Gadget Watch

ONCNG OncologyFebruary 2010
Volume 11
Issue 0210

Three hot gadgets for Oncologists

Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet

Tired of all those eco-unfriendly memo pads, sketchbooks, and sticky notes? The Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet pushes paper one step closer to extinction. This electronic notepad—essentially a small, high-tech whiteboard—allows you to write a quick note, sketch, doodle, and more. Oncologists may fi nd the device useful for jotting down a research or patient note. The Boogie Board’s writing surface utilizes a highly responsive, pressure-sensitive, plastic LCD that smoothly recreates the pen-to-paper experience. Users simply write or draw on the LCD with the included stylus or any suitable instrument—even a fingernail. Applying different degrees of pressure varies line thickness and pushing a button erases the screen. Generating and retaining images requires no power, while erasing consumes a tiny amount. A small battery allows over 50,000 uses, so the cost per erasure is significantly less than the per-sheet paper cost of a comparable notepad. The Boogie Board measures 8.8 by 5.6 inches, which is smaller than a regular spiral notebook. It retails for $29.97 and at 0.2 inches thick and 4.2 ounces, is easy to transport. Early feedback has been positive, but users hope updated versions can save individual screens for future access.

Fitbit Tracker

The Fitbit Tracker is a useful health data monitoring tool oncologists can recommend to patients. Much more than a basic pedometer, the $99 device also records caloric data and tracks sleep patterns. The latter might particularly benefit patients with cancer, who experience higher insomnia rates than the general population. Users clip the ultra-compact device, which resembles a black money clip, to any article of clothing (including undergarments) or carry it in their pocket. The Fitibit uses a 3D motion sensor similar to the Nintendo Wii’s to automatically track calories burned, steps taken, and distance traveled. At night, users attach the Fitbit to their wrist with an included strap and it records how long they take to fall asleep, the number of times they wake up, the amount of time they are actually sleeping, and more. Walking within 15 ft of the included base station syncs the data to the user’s account. Users then log in to their free lifetime accounts to access charts and graphs analyzing their data and goals. The Website also allows users to enter dietary and activity information to obtain a complete health analysis. To check progress instantly, the Fitibit has a display screen that cycles through steps, calories, distance, and an avatar measuring goal progress.


Looking for a way to “Go Green” while keeping some green in your wallet? By harnessing energy from interior lighting, the IllumiCharger USB wall outlet charges your electronic devices without charging you a penny. The IllumiCharger recycles ambient light in a process similar to the powering of solar classroom calculators. It reduces your power grid consumption and consequently, lowers your monthly energy tab. The ubiquitous USB charging connection is starting to come standard with most electronic devices. The IllumiCharger helps you “keep up with the Jobses” with two USB inputs for your recharging needs. You can place IllumiChargers in multiple rooms and eliminate bulky adapters. The device also scores Green points with completely recyclable packaging and a shell made from recycled and corn-based plastic. This grid-less electricity source is one of 18 finalists in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition.

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