tech

#AAMC13 #BeyondFlexner: Tweeting Back to the Future

I am just returning from AAMC 13 in Philadelphia, which happens to be the site of the very first AAMC conference in 1876.  Perhaps it is this historic backdrop which made it more poignant when AAMC President and CEO Dr. Darrell Kirch charged the audience to rise to the occasion during our most challenging time, or our healthcare system’s “moment of truth.”  Between sessions on how academic health centers needed to evolve to survive healthcare reform and how medical students need to avoid the “jaws of death” from the Match, there was certainly much to fear and much to learn. In spite of this, there are always moments where it was undeniable that the future was bright.  But, the most interesting moments at this meeting were when it felt like we were going back to the future. One of those moments was sitting in on the CLER (Clinical Learning Environment Review), or the new ACGME institutional site visit process which is not meant to be scary, but helpful!  As a non-punitive visit, its meant to catalyze the necessary changes needed to help improve the learning climate in teaching hospitals. This session was particularly salient for me as I transitioned from being an Associate Program Director into role of Director for GME Clinical Learning Environment Innovation about a month ago.  At one point, Dr. Kevin Weiss described the CLER site visitors observing a...

Is IBM’s Watson The Future Of Medical Decision Making?

Ever since soundly winning Jeopardy! in 2011, IBM’s Watson has been quite busy. Besides soundly beating out members of Congress in an untelevised Jeopardy! match, Watson also became possibly the smartest second-year medical student of all time. But like any bright medical student, Watson didn’t just stop there. IBM recently announced the development of two paradigm-shifting projects, WatsonPath, a diagnosis and education program, and Watson EMR Assistant, a tool for analyzing information stored in medical records. Building upon Watson’s question-answering abilities, WatsonPath draws from clinical guidelines, evidence-based studies, and reference materials to either support or refute a set of hypotheses. WatsonPath is essentially the algorithm machine every medical student wishes they had in their head during board exams. And with a “learning regimen” that includes breaking down board-style questions, why wouldn’t WatsonPath score the highest USMLE score ever? How can WatsonPath be used as an educational tool? The video above explains how the project not only offers answer suggestions, but also displays a schematic flow diagram showing the reasoning behind answers and confidence levels. WatsonPath breaks down clinical scenarios the same way any medical student would, looking at signs and symptoms, interpreting lab values, and searching for key associations. The project is currently being assimilated into the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Beyond the classroom walls, the possibilities of Watson for actual...

The Coolest Smartphone Adjuncts to Enhance Patient Care (and Make Your Friends Insanely Jealous)

Your iPhone is your best friend. Not only does it keep track of important meetings and give you access to your many email accounts, but you can also detect that new Fitz and the Tantrums song and instantly tweet it to all your friends in the span of 30 seconds. What you may not have realized is that it can also be used to aid in the assessment of your patients and to help guide patient care. Here are 4 of the coolest attachments to transform your smartphone into a diagnostic device: 1.   Welch-Allyn PanOptic iExaminer   If your (lack of) skill level is anything like mine, your attempts at funduscopic exams are met with incomplete, transient views of optic discs and getting stoked when you can identify even a red reflex.  With the advent of the PanOptic ophthalmoscope, fancy preceptor offices will afford you the ability to see the entire retina in one field, but what the heck do you do with this information and how do you relay it? Thanks to the iExaminer attachment, you can hook that Welch-Allyn PanOptic up to an iPhone for just under $100 and share these images with your attending and even with your patients.  So that’s what a flare hemorrhage looks like!   2.   Cellscope Oto System     While at the community health fair, you realize that 2 year old...

Virtual Reality Behavioral Therapy

Jeremy Bailenson, the director for the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, talks about the power of virtual reality technology to create behavioral change, especially in the challenging area of lifestyle modification. Filmed at FutureMed, in February, 2012, at Singularity...

Top 5 Coolest Med Tech of the Week

With all the new iphones, tablets, and smartwatches coming out these days, it’s easy to forget that technology is revolutionizing how we do medicine. Here are the top 5 coolest medical devices and innovations of the week!   5. Apica Access, Stabilization, and Closure (ASC) Device for Beating Heart Valve Replacement The ASC system will allow surgeons to implant prosthetic aortic and mitral valves, all while the heart is beating. Once the implantation is complete, the device quickly stabilizes and seals the tissue obviating the need for sutures, minimizing blood loss, and decreasing risk of air embolism.   4. A Flushable Bedside Toilet Coming soon, to a bedside near you, is a new toilet that overcomes a conventional toilet’s need for wide, flexible tubing on a gradient. Instead, this toilet employs a processor that macerates the waste and disposes it through pressure pumped tubes that are 20mm wide. These pipes will go where no pipes have gone before.   3. Firefly Fluorescence Imaging Vision System Intuitive Surgical’s Firefly System has just received FDA approval. Indocyanine green (ICG) dye is injected into the bloodstream and naturally attaches to albumin. A 803 nm wavelength laser illuminates the dye revealing blood vasculature as well as providing real-time imaging of bile ducts. Glow-in-the-Dark stuff just never gets old…   2. VenaSeal Sapheon Vein Closure System Venous Reflux disease, a weakening of the valves...

Throw Away Those Chem Sets, Move Molecules Hands ‘Free’

Leap Motion. It might be the future of interactive computing, but is it worth all the hype? The $80 Leap motion is a user interface controller that allows for 3D gestures, already with an app store full of games, to boot. The gesture-based controller can track your hands moving in a field above a three inch sensor bar. With a 150-degree field of view, it can analyze the motion of all 10 fingers down to a 1/100th of a millimeter. So all that cool motion gesture stuff Tony Stark does while building the Iron Man suits …yeah, that could be you.   Check out this demo: Simply put, the possibilities are endless. One of the most popular applications in its app store is Molecules, “a molecular visualizer. It is a file viewer that allows you to display three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulate them using a Leap Motion Controller.” The Leap Motion Controller lets you move an open hand in three dimensions to rotate and scale the molecular structure faster than you could with the 2-D input of a mouse. Lateral translation of a structure is accomplished by moving two open hands in parallel. So throw away those chemistry sets, this stuff is way more fun. The featured image is from...

How Your Phone Can Give a Physical

The Doctor’s Channel’s Michael Banks, MD and MedGadget’s Shiv Gaglani, MD-MBA candidate, bring you the future of the exam room: The Smartphone Physical. With the growing importance of mobility and data recording, physician tools combined with the capabilities of mobile technology will revolutionize the way clinicians evaluate their patients. Shown here are the PanOptic Ophthalmoscope, the AliveCor Heart Monitor, and the CellScope...