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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014


Los Angeles Times: Neurosurgeons will put tech brain power to test at paperless meeting

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

By Stacey Burling

Neurosurgeon Michael Oh was watching his daughter deftly use her iPod Touch when he had an epiphany.

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

He'll find out when 3,500 neurosurgeons meet in Philadelphia in May for what Oh believes might be the nation's first paperless medical convention.

When attendees register at the American Assn. of Neurological Surgeons meeting, the doctors will be given Apple Inc. iPod Touches already loaded with just about everything they'll need, including the convention program (165 pages last year), summaries of research to be presented and information from exhibitors.

To read more, visit the Los Angeles Times web site.

Additionally, the 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.)

The iPods will not only encourage community building, said Oh, who helped organize the meeting, but will also save a lot of paper. The programs alone would have used more than half a million pages, he said, most of which 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 Assn. went paperless at its meeting last year and plans to do it again next month.

The surgeons association bought the iPod Touches and added $100 to the registration fee to partly fund them. (At retail, iPod Touches start at $199, but the organization will be saving on paper costs.)

Apple will have people from its local stores at the convention to answer questions, and members of the young neurosurgeons committee will also help.

Oh, who is 41, said that's young for neurosurgeons, who typically train into their mid-30s.

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