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Format: 04/25/2014
Format: 04/25/2014

News

Philadelphia Inquirer: Neurosurgeons going paperless at convention

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

By Stacey Burling

Inquirer Staff Writer

As Michael Oh watched his daughter easily navigate her iPod touch, he had an epiphany.

"I figured if she can learn it so intuitively that neurosurgeons would be able to figure it out," said Oh, who is a neurosurgeon.

He'll find out whether he was right when 3,500 neurosurgeons meet in Philadelphia in May for what he believes is the nation's first paperless scientific or medical convention.

When they register at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting, the doctors will be given iPod touches already loaded with everything they'll need, including the program (165 pages last year), summaries of research presented at the meeting, advertising and information from exhibitors. Doctors will be able to use the iPods for messaging and for interacting with presenters during meetings. The convention also attracts 3,500 exhibitors and guests who will not be given the devices.

Not only will the iPods encourage community building, but they will save a lot of paper, said Oh, who heads a convention committee on the machines. The programs alone would have used more than half a million pages, he said, and most of those would have been left behind in hotel rooms.

"I think we will transform and really revolutionize how medical and scientific meetings are conducted," said Oh, who works at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and already has an impressive tech track record. He helped develop a brain-surgery simulator that was a hit at previous meetings.

After watching his daughter, Oh discovered he was not the first to see the iPod's potential. The Canadian Film and Television Production Association went paperless at its meeting last year and plans to do it again next month. Conventiongoers can reuse their iPods.

To read more, visit the Philadelphia Inquirer web site.

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