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Sunday at the ATA: Education, opening plenary, exhibit hall reception

By Mike Moran, Project Editor

Just like the telemedicine market, education at the ATA's annual exposition has evolved a lot over the past few years, says Alice Watland, the association's COO.

"We had everything in this advancing stage, more sophisticated, and a few years ago we had people coming in and saying, 'We need more basic (education),'" Watland said. "What we found is that there is this new huge group of people getting into telemedicine."

The result: During Sunday's full-day and half-day certificate courses, attendees will find a mix of introductory and more advanced offerings, plus some brand new selections.

Jordana Bernard

"There is a big demand for these courses – we have hundreds of people who come to take them," said Jordana Bernard, the ATA's senior director of program services. "They are peer reviewed, and we offer continuing education for all of them."


The ATA offered its popular "Telemedicine 101: An Introduction to Telemedicine and Telehealth" on Saturday, and it can be followed up on Sunday with "Telemedicine 201: Taking Your Program to the Next Level." This course is designed for administrators, physicians, IT specialists and operations managers who aim to broaden an existing telemedicine program. Telemedicine 201 runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Convention Center, Ballroom A1.

Other introductory courses, all running from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, include:

•    Fundamentals of Telehealth Technologies. Convention Center, Ballroom C4.
•    Telehealth Nursing Basics: Starting from Ground Zero. San Jose Marriot, Salon II.
•    Human Factors in Telehealth: An Introduction, Convention Center, Ballroom B1.

A big addition to this year's educational line-up is the ATA's popular Pediatric Telehealth Colloquium track. The ATA previously offered this during its Fall Forum, but decided to move it to the Annual Expo, allowing more people to attend, Bernard said.

The colloquium begins with three sessions on Sunday and continues through Tuesday. Sunday's courses will take place in the San Jose Marriott, Salon V, and are as follows:

•    A Brave New World: Using Telemedicine to Address Children's Health in the Global Community, 12-1 p.m.
•    Telemedicine Toolkit: Foundation for Starting a Telemedicine Program, 1-2 p.m.
•    Speed Rounds: Previews and Pearls from the PEDS SIG Leadership, 2-3 p.m.

The ATA also has a couple of brand-new offerings this year:

•    Telerehabilitation in the Cloud: Clinical Competencies, Mobile Apps and Web 2.0, which runs from 8-11 a.m. in the San Jose Marriott, Salon V. Telerehabilitation is a growing specialty area that addresses, among other things, low-cost web-based technology – comparable to traditional videoconferencing systems – that deliver treatments to patients on personal devices wherever they live and work.

•    Ocular Telehealth Programs and Initiatives: An Overview, which runs from 12-3 p.m. in the San Jose Marriott, Salon II. Telemedicine programs based on digital retinal imaging have demonstrated the potential to increase the rate of ocular disease surveillance, allowing timely diagnosis and treatment of high-risk patients. This course is a nuts and bolts approach to establishing a successful and sustainable diabetic retinopathy assessment program.

About 500 people are expected to attend the 12 certificate courses on Saturday (2) and Sunday (10), Bernard said.

"The focus of our course is we want people to come away with practical hands-on information so they can put it to use right away," she said. "That is one of the things we stress with our faculty. We want it to be very useful for people."

Awards, presentations and an opening reception

The ATA will hold its Opening Plenary from 3:30-5 p.m. in the San Jose Civic Auditorium (across the street from the convention center). Presentations will be made by ATA President Bernard Harris and Vice President Ed Brown. Also as part of the plenary, the ATA will hold its Annual Awards Ceremony, and Dr. James Rosser, professor of surgery at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga., will deliver the Kenneth Bird Distinguished Lecture.

From 5-7 p.m., the Opening Reception will be held in the Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

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