PDF of webinar presentation on June 3rd 2014 for the RSSA.
After Apple’s keynote earlier this week, there is one question on the minds of the Mac/Apple fans- what product should one buy?? Between the new Macbook, the upgraded Macbook Air, the Macbook Pro and the Apple Watch, it is hard to decide. Is it worth being an early adopter and choosing the ultra-thin Macbook with one USB-C port, the all new keyboard and the retina display? Having studied the specs on the new Macbook, I have come to the conclusion that there is a specific type of customer for whom this would be well suited. This type of customer typically has a more beefier laptop or desktop computer at home for heavy lifting tasks like video editing and relies on a tablet (like an iPad) or a small laptop (like the 11 inch Macbook Air) while out and about. The new Macbook would be good for road warriors with ready access to Wi-Fi at hotels and airports. It would suit a student who relies on his or her laptop for taking notes in school or checking email etc, and reserves the multitasking for the second computer at home. With the slower processor it ships with, the new Macbook will struggle when multiple windows are open and one wants to surf, watch videos and monitor Twitter at the same time (yes, there are people I have seen do just this!). Also note that it has a 480p camera which is far inferior than even the 720p front facing camera in an iPad. It is a good travel computer as long as one remembers to take the adapters for peripherals and the ethernet adapter for use in the hotels where wireless internet is sold at a steep premium compared to the wired option. In all other cases, the choice to be made is between the longer battery life and lightweight form factor of the Macbook Air (which has the updated keyboard with Force Touch) and the more powerful Macbook Pro with retina display suited for any professional who wants to work with media-rich files on the road.
And what about the watch, you ask? Well, if you have disposable income lying around or an IRS refund that you want to spend, then I suggest choosing one of the lower end models (which cost between $350 and $1000. Remember that you will feel the need to upgrade to the next version in a year, so choose wisely. It is a fitness band built into a good looking watch. Is it overpriced for a first generation device? Absolutely! Just like the first iPhone, there will be a premium paid by early adopters and prices will fall with successive versions even as more features will be added. The higher models are being sold as fashion accessories for the ultra rich and will stay unchanged in price to mark their premium status.
And you may well ask- which Apple product am I buying? Well, I am buying Apple stock for now, This is the only product that is actually going to rise in value in a year. Everything else will be upgraded and a better version will be released in a year after the early adopters have found the flaws in the first version. Plus, I have a Macbook Pro with Retina Display that works brilliantly well and irrespective of what Apple wants me to believe, I think its keyboard is just fine! And my Fitbit Charge is as good a fitness tracker as I need. Perhaps I will change my mind when I hold the Apple Watch in my hand. But for now, I will stay away from the version 1 devices and wait for the believers to worship at the shrine of Apple and hope it drives the stock up!
RADIOLOGY TO SHOW FUNCTION (AND NOT JUST FORM)
In my opinion, the use of radiology as a way to show function of various tissues has not been emphasized enough in most undergraduate curricula. Seeing a cine image of a gated CT or MRI of a patient with arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia or pulmonary regurgitation or seeing the turbulence of flow at the site of coarctation of the aorta can go a long way in cementing knowledge and developing an appreciation of the role that radiology plays in assessing the patient and the role it can play in determining treatment.
LEARING ANATOMY USING PATHOLOGY
I often find medical students understand anatomy better when there is pathology affecting an area. A good example is the excellent delineation of the fascial spaces in the neck in a patient with subcutaneous emphysema. I find that this is better than any drawing made with high end tools like Adobe Ilustrator. This is where a radiologist’s case base can come in handy for the teacher of medical anatomy. This kind of cooperation between the non-clinical and clinical specialties should be encouraged.
The use of multiple modality overlays is another area where radiologists can play a role. For example, overlaying a CT over a MRI in a patient with a juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma is the best way I have found to teach a medical student or radiology trainees about the anatomy of the pterygopalatine region.
While watching videos online and listening to lectures is certainly an acceptable way to learn, it is far better to utilize interactive ways of learning from audiovisual material. Sites like e-anatomy are good examples where labels of various structures can be switched on and off to test knowledge.
MEDICAL SCHOOL EXAMS
With regards to medical school exams, most radiologists would say that static images presented on a printed page are probably the least optimal way to show a radiology image, particularly ones in gray scale (like a chest radiograph). With the increasing availability of handheld electronic display devices like tablets, most medical students and educators would argue that preparation and administration of medical exams which require radiology images should be moved over as far as possible to these devices from paper.
Just made a list of my “small” monthly or yearly subscriptions to various services – Netflix, Evernote, Dropbox, Spotify, icloud, Google Drive, Amazon Prime, HBO, Tripit, Audible and Wunderlist Pro- when you add this all up, the micropayments do not seem that “micro” any more! Based on this list, I cancelled my Netflix, Audible and HBO subscriptions- far cheaper to buy or rent a book or movie when I feel I need one. I will be canceling my Evernote subscription when it comes up for renewal. Is it just me or will others wake up and find this, leading to a crumbling of the freemium model as the payments add up. Or is there a place for a service that bundles some of the services and provides a sort of bulk discount?
I received the new iPad mini with retina display from Apple this week. And as expected, it is faster and has a sharper screen than the first generation iPad mini. It is a touch heavier and thicker than its predecessor. It has excellent battery life, at least as good as the previous model.
But here is the thing- the difference in the screen is apparent only if you compare the old and new iPad mini next to each other or when you are looking at text-rich material. Also, the speed of the new A7 processor is apparent when one plays a graphic rich game like Infinity blade. So, if you have an older iPad mini and if you play a lot of games or read books on the mini, it might be worth the upgrade. The sharper screen and the faster processor make it worthwhile for this kind of discerning user.
But here is the question asked by my colleagues- which one should I buy- the iPad air or iPad mini with retina display? With the previous generation mini, the lack of a retina display screen and the slower processor meant that the larger iPad came out ahead in every comparison. This time around, Apple has narrowed the gap between the two devices. Both new tablets have been equipped with the A7 chip and the retina screen. The differences boil down to size and the marginal differences in speed (which most people will not notice during routine use).
If you feel the need for a larger screen and are going to use the tablet to do a lot of typing like writing papers, reading a MRI scan on the go or editing photographs, I would suggest choosing the iPad Air. It is lighter, marginally faster and the screen provides real estate to do more. Also, the color gamut reproducibility is better on the iPad Air. The reds, blues and magentas look a lot better on the iPad Air as pointed out by many observers. I checked this out on my devices and as you can see from the photograph of my home screen, the reds of the Netflix and Flipboard icons look a lot more “redder” on the iPad Air screen.
Also, the choice will be based on whether you consume more than you create on the tablet. In other words, do you watch movies, YouTube and read a lot more than you edit documents, write blogposts, edit photographs and movies. In that case, the iPad mini is a good option.
The final question is- does a smaller size and increased portability ? The iPad Mini offers the ability to carry it in your jacket pocket or in purses. To many, this is a significant advantage that cannot be ignored.
To me, the choice is clear- I still choose the larger iPad Air over the mini. It is lighter than the previous generation, faster than any other tablet I have used, the screen is super-sharp and the 9.7 inch screen gives me a lot more real estate to work with.
As for my 10 year-old son, who plays games, reads books and watches movies on the device, the new retina iPad mini is an excellent companion. He loves it and the flaws I see in it do not bother him. To each his own, I say!
Last week, one of my trainees introduced me to an iPad (and Android tablet) app called BrowZine. At the outset, it is worthwhile to mention that the app is FREE!!
This app allows the reader to create a personal bookshelf of favorite journals and access them through the electronic access offered through the hospital or university. The app also allows the reader to combine individual articles from databases and create complete journals and arranges them in an intuitive newsstand. This Flipboard-like ability offers an easy to use format optimized for the iPad or Android tablets. The interface offers an intuitive way for users to browse journals by subject, discover new titles, and easily read articles.
The user has to log in only once to authorize their library e-access and then proceeds to select journals to fill the bookshelf. The app also offers the ability to arrange the journals on the shelf based on the user’s interests.
BrowZine enables easy access to written scholarly articles on the go and also includes the ability to share links to articles with colleagues or email a link to your group, all from within the app. And now on the new iPad air with retina display and newer Android devices like the Nexus 7, the articles are as crisp as news print – finally making reading on a tablet a very attractive solution for digital reading.
The other day, during a cleanup of my office, I came across an old iPod. Well, to be fair, it is only 6 years old. The engraving on it reminded me that I gifted this to my wife in 2007. As I recall, she and I switched over to the iPhone after that and an iPod has been the device I would gift to a young niece or nephew too young to handle an iPhone.
I decided to give the new found iPod a second chance and started using this to listen to audiobooks. And over the last week, I came to a realization. There is a certain advantage of having a device without an internet connection and phone capability. It helps you to concentrate on the job at hand and “unitask”. The same goes for reading on the Kindle. Without the distractions of the “always available internet” and multiple applications at one's fingertips, one can get a lot more done.
So, I would not knock that humble iPod just yet. There may be more to learn from the lowly iPod than you might think…
With the constant demands on a radiologist’s time, there is always a need for good to-do apps on our smart phones and tablets. A good task list app can be a god-send when you are trying to stay organized. A full-fledged task-manager like Things, Omnifocus and To-do might be the answer for the highly organized person, most people would prefer to work with simple task list-based apps to ensure things are getting done on time, every time.
Having used a number of apps to help organize my crazy clinical, research and personal schedule, my vote for the best task list apps goes to Any.Do, Wunderlist and Errands.
Any.DO has a clean, simple interface that makes it easy to add and organize tasks. Any.Do allows toggling between a date and folder based view by flicking upwards on the screen. The date based view combines all your lists to show you what needs to get done today, tomorrow, this week, and later.
The “plus” sign next to it that allows you to add a task into each section quickly. To access the folder views, one uses the pull up located along the bottom of the screen. Flicking it upwards allows you to switch between the date and folder view and also look at a list of completed tasks.
Tapping on any task in Any.DO will give you a list of options that you can apply to that task. You can mark a task as important, drop it into a folder, set a reminder, add notes to it, or share it with a contact.
Any.DO’s settings can be access by pulling up the bottom menu and choosing the gear icon in the lower right hand corner. From here you can edit your folders, use the Any.DO moment feature, change between a dark and a light theme, control what the badge count does, change the language, and change the speech input language. There isn’t much to configure but the options you may need to change are easily accessible right within the main app settings.
Wunderlist’s interface is set up to show you lists somewhat in the form of inboxes. You can tap the pencil in the upper right hand corner to edit current lists or tap in the box above your lists in order to quickly create a new one. Tapping the edit pencil also allows you to reorder lists any way you’d like. If you want your work list above your home list, you can simply drag it in that position.
The main navigation of Wunderlist runs across the bottom of the app and consists of lists, starred items, due today, overdue, and more. More is where you can find app settings as well as other ways to sort your lists. Similar to Any.DO, Wunderlist allows you to view tasks that are associated with time. You can choose to view all tasks, tasks that are already completed, ones due tomorrow, in the next 7 days, later, and ones that have no due date.
Wunderlist allows you to star tasks that are important and they’ll filter into the starred section. You can easily star any task by simply tapping on the star next to the task name. It’ll automatically filter into that section of the app. To mark a task as done, just check it off by tapping on the check mark box next to its name.
There isn’t a ton of customization with Wunderlist but settings does allow you to change the background image, date format, language, and set up sending tasks by email.
While Any.DO, Clear, and Wunderlist all have simple to navigate and easy to understand designs, Any.DO has most logical user interface and it’s by far the easiest to use. Once you get to understand Clear and become used to the gestures, it’s just as user friendly but doesn’t have nearly as many options when it comes to interface as what Any.DO offers, which makes it a nice compromise.
To create a list or task in Any.DO you can either manually enter it or just pull down to use the voice input feature. This is something that’s unique to Any.DO and adds a lot for users who quickly need to input something without interrupting their workflow. Swipe down from the main screen and tap on the microphone icon. Say what you need the app to add and then tap the checkmark to input it.
Any.DO will try and autocomplete tasks you are inputting by offering suggestions. They’re based on places around you and on tasks you’ve previously entered into the app. It makes adding tasks a lot less painful than manually typing them.
Sorting tasks in Any.DO is easy and can be done within just a few taps. A swipe up from the bottom of the screen lets you order tasks by time or by folder. If you want to see a quick view of what you have to do you can tap into settings and view Any.DO moment which gives you a glimpse of what you need to do today. You can then quickly set reminders for things you have do or move them to a later time. It’s a great feature but something that’s rather hidden in settings. It’d be nice to see this feature pulled into the main menu for quicker access.
Clear uses multiple layers within the app and each layer houses lists and tasks. Tapping anywhere on the screen inside of a list brings up a slot to enter a new task. Just type in data and hit return on your keyboard and it adds it to your task list. From there you can pinch to close lists or swipe upwards in order to close a list and view your main list. Swiping upwards one more time brings you to the main menu that houses settings and themes.
To mark a task as done you can swipe to the right and it will be marked as complete. Swiping to the left on a task will delete it from your list. You’ll notice that completed tasks will show up at the bottom with a line through them. To clear them from your list completely you can pull up on the task list and release and it will clear away old tasks that were marked as complete. While Clear doesn’t have very many options for organizing and sorting, if you’re looking for a simple task list that just works, it does that wonderfully and beautifully.
Wunderlist is a nice compromise between Any.DO and Clear. Task entry is simply and only ever a few clicks away. When on the main task list screen you can quickly add a new list or tap into any existing list and start typing a task into the task box above your list.
Aside from adding general tasks to lists the starred section easily shows you important tasks as a simple glance. When in settings you can view all options for time based tasks and how you want to view them. While Any.DO makes this feature apparent in their main menu, Wunderlist has chosen to put it in settings. I’m not sure this makes sense to me and many users may not think to open settings in order to sort tasks. While it’s a wonderful feature to have, it should be presented in a way that makes it easier for users to find.
If you need to create lists, tasks, and organize them quickly and efficiently, Any.DO is a happy medium between Wunderlist and Clear that allows you to organize just as fast as you enter. While Clear allows for the quickest entry, Any.DO’s navigation will make more sense to many.
Any.DO, Clear, and Wunderlist all offer push notifications for reminders. What is really comes down to is how customizable they are. Any.DO by default will show a badge for any tasks that are due today. You can easily change this in settings to cater to certain lists or any tasks you’d like the badge to represent. Any.DO will also send you push notifications for any task you’ve set a reminder for. To set a reminder you can tap on the task name and then choose the reminder icon and set a time you’d like to be reminded. It’s easy to access from any task and fast, which is what most users want.
Clear allows you to change badges in two forms, for the last active list or for all tasks. This means that you can have badges represent all the tasks currently listed in Clear or you can choose to have it only represent the last list you accessed before you closed out the app. There is no option to configure only certain lists or tasks due today since clear doesn’t allow you to set times for tasks. This also means there are no push notifications inside Clear. You’ll see a badge but that’s it.
Wunderlist by default will show a badge for any tasks that are overdue. To my knowledge there isn’t a way to change this within settings. As far as notifications go, you can set reminders for any task you’d like. After creating a task you can tap into it and choose a due date or set a reminder. Wunderlist will then send you a push notification at the designated time you specified.
If you need push notifications that are customizable as well as a badge count that’s just as flexible, Any.DO is the only option since Clear lacks push notification support and Wunderlist doesn’t allow you to customize badge counts.
Any.DO uses its own native sync option. You can either create an account by creating an Any.DO account or by signing in with Facebook. Once you’ve set up an account, there is nothing to configure, it just works. Any device you’ve got Any.DO installed on will sync seamlessly.
Clear now supports iCloud and once it’s enabled within settings, all your tasks will automatically sync between iPhone, iPad, Mac, or any other device you’ve got Clear set up on.
Wunderlist supports native syncing through their own login service. Just like Any.DO, once you’ve signed in there’s absolutely nothing to configure. If you sign into your Wunderlist account on the web or on any other device that Wunderlist supports, your items will be there.
As far as syncing services are concerned, all three clients have excellent syncing support and no matter which you choose, you’ll have no issues accessing your data across several devices. Tie.
Any.DO has support for iPhone, Android, and a Chrome browser extension with a native web version coming soon. I’ve been using the Chrome extension for a few days now and haven’t had any problems. The only think I did notice is that syncing runs behind a few minutes but other than that, it works seamlessly with the iPhone app. There currently isn’t a native iPad version so if you need iPad support, Any.DO may not be your best option.
Clear is available in the App Store for iPhone and in the Mac App Store. There isn’t any native iPad or Android support so when it comes to syncing across platforms or to the iPad, it carries about the same support as Any.DO but instead of browser extensions, there is a native app for Mac users.
Wunderlist has been around for quite some time and supports quite a few platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, and PC. If you have a tendency to jump between platforms and need a task list system that can go with you, Wunderlist is it and has the best support of all three options.
Any.DO is available for free in both the App Store for iPhone and the Android Marketplace. The browser extension for Chrome is also free. Wunderlist is also a free option across all platforms and with the list of support you have, you really can’t beat it.
Clear is the only option that is a paid option. The iPhone version of Clear is currently available in the App Store for $1.99 while its Mac counterpart will run you $9.99 in the Mac App Store. If you love gestures and want an app that takes full advantage of them, Clear is it and it’s well worth the price if you need a quick and efficient task manager.
If price is a deciding factor, Wunderlist has the best support and with a free price tag, there’s no competition.
Any.DO, Clear, and Wunderlist all have great options when it comes to syncing and work well to keep you organized and on task. It comes down to how you need to organize your tasks and whether or not notifications matter to you.
While Wunderlist has the best cross-platform support, the interface is not assimple as either Clear or Any.DO. It also feels dated as it hasn’t seen a complete app overhaul since iOS 4. I’d only recommend Wunderlist over Clear and Any.DO if you really need that cross-platform support.
For most, it will come down to choosing between Clear and Any.DO. If push notifications and organizing lists by time are must haves for you, look no further any Any.DO. It’ll do everything you need and probably more. If you prefer a native Mac app and a beautiful simplistic interface that’s gesture driven, Clear is where it’s at.