Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE Menu


My Smart Phone Adventure

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

I am an early adaptor. It might seem strange that a retired clinical endocrinologist would be an early adaptor. Physicians are early adaptor when there is something compelling to adapt too.

As proof, I have had a cell phone since 1985.

My son, Brad, wired my medical office building in 1986. Feld Technologies, his first company, also developed a medical financial package and a lab billing program for me at that time. I developed a web site for the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in early 1994.

My first cell phone was a large $2,000 brick. I bought it at a benefit auction for $500 in 1985. It had to be installed in the floor board of my Porsche 911. A call cost $2.00 a minute. The phone was compelling to me.

My proudest early adaption was my purchase of the PogoPlug. Without knowing it, I bought the first one ever sold. My buying it led to Brad and Foundry group investing in the company.


Today, I received a beautiful note from Daniel Putterman, President and CEO of Cloud Engines, Inc. along with DVT #1 (first copy) of the third generation of Pogoplug.

He wrote, “I hope you will accept this as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation from the entire Pogoplug team and myself.”

Dan, I do and it will sit in a special place in our house. You are a great kid with a great product.

I had the first Palm Pilot at Brad’s suggestion. I have had a series of cell phones since my first one. My favorite was a SONY CM-RX100.


I cherished my SONY CM-RX 100 cell phone. I then bought an early Treo combining my cell phone with my Palm Pilot.

The SONY is now in my cell phone museum. It is part of Brad and Daniel’s inheritance.

I wanted to buy an IPHONE shortly after it was released. Apple’s method of releasing products has always annoyed me. My first IPOD was 4 GB. It was obsolete in 1 year. My present IPOD is 160 GB.

Steve Jobs builds stuff to be obsolete. He then introduces an upgrade that is “essential” while maintaining his price point. He is doing the same thing with the IPAD.

Two years ago, I made another run at an IPHONE. Brad told me it was “the greatest and I must have one.” I knew ATT’s service was terrible in Dallas. I am not into pain.

Again, I went to three ATT stores. All three had me take a number and wait. The greeter told me the wait would be 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, I asked how much longer I would have to wait. The greeter in each store said another 15 minutes.

I left each store. I finally walked down the street to T-Mobile and got a Blackberry. The sales person at T-Mobile was terrific. The Blackberry did not live up to my expectations.

I was very excited when Google released the Android operating system. I feel Google has great vision for the future. The Android OS fits into this vision. I am confident the Android OS will enhance our living experience.

Google’s marketing of its first Android phone, the Nexus, stunk. T-Mobile shrugged off its role in the service as an inconvenience. As new phones were released, I became more and more excited about the Android OS.

I was in no hurry to spring for the first Android phone. I knew Google would develop the system rapidly.

I followed the specs on new phones. I then asked Brad’s IT person, Ross Carlson, for his opinion. Ross is on top of every phone. His evaluation is astute. He also has the same opinion of Apple’s marketing that I have.

Cecelia, my wife of 47 years, has been happy with her simple clam phone. It took a lot of convincing to get her to agree to an Android phone. I wanted her to get the same smartphone I got so we would experience the learning curve together.

In early September, I read the pre-release specs on the Verizon Fascinate. I decided that the Fascinate was the Android phone for Cecelia and me. It had a 4-inch "Super AMOLED" display that looked stunning on the video. Picture quality looked fantastic, and colors were rich. 

Perhaps more importantly, one is able to see the screen in direct sunlight. The Fascinate has a larger form factor than an IPHONE or Incredible. It is thinner than the Droid X and has rounded edges. The Fascinate has a 5 mgp camera with flash and 720 p HD video capture.

The Android 2.1 OS is reported as excellent. There are a few glitches. I expect the upgrade Android 2.2 will eliminate the glitches.

Cecelia complained about not being able to return a voice mail call without going to the call log. There is a work around to Bing being the browser and Navigator being the GPS maps program. There should be a work around to downloading and synchronizing tasks and notes in Outlook from MS exchange to the phone as there is for synchronizing the calendar. Market applications are too numerous to count. It is difficult for me to find applications I might want.

I called Ross. He said this looks like it is the best new Android phone released so far. Verizon is the best provider in my area. He did not have time to play with the phone yet but he knows Samsung makes a sturdy phone.


Cecelia and I stopped into the Verizon store on the day of release. We finished dinner and were on the way to a chamber music concert. I did not realize Verizon had a promotional special of two for the price of one. The promotion made the phone sound even better.

Ralph Garcia was an unbelievable Verizon sales representative. He knew he did not have to sell me. He immediately focused on Cecelia. He made her very comfortable with the Fascinate. She picked the Fascinate over the Incredible and the Droid X

The difference in this experience between Ralph Garcia/ Verizon and IPHONE/ATT was between night and day. ATT was doing me a favor selling the phone and service. Ralph Garcia understood our needs and provided us with information to make a choice. He was consumer focused.

We felt we were engaged in the decision making. We had the freedom of choice. We had a feeling that the person selling the phone was concerned about our satisfaction. Customer satisfaction and freedom of choice should be the goal of every sale no matter the product being sold by whatever profession.

Hooray for Verizon and Ralph Garcia. Hooray for Google and the Android OS.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.