Congress of Neurological Surgeons Holds First Digital Medical Conference Using Handheld Technologies

Congress President Says Meeting Represents
'A Major Paradigm Shift in the Way We Will Practice Neurosurgery'

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 -- The 52nd annual Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) convenes today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for what organizers call "the first ever digital medical education conference." With the purchase of 2,400 Palm i705 wireless handhelds, CNS, along with Palm and Bluefish Wireless, is providing its members and resident trainees with the tools and the training to participate in a digital future. The conference runs Saturday through Sept. 26.

"This large-scale digital effort is not just another medical meeting with computers," says CNS President Stephen M. Papadopoulos, M.D. "It represents a
major paradigm shift in the way we will practice neurosurgery. Members and residents will participate in the meeting with the assistance of a Palm handheld that will educate, organize and simplify their complex practices."

Richard G. Ellenbogen, M.D., chairman of the CNS meeting, says, "A wireless handheld gives us a cost-effective and safe way to streamline processes, organize and access patient records, write accurate prescriptions and monitor critical information such as vital signs and medication at the point of patient care or from outside the hospital or our offices. It can monumentally change the way we work." Dr. Ellenbogen is the acting chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, The Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center.

CNS, Palm and Bluefish Wireless are creating a digital network through which attendees can have meeting updates beamed to them using Palm's built-in
infrared (IR) capabilities and Bluefish Wireless access points located throughout the convention center. Bluefish Wireless is the leading provider of wireless IR beaming technology for delivering on-location information to handheld devices. Palm will provide training throughout the conference. CNS purchased the handhelds from CompuCom Systems, one of the largest multi-vendor support providers in the nation. The company will provide attendees with ready-to-use Palm i705 handhelds that are prepared for the digital network and configured with customized software, information and images. CompuCom also will provide onsite technical support during the conference.

The handhelds come preinstalled with a complete meeting program with scientific abstracts, graphs and radiology images; convention center guide with an exhibit floor map and hyperlinks to exhibitor information; a Philadelphia city guide; and a complete membership directory. The handhelds also come with innovative medical software such as ePocrates, a clinical drug interaction database that simplifies prescription writing and reduces errors; and BluefishRx, an electronic prescription application that lets physicians write and sign prescriptions and send them to a pharmacy or a patient via their wireless handhelds. Some Palm i705 wireless functions require a subscription to service, sold separately.

CNS is a worldwide organization conference dedicated to promoting public welfare through the advancement of neurosurgery , and committed to education, research and scientific knowledge. The organization brings together innovative technology and pioneering world leaders for its conferences. This year speakers include: Jane Goodall, Ph.D., noted anthropologist, humanist, and newly appointed U. N. Messenger of Peace; Meg Whitman, chief executive officer of eBay; J. Craig Venter, a pioneer in mapping the human genome; Bennett M. Stein, M.D., celebrated Neurosurgeon and Emeritus Special Lecturer; General John M. Keane, Vice-Chief, U.S. Army; and Greg Papadopoulos, Ph.D., chief technology officer of Sun Microsystems. Neurosurgical Honored Guest, Volker K. H. Sonntag, M.D., Endowed Alumni Chair for Spine Research at Barrow Neurological Institute, will offer insights into the state of the art of spinal neurosurgery, the neurosurgeon as a mentor, and the critical importance of life long education.

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