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.

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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.


Trying to access UCI resources off-site? Use the VPN!

If you want to access UCI resources when not on UCI’s campus or up at the hospital, you will need to use the VPN (Virtual Private Network). There are a number of ways to do this:

You will need to use your UCInetID and password for all of the above, and sometimes the best results happen when you use the “UCIFull” setting.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!


October 2012 CCD Showcase: Mobile Technology Etiquette Checklist

UCIrvine’s Mobile Technology Etiquette Checklist

At the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine our philosophy on technology use during patient encounters is that mobile technologies, such as the iPad, are a useful patient education adjunct, though they should not distract from the purpose of the encounter. To assist in this endeavor, the iMedEd curriculum at UC Irvine has developed a list of 15 self-assessment questions to help providers better integrate mobile technology into patient encounters

Health 2.0 / Digital Literacy Elective

To further explore the integration of technology in medicine and better prepare our medical students for practicing in a digital age, iMedEd has launched a Health 2.0 / Digital Literacy Elective led by Dr. Warren Wiechmann:

Launch of the Health 2.0 / Digital Literacy Elective at UCIrvine

Tech Talk Tuesday @ 9/11/12: Inkling and Digital Textbooks

This week’s Tech Talk Tuesday “Getting the Most out of Your Digital Textbooks” presentation was led by Stephen Schale, MS1, and  Adam Truong, MS1.

The presentation included:

  • An overview of the features of Inkling (iPad and web version)
  • An overview of the features of Vitalsource
  • Goodreader app

For more information on digital textbooks for the iPad, contact iMedEd.

Clinical iPad Orientation

Above is a link for the iTunesU course for the Clinical iPad Orientation. Please review this material to help you get a better handle on how to use your iPad clinically.

Please check this material frequently as new apps and clinical pearls will be distributed via this course!

Tips and Tricks for iPad- Additional Resources

If you need help on iPad basics,  consider these apps: Top 100 Tips for iPad (free),  iPad Secrets ($0.99), and  Secrets for iPad ($0.99).  If the cost for this apps is prohibitive, email Dr. Ypma-Wong  who will provide a code so you can take advantage of these apps and use your iPad more efficiently.  Also,  50 really useful iPad tips and tricks  has some good pointers.

iPad Tips- Virtual Keyboard- Special Characters to Streamline Your Work

The virtual keyboard offers several alternative versions of the character (with an accent, ~, etc.) Simply hold down the key on the virtual keyboard and the alternative will appear. Slide your finger to the character that you would like to use. This feature can be seen using e, y, u, i, o, a, s, l, z, c, n and the period (.). Also, if you hold the “!” and “?” key, you will see the apostrophe and quotes appear. Very useful!

On the Numeric keyboard the -, $, &, . (period), ‘ and ” have this feature.