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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blackberry - invaluable tool for Interventional Cardiologist

I am a technology freak. Specifically, I love mobile technology.

I was a very early Palm user. I had a Palm III, Palm V, Sony Clie.

Then I made the move to the world of smart phones with a Palm Treo 600, Palm Treo 650, and then a Palm Treo 700p.

I loved the Palm OS but it was stagnant and really started lagging behind other smart phones. I had become an attending and really need the best communication tool possible.

Therefore, I made the leap to the BlackBerry platform. My first device was an ATT Pearl. I loved this device. So small and compact with a great battery life (vital since I spend long days in cath labs with poor reception - kills battery life). I convinced our IT manager to install a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Now all our Outlook Exchange data was automatically pushed to my device. All my calender, tasks, contacts, memos and email were in perfect wireless sync with my Outlook.

Email on a BlackBerry is just the best. I will get emails faster on the BlackBerry than I will to my Outlook on my desktop.

I have been such a fan on email as a mode of communication that I have convinced all my partners of its benefits. Thank god not more pagers (how 1980!!!).

As I became more of a power user, I found the Pearl device too limiting - its too difficult to type medical terms and proper nouns. ATT service was also sketchy here in Southwestern CT - so I switched to a full QWERTY Blackberry - the Verizon Curve. Great smartphone all around.

I have just recently upgrade again to a Verizon BlackBerryTour. Beautiful screen, better keyboard, faster with more memory.

How do I use my BlackBerry?


  • All nonurgent communication between my partners and the office is via email. This is huge, since I spend half my time out of the office. My office staff can now email me messages left by physicians or patients. They can also attach notes or test results which I can review on my BlackBerry and I can call them back -- all without going to a PC or being in the office
  • All urgent communication between my partners is via phone call or SMS text message - all on the BlackBerry
  • I love BlackBerry Messenger (Instant Messaging) - I use this to communicate with my wife and my friends


  • pMDsoft: A terrific, on device, mobile charge capture program. This program has truly been practice changes for myself and my partners.
  • Viigo: An amazing RSS feed reader. On the fly, I can now keep up with all the most up-to-date medical news. I remain much more current this way than I was using Google Reader or waiting for email updates from journals or websites. I can share news articles via email or I can tweet directly from the program. (It has many more features but one that I use the most is its weather module - very cool and easy).
  • SocialScope: I love twitter. It is a great way to keep up-to-date and network. It is a great way to spread the word about this blog as well. SocialScope is a terrific twitter client for the BlackBerry. I have used UberTwitter too but find SocialScope faster and I like the interface better too.

What do I miss:

  • Epocrates: I terrific drug reference guide. This ran beautifully on the Palm. Unfortunately, was too big of a memory hog on my BlackBerry Curve or Pearl. I have not yet tried it on my Tour.

So - if you want absolutely the best communication tool on the market - get a BlackBerry. Its not as fancy or cool as an iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, or some Windows phones - but nothing is better at getting things done quickly and reliably.


He's a link to an article discussing 8 new applications for the BlackBerry



  1. Can you at least talk about your experiences using an iPhone before claiming blackberry as the best?

  2. We're a household with multiple iPhones and lately one has been acting funky. Since we already replaced the first one we're wondering if Blackberry's are more durable.

    Can you replace the battery in a Blackberry? With the iPhone once that goes you're in for a new several hundred dollar device, and if you're a multiple device family these things add up.

  3. The BlackBerry does indeed have a removable, replaceable battery.

  4. i have epocrates on my tour. much better than on my curve. but if you need it and don't want to load the software, can't you use the mobile web version on tour? the browser is so much better on tour than curve it is ridiculous.

  5. I am a psychiatrist and worry about the security of smart phones, esp text messaging and email to or from patients and with staff that contains a patient's name.

    I also worry about a lost or stolen phone if even something as basic a phone number list is at risk.

    Any advice?