The Congress in California: an ACS overview.
Last month I had the distinct pleasure of visiting San Francisco, California. What a great city. I rode the Trolley, took a leisurely stroll down (and thankfully not up) Lombard Street, dined at a few truly fantastic restaurants, wandered around North Beach and Union Square, and even had a chance to engage in a few delightful "So where y'all from?" conversations at a local watering-hole.
Wonderful as that part of the trip was, my primary purpose for being in San Francisco the week of October 16th, like many of you, was to attend the American College of Surgeons 91st Annual Clinical Congress. Yes, while the Chicago White Sox were running around in Houston trying to usher in a new century of post-season possibilities, I was running around the technical exhibit hall taking in the next generation of medical technologies that will be moving surgery further into the next century.
With telesurgery advancing and information sharing becoming more prevalent, medical image and video documentation is growing in importance. Sony Medical is staying on top of this technology with a few new item scheduled to be released in 2006. On display in their ACS booth were their next generation medical flat-screen monitor, a medical grade color printer for captured surgical images, and a very advanced image recorder. The new image recorder will be equipped with a USB port, allowing medical images to be captured and stored directly to a USB drive. Those images can then be downloaded to PCs for printing, information sharing, or consultation purposes.
Luxtec also has an exciting new product slated for release early next year. They are expanding their camera and imaging technology to include a tiny video display that can be attached to their headlights and positioned directly in the surgeon's field of view. This will allow the surgeon to keep his or her eyes on the surgical sight and still be able to view what is being captured by the video camera or appearing on the video monitor.
Another company to keep an eye on in the coming months is Israel-based NiTi Medical Technologies. Their very impressive line of compression anastomosis products for colorectal, gastric and upper GI surgeries utilizes new technology to create a virtually seamless seal at the anastomosis site without the need for a permanently embedded device. These new devices have the potential to change the way side-to-side, side-to-end, and end-to-end anastomoses are performed in the future.
Next year's ACS Clinical Congress will be held in Chicago, Illinois. A lot can happen in a year, and I'm eager to see what new technologies will be rolling out then. With any luck, I'll be finding that out while enjoying a deep-dish pizza on the Navy Pier and making my gratuitous baseball references about the New York Yankees instead of the White Sox.