Review: The Best Cheap Stylus, Ever by David L. Tran

Since the start of the iMedEd Initiative we have reviewed many styluses, experimenting with what seemed like endless variations of the same thing. We even helped you make your own in order to find a more cost effective solution. The price range for a decent stylus really varies, anywhere from a few dollars in bulk to more than $50 for a high end model – and each time we’ve broken or lost them. The tips have worn out and they’ve been dropped in the hospital, lost in our white coats, sterilized, rebuilt like Frankenstein, and either replaced or lost completely.

For those who live near a Daiso, I have found the most sturdy and cost effective stylus to date. The Daiso Stylus, which purchased at $1.50, is an incredible value for the money, and somehow has remained unbroken and functioning after nearly a year of usage.

The design is subtle and discreet. The stylus looks like a normal pen with a metal body and a simple black rubber tip on the end. It is lightweight, but sturdy and appropriately weighted so it doesn’t actually feel like a dollar store pen. When you uncap it, it reveals a standard ballpoint pen with black ink, though the cartridge is about half the length of a typical pen to accommodate for the stylus tip. With the cap on, writing with the stylus feels better than most styluses bought online because of the extra length and weight balance. Combined with programs like Penultimate for the iPad I was able to take many, many pages of notes.

The rubber tip is as expected, provides little resistance and slides along my screen nicely and has yet to snag. In a pinch the ballpoint pen is also of reasonable quality, for when I am writing patient notes or rounding in the early morning and I lose my pen, it serves as a good backup. The only downside is the cap doesn’t like to stay put when placed over the stylus end, perhaps owing to its thin metal body. The clip functions surprisingly well, and even after accidentally bending it, it held up nicely where I have previously broken many plastic clips.

Lastly, after a years of use the stylus looks surprisingly good – even after being repeatedly cleaned with Klor wipes and alcohol swabs. The conductive paint on the stylus has yet to disintegrate or chip given how many times I’ve dropped it, and at $1.50 I didn’t have many qualms about using chemicals to sterilize it after a day at the hospital. If you’re lucky, the stylus can be found at any Daiso for $1.50 and comes in black or red.

daiso2 daiso1 daiso3


The mini stylus, also found at Daiso for $1.50. It comes with an attachment that inserts into a standard sized headphone port. It is so comically small that I immediately lost it. And found it. And lost it again. I found it weeks later in the bottom of my Timbuk2 bag after a conference. And again, later, under my car seat.

It makes my hands cramp when I write with it. I could foresee this being very useful if you live in cold weather and are frequently wearing gloves. If you live in warm weather, seriously, just use your fingers.


Posted in iPad Tips, Testimonials | Leave a comment

Review: CloudMagic for iOS and Android by David L. Tran

Emails, endless emails hitting our inboxes. We are constantly flooded with a mixture of messages, “to do”s, inquiries, advertisements, and spam; it’s a wonder we get anything done at all. For those who use their inbox as a “To Do” list, you are likely constantly skimming and searching for that message you saw a few days ago, a reminder of that thing you were supposed to do. While Gmail is one of the few web-based email clients to successfully integrate search functionality into their application, there has yet to be a great solution for those using corporate email clients such as Exchange, Office 360, Outlook, and other IMAP services. That is precisely where CloudMagic comes in.

CloudMagic initially started in 2012 as a “personal data search engine”, a service which searched across email, contacts, files, calendars, and cloud services. The service worked well, however when the company found that 80% of their users were primarily using it to search their mailboxes (1), they shifted their focus to email and released their mail application in November 2013 to rave reviews and a rapidly growing user base. According to their founder, Mr. Rohit Nadhani, “The company has the singular focus of making you productive on the most used app on your smartphone – the email app.”

How does CloudMagic work?

You download the app and enter in your credentials for the inboxes you would like to connect. Their servers index and build a searchable database of those emails. This differs from traditional email clients, which download and index your messages on your computer, phone, or tablet while using up valuable system resources. If an email isn’t found it searches the server where emails are saved. What CloudMagic does is make searching that information significantly faster by keeping much it in the cloud. A reasonable analogy of this concept is searching Wikipedia on the web versus downloading all of Wikipedia onto your computer, then using the search function on your device to search your device as it processes everything over again.

What about security?

According to their privacy policy (2): “Your data is yours and therefore only read by you. Neither do we read it, nor share with anyone else”. They use a service known as OAuth whenever possible, so they never know what your password is, and in the event that OAuth isn’t possible, they encrypt the data on their servers before being stored. Currently, only one month of encrypted emails are stored on their servers and future versions of CloudMagic will only use their servers to push email to your device without holding onto them.

According to their founder, Rohit Nadhani, “We are not going to make money off your data, ever,” (3). The company plans to monetize by expanding into a freemium model in the near future and in email conversation with Mr. Nadhani, he emphasized their core email service will always remain free.

Fine. Tell me how it performs.

Searching in CloudMagic is fast. In testing it was significantly faster than using both the Gmail App and the iOS Mail app (which searches the server) to find messages via the university Exchange server. If I’m searching for a name, it quickly highlights both a contact person and where their name was mentioned in emails instantly. In our testing we were able to find information we needed within seconds.

The user interface is clean and simple. There aren’t any silly widgets, extra icons or features that you don’t need and the interface is whittled down to the bare basics (sometimes to a fault, more on that later). There is a simple swipe down to refresh and a search bar sits firmly at the top. For power users, the added functionality of Evernote integration will allow you to save emails directly into your Evernote using their card system. Currently you can also connect your Salesforce, Zendesk, Pocket, Trello, and MailChimp accounts to their app. Many more cards are on the way with the possibility of Wunderlist, Anydo and Asana app integration in the future.

As always, there are some minor issues that may need to be addressed in future updates. The default reply button is “Reply All” with the “Reply” button tucked away into the menu next to it. The app was meant for collaborators and teams, but having the option to change the default setting would be nice, especially after a few near misses in group emails. While the interface is wonderfully simple, a few more options under the settings pane would have also been helpful. The passcode lock option for the application is a much appreciated security feature, but there’s not much else in terms of customization beyond that.

Cloud Magic is a free download via Google Play for Android and the iTunes App Store for iOS.








Posted in iPad Apps | Leave a comment

Interprofessional Student Collaboration at the Med AppJam 2013

Following the success of the inaugural Med AppJam last year, the second annual Med AppJam kicked off on November 8, 2013 with 23 teams comprised of over 130 students from the School of Medicine (SOM) and the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) partnered in interprofessional development teams. The teams collaborated for two weeks to produce mobile iOS apps focused on the competition’s patient education/experience theme. The success of the Med AppJam comes from the unique opportunity for medical students and computer science students to mutually contribute their content expertise to improve the healthcare landscape while expanding their technology literacy and savvy.

The Med AppJam concluded on November 22, 2013 with an Awards Ceremony where the teams presented their apps to a team of judges from industry and academia: Jordan Jones from sponsor Visible Health, Mat Estrada from sponsor Local Splash, Dr. Warren Wiechmann, Dr. Jill Endres and Dr. Julie Youm representing SOM and Nithin Jilla, ICS alumnus. ICS Student Council organizers Audrey Auyang and David Curtis opened the Awards Ceremony with supporting statements from ICS Dean Hal Stern and SOM Senior Associate Dean Oswald Steward after which the winning teams were announced:


Berry Team (Photo Credit: UC Irvine)

1st Place ($1000 prize): Berry
A diabetes logging app with a simplistic interface to motivate users to engage with their disease
ICS: Karan Sekri, Sheng Xia, Derek Omuro, Tai Cao, Adrien Deguzman
SOM: Mohammad Hajighasemi, MS3; Kevin Gustafson, MS1


iApp-nea (Photo Credit: UC Irvine)

2nd Place ($500 prize): Iapp-nea
A sleep screening app to allow patients to assess risk for sleep apnea in the comforts of their home
ICS: Dinh Ho, David Chung, Zhonghe Tian, Eelin Lin, Tanisha Bhatti
SOM: Megan Oakes, MS3; Katharina Laus, MS3


MyFive(+) (Photo Credit: UC Irvine)

3rd Place ($250 prize): My Five(+)
An app that allows storage of vital health information, e.g., age, allergies, medications, contacts, to help paramedics and first responders provide personalized care in an emergency
ICS: Derek Hsieh, Erick Kusnadi, Evan Burke, Govind Rai, Michelle Lim, Frank Lin, Kayla Elias
SOM: Risha Berra, MS1

Check out these great articles for more information on the Med AppJam:

A presentation on the 2012 Inaugural Med AppJam:

YouTube Preview Image

Posted in Med AppJam | Leave a comment

First iMedEd Tech Talk, “Using Digital Flashcards” on Wednesday, September 25th, at 12:15pm

Our first iMedEd Tech Talk, “Using Digital Flashcards” is Wednesday, September 25th. In order to get the conversation going, we would like to invite two or three students to demonstrate how they use Anki, StudyBlue or any other flashcard app. Our “thank you” is an educational app of your choice ($15.00 or less). Please email me if you would like to present!

While digital flashcards is the subject, the conversation usually opens up to other tech issues. Please plan on attending and spending some time with your classmates. Bring your lunch and sign up on EEE so we know how to plan dessert. We will meet in Tamkin F-110, 12:15pm.

Link to Signup sheet-

Posted in Announcements, Tech Talk Tuesday | Leave a comment

The iPhone 5S introduces two key features relevant for doctors



ltifat Husain MD(@iltifatMD) contributed to this piece

Yesterday, Apple unveiled the enhanced iPhone 5S, the colorful iPhone 5C, and the soon-to-be ubiquitous iOS7.  While the smartphone playing field has leveled dramatically, Apple remains second-to-none at introducing relatively new features to the mainstream.

Whether it’s the smartphone touch screens, the high-resolution Retina Display, voice-controlled personal assistants, and the initially mocked tablet, Apple has the ability of taking technology already present, and then making it the industry standard.

Amidst the many features that were touted on stage including upgraded cameras, faster processors, enhanced location-based transactions, two features stood out as being potentially game-changing to healthcare: Touch ID fingerprinting, and the M7 activity sensor.

Read the full article at:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Comparison Review of Two Ob/Gyn Handbooks

Comprehensive Handbook of Obstetrics & Gynecology (Kindle Edition – 2nd Edition) by Zheng vs. Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Infertility: Handbook for Clinicians iPad app

by Jon Steller, MD

For years these two handbooks, in addition to the John’s Hopkins Manual of Gynecology and Obstetrics, have been competing for white coat real estate among OBGYN residents. All three of these resources provide adequate (and invaluable) information regarding the diagnosis and management of common obstetric and gynecologic disease-states. Interns may argue why they prefer one handbook over the other when analyzing their comprehensiveness or questioning why one another’s white coats are lopsided, but the most important feature of any handbook is its accessibility. Now that we have entered the digital age, Amazon has intelligently created a smooth interface for students and residents to read and annotate their favorite books using their Kindle app on every mobile device. Other companies create apps for those very devices hoping they might be more convenient to the sleep-deprived user.

And some of those apps developed for medical students and residents have been amazing! Look to Medscape and Epocrates to see the standard for efficiency and accessibility. Dr. Gordon and Scrub Hill Press attempted to make such an app, but unfortunately failed miserably. The concept of turning their handbook into an app is great, and the search function is truly quick and easy to use. However, once you find what you are looking for in your search, all efficiency is lost in trying to access the information. Instead of using appropriate index words to serve as quicklinks to a block of text regarding a topic such as “Ovarian Cancer”, the user must toggle back and forth between the index and pages that might only have one sentence of text in it with the rest of the space completely blank. This doesn’t get any more egregious than when trying to look at the differences in the various stages of ovarian cancer. To make matters worse, the app is more expensive than ordering the handbook to carry around with you.

In contrast, the Kindle edition of Zheng’s Handbook is even more amazing than the paper copy. Apple processors can execute extremely fast searches through the text for targeted searches, and the ability to use the contents of the book as quicklinks for any section one may want to read works very well. For example, one can select ovarian cancer from the contents and be instantly taken to that section featuring an overview, screening, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, pre-op workup, staging, treatment and surveillance over a few pages. The user can change the font, size, color of the background, brightness in the top corner of the Kindle app, and efficiently switch from the section their are reading back to the contents with the click of a button. And the Kindle version is even cheaper than the imitation leather version. All of these positives may be attributed to the John’s Hopkins Manual as well. The Kindle version of their manual is half the price of their paper version, however the fact that the book features twice the information than Zheng’s may or may not be desirable to the user. The ability to highlight the text, search it efficiently, and zoom in on images makes reading textbooks and handbooks on the Kindle amazing. It won’t be long before all of our textbooks and handbooks have quicklinks to interactive content such as quizzes, audio features, and videos. Keep an eye on the App Store though, because I am sure there will be better and better apps to help all of us students and residents continue to learn in a more efficient manner.

Posted in iPad Apps | Leave a comment

Part Two: Step-By-Step Instructions for Orientation

(Refer to Part One: Step-By-Step Instructions for Orientations for detailed instructions on completing the homework due Friday, August 2, 2013.)

II. Homework to complete before Monday, August 5, 2013:

  • Follow the startup guide to get your iPad set up and sync to your computer
  • Install any Software Updates to your iPad
  • Download iBooks, iTunesU, QRafter, Find My iPad from the AppStore
  • Subscribe to the iTunesU Course for Orientation
  • Register your iPad to the UCI Wireless Network
  • Install the Security Profile to your device
  • Set up email and signature on your device

Detailed Instructions

Follow the startup guide to get your iPad set up and sync to your computer

  • When you turn your iPad on for the first time, there is a Setup Assistant that will walk you through the steps of setting up your iPad.
  • For further details on these steps (and links to other Support tutorials for the iPad), refer to the Apple’s iPad Essentials Support page
  • After you have setup your iPad, you can also download the free iPad User Guide iBook that is available from the iBookstore. The store can be accessed AFTER downloading the free iBooks app (see below).

Install any Software Updates to your iPad

Download iBooks, iTunesU, QRafter, Find My iPad from the AppStore

  • To download apps from the AppStore, click on the AppStore icon to launch the AppStore.
  • In the “Search Store” text field in the top-right corner of the screen, type in the name of the app you would like to download.
  • When you find the app you would like to download, tap on the app icon to see more information about the app,
  • To purchase the app for download, clicking on the price will turn it into an “Install App” button. Click on this button to download and install.
  • If you would like to download apps that you have previously purchased from the AppStore onto your iPad, follow these steps:

Subscribe to the iTunesU Course for Orientation

  • Once you have the iTunesU app downloaded to your iPad, launch it by clicking on the iTunesU icon.
  • From the Catalog (you can toggle between your personal Library and the Catalog by clicking the button at the top-left of the screen), search for the course “iMedEd for MS1s 2013″ in the “Search Store” field in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • When you click on the course icon, a window will pop-up with information on the course.
  • Click on the “Subscribe” button in this window to subscribe to the course.
  • After you have subscribed to the course you will see it in your iTunesU Library. You will continue to receive updates and notifications of new posts to the course.
  • You may also go directly to the course from your iPad using Safari and the following link:
  • From the iTunesU app, in the Catalog Section, you can scroll down to the bottom, press on “Enroll” and enter the following code: “K2Z-35T-8B2″

Register your iPad to the UCI Wireless Network

Install the Security Profile to your device

 Set up email and signature on your device

  • Instructions for setting up your HS email account was provided in Part One of the homework instructions.
  • For uniformity and professionalism, student email communication to Office of Medical Education should have an electronic signature as follows:Name of student- include Masters and PhD degrees if completed
    Year in school (MS1-4)
    UC Irvine School of Medicine
    UC Irvine email address
    Best contact number or cell
    Pager number for MS3 and MS4s

    Note: Please refrain from using “candidate” as it does not traditionally pertain to medical school.

    John Smith, MPH
    MS4, UC Irvine School of Medicine
    MBA1, Paul Merage School of Business
    Phone:   (714) 123-4567
    Pager:     (714) 123-4567

Posted in MS1 Orientation | Leave a comment

Quick Notes from Today’s Session

A few additional thoughts for all of you:

1.  For those of you that prefer a PDF version of the instructions, here are those links:

2.  Email us if you’re having ANY problems – – or stop by our office in Room 1105 in the Medical Education Building

3.  If you get your email working, you will see an email with your code for the iPad tips and tricks app.  It works on iPhone as well.

Don’t stress, have fun, and reach out to us, even just to say hi!

Posted in MS1 Orientation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Part One: Step-By-Step Instructions for Orientation

Welcome to the first day of orientation! We wanted to give you a heads up
about a couple of big events are coming up for you that relate to our Instructional Technologies Group. This Friday, you will be receiving your new iPad at the White Coat ceremony. On Monday and Tuesday, you will have your iMedEd and iPad orientation with our team.

We have a lot of great things to cover with you on Monday and Tuesday and we really need your cooperation to make the most of these two days. Below is the first set of items that we need you to work on this week…don’t worry, they don’t take very long. Once you receive your iPad on Friday, you should complete the second group of items.

My team and I are available via email all week if you have any questions, concerns, or issues. You can reach us at and one of us will respond to your email in a timely manner. Our offices are located in the Medical Education Building, Rooms 1104 and 1105 – feel free to drop by with questions.

I. Homework to complete before Friday, August 1, 2013:

  • Activate your School of Medicine Health Sciences, aka “HS” email account
  • Create an AppleID
  • Register for a free Dropbox account
  • Register your phone and laptop on the UCI Wireless Network
  • Use your $50 Gift Card to buy a case, stylus, or other item from the UCI ComputerStore
  • If you are using Windows, download iTunes to your computer

Refer to the Part Two: Step-By-Step Instructions for Orientation for instructions on the Homework to complete before Monday, August 5, 2013.


Detailed Instructions:

Activate your School of Medicine Health Sciences, aka “HS” email account

  • To make things easier, let’s define some terminology:
  • UCInetID – this will be your main ID throughout medical school, sometimes referred to as your account, username, loginID, or just the UCInetID. It consists of up to 8 characters, in some combination of your first and last name, and is the part of your email that precedes
  • For example: Mary Smith’s UCInetID and email address are msmith and, respectively.
  • HS – stands for Health Sciences. They are the hospital IT group that manages our email and our clinical systems. Their system is different from the main campus email in that it meets HIPAA and patient confidentiality standards. In technical terms when setting up accounts and email software, when a “domain” is asked for, you will enter “HS.”
  • OIT – stands for Office of Information Technology, sometimes referred to as main campus or undergrad. They run a separate email system that undergraduates and graduate students use called Webmail or UCIGmail. Both of these are not HIPAA compliant, so therefore we do not use their services.
  • Here’s a quick video explaining it better

So here we go! Let’s get your accounts activated….

  • Go to
  • This is the account manager for the HS system
  • Enter your UCInetID and click “Log In”
  • Enter your temporary password as formatted below:
  • YYYY (Birth Date Year) + Uppercase First Letter of First Name + lowercase first letter of last name + MM (Birth Date Month)
  • For example, Mary Smith born in March 1986 = 1986Ms03
  • Click on Change Passwords and follow the instructions
  • This will be your new password for all UCI sites
  • If you had a previous UCI account, please see the appendix at the end prior to proceeding
  • Go to
  • This is the webpage access for your email
  • Enter your UCInetID and your newly created password and you should be all set!

Create an AppleID

  • Go to:
  • If you currently have an AppleID, we recommend that you keep using that AppleID so all of your purchases are available across your devices
  • We recommend linking your AppleID to a credit card for easy purchases, but you can also set up your account without a credit card

Register for a free Dropbox account

  • You will be using Dropbox to help back up your documents between your iPad and your other devices
  • Visit to to get set up

Register your phone and laptop on the UCI Wireless Network

Use your $50 Gift Card to buy a protective case or keyboard case from the UCI ComputerStore

  • If you already have a case, consider using your gift card towards purchasing Apple Care, iTunes App Store gift cards, a stylus, other peripherals for your devices
  • They are open from 9am-6pm Monday through Friday and 12pm-5pm on Saturday
  • Their website is viewable at 
  • They are located in the Student Center (D5, Building 115 on map)

If you are using Windows, download iTunes to your computer

Posted in MS1 Orientation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

UCIrvine Med students win “Khan Academy Competition”

Raja Narayan, 4th year MD student, and Ronald Sahyouni (incoming medical student) were two out of fifteen people who announced as the winners of the MCAT Video Competition, cooperation between Khan Academy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Association of American Medical Colleges were from University of Califonia, Irvine.  Congratulations!

To read more, click here Khan Academy Competition

YouTube Preview Image
Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment