November 6th, 2012

AHA — There’s an App for That!

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 previous post here. Read the next one here. For related CardioExchange content, go to our AHA 2012 Headquarters page.

Oftentimes, we have a love-hate relationship with technology. While at times I feel that it helps me to be more efficient, other times I feel the whole day is wasted trouble shooting.

Admittedly, I have geared up with technology during this conference with a smartphone, tablet, and ultra-portable laptop (total weight approx. 4 pounds). I would like to think that these tools allow me to be more time-efficient. When I reflect back, however, I think that old-fashioned pen and paper would have been just fine, if not better, in certain cases. So then are they just toys?! I think that would be an interesting debate….

Here are some of my favorite tech-related moments/tricks at AHA. Feel free to share some of yours!

  1. Letting go of my AHA program book “brick.” This thing probably only weighs 2 pounds, but it certainly feels like 10. The AHA app has been excellent; at any time, I can quickly pull up the 10 different sessions happening simultaneously and bookmark the ones I want to attend.
  2. Real-time article downloads. Often, someone will present an excellent point that happens to be referenced in Circulation or an open-access journal. The slide is up for about 10 seconds, which give me just enough time to perform a Google (or Google Scholar) search for the article with the author name, year, journal, and one key word. The article is usually one of the first items that appears; I quickly find the PDF link and open it on my mobile device. Then, I open the document with Dropbox (a free app), which saves it to my online storage account and downloads automatically to my computers at home. Now, whether or not I will actually get around to reading the articles is another question….
  3. Note-taking with Evernote (another free app). I like taking notes at these conferences, but find that organizing them can be a challenge. Sometimes I like to take notes on my computer and other times on my phone or tablet. I appreciate using an app like Evernote, which allows me to take notes on any of my devices and sync it with my online account. If I am on the go, I can take some quick notes on my phone. Then, if I find a seat and plant down, I can open up my laptop and continue the same note from where I left off.
  4. Office time on the bus. One challenge at AHA has been the commute. My hotel is in Universal Studios, and the commute has been approximately an hour. I have really appreciated being able to set up a mobile office on my commute with internet access through my phone. It really succeeds in the clutch for taking care of time-sensitive work on my laptop…like blogging!

Is there any particular tech trick, app, or aspect of the AHA app that you have found particularly useful?

One Response to “AHA — There’s an App for That!”

  1. For the less tech-savvy among us, there is always the old technique of tearing apart the program into each day and just carrying that. Still works pretty well for reducing carrying weight.