November 4th, 2012

The Benefits of Technology

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending AHA.12 in LA this week are blogging together for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Tariq AhmadReva Balakrishnan, Megan Coylewright, Eiman Jahangir, Amit Shah, and John Ryan (moderator). Read the next post here.

Today, I returned for my 2nd AHA meeting. Similar to last year, I registered, received my registration material, and began to sift through the conference schedules to decide what to attend. The book is large and difficult to sort through. After 5 minutes of sifting through it and marking various pages, a colleague of mine stopped to say hello and mentioned that I should download the AHA app. I felt foolish for not knowing that there was an app but happily accepted the recommendation. Two minutes later, I had the app downloaded to my iPhone and was now going through to find the sessions I wanted to attend.

The AHA app is a great tool. Not only does it make it easy to sort through sessions by day, core, and track through the “Educational Sessions” tab, but it also allows you to add items to a “My Schedule” tab. This tab allows for a simple-to-access schedule that gives the time, name, and location of sessions you bookmarked under “Educational Sessions.” Additionally, you can find sessions, posters, and other presentations by the person presenting under the “Faculty” tab. This has revolutionized my way of accessing and sorting through the sessions. After just 10 minutes of searching, I had outlined my schedule for the next 3 days. This is a vast improvement compared with the hour it took me last year. Finally, the app also gives access to maps, Twitter feeds, and additional meeting information.

With all this information in one simple location, I wonder why the AHA is still wasting money and paper to print out the program booklet. In this day when smart phones are widely used, especially among the medical field, do you think it is necessary to print a program? Should there be a way to opt out of receiving the booklet?

Program booklets pile up by the trash cans at AHA. Should there be a way to opt out of receiving the paper version?

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