Monday, October 17, 2016

American Academy of Ophthalmology

This year I am attending the Academy Meeting from home. The annual event is a favorite of mine, however travelling takes a lot of energy, time away from the office, inconvenience, expensive hotel rooms, long lines, large crowds, dangers of infectious epidemics, remote possibility of public disturbances and even terrorism.  Sad to say the world has changed.   Yet technology is making life easier for some who remain creative and inquisitive.  However, there is nothing like immersing oneself in  the gestalt of an AAO meeting.  Next year !!

The event was broadcast by

Suffice it to say "it was good". Only sorry more content was not broadcast live.. The video and audio quality were first rate ! Broadcast quality..

Not only is the meeting a center for learning and sharing, It is also a social event where old friends, former residents, chiefs of departments renew old friendships, update war stories and compare notes.

There was a lot of activity on facebook and twitter as well. Who are the giants of social media in ophthalmology? Nominate your candidates in the comments. Perhaps one of these will become the first Secretary for Ophthalmology Social Media  #oscm

Innovation in Medical and Surgical Eye Care Takes Center Stage at AAO 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Is There a Difference between Telemedicine and Telehealth?

While telemedicine is the older of the two phrases, telehealth is rapidly gaining acceptance, in large part because of the evolution of the healthcare landscape.

Today’s healthcare ecosystem is filled with references to and examples of telemedicine and telehealth – in some cases, the two terms are used interchangeably. Whether they mean the same thing is a topic of considerable debate.
In general terms, telemedicine is considered the clinical application of technology, while telehealth encompasses a broader, consumer-facing approach – “a collection of means or methods, not a speci­fic clinical service, to enhance care delivery and education,” according to the federal network of telehealth resource centers.
“While ‘telemedicine’ has been more commonly used in the past, ‘telehealth’ is a more universal term for the current broad array of applications in the ­field,” the TRC network states in its online resource guide. “Its use crosses most health service disciplines, including dentistry, counseling, physical therapy and home health, and many other domains. Further, telehealth practice has expanded beyond traditional diagnostic and monitoring activities to include consumer and professional education. Note that while a connection exists between health information technology (HIT), health information exchange (HIE) and telehealth, neither HIE nor HIT are considered to be telehealth.”


A landmark 2010 report by the World Health Organization found that telemedicine – literally meaning “healing from a distance” — can be traced back to the mid-1800s, was first featured in published accounts early on in the 20th Century, and adopted its modern form in the late 1960s and early 1970s, primarily through the military and space industries. Owing to the fact that much of the technology encompassed in today’s telemedicine platform wasn’t around back then, and noting a 2007 study that found 104 different peer-reviewed definitions for the word, the WHO settled on its own broad-based definition:
“The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.”
“Some distinguish telemedicine from telehealth with the former restricted to service delivery by physicians only, and the latter signifying services provided by health professionals in general, including nurses, pharmacists, and others. However, for the purpose of this report, telemedicine and telehealth are synonymous and used interchangeably.”
Dig Deeper:

Is There a Difference between Telemedicine and Telehealth?

VR in the OR Medical Realities announces first product at London Wearable Technology Conference - Medical Realities

Virtual reality has been around for some time now however the improvement in devices and associated haradware /software has made it more affordable and useful. As it has  gained traction and developers have begun to provide specific applications,  physicians and surgeons are now using it for recording and as a teaching tool.

Medical Realities announces first product at London Wearable Technology Conference

‘The Virtual Surgeon’. This is the first time anybody has captured a 360 degree video recording of a medical operation, designed to be viewed in virtual reality in the UK. The procedure was a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy and was performed at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London.

360 VR in OR

There are many high end consumer devices that can run VR software. A special head piece (separate) is also required.

Playstation 4 and XBOX One are VR capable, out of the box by adding a head set.
High end computer gaming machines can be further upgraded to support VR as well.
Devices such as

Some examples are found here:
Medical Realities announces first product at London Wearable Technology Conference - Medical Realities


Physicians are faced with another assistant in the room. He.she sits on a desk, on a  rolling cart or in the hands of a provider.  Much like a child it is constantly asking questions of its master(s). It has an insatiable demand for  'more data'. It feeds voraciously its organ systems of chips, storage drives, and processors.

The doctor is in the room is partnered with a work station of varying design.  One form factor is not optimal for varying locations such as the bedside, office, operating room, or mobile.Some form factors require water and dirt protection, and perhaps even milspec ruggedization.   Functionality overrides aesthetics.

The computer is in the room as well. Ideally it does not detract from the patient experience. Some uses do not include a patient presence, such as radiology, biomedical labs or pathology laboratories.

We have learned that position is critical. Like bureaucrats they must not come between provider or patient, physically or in social interaction.

Workspace Transformation