Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Christmas Break!!!

Time to rest & recharge!

 

I'll be back in the New Year with more posts on what's the best & hottest in tech & dental technology, but until 2012 I'm trying to recharge.  Hope you have a great holiday season!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Chemistry Developed that Creates Fluorescence in Cancer Cells

 

Fluorescent cells.jpg
Here is a pretty interesting discovery that may make detection of cancer cells easier for both diagnosis and surgical excision. The reagent was developed by a team at the University of Tokyo   and the National Institute of Health.
The reagent allows detection of cancerous cells smaller than 1 mm. The resulting glow is 20 times brighter on cancerous cells than on noncancerous cells allowing for much easier detection. This means that in the future it may be possible to find tumors at sizes smaller than can be detected by conventional means today.
This could allow for better diagnosis of tiny lesions as well as aiding surgeons in removing as little healthy tissue as possible if excision is required.
In dentistry today, we are currently using fluorescent devices such as the DOE from Dentlight, the Velscope VX from LED Dental, and the Identafi from DentalEZ  to  aid in the early detection of oral cancers. However, these devices cause fluorescence of healthy tissue while questionable areas remained dark. These dental devices also use light only and require no use of any chemicals.
Here's hoping that this new reagent can have an impact in early detection as well as less invasive surgery.

For the full story, read about the discovery at fareastgizmos.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Samsung Announces Ice Cream Sandwich Update for Android Devices

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For those of you out there who currently own a Samsung  smart phone or tablet device, Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in 2012.
I know that a lot of you are using Samsung devices to help manager practices and your lives. You will be glad to know that Samsung is now planning to roll out android version 4.0 starting in the 1st quarter of 2012 to several of its flagship devices.
This means that owners of the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note should be the 1st ones to receive the update which should occur between January and March. After that update should trickle out for other handsets in the line of Galaxy Tab slate devices on the market. However, depending on what model of Galaxy Tab you own you may see an update in the 1st quarter as well.
Since different carriers usually have small differences between handsets of the same name, the update on your network may not coincide with the updates on other networks. Personally, I think patience is the key to this whole thing.
No word yet on where in line will be those of us with older Galaxy S models.
As with past updates these will probably be rolled out automatically by your carrier without any intervention needed on the part of the user. I'll provide more information as it becomes available.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Visual Tale of 2 Koreas


Since this blog is about "Technology & Life", I thought I would post the picture above to hopefully get some people thinking and maybe get some folks to appreciate what they have.


I saw the above picture on Slate and was really amazed at what it shows.  It is a satellite photo of the Korean peninsula taken from space.  The amazing part is that South Korea is extremely well lit (as is Japan and China) while North Korea is almost completely dark.

This is an amazing way of showing the amount of suffering that is probably going on in the North due to lack of infrastructure and certainly a lack of technology for the general population.

Next time you get upset when your broadband cable goes out for an hour, think of these poor folks who live like this every day...

It really is amazing when you see the difference.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Apple Core Helps Keep Earbuds & All Your Cords Perfectly Organized

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Applecore.jpg
As a technophile one of the things I've always hated dealing with is what I've humorously frequently referred to as “cord control”.
Whether it be for earbuds, USB cables, or AC power cords there never seems to be a way to prevent the frustration of cord spaghetti.
Needless to say, I was delighted when I came across the little device pictured above.
The  Applecore is in ingenious device. It literally looks like an apple that has been eaten leaving only the core behind.   The ends are slotted to hold the wire, cord, or earbuds in the center area is where the excess cord is wrapped around. This is a quick, easy, and ingenious way to keep your headphones from getting tangled as well as keeping cords that go to your computer from becoming an unmanageable mess of knots.
Now that most of us  in dentistry are hiding our computers in cabinetry to help decrease clutter in the treatment area, cord management is even more important. Whenever there is a problem that requires accessing the computer the biggest problem I run into his cord clutter. I can see how using the Applecore device can  make this problem a thing of the past.
I Artie owned a few of these devices. They are affordable and work well. If you're looking for a way to manage cords and earbuds you should check this product out!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Robot That Can Solve a Rubik's Cube Faster than a Human... and It Is Made of Legos

 

 

 

If you read this blog... then you are either a geek or someone who wants to know what geeks like me are thinking about!  :-)

 

Not being one to disappoint, I thought I would share with you something that is just chock full of technology, but serves no real purpose other than to tech for tech's sake.

 

As I've said before, if you are a geek, chances are you have a thing for Lego's.  I know *I* do and I know a lot of my geeky friends do too.  So, you can imagine my delight when I recently read about a robotic device that can solve the famous Ruik's Cube.  However, as they  say on those late night infomercials, "But wait... that's not all!"  Add to that the fact that the robot is made out of Legos and also uses a Samsung  Galaxy S II and you've got the making of a device that has this geek drooling.

 

The device is called the CubeStormer II and is a hybrid device that uses the Lego Mindstorm NXT kit to provide the robotic arms and processor to operate them. It uses the camera on the Galaxy to view and understand the colors on the cube as well as a specially configured Android App.

 

The best part? The robot can solve the Rubik's cube puzzle faster than any human. When you put all of these pieces together, you get a device that is thrilling to a geek and hopefully to you as well.

 

The following is a quote from the processor company that makes the ARM processor that powers the Samsung Galaxy S II regarding how the robot uses the camera on the  Galaxy:

 

"capture images of each face of the Rubik's Cube which it processes to determine the scrambled [colors]. The solution is found using an advanced two-phase algorithm, originally developed for Speedcuber, enhanced to be multi-threaded to make effective use of the smartphone's dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.2GHz processor. The software finds an efficient solution to the puzzle which is [optimized] specifically for the capabilities of the four-grip mechanism. The app communicates via Bluetooth with software running on the ARM microprocessors in the LEGO NXT Intelligent Bricks which controls the motors driving the robot. During the physical solve, the app uses OpenGL ES on the phone's ARM Mali-400 MP GPU to display a graphical version of the cube being solved in real time."

 

 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I Love Lasers... And Why You Should Too

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I really, really love lasers. I've been an owner and a user of some type of laser for well over 10 years now.
Over the years I have found my experience with the devices to be everything that I hoped for and actually more. So much so in fact, that lasers truly have become part of my daily routine in treating patients.  In my office lasers are considered to be a routine piece of many of our procedures and we reach for them just as we would any other necessary instrument needed to complete the task at hand.
This week alone, as the” end of year rush” arrives in our office we have used lasers to perform multiple procedures while allowing the staff and I to be more efficient as an added bonus. The list of procedures from this week includes multiple composite restorations performed with no anesthesia, soft tissue crown lengthening, troughng the gingival sulcus for impressions, controlling gingival hemorrhage for class V restorations, and a lingual frenectomy. What I find really amazing about that list is that those are the procedures I just happen to remember performing this week; I'm sure that I've left out a few.
While laser usage in dentistry may seem exotic and ” cutting-edge” too many, quite honestly for my staff and I they are” just another day at the office”. We have found lasers to be amazing tools that allow us to provide better treatment for patients while also allowing us to perform treatment in a more efficient manner. This means that not only are our patients receiving laser treatment that provides great results, but it also means that the treatment is faster and easier. And let's face it, everyone  (including me when I'm a patient) wants to spend as little time in the dental chair as possible.
We are currently using diode lasers from Discus as well as a LightWalker  laser which is available through  Technology 4  Medicine. The LightWalker  is a 2 wavelength device featuring the Nd:YAG soft tissue wavelength as well as the Er:YAG  wavelength for hard tissues.
If you are looking for a way to provide superior treatment for your  patients, I really feel  a laser could be just what you're looking for. For me, they have become devices that I reach for as routinely as a  mirror. They are devices that I use multiple times each day and have become so important to what I do that I simply could not practice without them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gendex Adds to Their "Experience Gendex" Campaign at this Year's Greater New York Dental Meeting... By Bringing a Flash Mob to the Show Floor


I go to a lot of dental trade shows every year.  It's the nature of what I do.  As a matter of fact, on the rare occasion that I actually miss a show, I usually get phone calls and emails wanting to know what is wrong.  People usually figure I'm either under the weather or, perhaps, there has been some family type of emergency that is keeping me home.  It's funny that today's post deals with the Greater New York Dental Meeting, because this year was the first year in a while that I wasn't at that particular meeting.

Since I'm at a lot of meetings, I can safely say, that it is easy for them to sort of blur together... especially on the exhibit floor where the booths are transported from show to show.  Since the same booths are usually used at every major show during a "typical" show season, it is strange how similar the exhibits can look from show to show.

However, there are always one or two things that happen at a show that help to make that location and that particular year unique.  At the ADA this year, there was The Pride Tech Fair (which I was a part of) that gave CE in an "open" concept classroom right on the exhibit floor.  People could be seen walking by while a lecture was being given and many would stop and stay for the entire thing.

The Glove Club is famous for having celebrities come to their booth and give away autographs.  The folks at Guru patient education sometimes have their mascot "Brusher Bailey" there as a costumed character for photos.

Well, imagine the shock and awe that happened at this year's Greater New York meeting when the gang at Gendex unleashed a full fledged Flash Mob outside the Experience Gendex bus.  The marketing minds at Gendex came up with the concept of a touring showroom built into a bus and it's been making a trek across the US and Canada since August.  It not only goes to dental shows, but also makes stops at dealers and dental offices across North America.  Sometimes, like at the ADA & the GNY they actually bring the bus into the exhibit hall and park it on the show floor for tours.

This year, to spice things up, and to stick with the theme of "Experience Gendex" the company created a real Flash Mob that surprised and delighted the dentists that got a chance to see it.

Fortunately for you, attendance was not required to see the goings on, as Team Gendex also was able to record the event with a few well placed video cameras.  Enjoy!

I really think this is a great way to put some life into a dental meeting.  No one expected anything like this and as you 'll see in the video, people really got a kick out of it.  Way to go Gendex!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cosmedent, Inc. Introduces New and Improved Website

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Cosmedent is excited to introduce New www.cosmedent.com featuring faster shopping, dental techniques and in depth product information. Visit Cosmedent’s new website to see up to date technique videos, shop quickly and easily 24 hours a day, ask questions on products or dental techniques, share your cases with the Cosmedent community and view upcoming educational courses at Cosmedent’s very own Center for Esthetic Excellence. Technique videos and special offers are frequently updated so visit www.cosmedent.com today. Also feel free to contact a Cosmedent Customer Care Representative for more information at 800-621-6729.

Monday, December 12, 2011

IGeek Portable Charger.jpg
I came across this device and thought it bears mentioning since some of you who read the blog are probably putting together your Christmas list right now.
The device shown above is a battery that can be charged in then used to recharge any of your USB devices for up to a week. From what I understand, the device will power any device that has a USB power adapter available for it. About the only things it can't recharge our laptops.
if you're like me and spend a fair amount of your time on the road, you probably find yourself swiveling your head as you walk through airports trying to find an available outlet to charge your  precious battery operated devices. By using the iGeek  charger, you can eliminate the process of trying to find those rare available open electrical outlets.
The device is available from thinkgeek.com  and Amazon for around $62. When you think of the amount of stomach lining you'll save, to me, that seems like a bargain! Links to purchase are available below.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Win a Lego Yoda Santa from Gizmodo... Oh and it's LIFE SIZE!!!

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No geek is content without a really awesome Lego collection.  So, to that end, this year I'm helping you win a life size Yoda Santa made out of Lego bricks.
Now, I can't guarantee that  you'll win Yoda, this is part of a game of skill that is being promoted by website Gizmodo.
You'll have to go to the proper webpage, register, and then wait your turn. It's all part of a game where you control an actual "giant claw machine".  If you happen to pull out the Yoda Santa, it's all yours!  Rules, etc are available from Gizmodo.
Good Luck!  Oh... and May the Force Be With You!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

DentalEZ® Group Updates its Identafi® Website with Free Marketing Kit for Clinicians

 

 

 

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For those of you who are doing routine oral cancer screenings on your patients (and if you are not... you should be), here is some great news!  Read on for all the details...

 

 

Malvern, PA – (December 8, 2011) – DentalEZ® Group, a supplier of innovative products and services for dental health professionals worldwide, has officially updated its Identafi® website to include a useful section that provides various marketing tools to help clinicians increase oral cancer awareness and promote the benefits of the Identafi oral cancer screening device.

 

The new clinician section now included on the Identafi website, www.Identafi.net, offers clinicians several easy-to-use patient education and marketing materials targeted to local residents and existing patients who may not know that their dental office offers the advanced oral cancer screening technology device.  Dental professionals who offer the Identafi oral cancer screening examination in their practices can now download these FREE useful marketing tools, such as:

 

Press Release Template – Designed to announce to local media the importance of oral cancer screening and that the practice has begun using Identafi.

 

Letter to the Editor Template – Encourages publication of the importance of oral
cancer screening.

 

Patient Letter Template – Creates awareness among current and lapsed patients regarding the importance of oral cancer screening, early detection, and the adoption of advanced
Identafi technology.

 

Printable Patient Education Pamphlet – This brochure provides patients with information on oral cancer, the importance of the screening exam, and how Identafi works.

 

Printable Office Poster – Dental professionals can hang the poster in their waiting rooms and operatories to create awareness of the need for annual oral cancer screenings.

 

Logo – An Identafi logo can be added to professional websites, bringing public awareness to the use of Identafi.

 

Study Club / Speaker Slides – Preformatted PowerPoint presentation is ideal for use at study clubs or other local speaker events.

 

Radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs) – Oral cancer awareness PSAs in 15-second, 30-second, or 60-second versions, depending on which format the local radio station prefers.

 

Oral Cancer Screening Event Press Release – A downloadable press release that can be sent to local media to invite reporters to receive a free oral cancer screening.

 

Identafi Exam Consent Form – A patient release form to document the patient's consent or denial of the oral cancer screening exam with Identafi.

 

In addition to the many new features, the website will continue to allow visitors to download technical information, find out more about oral cancer, view training videos and seminars, and easily contact StarDental®’s supportive staff of customer and technical service representatives.

 

www.Identafi.net is intended to be a regular destination for dental professionals interested in the oral cancer news and the Identafi oral screening device as well as current customers, and patients.

 

For more information, please visit www.Identafi.net or call 866-DTE-INFO.

 

About DentalEZ® Group

 

DentalEZ® Group is committed to advancing the practice of dentistry through innovative products and services.  Encompassing six distinct product brands — StarDental®, DentalEZ®, CustomAir®, RAMVAC®, NevinLabs, and Columbia Dentoform® — DentalEZ® Group manufactures everything in the operatory, from handpieces to chairs to vacuum systems to dental simulation models, creating a complete line of products to elevate the health, comfort, and efficiency of the dental operatory.  For more information, please visit www.dentalez.com.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Carestream Dental Inks Partnership with Lexicomp

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I've been a big fan of Lexicomp for several years now.  They are an everyday part of my practice, save me tons of time each week, and make my patients safer by allowing me near instantaneous access to any type of pharmacological info that I might need.
Interestingly enough, I've also been encouraging anyone who works for a dental practice software company, to integrate the Lexicomp product directly into their software to make things even easier for doctors and their patients... because that's what they are supposed to do... right? Of course you can tell by my last sentence that I haven't been very successful at getting that done.  I've tried, but it just hasn't happened.
So I was thrilled to receive the following press release.  Congrats to Lexicomp and a big Thank You to the forward thinking folks at Carestream Dental for making the incredible amount of info available in Lexicomp easily available to your users!!!

ATLANTA and HUDSON, OHIO – Carestream Dental LLC, a subsidiary of Carestream Health, Inc., and the exclusive manufacturer of KODAK Dental Systems, announced it has entered into a comprehensive data-sharing agreement with Lexicomp, a global provider of drug information and drug data solutions for healthcare professionals.

Through this venture, Lexicomp’s vast, subscription-based database of comprehensive drug information and clinical reference content will be made accessible through Carestream Dental’s SoftDent, PracticeWorks, Windent, and WinOMS CS software.*

“As with many of our products and services, our goal for this partnership is to maximize oral health professionals’ ability to further streamline office management and spend quality time on patient care,” said Patrik Eriksson, president and CEO, Carestream Dental LLC.

“By giving practice professionals the ability to access Lexicomp data and pull it directly into patient records with their existing practice management software, we can improve decision support to ensure patient safety and eliminate several steps in an otherwise lengthy data entry process,” Eriksson said. “This reduces the chance of errors and saves practices valuable time as they check on drug interactions.”

Lexicomp maintains an in-house clinical team comprised of advanced-degreed pharmacists with significant clinical and academic experience. This team performs daily surveillance of announcements by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plus pharmaceutical manufacturers. This critical information is compiled and made available to heath care systems regarding drug availability, new dosage forms, and revisions to contraindications, warnings, or other changes.

For more information, call (800) 944-6365 or visit www.carestreamdental.com.

For other Carestream news, click here.

To comment on this article, visit community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Intel & Micron Announce First 128Gb NAND Device

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I've said it many times here, but it just keeps holding true... you just can't have enough storage.

 

I can still remember way back in the early 90's when I upgraded my 486 desktop computer with a 1Gb hard drive.  A "techno snooty" friend of mine snorted and said, "What a waste of money.  No one will ever fill up a 1Gb hard drive."  Looking back that wasn't too prophetic was it?  I didn't think so either.  The takeaway?  Never ever discount the ability of the human race to create "digital packratting".  I mean, we hardly ever delete anything any more simply because we don't have to.  Our storage capacities expand faster than our copious amounts of digital data.

 

That's the reason I was  smiling when I read that Intel & Micron have managed to create a 128Gb NAND chip (which is the format used for jump drives and other types of mass solid state storage).  The chip, which is about the size of a fingertip, is the largest capacity to date.  It is tiny, yet has an amazingly dense amount of memory.  Read the press release below for all the details:

 

New 128Gb Device Ideal for Small Form Factor Tablets, Smartphones, SSDs and High-Performance Compute Devices


News Highlights

  • The new 20nm 128Gb MLC NAND device doubles the storage capacity and performance of the companies' existing 20nm 64Gb NAND device.
  • Intel and Micron continue to lead the industry with the most advanced NAND production process technology, announcing mass production of their 20nm 64Gb NAND flash.
  • The industry's first monolithic 128Gb part can store 1 terabit of data in a single fingertip-size package with just eight die-a new storage benchmark that meets the ongoing demand for slim, sleek products.
  • The companies' 20nm NAND is the first to use an innovative planar cell structure that overcomes the scaling constraints of standard floating gate NAND.

 

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and BOISE, Idaho, Dec. 6, 2011 - Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc., today announced a new benchmark in NAND flash technology - the world's first 20 nanometer (nm), 128 gigabit (Gb), multilevel-cell (MLC) device. The companies also announced mass production of their 64Gb 20nm NAND, which further extends the companies' leadership in NAND process technology.

 

Developed through Intel and Micron's joint-development venture, IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), the new 20nm monolithic 128Gb device is the first in the industry to enable a terabit (Tb) of data storage in a fingertip-size package by using just eight die. It also provides twice the storage capacity and performance of the companies' existing 20nm 64Gb NAND device. The 128Gb device meets the high-speed ONFI 3.0 specification to achieve speeds of 333 megatransfers per second (MT/s), providing customers with a more cost-effective solid-state storage solution for today's slim, sleek product designs, including tablets, smartphones and high-capacity solid-state drives (SSDs.)

 

"As portable devices get smaller and sleeker, and server demands increase, our customers look to Micron for innovative new storage technologies and system solutions that meet these challenges," said Glen Hawk, vice president of Micron's NAND Solutions Group. "Our collaboration with Intel continues to deliver leading NAND technologies and expertise that are critical to building those systems."

 

The companies also revealed that the key to their success with 20nm process technology is due to an innovative new cell structure that enables more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. Their 20nm NAND uses a planar cell structure - the first in the industry - to overcome the inherent difficulties that accompany advanced process technology, enabling performance and reliability on par with the previous generation. The planar cell structure successfully breaks the scaling constraints of the standard NAND floating gate cell by integrating the first Hi-K/metal gate stack on NAND production.

 

"It is gratifying to see the continued NAND leadership from the Intel-Micron joint development with yet more firsts as our manufacturing teams deliver these high-density, low-cost, compute-quality 20nm NAND devices," said Rob Crooke, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "Through the utilization of planar cell structure and Hi-K/Metal gate stack, IMFT continues to advance the technological capabilities of our NAND flash memory solutions to enable exciting new products, services and form factors."

 

The demand for high-capacity NAND flash devices is driven by three interconnected market trends: data storage growth, the shift to the cloud and the proliferation of portable devices. As digital content continues to grow, users expect that data to be available across a multitude of devices, all synchronized via the cloud. To effectively stream data, servers require high-performance, high-capacity storage that NAND delivers, and storage in mobile devices has consistently grown with increased access to data. High-definition video is one example of an application that requires high-capacity storage, since attempting to stream this type of data can create a poor user experience. These developments create great opportunities for high-performance, small-footprint storage, both in the mobile devices that consume the content and the storage servers that deliver it.

 

Intel and Micron noted that the December production ramp of their 20nm 64Gb NAND flash product will enable a rapid transition to the 128Gb device in 2012. Samples of the 128Gb device will be available in January, closely followed by mass production in the first half of 2012. Achievement of this milestone will further enable greater densities and overall fab output, while also helping the companies' development teams cultivate the expertise required to design complex storage solutions and refine future technologies.

 

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kavo COMFORTdrive Handpiece Review

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For the past couple of months, I've been evaluating the Kavo COMFORTdrive electric handpiece.  Over the years, I've tried electrics, but my opinion of them was never that high.  Now don't get me wrong, there are definite advantages to an electric handpiece over an air turbine, but I was never impressed enough truly want to change.
My main concerns were: cord weight, handpiece weight, and repair costs.  The biggest disadvantage of the electrics I had tried before the Kavo COMFORTdrive was the drag and weight of the cord.  The cords were bulky and heavy... much more so than air tubing.  I cold actually feel pull & drag on my hand and wrist.  At the end of the day my hand was frequently tired.  Honestly I wondered about carpal tunnel or some other type of repetitive stress injury if I used it every day.  There was also the weight of the handpiece.  Some of the units I tried were heavy and bulky.  Then there was maintenance.  The electrics frequently would last three times longer before needing repair, but would then cost 4 times more to refurbish.
My opinion is now completely different after my time with the Kavo.  I have found the unit to be quiet, comfortable to use, light weight, and an overall dream to use.
The cord is incredibly light weight and offers no more noticeable weight or drag than standard air tubing.  The handpiece itself is incredibly tactile and light.  It has a great feel in the hand and provides an amazing amount of torque.  No matter what the bur speed, the device is difficult to stall and provides smooth efficient operation when in contact with tooth structure.  This means an easier time for the operator and less vibration, noise, and stress for the patient.  The body of the handpiece is smooth and easy to hold, but is not slick... no matter the conditions.  As far a maintenance, repair costs are still more than an air turbine, but those costs have come down somewhat.  I'm happy to report I have had no need for any type of repairs and the device looks as good as the day I took it out of the box despite the fact that it has been under constant use during my testing.  We have cycled the COMFORTdrive through both a Statim and Midmark autoclaves without any changes at all.
I've also  been impressed with the quiet operation and overall "feel" of the handpiece.
If you are looking to upgrade to electric or are looking at adding to your electric armamentarium, I feel you really should give the Kavo a thorough look.  My mind has been changed about the future of electric handpieces.  Nice job Kavo!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

OralDNA® Labs Enhances MyPerioPath® Salivary Diagnostic Test Report with New, Expanded “MyPerioProgress” Section

 

 

OralDNA MyPerioPath.jpgBrentwood, TN – December 2, 2011 – OralDNA® Labs Inc. (OralDNA.com), leaders in advancing wellness in dentistry through salivary diagnostics, and a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics® (NYSE: DGX), recently enhanced its MyPerioPath® patient lab report with the addition of an expanded section called “MyPerioProgress.”

 

The MyPerioPath® salivary diagnostic test identifies the type and concentration of specific
perio-pathogenic bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease and helps support clinicians with better risk assessment and personalized treatment options for more predictable patient outcomes.

 

The MyPerioProgress section is a new, third page that is automatically generated for patients who have taken the MyPerioPath® test more than once. It provides a series of graphs that enable dental clinicians to compare current MyPerioPath® test results with previous results. This comparison can provide valuable insight into the progress of the patient’s current course of periodontal disease treatment.

 

According to MyPerioPath® test user Dr. Doug Thompson, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, “MyPerioProgress provides periodontal disease treatment benchmarks that enable me to closely monitor patient progress over time and modify the treatment, if needed. It is also a great tool for explaining the course of treatment to the patient and for increasing patient acceptance and compliance.”

 

The following is a partial list of important observations that are illustrated with MyPerioProgress:

 

  1. 1.An increase or decrease in the reported pathogen(s), especially high-risk bacteria.

 

  1. 2.The common finding of an increase in the quantity of low-risk bacteria (Capnocytophaga species [Cs]) following a successful course of treatment. This spike in Cs is typically a temporary phenomenon.

 

  1. 3.Changes in clinical signs of pocket depth, bleeding, or type of infection (generalized or localized) in the context of similar changes in bacterial loads.

 

By monitoring the above findings, MyPerioProgress will be an added resource to help dental clinicians assess if their patients are trending towards health or continued disease. According to OralDNA Labs general manager Ken Clarke. “MyPerioProgress was designed to help clinicians determine with increased accuracy whether or not the desired end point of therapy has been reached. This determination is achieved by evaluating the clinical signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, and by factoring the risk for disease progression from oral bacteria."

 

About OralDNA® Labs Inc. (OralDNA.com)

 

OralDNA® Labs Inc., a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics® (NYSE: DGX), is a leader in advancing wellness in dentistry through salivary diagnostics. The company’s goal is to help the dental profession achieve better clinical outcomes by providing reliable, definitive, and cost-

effective clinical tests that drive the detection and prognosis of disease at an earlier, more

treatable stage. Innovative salivary diagnostic tests from OralDNA® Labs are fundamental

elements of a patient’s wellness plan. OralDNA® currently offers three DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for periodontal disease and oral HPV:

  • MyPerioPath® identifies the type and concentration of specific perio-pathogenic bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease and helps support clinicians with better risk assessment and personalized treatment options for more predictable patient outcomes.

  • MyPerioID® PST® identifies individual genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease and enables clinicians to establish which patients are at increased risk for more severe periodontal infections due to an exaggerated immune response.

 

  • OraRisk® HPV is a non-invasive, easy-to-use screening tool to identify the type(s) of oral HPV, a mucosal viral infection that could potentially lead to oral cancer, and in turn, enables the clinician to establish increased risk for oral cancer and determine appropriate referral and monitoring conditions.

About Quest Diagnostics®

 

Quest Diagnostics® is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information, and services that patients and clinicians need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics® is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at QuestDiagnostics.com.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Next Generation Motorola Tablet On the Near Horizon

The buzz around the industry is that Motorola is readying its next tablet for market.  The Xoom, was launched last year and, despite the fact that I happen to have one and like the WiFi version, the market wasn't overly enthused and sales stalled at around a half million units.

 

However, now comes word that the company is about to deploy a device that *may* be called "Xyboard" in both 8" and 10" models.  The 8 will be sold as a consumer version while the 10 will be focused on business users.

 

It looks like the devices will have 1.2GHz processors and 1GB of RAM.  They are also redesigning the look of the device and it will have more of an appearance of Motorola's new phones than of a tablet.

 

I'm hoping Motorola pulls this off.  Competition is good and can only make everyone's devcies better in the long run...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Concerns Abound over Carrier IQ Software

This week it has come to light that software called Carrier IQ is present on HTC and Samsung phones on the AT&T and Sprint network.

 

All the companies stated that the purpose of the software is to help diagnose problems with network performance.  The uproar has ensued because the software could be used by carriers and device manufacturers to track all kinds of info on smartphones.   It can be used to collect almost any kind of data from smartphones that have the software installed.

 

Look for major fallout over this, in my opinion.  No one wants to have even the chance of their data being used without their knowledge.

 

For more info, read this article from ComputerWorld.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dental Services Group™ Provides Rebate and Placement Program for CEREC® AC Connect Users

Charlotte, NC (November 30, 2011) Sirona Dental Systems, LLC announced today that Dental Services Group (DSG), a network of 25 North American laboratories, is now providing CEREC® and CEREC® AC Connect users with an attractive rebate and placement program.

 

Both new and existing CEREC AC Connect users who choose to use Dental Services Group for any laboratory needs will earn a generous rebate to help cover the cost of their CEREC AC Connect digital impression system.  Rebates are issued in the form of laboratory credits, and are applied to the user’s DSG lab invoice.  Rebates range in size based on monthly DSG lab bills, and can cover all financing costs, service contracts, and providesavings on restorations at the highest level.  The program is based on incremental business done with DSG.

 

In addition, DSG created a Placement Program for dental professionals interested in having a CEREC AC Connect placed in their practice with no up-front costs.  Interested parties simply commit to a certain amount of incremental annual lab work with DSG, and DSG will cover the cost of the scanner.

 

"Our goal at DSG is to provide services that help make our lab customers successful,” according to Buddy Pickle, Dental Services Group CEO.  “Providing CEREC milling capabilities and including the CEREC AC Connect in our rebate and placement programs are services we offer to help achieve that goal."

 

“We are very excited about DSG’s digital impression program for CEREC and CEREC AC Connect users,” remarked Norbert Ulmer, Director of Laboratory CAD/CAM for Sirona.  “We consider DSG to be an active driver in expanding the usage of digital impression technology.  By providing these attractive incentives, DSG is striving to elevate dental care and introduce efficiencies to the entire restorative process.  The programs are substantial steps towards making digital impressions a reality for all, and, in turn, will benefit patients, dentists, and ultimately the entire dental community.”

 

For more information, please contact your DSG representative, call Sirona at 855-465-2248, or visit www.inLab.com.

 

About Sirona Dental Systems, LLC

 

Recognized as a leading global manufacturer of technologically advanced, high-quality dental equipment, Sirona has served equipment dealers and dentists worldwide for more than 125 years.  Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a complete line of dental products, including CAD/CAM restoration equipment (CEREC® and inLab®); digital and film-based intraoral, panoramic, and cephalometric X-ray imaging systems; dental treatment centers; and handpieces.  Visit www.sirona.com for more information about Sirona and its products.

 

About Dental Services Group™

Dental Services Group™ is a network of quality-focused, local labs throughout North America.  Partnering with one of DSG’s 25 laboratories provides the personal relationship and care of a local laboratory—combined with the technical expertise and full suite of offerings of a national laboratory.  While the foundation of their business is providing high-quality restorations and dental appliances, DSG labs go a step beyond by offering ways to support and grow dental practices.  Their vision is to provide relevant services and solutions that will help make practitioners more successful.  Learn more at www.dentalservices.net.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Denmat Acquired by Centre Capital Investors and Mill Street Partners

Denmat logo.png
Here is a letter from the new CEO with all the details:
Dear Valued Customer,
I wanted you to be among the first to know that DenMat has been acquired by Centre Capital Investors and MIll Street Partners.  As the new CEO, I am happy to welcome you to the new DenMat.  I know that you'll have some questions, but I want you to be clear on one point up-front: our first prrority is you!  Our dedication to customer service will be second -to-none.
I also want you to know that we are fully committed to expanding our product portfolio.  Better, more efficient and more effective clinical and esthetic smile solutions will support your success as a clinician and ours as a business.  Moving forward, we're dedicated to partnering with professionals like you to provide:
  • The very highest quality products;
  • Extraordinary customer service;
  • An ongoing commitment to the success of your practice.

What I've enjoyed more than anything in my 32 years in the dental industry are my relationships with clinicians like you.  We've got a great tradition here and you can be sure that we'll be building on it.

 

Thank you,

 

Steven Semmelmayer

Chief Executive Officer

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pronto Forms - A Way to Get Your Patient Registration Digital!

Pront Forms.png
I've been tinkering lately with a pretty cool product that allows you to use a tablet to fill out & sign forms digitally.  The product is called Pronto Forms.
Download the app from their app store.  It is available in both Android & iOS versions.
You can then send them the forms you need to have created.  In my case we emailed in our HIPPA documents, health history, etc.  The company takes these documents and creates digital versions of them.  Once the forms are setup, you simply log into your Pronto Forms account on  your tablet and the forms are right there for a patient to fill out.  The really cool part is that after filling out the necessary info, the patient can sign the form with their fingertip right on the tablet.
Once the forms are completed, they are available for download from the Pronto Forms website and they can be dropped right into your dental software.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Apple Attempting to Move to *Much* Higher Res on Screen in iPad 3

iPad 3.jpg
The pic above is just an artist's rendition, so don't let your heart rate get too high!
Word has it that Apple is readying the iPad 3 and that the latest tablet will have a stunning display.  Of course the display is all about the number of pixels that can be squeezed onto a screen and Apple has continued to do a good job of squeezing with every iPad generation.
The latest may very well have 264 pixels per inch which would be double the number that the iPad 2 comes in with at 132 pixels per inch.
Apple has been pushing what they are calling Retina display which is 300 pixels per inch.  Supposedly that is the pixel density where the human eye can no longer discern the individual pixels.  While the iPad 3 doesn't look like it will reach quite that boundary, the new display should definitely be amazing.
My question is that "once we get to a point that we can no longer see pixels, is resolution then a moot point?"  Time will tell.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I'm Thankful for 2011

It's a weird world we live in.  Admit it.  We all know it.  Things move at a dizzying pace and despite  our best efforts, things get out of control.  It's hard to sit back and take it all in most days.  That's why I think it is really important to set aside a moment from time to time and just take it all in.  One of the downfalls of being human is forgetting to enjoy the ride.  We get so caught up in getting to the destination, that we forget to look out the window and enjoy the world as it whizzes by outside.

 

So as the world zips past me at breakneck speed, I try and make the effort from time to time to just stop and think about the wonderful things I'm surrounded by.  One of the days that help me make that effort is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S.  I mean, what better time to think of all the great things in your life than on a holiday dedicated to the concept of being thankful?  So here is this year's list of things that I really am grateful for.

 

  • Thanks God, for all you have done for me and all that you continue to do.  I'm grateful that you've taken someone like me and blessed me so abundantly.
  • Thanks to my wife who puts up with me on a daily basis and endures my crazy travel schedule with a hug, a smile, and never a complaint.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love you...
  • Thanks to my great family.  Sometimes (*gasp*) I'm not the easiest guy to live with, but you always are there for me with love, hugs, laughs, smiles and everything else that makes life worth living.  I could type for a month or a year and still not capture the essence of how much you mean to me and how wonderful my life is because of you.
  • My mom & dad.  There has never been a son who is so  honored to have the parents that I do.  You have stood by me when no one else would and I love you for that more than I can say.  Thanks for always being there and for believing in me when no one else did.
  • For the sound of raindrops on the roof during a heavy downpour.
  • I'm thankful for the wagging tail of a big black lab and the soft paws of a young tabby cat...
  • I thankful for the human beings that trust me as their doctor.  My dream, since I was three years old, was to be a dentist and every day I'm incredibly grateful to all of you that I get to do what I do.  It is truly a privilege to help you and I want you all to know how much I value your trust.
  • I'm thankful for the sounds of the children on the playground that I can hear when my office windows are open.
  • I'm thankful for all the friends I have in the dental industry.  I really love working with all of  you to change the profession of dentistry for the better.  I love knowing that our efforts end up making things better for the patients that receive care.  That's what gets me out of bed every morning!
  • For the beauty of pristine new fallen snow.
  • For the sound of the bat as it comes off the ball... especially when the bat is in the hands of Albert Pujols.  I'm a rare breed being a Royals fan, a Cardinals fan, and a Red Sox fan.
  • For the smell of freshly mown grass and hotdogs drifting over my seats at the "K" on a warm summer night.  I love my wife, but baseball is my mistress...
  • I'm thankful for my brick in the sidewalk outside the main entrance to Kaufmann Stadium.  It was a surprise gift and reads "John Flucke, The Best Dad Ever".  Those last 4 words are, in that order, my favorite in the English language.
  • I'm thankful for Barry and Audrey.  Their emails, letters, and gifts to the family are always a welcome treat and the fact they do all this for a family half a planet away is just amazing to me.  The warmth they bring to me is just difficult to put into words.
  • I'm thankful for my friendship with Don.  He's my friend, my confidante, and my mentor.  There are certain situations in everyone's life where sometimes the stars align and you get something amazing.  My friendship with Don is like that.
  • I'm thankful for Thais Carter at Advanstar/Dental Products Report.  She's amazing to work with and she helps me in so many ways that it's hard to list them here.  When you are a writer, you get help from a lot of sources that people don't really hear about.  Thais is one of those sources and she is a huge factor in why I love writing so much.
  • I'm thankful for the warm and fragrant goodness of my favorite Starbucks latte early in the morning.  This from someone who used to tease friends who frequented coffee shops.  Starbucks has won me over!
  • I'm  thankful for Marty & Paul and all of our crazy adventures touring as Dental Technology Solutions.  The sound of "Mr. Jones", "Custard Pie", and "Enter Sandman" brings a smile to my face every time.  I'll forever remember the moose, the Jerky Outlet, and the "Shroud of Turin" as well as dozens of other moments of hilarity.  However, I still "find the distance to the stage too far".  :-)
  • I'm thankful for those in the travel industry who deal with the daily problems of travels with a smile and with understanding.  So many times we just want to get home to our families and you help us do that!
  • Thanks to those who put themselves in harms way on a daily basis so that I can continue to do the things I do and not even have to think about the fact that I'm safe because of what you do.
  • And finally, I'm thankful to you!  This blog is a labor of love, but it takes you, the readers to make it happen.  By taking time out of your busy lives and busy schedules you make all of this worthwhile.  I'm truly honored and grateful that so many of you take the time to read, comment, and email.  I've always loved writing.  Even from the time I was in junior high school and this blog gives me a nice way of sharing with others.  I'm truly grateful that so many of you take the time to read and have become part of the "blog community'.  You guys and gals are the reason I do this I don't think you'll ever truly know how grateful I am that you honor me by reading.  So thanks to you and my best wishes for a great Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dental Informatics postgraduate training program announcement at University of Pittsburgh

One of my colleagues and a bright guy I'm honored to call my friend, is Dr. Titus Schleyer.  He is the Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Dental Informatics at the dental school at Pitt.  I've known him for several years now and have a great amount of respect for him and for what he accomplishes within the realm of "dental informatics" at the school.


If you are interested in a career in this fascinating field, read on.  They are looking for folks who want a career!

 

Subject: Seeking applicants for MS/PhD/postdoctoral positions in dental informatics

 

Dear colleague,

 

Help shape the field of informatics in healthcare by training in dental informatics at the University of Pittsburgh! At the Center for Dental Informatics, you can get training in a cutting-edge discipline and conduct innovative research on:

 

  • electronic dental records
  • decision support
  • human-computer interaction
  • reuse of clinical data for research
  • evidence-based dentistry
  • teledentistry

 

Getting training in a variety of aspects on informatics opens up unique career opportunities, such as in software development, information technology management, academic teaching and research, and consulting.

 

We are currently recruiting applicants at the certificate, MS, PhD and postdoctoral levels. The program is highly multidisciplinary and is open to individuals with a variety of backgrounds, such as information science/computer science, dentistry, medicine, information technology or related fields.

 

Financial support, in the form of a full scholarship, a stipend, health insurance and more from the National Institutes of Health is available to eligible individuals. Applications are accepted immediately. Program start is August 2012.

 

Please note: The NIH also offers a loan repayment program for educational loans for up to $35,000/year for 3 years.

 

For more information, please visit our Website at http://di.dental.pitt.edu/postgrad.php.

 

Sincerely

 

Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD

 

P.S. Please forward this message to interested individuals if you can. Thanks!

--

Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD

Assoc. Professor and Director, Center for Dental Informatics

School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3501 Terrace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Skype: titus.schleyer, Ph: (412) 648-8886, Fax: (412) 648-9960, E-mail: titus@pitt.edu

 

Profile: http://researchgateway.ctsi.pitt.edu/dvprofiles/titus

Web: http://di.dental.pitt.edu/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/titusschleyer

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/titusschleyer

Scribd: http://scribd.com/titusschleyer

 

P.P.S. Interested in dental informatics? Join the worldwide dental informatics community at http://www.dentalinformatics.org/ for free!

 

 

 

Free Training in Dental Informatics

cget training in a cutting-edge discipline

c conduct innovative research on: c electronic dental records c decision support c human-computer interaction

c reuse of clinical data for research

c evidence-based dentistry

c teledentistry copen unique career options for

yourself

MS/PhD/ Postdoc

cMS: 36 credits, MS project/thesis

cPhD: 72 credits, doctoral thesis

cPostdoc: develop a research and academic career

cover 35 trainees in the program cvariety of backgrounds (DDS/DMD,

MD, computer science, etc.) cfull scholarship/stipend available

Apply now for 8/2012! http://di.dental.pitt.edu

Funded by the National Institutes of HealthUniversity of Pittsburgh

The NIH also offers a loan repayment program for educational loans for up to $35,000/year for 3 years.

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Joy of Portable Books... and I Mean *Very* Portable

Amazon Kindle Logo.png
I've been a Kindle user for several years now.  My original Kindle is big and klunky, but it still works well and I'm glad that I jumped on the Kindle bandwagon early (thanks Ben!)
One of the great things about that particular early adopter moment is that it got me on the electronic book train before it ever really left the station.  By doing that, I was able to really be part of the swell of e-books before the first wave ever really formed.
For the record, I completely, totally, and madly love reading books electronically. The process is easy to use and easy on the eyes.  I don't ever want to go back to paper again.
Now we're seeing what I consider to be the next generation of the ebook which is not to say the newest offerings from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but instead, the development of apps that will allow for true "cross platform" reading.
What I'm seeing is that many of us who have been ebook readers for some time now no longer need to be convinced of the concept.  No, what we need are the ways to grab our books wherever we need them.  Example:  I'll readily admit I'm hooked on the whole "Kindle Concept" even though I haven't picked up my Kindle in over a month.  How can I be a KIndle diehard & not even use it?  I'll explain that in a moment.  First let me explain the "hooked on the concept" part.
The idea of a small device that holds all my books and goes anywhere with me is a tremendous idea.  Amazon was the early winner in the category even though they were not the first to market.  Their agreements with publishers gave them a huge library of books that were formatted to their device the day it went on sale.  I have bought and read more books in the time that I've had my Kindle than in perhaps the 5 years previous combined.
Here's a prime example:  Last year I was at a meeting and I was sitting pool side with one of my really good friends in dentistry, Dr. Bob Lowe.  He and I travel quite a bit for our lecturing and as such we end up with time on our hands that can be often made less stressful by reading a good book.  Bob mentioned 3 good mysteries he had read recently.  I just flipped out my Kindle searched on the books, purchased, and downloaded while we sat by the pool.  I had the books in a couple of minutes and I never even had to get out of my chair!
This scenario happens a lot with me where someone will mention a good book and I buy it right then and there.  Amazon has sold me a lot of books that I would never have purchased if I had to go to a store or even go to a website and then wait for UPS to bring it.  Having books available in almost real time is a huge advantage.
Now we get to the part of why I don't use my Kindle.  To put it succinctly... I don't need it anymore.  Amazon has done a wonderful job of designing & distributing apps that work on a variety of devices.  I have an iPad, a Motorola Xoom Android tablet, and 2 Android phones.  All of them have Kindle apps that allow me to do everything that I can do on the Kindle and the keep all of my books synchronized with each other!!! Open a book on my iPad and read a few pages then close it.  Open the same book on my Xoom a few minutes later and the app asks me if I want to sync to the last page read on the iPad.  Tap "Yes" and it automatically jumpst to that page while keeping all of my bookmarks, highlights, etc synced as well.  Now Amazon has also introduced their Cloud Reader that keeps your books in the Cloud as well and allows you to read from any device that has an Internet connection.
While I don't read much on my phone, I can if I want to and it can be quite handy in a pinch.
I don't have much experience with the Nook from B&N but I've got to figure it's a similar experience.  All said, I can't imagine going back to paper.  The ebook experience is just too good.  While I do enjoy the "feel" of a good book in my hands, I can't  imagine giving up the convenience and the instant gratification that comes with "go anywhere" reading.k

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Bad Guys are Going After Android... Malware Expands 500% since July 2011

Lookout Logo.png
If you are an Android user and arent' currently using some type of anti-malware protection such as Lookout Mobile Security, you probably should be looking into it.
States from Juniper Networks research has shown an increase in malware of 472% since July 2011 with the majority of this activity coming in September & October.  That's right, the last 2 months have shown a tremendous amount of growth in Android malware.
It seems that most of the threat comes from criminal elements that are looking to steal data.  This is usually done by taking legitimate apps, hacking them, and then putting them into the Android MarketPlace appearing as the legitimate app.  However, when installed they carry with them a dangerous trojan horse payload.
The problem is exploding because Google isn't as controlling of their apps as Apple is.  They don't really analyze apps that are submitted and don't control what apps can be installed.  Because of those 2 points , the bad guys are exploiting the weaknesses to their advantage.
As an Android user, I've used Lookout almost since day 1.  I immediately  installed it on my Galaxy II that I'm testing as well.  Lookout scans the phones daily and also scans all apps installed or updated to make sure they are safe.  If you are an Android user, I'm highly recommending you look at a program like t his... especially if you are using your phone for banking or online shopping.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hard Drive Shortage Looms Due to Flooding in Thailand

Hard Drive Explained.png
While many of you may have read about the flooding in the Pacific rim, it turns out this terrible weather situation will also have an effect on other parts of the world.  Now don't get me wrong... I've seen pictures of the devastation and my prayers are with those who are affected by it.  In May of this year, Joplin, Missouri was struck by a massive killer tornado that decimated a huge chunk of the town and many of my friends were affected by it (Joplin isn't too far south of where I live & practice).  I can't begin to understand the situations, pain, shock, and all of the other things that people involved in tragedies of this magnitude must go through.
Now, in addition to everything else that the flooding has caused, comes word that the manufacturing sector of Taiwan's economy has also taken a hit due to the devastation.
It turns out that about 25% of the hard drives that are sold within a given year are made in Taiwan.  When you think about that and pair that number with the fact that the severe flooding covered about 1/3 of the surface of Thailand, you can see that this is set to become a notable "supply and demand" problem for the foreseeable future.  Speculation is that the shortage will be seen in the 4th quarter 2011 and extend into the 1st quarter of 2012.
The other interesting "sub-category" about this subject is the company Nidec.  The currently produce about 70% of the motors that are inside of the hard-dive and power the "spin" of the drives.
Western Digital, the largest manufacturer of hard drives in the world, has been speculated to temporarily lose 75% of their production.
Seagate, the second largest manufacture of hard drives, said in a statement that while their factories are all operational, getting parts is difficult.  Here is part of what their statement said, "Given the volatility of the situation it is unclear what the magnitude of the supply chain disruption will be to Seagate’s hard disk drive output from its Thailand operations. Seagate is actively managing its supply chain and factory output to align production capabilities and optimize its build schedule to meet customer requirements. As a result of the disruption caused by the floods, Seagate anticipates hard drive supply will be constrained throughout the current quarter."
The bottom line is this:  expect to pay more for hard drives for the next 6 months or so.  Also expect that you may not be able to get the hard drive you might be looking for.
I had my first experience with this on Saturday at Micro Center here in Overland Park, KS.  I was attempting to purchase two 1 TB Seagate hard drives.  When I got to the checkout I was told that they could only sell me one hard drive.  I had been reading about the flooding, but didn't realize it was having such an impact.