AstraZeneca’s app makes meetings portable

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Dr. Tim Gardner

By Kathy Canavan

When Dr. Tim Gardner returned from an American Heart Association session in Chicago in mid-November, he used a new app from Astra Zeneca to share the latest information with his colleagues at Christiana Care’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health.

Conference Notes, a free iPad app, helps medical personnel make the most of medical conferences. They can capture slides, bookmark presentations, even get information from sessions they can’t attend.

“The first thing that happens when I come back from a meeting is my colleagues will say, ‘What was new and important that you learned in the meeting? What was hot? What will change the way we practice medicine?’ ”said Gardner, medical director for the heart and vascular center. “Having access to the slides and to the notes that I made at the time was really helpful.”

Conference Notes’ ability to provide information from all sessions where the app is set up means medical professionals don’t have to miss a thing—whether it’s a presentation in another meeting room or just a fast talker in the same room.

“We all have data overload,”  Gardner said. “You got to a meeting like this and you get so much information in a rapid-fire fashion that it’s hard to digest everything as it’s being presented. So the app is very helpful.”

Before the conference, Notes users can view the entire schedule, plan their itineraries and short-list the sessions that interest them.

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The annotation and highlighting tools enable meeting attendees to take notes directly on presentation slides on their iPads.

At the conference, they can follow the presentations live on their iPads, bookmark slides to review later, take notes alongside the slides and annotate or highlight areas on the slides.

After the conference, users can access information from other presentations in any rooms supported by Conference Notes. They can also download their own notes and sketches.

Gardner gave the app high marks for ease of use, and he especially liked the embedded bookmarks that allow uses to place electronic checks on information they know they’ll need.

AstraZeneca would not disclose the development cost for the free app, but said there are no current plans to offer advertising on it.

“We believe we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our expertise across our core therapeutic areas to develop tools and resources that may help physicians and patients,” said Astra Zeneca spokesperson Alisha Martin.

Next up: Additional American Heart Association meetings and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium this month.

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