A Day in the Life of an iPhone Power User

Gary Goldman, M.D.Gary Alan Goldman, DDS, MD, is an anesthesiologist, hospital medical director, and business consultant in healthcare living and working in the San Francisco Bay area. His wife, Janet Goldman, M.D., is a high risk obstetrician. Dr. Goldman uses a number of mobile devices in his personal and professional life including an 80 GB Video iPod and an 8 GB iPhone. This article describes a typical day in Dr. Goldman's life and how he uses the iPhone personally and professionally.

5:00 am: Getting ready for the day

Dr. Goldman's iPhone alarm rings on the night table next to his bed. It is docked to his iHome iP99BR Clock Radio & Audio System (ihomeaudio.com), which also simultaneously charges the device. The music playing is imported directly from his iTunes music database on his iPhone. He sits up, undocks his iPhone, and takes it with him to prepare for the day. He immediately opens up Calendar and views what's in store for the day.

iHome iP99BR Clock Radio & Audio System for iPhone

The iHome iP99BR Clock Radio & Audio System for iPhone

Dr. Goldman is scheduled to work in labor and delivery. He calls the hospital on his iPhone to see how many Caesarian sections are scheduled for that morning. He finds out that he has a 7:30 case and then switches to the iPhone's Safari Web browser and surfs to his anesthesia group's Web site to look at the monthly schedule to see who he is on call with. In about 15 seconds he finds out that he's on call with Dr. Greg Kelly, a good friend who recently purchased his own iPhone and is still learning how to use it. He knows he'll have an enjoyable day working with Dr. Kelly, and showing him how to use his new device.

Dr. Goldman taps the iPod icon and selects music to play over the iPhone's speaker. Then he showers, gets dressed, and is ready for the day.

6:05 am: Enjoying the drive to work

Dr. Goldman gets into his car where he docks his iPhone to the Bluetooth-enabled car stereo system that came with the 2006 Jeep Commander. He decides to listen to an audio book during his drive to work. The book was downloaded directly into his iTunes library on his Macbook Pro laptop from Audible.com, and then synchronized with his iPhone. He taps on the iPod icon and selects it from the Audiobooks list.

6:25 am: Preparing for the first procedure

After parking in the hospital garage, Dr. Goldman undocks his iPhone and proceeds to Labor and Delivery. Once in his office, he opens Safari and browses the Web via the hospital's free Wi-Fi network. This network is available everywhere in the hospital, including the operating room, and is faster than his iPhone's network. In the Labor and Delivery holding area, he reviews the patient's medical history with her and discusses his role of providing anesthesia for the patient's surgery. He then asks the patient what type of music she would like to listen to during the procedure.

7:15 am: It's a girl!

The patient arrives in the operating room, after having been prepared for the Caesarian with spinal anesthetic. This allows her to be awake during the procedure. As the surgery begins, Dr. Goldman's iPhone plays relaxing music through the operating room's stereo system. The baby arrives, and it's a girl! With the mother's permission, he takes a few pictures of the new arrival with his iPhone's camera and immediately e-mails them to proud grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, and aunts.

8:40 am: Accessing medical resources

After he finishes giving his report to the nurse, Dr. Goldman returns to his office and checks his e-mail, takes a quick look at the stock market, glances at the NY Times' front page, and makes a few important phone calls—all from his iPhone.

The rest of the morning and afternoon is much the same. During that time, he uses Safari to access several Web applications, which help him with patient care. These include:

  • UpToDate (utdol.com): online reference for medical professionals containing 75,000 pages of current, peer-reviewed articles and studies
  • Epocrates Online (epocrates.com): an online medical reference for drug interactions, diagnostic information, and more.
  • MD Consult (mdconsult.com): an online reference that helps healthcare professionals find answers to clinical questions and aids them in making treatment decisions.
  • Drugs.com (drugs.com): a comprehensive, online reference that focuses on drugs.
  • AirStrip OB (airstriptech.com): remotely access real-time fetal heart tracings ("strips"), maternal contraction patterns, and other critical data available in hospital Labor and Delivery units.


Dr. Goldman can access the online drug databases from Epocrates (left) and Drugs.com (right) with the iPhone's Safari browser.

Note that Dr. Goldman accessed most of these resources via the iPhone's Web browser. He was using a pre-release, user-installable version of AirStrip OB. In addition, a user-installable version of Epocrates is currently in development for the new iPhone 3G and older devices upgraded to the iPhone 2.0 software. For more on these applications, see page 76.

11:30 am

After his second Caesarian is finished, he receives an SMS message reminding him that he has an executive committee meeting at noon. He opens Mail and finds the message that has the meeting's agenda and other information, which is contained in a PDF document attached to the message. He reviews the information, and later references it during the meeting.

12:00 noon to 4:00 pm

A colleague at the executive committee meeting asks Dr. Goldman for the phone number for one of his partners. He opens the Phone application and finds it in the Contacts list. After the meeting, he returns to his duties and finishes his afternoon.

4:00 pm

Once the day's work is over, he heads to the gym for his afternoon workout. On arrival, he selects the playlist containing his favorite workout music, puts on his iPhone headphones, and begins his workout. Seconds later, he receives a phone call. He presses the answer button, which pauses the music and pushes the call through. It's his wife, reminding him that his 8-year old twins' swim meet begins at 6 pm, at a local swim club. He's heard of the Rancho San Miguel Swim Club, but is not really sure where it is. He taps on the Maps icon on his iPhone and enters the name of the club and the city into the search function

map to swim club map of driving route

Maps makes it easy to find your way around the San Francisco Bay area.

Almost immediately the name of the club appears on the map function. It allows him to immediately create a Contacts listing for future reference. He then enters his fitness club as a starting location and the swim club as the destination, and Maps provides him with directions to the swim club. When he's finished getting the directions, he goes back to his workout.

When he gets to the "abs" part of his workout, he brings up a video/audio of an abdominal core workout he downloaded from PumpOne.com and plays it on his iPhone. It walks him through his workout.

5:45 pm

Finished with his workout, Dr. Goldman gets into his car, brings up the directions to the swim meet, docks his iPhone and calls his wife in hands-free mode using the iPhone's Bluetooth connection to his car's audio system. At the swim meet he takes a few photos of his kids with the iPhone's camera. After the swim meet his family heads home.

7:45 pm

On his arrival home, he goes to his office, docks his iPhone, and syncs with his MacBook Pro so the day's additions and deletions to Calendar, Contacts, Safari bookmarks, and photos are all synced with his laptop and backed up to his portable hard drive. Dr. Goldman longs for the release of Apple's MobileMe service, which would take care of these steps automatically. For more on MobileMe, see page 72.

10:00 pm

Just before bed, he re-docks his iPhone to his iHome alarm clock and goes to bed ready for the next day.

A typical "iPhone" day for Dr. Gary Goldman, anesthesiologist extraordinaire!
October 2008 (Premier Issue)
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