MAY 16-18, 2010: AATM Participated in the 15th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Telemedicine Association – the world’s largest international congress and exposition in the field of Telemedicine, eHealth and Health ICT.
The American Telemedicine Association is the world’s largest membership-based organization focusing exclusively on Telemedicine and Telehealth. The ATA’s annual meeting and tradeshow has long become a unique event in the world of Telemedicine and eHealth, featuring the biggest amounts of participants from various countries around the globe, the most extensive scientific program with multiple presentations and panel discussions, vast exposition recognized around the industry as the primary forum for companies involved with telecommunications and technology solutions for healthcare, and excellent opportunities for networking with the world’s leading organizations, public and private companies, and producers in the field. This year’s meeting took place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, and attracted the record-breaking 3,000+ attendees from more than 55 countries. The exhibition area provided 200,000 square feet (18,600 square meters) of area to more than 220 of exhibitors displaying hundreds of telemedicine and telehealth programs, solutions and devices. The congress’ scientific program included eight concurrent scientific session tracks and more than 350 oral peer-reviewed presentations, covering the full spectrum of telemedicine-related subject areas and specialties, as well as panel discussions, poster presentations, pre-meeting courses, and industry executive roundtables featuring insights from corporate leadership on pathways of further developments in Telemedicine and Telehealth globally. The meeting’s three plenary sessions presented opportunities to obtain high-level information about the state of telemedicine and the future of the industry from keynote lectures by the US Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Aneesh Chopra, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, MD James K. Gilman, and President and CEO of the Project HOPE, Dr. John P. Howe, III.
According to exclusively all appraisals, the ATA 2010 was an amazing success. “Over the past year, public interest in and support of telemedicine has grown dramatically. Telemedicine is now widely recognized as an integral part of modern quality healthcare. Technology has continued to improve, giving healthcare providers an array of increasingly-powerful tools to improve care and control costs. Patients are embracing telemedicine, using smart phones, internet applications, remote monitoring devices and social media to manage their own healthcare. The US government invested heavily in telemedicine via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and telehealth provisions are being incorporated into current healthcare reform proposals. … The benefits of telemedicine are being realized; ATA 2010, with educational sessions, professional networking and access to vendors, helps attendees take advantage of the many great opportunities now available”. Among the most important highlights of the 2010 meeting have been:
• Growing understanding of the need to incorporate telemedicine applications into the mainstream healthcare services;
• Significant attention to the field by the governmental authorities, rapidly changing situation in terms of reimbursement for telemedicine services;
• Better than ever and improving cooperation between healthcare professionals, public and private providers, and the industry;
• Considerable focus on nation-wide telemedicine and eHealth initiatives; and – perhaps most importantly –
• Greater appreciation of the need for sustainable international cooperation in the field, and development of large scale cross-border and global eHealth initiatives.
Armenian Association of Telemedicine (AATM) was invited to participate in ATA 2010 and kindly offered a complimentary registration. AATM President, Dr. G. Chaltikyan, had a chance to meet with ATA’s leadership, including newly elected President, Dr. Dale Alverson, as well as other members of the Board and administration, many world renowned experts in the field, some of them with more than three decades long experience in telemedicine, US Government’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr. A. Chopra, and colleagues from all corners of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He participated in special International Telemedicine Forum coordinated by the ATA International Special Interest Group, ATA Latin American & Caribbean Chapter (ATALACC) and ATA Pacific Islands Chapter (PICATA), where gave a brief talk presenting to ATA’s membership and international affiliates AATM’s mission and objectives, vision on promoting telemedicine and eHealth in Armenia, and ongoing and prospective activities, including the current pilot telemedicine project. He also gave an interview discussing the above, as well as the perspectives of cooperation between ATA and AATM (available here). Among other colleagues, Dr. Chaltikyan met with Ms. Irina Lazarian, the CEO of the Armenia Fund USA – a charitable foundation implementing in cooperation with the Yerevan State Medical University one of the ongoing telemedicine programs in Armenia – the HyeBrigde Telehealth, and discussed possible partnership between the US-based foundation and the AATM in implementing joint telemedicine programs in Armenia. Overall, these three days of most extensive networking with a whole constellation of leaders of the world of Telemedicine and eHealth will undoubtedly provide sound basis for further expansion of AATM’s international connections, and contribute to the growing recognition of the Association as the leading organization in Armenia promoting developments in the field.
The AATM’s team expresses sincere thanks to the ATA leadership and organizers of the forum, for inviting us to participate in this fascinating and inspiring event.