Wrap-Up Of UCLA’s ‘Think tank of Disruptive Technologies’

‘A unique forum for professionals seeking expert opinions and information on emerging technologies’ in medicine was held last week at UCLA’s Lake Arrowhead conference center last week. It was the kind of gathering of intellects that made you feel proud of being in medicine. Here’s the very short condensation of 4 days of conferences: The trend toward democratization in medicine will continue, Application Service Providers (ASP’s) are being discussed a great deal. Wired networks will always have a role, but wireless is so convenient that it may take over. Handhelds are preferred over tablets because in an ICU there is no place to put a tablet down without contamination (think pool of secretions) however, the screen size of a tablet is superior. Wireless in a hospital means that there is much wiring but it is hidden in the infrastructure. Speech recognition is still almost, but not quite, there. Free and Open Source in medicine communities are characterized by those who think that FOSS is The How for getting things done in medical software. ZOPE is a compelling platform for medical records. FOSS is a ‘weather system’ which needs more points to connect with each other. IBM is ready to support FOSS in medicine whenever a worthy product emerges. There are many, many good FOSS imaging software available. The DICOM imaging standard recently celebrated its 20th birthday. Peer 2 peer has some potential in medicine. Microfluidics is just amazing, keep your eye on it! Software data navigation needs to take into account at least 5 dimensions and perhaps more. Workflow analysis is becoming important clinically. ICBM is a far more accurate brain map than Talairach and will soon be available. Flat panel displays are here to stay, vary widely in quality and like early radiology CRT’s were initially un-reliable. Few radiologists do adequate QA checking of their displays. Ergonomic design of rooms and buildings for medical begins with the architect and Interior designer. It is not an option for optimum staff performance and reduction of errors. Patient encounter time has gone from approximately 29 minutes in 1980 to 7 minutes today. Physicians by and large build up barriers to patients. Clinicians are afraid of spending more time using technology. It is a time trade-off that appears to be the biggest barrier in using technology. Your medical record may be coming to your DVD player soon and offers a number of compelling advantages.’

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