Advances in supercomputing to analyze big data and the role of virtual reality (VR) in pain management highlight this year’s TechMed sub-track.
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the chief medical officer of IBM will talk about how the Watson supercomputer has transformed a variety of fields and how it could change the world of medicine, including rheumatology. Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, will present Solving Problems in Rheumatology & Cognitive Science. Dr. Rhee oversees global responsibilities for Watson Health.
Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Rheumatology at the University of California Los Angeles/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee Sub-committee for Technology in Medicine, said that Watson’s use of cognitive science allows for big data analytics on a scale never before possible. The medical world has just started to discover the possibilities.
“We’re throwing out reams and reams of data at this point in time, but there aren’t any concerted or coordinated efforts, yet, to make sense of all of this,” Dr. Venuturupalli said. “Watson has already been enlisted by the field of oncology, so I think we rheumatologists need to get educated about what’s going on out there, and figure out some of our big problems in rheumatology using the advances that cognitive science has to offer.”
The look into what the world called science fiction not long ago continues on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 8, with Top 10 Lessons Learned Using Virtual Reality for Pain Management. Dr. Venuturupalli said that VR’s immersive experience could allow a connection to the autonomic nervous system. Early results have been promising, he said. Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, FACG, AGAF, Director, Health Services Research and Center for Outcomes research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, will speak about his experiences using VR in an in-patient setting. The study has been taking place for about a year, and Dr. Spiegel has published some of the early data about pain and VR.
Katja Reuter, PhD, Director of the University of Southern California’s Digital Scholar Training Program, will present two sessions—Using Social Media to Connect With & Recruit Patients for Research Studies and How to Disseminate Your Research & Manage Your Online Reputation—about how to effectively use the social media space. Dr. Reuter spoke at last year’s Annual Meeting, and this year’s sessions have been reconfigured to appeal to both researchers as well as clinicians.
During the Monday, Nov. 6, session Tech Tools for Rheumatology, Version 3.0, Suleman Bhana, MD, a private practice rheumatologist and early technology adapter, will talk about his experiences using several different technologies discussed during a TechMed session last year.