the-hospital-wristband

Earlier today at NGPX (the Next Gen Patient Experience conference in Litchfield Park, Arizona), my company SMARTRAC gave a presentation with Cutaneous Information Technologies (CIT) on an improvement on the hospital wristband: The Patient ID Shield.

Today: The hospital wristband

hospital-wristband-2

Hospital wristbands are used to identify patients and provide some basic information about the patient to caregivers. The current state-of-the-market technology for hospital wristbands is laser printing or thermal imaging, with support for large, legible fonts and barcodes that enable electronic patient and medication tracking.

Sometimes, a patient will be tagged with one or more additional wristbands to clearly indicate that the patient has a specific condition or that certain procedures should be followed with that patient:

color-coded-hospital-bracelets

When “stacked” on a patient’s arm, they end up looking like this:

many-wristbands

While they are useful safety devices, hospital wristbands have a number of limitations:

  • They’re prone to errors. The U.S. Department of Health estimates that misidentification errors cost $1.4 billion per year in the US alone.
  • They’re uncomfortable. On patient satisfaction surveys, they universally get a negative score.
  • They can cut off circulation or lead to acute compartment syndrome if put on too tightly.
  • They can become a source of infection because they can easily get soiled, especially on the inside.
  • They can fit insecurely, especially in the case of children. In these cases, it’s too easy to remove and transfer them.
  • Their small size limits legibility and limits the information you can put on them.

Soon: The Shield

shield-and-smartphone

Click the image to see it at full size.

The Shield is a solution that takes the basic concept of the hospital wristband and enhances it with:

  • CIT’s concept of a large, easy-to-read decal applied directly to the patient’s skin that provides caregivers with quick information they can read and additional information that they can access with a mobile device, and
  • SMARTRAC’s Enablement solution, which uses its industry-leading RFID tag and inlay technology combined with its Smart Cosmos platform to connect real-world people and things to the digital information associated with them.

The Shield is easier to read than a wristband, and the space it provides for additional allergy and care information means that you don’t need to clutter a patient’s arm with additional wristbands.

In addition to the enhanced human readability, the enhanced machine readability enabled by the combination of barcode and RFID technology means that it’s easy to get detailed information about a patient using a mobile device. The Smart Cosmos platform behind the Shield integrates with EMR systems to offer a fully customizable patient management system to enhance the patient’s safety and experience at the hospital.

cit-and-smartrac-logos

Along with CIT, we’re aiming to make Shield technology available to hospitals and other healthcare facilities worldwide next year. It’s part of SMARTRAC’s evolution from a “we make RFID tags and inlays” company to a “we make software and hardware to make objects smarter” company.

Want to know more? Take a look at SMARTRAC’s official news release: Smartrac and CIT to Present Breakthrough Patient Identification Shield Solution at Next Generation Patient Experience Event.

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Tampa iOS Meetup will return in January!

by Joey deVilla on November 27, 2016

its-been-a-long-time

It’s been a while since there’s been a gathering of the Tampa iOS Meetup, but I’m pleased to announce that it will return in January 2017.

My new job — Technology Evangelist at SMARTRAC, an “internet of things” company that will be making some big moves next year — has kept me busy with orientation, work, and travel. As a result, I haven’t been able to put together a meetup in the past couple of months. Now that I’ve gone through the initial “breaking in” phase with the new job, my schedule’s a little more settled, and Tampa iOS Meetups can resume.

I’m in the process of working out the details, but as soon as I’ve secured a space for the January 2017 meetup, I’ll make an announcement on the Tampa iOS Meetup page, the mailing list, and here on Global Nerdy.

If you have any suggestions for a topic that you’d like to see me cover at Tampa iOS Meetup, please let me know — leave a comment here, or drop me a line at joey@joeydevilla.com­!

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Scenes from Saturday’s Tampa Xamarin Dev Days event

by Joey deVilla on November 21, 2016

early-crowd

A good number of people arrived early to get Xamarin set up on their laptops.
Photo by Joey deVilla.

The Tampa edition of Xamarin Dev Days — a worldwide series of meetups where developers can learn about the Xamarin cross-platform development environment — took place this Saturday, and it was a successful gathering with about 70 developers in attendance.

Xamarin Dev Days are all-day events that introduce developers to Xamarin, with presentations in the morning, and hands-on workshops in the afternoon. They’re facilitated by experienced Xamarin users and evangelists, and since Microsoft acquired Xamarin, Mircosoft evangelists and MVPs have been running these events.

This was the agenda:

 Time  What’s happening
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast, which SMARTRAC and SMART COSMOS (the company and platform I represent) provided!
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Intro to Xamarin presentation (here are the slides, in PDF format)
10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Cross-platform Xamarin with Xamarin.Forms presentation (here are the slides, in PDF format)
11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Cloud Xamarin with Azure presentation (here are the slides, in PDF format)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Hands-on lab

early-crowd-2

Another photo of the early arrivals.
Photo by Joey deVilla.

Getting people to spend their entire Saturday in a boardroom or lecture hall isn’t an easy task even when it’s cold and miserable outside. It’s even trickier in Tampa in November, when the temperatures are spring-like and there isn’t a cloud in the sky:

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The view from the drive leading to Tampa’s Microsoft office, taken on the morning of Tampa’s Xamarin Dev Days.
Photo by Joey deVilla.

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The view from the parking lot in from of Microsoft’s Tampa office, taken on the morning of Xamarin Dev Days.
Photo by Joey deVilla.

The very least a Saturday event can do — especially in a sub-tropical paradise like Tampa Bay — is feed its attendees. Michael Stark, one of the Dev Days facilitators and organizer of the Tampa Bay Xamarin User Group, reached out to me and asked if SMARTRAC (the company for whom I work as Technology Evangelist and whose SMART COSMOS platform I promote) could sponsor breakfast. We were more than happy to do so, and thus nearly 70 developers did not go hungry that morning:

bagel-breakfast

The breakfast bounty provided by SMARTRAC.
Photo by Michael Stark. Click the photo to see the source.

Joe Healy, Microsoft Premier Developer Consultant and Developer Evangelist for the area, asked me if I could play a couple of accordion numbers to kick off the event, and I was more than happy to do so.

joey-devilla-xamarin-tampa-accordion-1

joey-devilla-xamarin-tampa-accordion-2

Here’s Joe giving a shout-out to SMARTRAC / SMART COSMOS for providing breakfast, which was followed by my quick explanation of what SMARTRAC and SMART COSMOS are:

joe-healy-smartcosmos-slide

Here’s a close-up of that “Good news, everyone!” slide:

good-news-everyone

With the preliminaries out of the way, we spent the rest of the day getting down to the business of learning about Xamarin, which runs on both Windows and Mac OS, and can be used to develop front ends for Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows, and Azure:

daniel-jerome-photo-1

Photo by Daniel Jerome. Click the photo to see the source.

For those of us on the Mac, we worked on the current stable edition of Xamarin Studio, the Mac OS-based Xamarin development environment, pictured below:

xamarin-studio-for-mac

It’ll eventually be rebranded as Visual Studio for Mac, the preview version of which is shown below:

visual-studio-for-mac

If you’re on Windows, you’ll be using Xamarin’s features from within Visual Studio.

The event went quite nicely, with many local developers not just learning more about Xamarin, mobile, and cloud development, but also about their peers. Over breakfast, lunch, and breaks, I got a chance to talk to a lot of people about all sorts of topics, including:

  • Business and industrial applications of RFID technology. As a result of the couple of minutes I got at the start of the day as a sponsor’s representative, a couple of people approached me to talk about RFID tags and inlays and how they could be used in their businesses.
  • The current situation in India, a couple of weeks after their radical demonetization, where two of the most-used currency notes, the 500- and 1000-Rupee bills, were taken out of circulation. To get an idea of what this is like, imagine the $10 and $20 bills in the U.S. suddenly being declared invalid.
  • How Microsoft seems different now: bash on Ubuntu on Windows, development software for the Mac (Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio for Mac) and even Linux (Visual Studio Code), interesting new hardware such as Surface Studio and Surface Dial — it’s not the same company as it was five years ago, and that’s a good thing.
  • Developer opportunities in the Tampa Bay area. This always comes up at these gatherings.

While the event ended at 4 that afternoon, the gathering didn’t — a number of us regrouped at the Brick House for more conversation, accompanied by beer, food, and Jägermeister reps handing out free samples and taking promotional photos, which is why the last photo in this article has their branding:

jagermeister

My thanks to Joe Healy, Michael Stark, Jim Blizzard, Bill Reiss, and Brian Kassay for putting on a great event!

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xamarin

Xamarin, the development tool that lets you use C# to write code for Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows, and the cloud, is hosting a number of Xamarin Dev Days events all over the world, and the Tampa Bay event takes place tomorrow, Saturday November 19th at 9:00 a.m..

The Tampa Bay event is hosted by the Tampa Bay Mobile App Developers meetup at the Tampa Microsoft office in the Westshore area. Xamarin Dev Days events are hands-on sessions, with the mornings dedicated to learning about Xamarin and the afternoon set for diving into coding.

Are you in the Tampa Bay area and want to join in? Register at the Tampa Bay Xamarin Dev Days site!

Agenda

Here’s what will take place, and when:

 Time  What’s happening
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast, which SMARTRAC and SMART COSMOS (the company and platform I represent) are providing!
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. “Intro to Xamarin” presentation
10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. “Cross-platform Xamarin” presentation
11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. “Cloud Xamarin” presentation
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (they’ll provide it; it will most likely be pizza)
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Hands-on lab

Your hosts will be:

What you should bring

mac-and-windows-laptops

You’ll need a computer running either Mac OS or Windows on which to do Xamarin development. You should set up Xamarin prior to showing up, because setup takes time and bandwidth, which will likely be in short supply at the event. Follow these steps:

Breakfast is on SMART COSMOS!

smart-cosmos-horizontal

If you’re going to show up to spent 8 hours of your Saturday in an office — especially in the Tampa Bay Area, where November means sunny skies and 80°F/27°C temperatures — the least we can do is feed you. SMART COSMOS will help by providing breakfast!

SMART COSMOS is the IoT platform made by SMARTRAC, the company where I hold the title of developer evangelist. It orchestrates data for the internet of things, and combined with SMARTRAC’s RFID technology, it’s being used to help clothing manufacturers and retailers manage their wares, improve the way healthcare providers track patients from the moment they check into the hospital to well after they check out, and on mechanical devices to ensure that the right parts are plugged into the right places.

New to C#, or has it been a while? Download this free book.

c-sharp-programming-yellow-book

If you’re new to the C# programming language (I’ve quipped that it’s “like Java, but good”) or if it’s been a while (as is the case for me), I recommend getting your paws on Rob Miles’ C# Programming Yellow Book, a free ebook that he’s been publishing and updating for years. It’s based on the first year programming course at the University of Hull, and it’s been the free ebook I’ve been sending C# students to for years.

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old-microsoft-logo-and-mac-visual-studio

Microsoft meant to announce the upcoming release of the Visual Studio for Mac at the Connect(); 2016 developer event on Wednesday, but someone accidentally clicked “publish” on the blog entry a little too early (here’s the cached article). With this great news, we’re one step closer to their “pointy logo era”, that time in the 1970s and early- to mid-80s when they made development tools for many, many platforms.

bill-gates-time-cover

Bill Gates on the cover of TIME magazine, 1984.

For those of you who were too young to remember those days, here’s a quick photographic tour of just a few of the many, many versions of good ol’ Microsoft BASIC, the programming language that gave the company its start in a time when seeing a computer in a home or office was a very unusual thing:

The TRS-80 Model 100 by Radio Shack (yes, Radio Shack once made computers!) was one of the first notebook computers.

The TRS-80 Color Computer, also by Radio Shack, was their only machine not based on an Zilog Z80 processor, but a Motorola 6809 instead.

The Atari 400 and 800 series of computers had a passable built-in BASIC, but if you wanted the real thing, you’d load Atari Microsoft BASIC via cartridge or floppy disk.

The Apple II had its own BASIC — Integer BASIC — but it got superseded by Applesoft BASIC, a dialect of Microsoft BASIC whose name is an amalgam of “Apple” and “Microsoft”.

The IBM PC not only brought personal computing to offices, schools, and homes in the 1980s and 1990s, but many forms of Microsoft BASIC, starting with IBM BASIC.

It’s been a long time since Microsoft has made a full-fledged development environment for the Mac, but the signs of its arrival have been around for a while. Consider Xamarin Studio, whose creators were recently acquired by Microsoft…

xamarin-studio
…and Visual Studio Code, which is an excellent programmer’s text editor:

visual-studio-code

Here’s what Visual Studio for Mac will look like:

visual-studio-mac-workspace

VS for Mac is based on Xamarin Studio — the Mac version is so much better than the Windows version; Windows folks were much better off using Visual Studio with the Xamarin extension — and gives Mac-based developers the ability to use C# and .NET to build applications for…

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Mac OS

It also supports the ASP.NET Core web development platform for building web service back ends that can live on your on-premises servers or in the cloud on Azure.

VS for Mac is supposed to be the Mac OS counterpart of VS for Windows, and features many of the things that made Visual Studio popular, including IntelliSense:

intellisense

While it doesn’t support all the project types that the Windows version supports, its solutions use the same MSBuild-based solution and project format, meaning that Mac- and Windows-based developers can share projects for Android, iOS, Mac OS, and ASP.NET development seamlessly.

connect-2016

Microsoft will announce the full details about Visual Studio for Mac at their Connect(); // 2016 conference, which will feature live streams of its keynotes and various session from Wednesday, November 16th through Friday, November 18th. This promises to be an interesting one — make sure you catch it!

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foe-real

They be fo’ real, Gib-dogg!

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Interviewed on John Biggs’ Technotopia podcast!

by Joey deVilla on October 28, 2016

joey-devilla-technotopia

This morning, I got a message on Facebook Messenger from John Biggs:

chat-with-john-biggs

I said “Yes” immediately, because as I said on Twitter:

technotopia

Technotopia is Biggs’ weekly podcast about a bright future. Here are his own words about it:

Over the past few months I’ve been on a mission: I want to prove that the future is not going to suck. While this project was originally going to end up in a book – and it still will – I’ve started recording a weekly podcast called Technotopia in which I speak to amazing thinkers about the future. We’ve covered the environment, bitcoin, and why the future will be cafes and croissants.

Very soon after his message, we recorded the podcast in a single take, where I talked about my new job at SMARTRAC, the possibilities that RFID technology enables, growing up in the ’80s thinking you were born 20 years too soon while your friends thought they were born 20 years too late, accordion playing, and the sorts of things that you talk about when you love technology and want to use it to make a better future.

The podcast got posted today shortly after noon! Give it a listen using the player below, or subscribe to via the feed!

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