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The ways in which technology benefits healthcare
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How to Attend a Medical Conference Without Actually Being There.

How to Attend a Medical Conference Without Actually Being There. | healthcare technology |

Because of the explosion in the use of social media at conferences, every attendee is potentially their own reporter. Attendees broadcast their thoughts on twitter with a hash tag followed by the name of the conference and the year.

Thus, last year I was able to follow Chest 2012 by simply following “#Chest2012” on twitter. Attendees use social media to discuss presentations in real time giving you clinical pearls, findings of the latest research in pulmonary, critical care, sleep, and thoracic medicine, and even post pictures of slides demonstrating important findings.

By simply following the twitter feed of a particular scientific conference, you can easily learn about the latest research, clinical pearls, even check out pictures of key slides during a presentation.

I have taken this approach to several meetings, even ones that may not necessarily be within my particular field.  For example, while it hasn’t been worthwhile for me to take the time and expense to attend Kidney Week or ASCO, or ACEP, I am interested to know what comes out of these conferences.

Following the tweets from those conferences gives me practical information diluted from a week of scientific sessions.

While these benefits are useful, there’s another significantly more tangible benefit that comes from using social media, particularly while at the conference itself: networking.

Over the past year I have been excited to have made connections through social media with many colleagues around the country. But making those connections through social media is only the first step.

Human beings are after all social creatures. Face to face connections are ultimately more productive and satisfying than anything that we can accomplish online. So at this year’s conference I will be looking to use twitter as a tool help me connect with my colleagues at Chest 2013.

By being active at the meeting and sharing my experiences through social media I’ll surely add to the community of professionals with which I interact.

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TRANSFoRm: Translational research and patient safety in Europe

TRANSFoRm: Translational research and patient safety in Europe | healthcare technology |

TRANSFoRm aims to develop the technology that facilitates a learning healthcare system (Figure 1). It brings together a highly multidisciplinary consortium where three carefully chosen clinical ‘use cases’ will drive, evaluate and validate the approach to the ICT challenges. The project will build on existing work at international level in clinical trial information models (BRIDG and PCROM), service-based approaches to semantic interoperability and data standards (ISO11179 and controlled vocabulary), data discovery, machine learning and electronic health records based on open standards (openEHR).

TRANSFoRm will extend this work to interact with individual eHR systems as well as operate within the consultation itself providing both diagnostic support and support for the identification and follow up of subjects for research. The approach to system design will be modular and standards-based, providing services via a distributed architecture, and will be tightly linked with the user community. Four years of development and testing will end with a fifth year that will be dedicated to summative validation of the project deliverables in the Primary Care setting.

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British surgeons to use 3D printing to reconstruct a man's FACE

British surgeons to use 3D printing to reconstruct a man's FACE | healthcare technology |
Surgeons in Swansea, South Wales, have used CT scans to create detailed three-dimensional images which will be used to create the printed implants.

Cutting edge 3D printing technology is being used to recreate the severely injured face of a road accident victim. A team of British surgeons are poised to carry out a pioneering operation, which will restore the symmetry of a man’s face, using new parts produced by a printer. The unaffected side of the biker’s face has been used to create a mirror image, which will enable perfect facial reconstruction.

Computer images are being used to create titanium implants using Additive Manufacturing, which commonly known as 3D printing.

The images are used both to design guides to cut and position facial bones with pinpoint accuracy and create tailor-made implants for the patient.

The guides and implants are being produced in medical-grade titanium in Belgium, at one of the world’s few specialist 3D printing facilities.

Surgeons in Swansea, south Wales, used an X-ray CT scan to create minutely detailed three-dimensional images to design the bespoke implants. 

The work is considered so groundbreaking and radical it already features in an exhibition at London’s Science Museum, even before the operation itself has been carried out.

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