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Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 Scanner – Healthcare Gadget Corner

Posted on January 7, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over my years implementing EMR software and talking with others who implement EMR software is the need to have a heavy duty scanner available. Anyone who is still under the illusion that implementing an EMR will lead them to a “paperless office” is just mistaken.

While you will be able to largely do away with your paper charts, you will still have plenty of paper floating around your office. Much of that paper will come through your printer (EMR software is great at printing records), at your front desk, and brought in by your patients. The best way to deal with this influx of paper in your office is to purchase a heavy duty scanner. You can see that I have added a number of heavy duty scanners on my EMR Technology Products list and after this review you will see why I’m adding the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 scanner to that list as well.
DR-C125
I was able to test out the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125for the last month and I have been quite pleased with its performance. The quality, speed, accuracy, and functionality of the scanner was as good as any of the other scanners I have used or implemented before. Plus, it comes in at about half the price of the relatively comparable Fujitsu fi-6130 scanner and just a touch more expensive than the Ambir imageScan Pro 820i. That makes it a great value for those looking for a high volume scanner for their medical office.

What might be the imageFORMULA DR-C125’s best feature is the ability to switch to the U-turn scanning mode which stacks the scanned pages neatly in an upright tray or to have the scanned pages sent through the bottom of the scanner. The bottom scanning is best used when scanning thicker items like ID cards or credit cards. This simple switch on the side of the scanner is a great feature that can save a lot of desk space since you don’t have to leave room below the scanner for the scanned pages. Plus, the upright U-turn scanning pathway makes it easy for you to grab the scanned pages from the scanner.

Along with standard features such as duplex scanning, auto-duplex recognition, and card scanning the imageFORMULA DR-C125 has a number of features worth noting. It has a really simple one touch scanning button which integrates well with the CaptureOnTouch software. The scanner also supports OCR (Optical Character Recognition) of the scanned documents and supports the TWAIN driver which is supported by most EHR software vendors.

Another really cool feature is the Ultrasonic Double-Feed Detection that comes with the scanner. This ensures that no data is lost in the event that a double-feed occurs during scanning. You can resolve the double-feed as it occurs which will save you time having to re-scan items.

I was quite pleased with the simple usability of the CaptureOnTouch software that’s provided with the scanner. I loved how it simply handled combining multiple scans into one document (if so desired). The scanner also comes with the more advanced PaperPort 11 and OmniPage (which you’ll need for OCR). I’m a big fan of PaperPort software for many situations, but in most healthcare situations you will likely want to integrate your scanner directly to your EHR software and so you won’t likely need the PaperPort functions.

I’d say my only real complaint about the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 scanner was that it has a bit of a plasticy feel to its design. I haven’t run into any troubles with the design myself, but those trained in the visual aesthetics of Apple like design will likely be disappointed by its visual appeal. I’m personally a function over form kind of guy in most situations and the DR-C125 function makes up for whatever it lacks in form.

For those who have the environment on your mind, you’ll be happy to know that the imageFORMULA DR-C125 meets the ENERGY STAR® guidelines for energy efficiency.

I’m glad to add the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 scanner to my list of EMR Technology products. If there are other questions you have about the scanner, I’d love to get them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Full Disclosure: Canon is an advertiser on the site and provided me the scanner to review.

iMPak Health with NoMoreClipboard – Healthcare Gadget Friday

Posted on April 27, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Our next entry in Healthcare Gadget Friday is the iMPak Health Journals from Meridian Health and NoMoreClipboard. You may remember that I called the iMPak Health Journals the most creative technology I found at HIMSS 12. As such I wanted to write more about how they worked.

Here’s a picture I took of the iMPak Health Journal:

It certainly looks pretty simple and it is. That’s done by design. You basically use the iMPak health journal by pressing down on the blue and red circles. Pressing these “buttons” kind of reminds me of the musical greeting cards you get. When you’d press it down the music would start playing. This works very similar. Although, you push the red button to start and then each of the blue buttons represent a response to a healthcare question. It’s as simple as that. You hold down the buttons and it records your answers.

Then, the next time you go for an appointment or through an NFC (near field communication) connection to your cell phone (almost all new cell phones will have this technology) the data is uploaded electronically to the NoMoreClipboard website. From there all of the data can be processed and seen by yourself and your doctor.

I’d hoped to have a video where you could see the use of the iMPak journal, but I wasn’t able to get one that did a nice demo. What I found so creative was how simple it was to collect data from a patient. They didn’t need to download an app. They didn’t need to buy an expensive device that they’re only going to use for a limited time.

Turns out that there are a lot of potential uses for these journals. Some areas that might find them useful are: Insurance Companies, Hospitals / Health Systems, Pharmacy Benefit Management, Pharmaceutical Companies, Employer Benefits Management, and Retail Pharmacies. Here’s a video which shows how it can be used:

One challenge that still exists with this device is getting patients to remember to use the device. A built in alarm that would go off to remind them to answer the questions could help to solve that problem. Although, the journal is so portable, I’d hate to have the alarm go off as you carry it around in your purse or something.

I’ll also be interested to see how many patients lose their iMPak journal or just forget to bring it to the office for their appointment. This isn’t an issue if they’ve been uploading their data using their own cell phone, but would be an issue in those cases where they’re uploading the data in the office.

The biggest competitor to this product is the various mobile health apps that are cropping up. One day I can see the mobile health apps really taking over this space. However, there are still many patients who don’t carry a smart phone or that can’t/won’t go to the hassle of downloading an app to track this stuff. In those cases, I find the iMPak Health Journal a really creative solution to getting the data to be able to provide better patient care.


Full Disclosure: NoMoreClipboard is an advertiser on this site.

Ambir ADF Scanners for Healthcare – Healthcare Gadget Friday

Posted on April 20, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many love to discuss the idea of the paperless office in healthcare. This turns out to be a dream that is (at least for now) impossible to obtain. In fact, some people argue that the amount of paper you use in an office increases because an EHR can print out a whole patient record so quickly. However, the bigger issue with paper post-EHR implementation usually has to do with all of the paper that your patients bring into the office and the paper documents that your patients need to sign. One day these issues might be resolved through HIEs and digital signatures. Until then, the most important tool a physician can have in their practice is a great scanner.

I’ve told the story multiple times about my very first EHR implementation where we used one of those cheap multi function scanners in medical records because we already had it. Fast forward a month or so and we’d literally burned through that scanner. That’s when I learned my first lesson that not all scanners are created equal.

I’ve had the powerful, but expensive Fujitsu scanners listed on my EMR Technology page for a long time. I know a lot of doctors offices that use these and they are just work horses that with some simple regular maintenance last forever. My biggest problem with these scanners has been their price. I remember how hard it was for me to convince a practice that it was worth the hefty price tag.

Ambir ImageScan Pro 820i and Ambir ImageScan Pro 930u

The good news is that healthcare now has another option in the Ambir ADF scanners. Ambir’s been in the scanner business for quite a while, but these ADF scanners are a relatively new addition to their scanner line up. I’ve had the chance to use both their Ambir ImageScan Pro 820i (See Amazon Listing) and their new Ambir ImageScan Pro 930u and can say I was quite pleased with both scanners.

I won’t bore you with all the specific specs for each scanner since you can read those on the website. I’ll just cover some of the highlights. The obvious difference between the 820i and the 930u is the speed. They do 25 ppm and 40 ppm (black and white) respectively. Seeing those numbers shows a stark contrast, but to be honest I never felt like the 820i was slow and I expect it would be fast enough for most ambulatory offices.

The 930u also has the fabulously named “Ultrasonic misfeed detection.” Isn’t that a great name? Per the websites it, “Stops jams and double-feeds before the happen.” Although, in the time I’ve been using both scanners I’ve never had problems with either scanner having a problem.

I personally love the robust scanning software that comes with both scanners. In fact, if anything there might be too many options to choose from in how you want to configure your scanner. I’m sure they could improve this with a little better interface that does a better job hiding some of the more advanced options and bringing out those options that people really care to configure most often. Although, as a techguy I loved having all the options at my disposal. The only trouble is that many practices don’t have a tech person who will wade through the options to find the best configuration. Thus my suggestion to make it feel simpler. The good part is that most people will configure it once and then not worry about it again.

The on-scanner buttons are simple and basically lean on the software in the background to do the heavy lifting. One button that I wish they had was a way to quickly switch between Front Side, Back Side and Duplex scanning. It’s pretty annoying to have to go into the software to change this setting. A button on the scanner to toggle through those settings would be ideal.

I’m not sure why, but the 820i also feels like a better designed, more sturdy product than the 930u. The 820i has the smoother edges which also adds to its visual appeal, but there’s something about it that makes it feel like a much more solid scanner than the 930u. I’m not sure if the 930u just uses cheaper plastic or something, but it doesn’t have the same well designed feel of the 820i. I wouldn’t say the 930u has a poor design, but when comparing the two side by side you can see the difference. I also love the flip up tray (820i) better than the slide in tray (930u), but that might be personal preference.

They’re both quite compact designs for an ADF scanner. I’m not sure you could really get a smaller footprint than what they’ve done with both of these scanners. Another great feature is that the scanners support ID scanning as well. Considering the number of licenses and insurance cards that we scan in healthcare, this is great.

Most EHR vendors will be glad to hear that it supports the popular TWAIN driver which I think most EHR vendors use to interface with scanners. The TWAIN driver automatically rotates pages, adjusts brightness, and autocrops images to minimize file size and increase OCR accuracy. Other features include: auto page sizing, blank page removal and auto deskew.

All in all I was quite pleased with the Ambir ADF scanners. I couldn’t find any major problems with them in all my tests and use of the scanner. I’ll be adding them as an EMR and HIPAA approved product on my EMR Technology page.

If you’ve used the Ambir scanners or other scanners, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

Full Disclosure: Ambir has been an advertiser on the site since 1/2010.

GammaTech’s Durabook U12C Review – Healthcare Gadget Friday

Posted on April 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As I mentioned in last week’s post about the PhoneSoap – Charge and Sanitize Your cell phone (UPDATE: The Kickstarter project is fully funded and PhoneSoaps are going to production.) post, I’m going to try and reserve Friday for what I’m calling Healthcare Gadget Friday. Today we’re going to look at the GammaTech Durabook U12C.

Here’s the official description of the GammaTech Durabook U12C:

GammaTech’s Durabook U12C is the perfect companion for mobile power users on the go. The U12C features a 12.1″ WXGA Touch Screen with Digitizer and LED backlight display that quickly converts into a Tablet PC. This lightweight convertible style Tablet PC features I/O covered ports to protect from the hazards of dirt and dust. Powered by the Intel Core i5 processor, the U12C has maximized speed and data management. In addition, the U12C comes with a hard handle making portability a snap. It offers a number of sophisticated I/O modules that can encompass everything from a RS232 port or GPS to an optional second 2M-pixel auto focus camera. An optional vehicle docking station is also available.


I received a demo Durabook U12C to be able to do this review. I was quite pleased with the Durabook U12C in general, so I’ll be a little sad when I have to ship it back to Durabook. It’s a really solid offering if you’re looking for a nice Durabook.

My good experience with the GammaTech started when I opened the package and saw the really well designed packaging for the Durabook. While a box doesn’t really matter when it comes to the quality of the computer, it does say something about the company and their concern about even the smallest of details.

I won’t go into all the gory details of the specs on the machine. The Durabook U12C was running the Windows 7 operating system and so you can compare its detailed specs with any other similarly specked laptop on the market today. With that said, I used it for a few weeks and never had an issue with any of the specs in the ways I used it.

When you look at it, it seems like the 12″ screen feels a little small. However, in actual use the 12.1″ screen was never a problem for me. I know GammaTech has another model that only has a 10″ screen. I think the 10″ screen might be too small for me, but I really had no issues with the 12.1″ screen. Plus, when you add on the extra Durabook casing to protect the machine you really don’t want a screen bigger than 12.1″. If you went even to a 14″ screen the Durabook gets way too unwieldy.

I didn’t do any real specific tests as far as drop resistance, shock resistance, spill resistance, dust resistance, and battery protection since I didn’t want to break the machine if something didn’t work quite right. You can see the tough features specs on the GammaTech website. Needless to say, the machine feels very solid in every component. In fact in some cases almost to a fault.

An example of this is the latch to open the machine. The latch is pretty hard to open. Partially because it secures the lid so well and partially because the easy carry handle makes it awkward to maneuver the latch. I actually handed it to my wife and asked her to open it. A few minutes later (and a few laughs) she finally figured out how to open it. Of course, once you figure it out it’s not that bad, but it does require a kind of awkward angle to unlatch it. I’m sure the solid latch was an intentional part of the design. I know I’ve seen A LOT of broken latches on laptops in my time working in healthcare IT and with EHR software. This latch will never have that problem.

I was also a little disappointed with how responsive the track pad was to my touch. It’s a really hard touch pad that left a lot to be desired. I imagine this probably has to do with durability as well, but it was pretty disappointing to use. Good thing that it’s a tablet as well so you could always use the pen instead.

The Durabook U12C had the best fingerprint scanner placement of any laptop or Durabook that I’ve seen. Maybe there are others that have similar positioning, but I loved the fingerprint scanners nice placement in the middle on the right side of the screen for easy thumb scanning. It just felt right since I often hold my screen in just the right position to be able to scan when I open it up. Very well done.

I spent a fair amount of time playing with the tablet features of the Durabook U12C. Obviously many of the features are dependent on Windows 7 more than the Durabook U12C itself. On that subject, if you haven’t tried the Windows 7 tablet stuff yet, it’s quite good and so much better than its predecessor. We’ll see what Windows 8 brings. The Durabook U12C performed well and the pen storage was really convenient.

My biggest pain point with the Durabook U12C was the placement of some of the quick buttons on the screen. They weren’t an issue in laptop mode, but when I converted to a tablet and was using the stylus I kept accidentally hitting the buttons. It got really annoying when I was trying to write something on the tablet and then the screen just rotates because the palm of my hand brushed the rotate button. I tried to even rotate the screen into the notebook position, but I still hit some other buttons that were on the screen. This certainly would have deterred me from using the tablet very much.

Overall I was quite pleased with the Durabook U12C. The biggest downsides from my experience were the lackluster track pad and the poorly placed on screen buttons. However, the rest of the features were really well executed and provided a really solid Durabook. I can see a number of cases where a durabook could make sense in the healthcare IT world. This would definitely be one worth trying. It’s built to last and your IT administrator will love you since it has Windows 7 which won’t have any issues with your IT security requirements.

PhoneSoap – Charge and Sanitize Your Cell Phone – Healthcare Gadget Friday

Posted on April 6, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many of you know we have our regular Meaningful Use Monday series that we’ve been doing for almost a year now. Today I decided that it would be fun to create a new series I’m calling Healthcare Gadget Friday. I’m not sure I’ll do it every single Friday, but I’d like to do it most Fridays.

I’m kicking off this series with a gadget a friend of mine emailed me about called: PhoneSoap. You can read all about PhoneSoap and pre-order one on this kickstarter page (If you haven’t seen Kickstarter before it’s a pretty amazing website). Here’s the overview of the PhoneSoap product:

PhoneSoap is a small box that simultaneously charges and sanitizes your cell phone using UV-C light. UV-C light is electromagnetic radiation that’s used in hospitals and clean rooms around the world. This short wavelength of light penetrates the cell wall of the bacteria and disrupts its DNA, effectively killing it. It is 99.9% effective in killing bacteria and virus’. Best of all it is completely safe.The UV-C light is only on for 3-5 minutes at a time and there is no heat or liquid involved so there is no risk of damaging your phone. There is a UV-C light on the top and on the bottom of the box so that the UV rays surround your phone for complete sanitization. Take a look at our before and after pictures to see how powerful PhoneSoap is:

I’ll admit that I’m no expert on UV-C light and its uses in healthcare, but I hope that some of our readers are familiar with it. I’d love to learn more about what you know about its ability to sanitize.

With that said, I think it’s a pretty creative product. I could see healthcare people putting their cell in this when they get home after a day in the hospital or even on the drive home from work. I’ve seen long discussions online about the best wipes or other awkward solutions to use to clean and sanitize devices in healthcare. I wonder if this could be a better solution…at least for cell phones. I imagine they could later make one for iPads as well.

What do people think of this idea? Could this be beneficial in healthcare? Are you guys worried about carrying around a germ infected cell phone that doesn’t ever get clean?

Considering the number of devices that have entered the healthcare environment and will continue to become part of healthcare, we’re going to need something that does a good job cleaning these devices. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the PhoneSoap device.