Monday, August 31, 2009

Google Quick Tip #22

Ever wish that Google could do more than just give you a data dump of results? Well, prepare to be dazzled by Google Squared.


The folks down at Google are bubbling with ideas, many of which they post in the Google Labs section of their site. Google Squared is one of the coolest things to pop out of the labs lately.

Google Squared is at . When you type in a topic, Google will generate a table of information populated with results from various sources on the web.

This tool can be a handy way to get more details on a broad topic. Columns are usually populated with images and then additional columns of data that they believe would be of interest.

You can modify the initial set of results:

(1) There is the option to add more results
(2) Click inside an Add items or Add columns box and either select from their suggestions or type in your own addition
(3) Delete any unwanted column or row by clicking on the corresponding "X" for that item

Results can be exported as an Excel file. You can also save your table if you have a free Google/Gmail account.

Explore their list of "squared" topics below the Google Squared search box.

View this short non-narrated video tutorial to see how I generated a list of antibiotics and a list of Renaissance artists.

Keep in mind that the information generated in these tables may not be 100% accurate. Take this more as a quick tool that you would definitely not depend on as your main source of data, especially with topics dealing with health and science. Using reliable database resources for those topics is the safest bet for reliable information.

But in the meantime, knock yourself out with Google Squared!

Medical Games for your iPhone/iPod Touch

I finally caved in last month and got an iPod Touch. (Actually, it was part of a package deal with a MacBook laptop at the campus bookstore.) Wow! I must confess - the little device is power packed with goodies. There are a mind-boggling amount of apps for just about everything.

I stumbled upon two medically related games that can help you have fun while you study. Both are free from the iTunes apps store.

Diagnose the Disease

This game is from the makers of the Epocrates drug resource. You can race the clock to test your knowledge based on the images provided. You can compete with top clinicians and submit your scores. This game is also available to play on Facebook.

Speed Bones Lite

This game tests how well you know your bones. Race the clock and earn points when you answer the questions about skeletal anatomy. Using the Practice Mode lets you learn specific regions. Review Mode replays your mistakes so that you can learn from them.

Since I neither know my diseases nor bones in great detail, let me know if you try out these games and tell me what you think. I believe that having fun will facilitate learning when put to good use. Let's hope these games prove true.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Test Your Medical Knowledge Using Case Files in AccessMedicine

Looking to understand how to put all your medical knowledge into the bigger scheme of things? Tired of reading and memorizing facts and ready to put them to the test?

The AccessMedicine database is a good source to find Case Files to test your knowledge on real life clinical cases.

(1) Select either the Case Files tab or the Case Files for Students link (see image below)
(2) View the cases by Organ Systems or by Specialty
(3) After reading the details of the case, proceed to the Questions tab; select the View Answers link on the bottom of the page to see if you were correct
(4) The other topics covered with the case are Clinical Correlation, Comprehension Questions to further test your knowledge, clinical Pearls, and References to find out more information

The cases are from the LANGE Case Files series edited by Dr. Eugene C. Toy.

There is also a link to listen to free audio cases.

This Clinical Cases feature in AccessMedicine is ideal for teachers and students alike:

- browse the cases to get an idea of how to write your own case files for students

STUDENTS - apply and assess your knowledge of material you've covered; use these cases as a group discussion project to help you understand concepts.

View this brief non-narrated tutorial
to see the Case Files feature in AccessMedicine.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Epocrates and Lexi-Comp Drug apps for mobile devices

For those of you techy mobile users out there in the health care field, it may not be a mystery that Epocrates is a very popular free app available. For those of you not yet in the know, here's what's to know.

The free version includes:

- Over 3300 drug monographs, updated weekly - Adult and pediatric dosing - Pill ID - Drug interactions - Tables/Calculators - Formulary information

Epocrates is downloadable on the iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, Palm, Win Mobile, and Win Smarthone.

Lexi-Comp Individual Application is also a free mobile app for drug information. It is compatable with iPhone/iPod Touch, Palm OS, Pocket PC, and Blackberry.

If you are on the UCSF network, you can access the complete Lexi-Comp database for UCSF, SFGH, Laguna Honda and Medi-Cal formulary information, as well as site-specific drug therapy guidelines.

Let me know if there are any other mobile drug apps that you would recommend. In the meantime, these two should cover quite a bit of ground.