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Wyman W. Lai, MD, MPH, MBA, FASE Council Representative CHOC Children’s Hospital I am now using the MD1World website to screen children for a humanitarian mission in Vietnam. The cardiology team at Hanoi Heart Hospital is able to upload images, including echocardiography videoclips, for the team in the United States to review prior to the trip. This allows us to properly determine the equipment, material, and medication needs for our upcoming congenital heart surgery mission. We can also advise the team in Vietnam about the preoperative testing needs of some of the patients prior to our arrival. We are able to discuss the patients via Skype video chat. Without this communication technology, which is not all that advanced, we would not arrive in Vietnam as well prepared to operate. We also plan to use the website to provide ongoing easily available teaching modules for practitioners around the globe.
Vera H. Rigolin, MD, FACC, FASE, FAHA Immediate Past President Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
We live in a world that is surrounded by technology. Our existence at home, work, and leisure are all influenced in one way or another by computers, apps, and other electronic media. The field of medicine has also embraced technology. For example, paper charts have been replaced by the electronic medical record, which allows us to access our patients’ data anytime, anywhere. Cardiovascular imaging is a field that exists today because of technology. Echocardiography, in particular, has benefited from innovation and computer processing. In the last year, our echo laboratory has significantly increased the use of strain and 3D echo imaging in many of our patients. The use of advanced imaging techniques has allowed us to discover new, previously undetected disorders. 3D echo has also revolutionized the guidance of percutaneous treatments of structural heart disease. As the amount of data grows, we need tools to help us quickly and easily access information. The updated ASE guidelines app is one such tool that we use daily when interpreting echocardiograms to assure that our reports are in alignment with ASE recommendations. Working in an academic institution, teaching is one of our missions. We are fortunate to be affiliated with a world-class medical school that has embraced technology as a teaching tool. Our simulation laboratory allows students to learn basic and complex medical information that complements bedside teaching. In the last year, the use of hand-held devices and echo simulators has played a more extensive role in the education of our students, residents, and fellows. The use of WebEx during conferences has also facilitated sharing knowledge with our affiliate institutions. Technology is now an integral part of our daily lives and influences patient care, research, and education. Significant advances in cardiovascular imaging have occurred in the last several years as a result of technology. I can’t wait to experience the new innovations that technology will bring to our field in the future.