During the AAMI 2018 Conference & Expo, which took place from June 1-4, in Long Beach, Calif., experts in the healthcare technology management (HTM) field explored a variety of hot topics. Chief among them: cybersecurity, FDA legislation, artificial intelligence, and advancing the global HTM sector.
Like in previous years, the conference held a variety of lively—and thought-providing—sessions. Here’s a snippet of arguably the 10 most-buzzworthy quotes heard during the conference (in no particular order):
1. “It would cost of tens of millions of dollars a year if original equipment manufacturers got their way and were the only ones who could service medical equipment. We’re all really thankful for the FDA’s decision. Without the third-party service market, I don’t know how any hospital would stay in business.” —Dave Dickey, vice president of clinical engineering for McLaren Health Care in Flint, Mich.
2. “We’re not on the sides of OEMs or ISOs. We’re trying to be fair and stay within the realms of our authority. The FDA did not find evidence of a widespread ‘systemic situation’ surrounding the repair of medical devices. Therefore, the agency does not believe that imposing burdensome regulatory requirements is necessary.” — Katelyn Bittleman, the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health
3. “This isn’t over—the Medical Device Servicing Safety and Accountability Act (requiring establishments servicing medical devices to register with the FDA) is still before Congress” — Robert Kerwin, general counsel for the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers, commenting that HTM professionals’ work was not included in committee discussions, but should be moving forward.
4. “[Healthcare] is not a U.S. problem; it’s not an any other continent problem—it’s a problem that affects every human being on the planet. Let’s think globally about maturing the professional practice, improving the identification of and methods for developing the next generation of health technology professionals, and increasing the value and impact of those technical professionals on cost, quality, and safety.” — Robert Jensen, AAMI President and CEO
5. “I’m so glad they let all of you out of the hospital basement to be here. But seriously—I know you in healthcare technology are the unsung heroes of healthcare.”—Christine Cashen, a featured motivational speaker at AAMI 2018
6. “We are still a long way from doing an effective job in terms of addressing the security of medical devices in the environments that we’re all familiar with.” — Stephen Grimes, managing partner and principal consultant for Strategic Health Care Technology Associates, LLC
7. “We all have boulders in their lives, though they may not always be made out of sandstone. But when these events happen, we make a choice whether we turn that into tragedy or triumph. We’ve all had a moment of crisis, whether or not it was a rock, when our world turns upside down … and all of a sudden chaos is at our door.”— Aron Ralston, whose survivalist story was chronicled in the Oscar-nominated film 127 Hours, during AAMI’s Harken Memorial Lecture
8. “[The best policy for clinical engineering departments is to be] continuously ready for a Joint Commission survey.” — Jin Matsumoto, technical career field biomedical engineer for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
9. “[Virtual reality] training allows you to simulate cause and effect, or the emotional experience of troubleshooting…complex systems. I found it beneficial and calming to interact with the system in the virtual room experience. You can test out different approaches and know that they won’t actually be disruptive. You’re not going to be able to ‘blow up’ anything.” —Michael Ballintyn, a clinical engineer at Hartford Healthcare in Conn.
10. “We need to build trust in MD. But in this case, MD doesn’t stand for ‘medical doctors’; it stands for ‘medical devices’…” —May Wang, PhD, chief technology officer and cofounder of Zingbox, Inc.