The biomedical and clinical engineering fields are becoming increasingly focused on electronics and a changing technological landscape. Most local and regional biomed associations admit to using an e-newsletter, their Web site, or tools like Facebook to coordinate with their members, and devices like Apple’s iPad, which was highlighted in an article in the April issue of 24×7, are moving the profession in new ways.

But all of these new resources require time for training and maintenance, and perhaps most importantly, capital. Given the tightening budgets in more biomed shops around the country, the purchase and implementation of this new technology is likely not a priority. In addition, the upkeep of Web sites, Facebook pages, and other networking tools requires dedicated time and effort that many biomeds simply cannot afford.

With both roadblocks and obvious benefits, balancing the need for these resources with the complications must be challenging. How have you or your shop managed to cope with a tighter budget and restricted free time while staying abreast of these changing technologies? Or has your department decided to continue the status quo until the necessary time and funds become more readily available?