Did you make it to San Antonio, Tex, at the end of June for the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) 2011 Conference & Expo? San Antonio, home of the Alamo, hosted the event just steps from its famous Riverwalk. According to AAMI, it enjoyed record attendance this year and welcomed more than 1,600 healthcare technology management professionals.

Using the new name for the industry (See Steps Toward Unity blog on May 9), many of the sessions addressed the ongoing changes in the profession and how to meet them.

The Educator’s Roundtable took a look at the BMET’s evolving role and AAMI’s Core Curriculum project that aims to make sure new BMETs have the skills to meet the role they’ll be asked to play.

The armed forces were well represented at this conference in attendees and with a Department of Defense Symposium that looked at the challenge it faces in maintaining more than 500,000 devices.

Ken Olbrish, MS, an enterprise imaging system administrator in the information services department for the Main Line Health System, suburban Philadelphia, shared his impressions of the “biggest topics of discussion from the conference,” which include:

  • IEC-80001;
  • Interoperability—connecting medical devices to EMRs and other IT systems;
  • Home health care;
  • CE and IT collaboration; and
  • System of systems—no longer supporting medical devices as stand-alone equipment but providing support, design, implementation, etc in the context of an entire system. For example, Ken said, “If you look at an infusion device today, you need to understand how it interacts with the patient, the nurse, the pharmacist, etc, as well as how it interacts with a pharmacy system, a tracking system, a wireless network, etc. Thus, if you need to update a device you need to understand how it interacts with all these other systems before updating a device. If you are purchasing a device, you need to understand how it will be used and how it needs to be interfaced.”


Thanks Ken, and we’d love to hear what other attendees found most compelling.

24×7 also posted some photos of the event on our Facebook page. Thanks to all who posed and stopped by our booth—even if we didn’t snap a photo.