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    Editor’s Blog: Oh, that high-tech phenomenon! It's wired; it's mobile!

    Much has been written about the high-tech phenomenon in today's fast-paced world. Just "Google" it on your WiFi-supported tablet or device here at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting and check out the latest statistics on how these devices are permeating our lives.

    As part of Ophthalmology Times’ coverage of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting, Editor-in-Chief Mark L. Dlugoss wrote this blog with his observations of the meeting.

    San Francisco—Much has been written about the high-tech phenomenon in today's fast-paced world. Just "Google" it on your WiFi-supported tablet or device here at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) meeting and check out the latest statistics on how these devices are permeating our lives.

    You see the devices everywhere, in every segment of our society, and in every industry. Heck, just look around when you're attending the sessions and courses during the meeting. Just walk through the exhibit hall, and you see physicians and industry representatives clutching their iPads, iPhones, Androids, and other tablets. It's a lifeline to the world of information.

    The adoption of smart phones and devices by medical groups and physicians has grown tremendously over the last several years. According a leading analyst firm, this growth is expected to continue through 2015, with the iPad leading that charge.

    In a recent survey of almost 3,000 physicians conducted by Manhattan Research, 72% of the physicians now own a tablet, a 10% increase from 2012 and a 30% increase from 2011. These are impressive numbers that demonstrate how quickly these devices have risen in a short period.

    How physicians are using their smartphones and tablets seems a bit harder to define. According to researchers, the smartphone is used for information searches, checking e-mail, and texting (sometimes even for phone calls). However, tablet usage is across the board as to how physicians are using these device.

    Physicians though are amendable to utilizing their high-tech toys in their practice, including prescribing and reading textbook and journals. Others are incorporating the tablets to educate patients on their ocular conditions.

    Don't think for once that these trends are escaping the ophthalmic organizations. ASCRS has an app for the meeting, so attendees can plan their session schedule, find exhibitors, or even connect with fellow attendees.

    There were even presentations at the podium at this meeting that outlined how to use the iPhone and mobile health platforms in the practice. In one Sunday session, George N. Magrath III, MD, presented a talk on "iPhone Slit lamp Adapter for Anterior Segment Photography," while Christian Hester, MD, presented "iPhone Slit lamp Photography and Videography as Tool to Evaluate Ocular Surface Disease in Dry Eye."

    Richard Awdeh, MD, went even farther with his talk, "Pilot Trial of Mobile Health Software Platform for Digital Management and Education of Surgical Patients."

    Attendees can rest assured that these types of presentations are just the beginning as the technology expands further into their practices.  More and more presentations will become available to keep physicians wired and mobile.

    Industry is already on the tech wave, bringing this mobility and convenience to your fingertips. Carl Zeiss Meditec introduced a viewer app for the iPad at this year's ASCRS meeting. The app allows physicians to access diagnostic patient data wherever and whenever they want it.

    Several years ago, Topcon introduced its image management system, which integrates images and reports so physicians could access patient information, anytime, from virtually anywhere, including workstations, remote computers, or even the iPhone.

    We're in a mobile society where we want our information NOW! It's only a matter of time when we're conducting all our business through mobile technology.

    Even Ophthalmology Times has gotten into the mobile information arena. You're probably reading this blog, e-news, and tweets from this ASCRS meeting with a mobile device. Ophthalmology Times even has an app. It's time to get wired!!

    The editors of Ophthalmology Times hope you have enjoyed the ASCRS conference brief. Let us know your thoughts by sending them to [email protected].

    For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times Conference Brief, click here.

     

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