Keynote speakers will address the human side of space flight and the implications of digital hospitals at the American Association of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) conference scheduled for June 14-17 in Long Beach, Calif.

Of particular interest to attending biomedical equipment technicians, however, is a two-part conference symposium on biomed basics and the annual awards luncheon.

Ira Tackel, ME, director of medical instrumentation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia (and member of the 24×7 editorial advisory board); Ed Snyder, CBET, also with Thomas Jefferson; Randy Libros, CBET, Community College of Philadelphia; and Mike Soltys, CCE, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania will conduct the “BMET Evaluation and Review Course” on Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days.

Designed to provide participants with an understanding of basic electronic principles, basic anatomy and physiology, codes and standards, and medical equipment operation, the two-day course breaks down as follows:

Saturday topics: electronics, pulmonary function, cardiovascular anatomy, physiology and monitoring.

Sunday topics: codes and standards, electrical safety, principles of equipment function, medical imaging.

The sessions also will help biomeds identify other areas of biomedical technology and support in which they may need further review and study.

The awards luncheon is slated for Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the awards scheduled to be presented is the AAMI BMET of the Year Award.

Keynote presentations kick off the remaining two days of the conference.

On Monday, June 16, former astronaut and Space Shuttle commander retired Air Force Col. Rick Searfoss will explore the similarities between astronauts and biomedical professionals in working with medical technology and interacting with various departments. He also will narrate a 10-minute movie about his last mission, the 1998 STS-90 Neurolab flight, which has been described as the most complex space mission to date.

Searfoss will speak beginning at 8:15 a.m.

On Tuesday, June 17, Siegfried Bocionek, Ph.D., chief operating officer of Siemens’ Medical Solutions Health Services (Malvern, Pa.), will discuss the implications of the digital hospital and its effect on healthcare delivery and healthcare technology professionals. In an environment where all applications are integrated and both legacy equipment and the newest technology become part of day-to-day activities, major changes are in store for hospital staff across the board.

As in past years, AAMI will “track” its 50-plus educational offerings along six categories: Business & Management (BM), Imaging (IM), Information Technology (IT), Risk Management & Regulatory Affairs (RM), Technical Operations & Support (TO) and Medical Innovations & Research (MI).

Among the special exhibits planned for this year’s meeting is the Hospital of the Future, a “hospital” fully equipped with healthcare technologies released since 2002.

AAMI’s partners for the 2003 conference are the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE), the California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA), the Washington State Biomedical Association (WSBA) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Plans are already under way for the 2004 AAMI Conference and Expo to be held June 5-8, 2004, in Boston — a city with a 300-year-old reputation for history, baseball, marathons and so much more.