number of days left until you should switch out your contacts so you can easily keep track of your contact replacement schedule.

Price: Free

Requirements: Android phone

 

All About LASIK:

LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular alternatives to wearing glasses and contacts . Through a simple procedure using laser technology, LASIK surgery can help to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

If you’re thinking about finally ditching your glasses or contacts and getting LASIK surgery, the All About LASIK app is the perfect resource for all of your LASIK questions. It answers popular questions such as who is a candidate for LASIK surgery and how to select a LASIK surgeon. It also covers other topics such the costs of the procedure and eye care after LASIK.

 

Price: $1.38

Requirements: Android phone

iMag Magnifying Glass:

Are you the type of person that needs glasses when you’re reading restaurant menus or small newspaper fonts? This could be a sign that you are farsighted. Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a refractive error that can cause objects that are near to appear blurry.  I use this app all the time in resturants, and if I am out of the office and need to look into someone’s eye for an “emergency visit” away from the office!

The iMag app is designed for people who are farsighted and want a pair of “back up glasses” in case they’ve left theirs at home. This app features a 4x and 6x zoom function that allows you to zoom in on objects or details that are hard to read. It also is equipped with a viewing light to make close objects even easier to see.  While it’s not a recommended alternative to corrective lenses, it could help in a situation when your glasses aren’t around.

Price: Free

Requirements: iPhone / iPod/ iPad

Getting a new pair of glasses can be really exciting for most people: you get to pick out new frames, you get an updated, accurate prescription, and, hopefully, you’re looking forward to seeing your favorite eye doctor again!

However, while the process of picking out your new frames may seem simple enough, all of the extra add-ons that come along with new glasses can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t understand all of the different options and features.

What Are The Coatings And Lenses In My Eyeglasses?

Polycarbonate Lenses

First developed in the 1970s for aerospace applications (used for astronaut visors and space shuttle windshields), this specific type of lens is designed to be extremely lightweight and impact-resistant. They also block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays which eliminates the need for special UV coating.

Because Polycarbonate lenses are scratch and shatter-resistant, they are the perfect lens choice for people who participate in sports and physical activities, and for children who wear glasses.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses are perfect for just about any outdoor activity―fishing, biking, jogging, boating, etc. They help to reduce glare as well as provide high-contrast vision with 100 percent UV protection. They are also very helpful when driving during the day time, as they can reduce the sun’s glare that reflects off of the road’s surface.

Photochromic/Transition Lenses:

Photochromic lenses, commonly referred to as Transition Lenses after their manufacturer, Transitions Optical, are great for people with prescription lenses who frequently have to switch between eyeglasses and sunglasses when they move from indoors to outdoors. These lenses automatically darken to respond to outdoor UV light. They also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Photochromic lenses are useful for adults and children who spend a lot of time outdoors. They are also a great option  for people who may have light sensitivity and do not want to switch back and forth between two types of frames.

When choosing features and add-ons for your prescription lenses, be sure to ask your eye doctor about any options that you may not understand. The most important thing to do when picking out a pair of glasses is to choose a pair that you are comfortable with.

Outdoor enthusiasts are typically the people who benefit the most from polarized lenses. However, they can also be worn indoors by people whose eyes are sensitive to light, such as post-cataract surgery patients and post-LASIK patients.

Anti-Reflective Coating

This optical coating can be added to the back of most prescription lenses in order to help prevent distracting reflections and lens glare when the sun is behind you. It also allows more light to pass through the lens, increasing contrast and visual perception. Many people who opt for this coating find that their eyes are less strained throughout the day, due to the decreased glare.

Anti-reflective coating is beneficial to nearly anyone who wears prescription lenses. Research has shown that wearing anti-reflective coated lenses can help improve your vision while driving at night, working on the computer, and reading throughout the day.

When choosing features and add-ons for your prescription lenses, be sure to ask your eye doctor about any options that you may not understand. The most important thing to do when picking out a pair of glasses is to choose a pair that you are comfortable with.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton went out for batting practice wearing contact lenses designed to cut down on the amount of light coming into his eyes to help him see the ball during the day.

Under the sun this season, Hamilton’s numbers are dim. He is batting .122 (6-for-49) with no home runs, four RBIs and eight walks. He also has 17 strikeouts and a .429 OPS.

At night, it’s a different story. Hamilton is hitting .374 (41-for-109) with six home runs, 28 RBIs, seven walks and a 1.076 OPS. And he only has 14 strikeouts while playing under the lights.

During his 2010 MVP season, the blue-eyed Hamilton hit a respectable .286 during the day and .384 at night.

Hamilton said Wednesday that he has a tougher time seeing the ball because he has blue eyes. An optometrist who talked to ESPNDallas.com on Thursday supports Hamilton’s theory and explained why.

“Because of the lack of pigment in lighter color eyes — like blue or green eyes as opposed to brown — you get a lot more unwanted light and that can create glare problems,” said Dr. Richard L. Ison, O.D., an optometrist since 1990 who currently works in Murphy, just northeast of Dallas.

Ison said the phenomenon is called intraocular light scatter, meaning the light scatters as it enters, producing a focal point that isn’t as good.

His solution for Hamilton: Find a pair of sunglasses that he’s completely comfortable wearing while batting or maybe these new contacts will take care of the issue.

Repost from ESPN

Fun Eye Facts

The shark cornea has been used in eye surgery, since its cornea is similar to a human cornea
The number one cause of blindness in adults in the United States is diabetes
The eye of a human can distinguish 500 shades of the gray
The eyeball of a human weighs approximately 28 grams
The cornea is the only living tissue in the human body that does not contain any blood vessels

Sailors once thought that wearing a gold earring would improve their eyesight
All babies are color blind when they are born
Babies’ eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old
The most common injury caused by cosmetics is to the eye by a mascara wand
The highest recorded speed of a sneeze is 165 km per hour
The space between your eyebrows is called the Glabella
Your eyes blinks over 10,000,000 times a year
The giant squid has the largest eyeball on the face of the earth. At 18 inches across, it’s about the size of a beach ball
An ostrich eye is only two inches across, but it weighs more than its brain

A worm has no eyes at all
A chameleon’s eyes can look in different directions—at the same time
Each of our eyelashes has a “life span of approximately five months
Of all the muscles in our body, the eye muscles are the most active
An owl can see a mouse moving more than 150 feet away, with light no brighter than candlelight

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