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Innovations | Jun 2011

What’s the Buzz?

An introduction to the cover series and an update on Bryn Mawr Communications' social and digital media offerings.

Attendance at ophthalmic conferences is on the rise, reflecting the desire many of you feel to stay on the cutting edge of your specialty. But today’s annual meetings encompass more than just the latest surgical trends and unveil more than just the next big innovations. Nowadays, eye care specialists use these venues to learn more about practice management and leadership skills, they attend seminars that promise to help improve patient outcomes, and they show up at social and company-sponsored events in the hopes of building relationships with other specialists from around the world.

With all of the information exchange that occurs at these meetings, it is no wonder that your interests extend well beyond the breadth of your daily practice. Therefore, CRST Europe had dedicated this issue to exploring five trending topics that affect ophthalmology: social media, digital media, integrated health care, work-life balance, and resident training. Some of these topics stand at the core of ophthalmology, but others demonstrate how today’s communal issues affect this industry.

Social and digital media are two topics of particular interest to us at CRST Europe. In addition to numerous print publications, our parent company, Bryn Mawr Communications, produces digital programs and projects. Our largest effort, Eyetube.net, houses more than 2,700 ophthalmic videos ranging from surgical techniques, challenging cases, and use of the latest technologies to custom videos and interviews with today’s opinion leaders. The purpose of this digital media outlet is to provide eye care specialists with the tools and information they need to deliver superior patient care. Eyetube.net is not only a reliable educational resource, providing how-to demonstrations and surgical pearls, but it is also a trusted platform for discussion of current opinions in ophthalmology.

Whenever possible, CRST Europe aims to marry its print articles with featured videos on Eyetube.net. Starting with our May 2011 issue, CRST Europe is placing Quick Response (QR) barcodes within articles that include video components. Now readers can rapidly link to the video by snapping a picture of the code using a smartphone application. (We suggest downloading the QR reader program available at www.getscanlife.com.) From the feedback I have heard, our readers enjoy the opportunity to link directly to the associated video.

“Ophthalmology is a visual science. Pictures help, but videos add to the surgeon’s ability to better understand the maneuvers of a complicated technique or even a basic technology. The new QR codes allow us to do just that as we read the printed article,” Karl G. Stonecipher, MD, of North Carolina, said in an e-mail to CRST Europe. “Ophthalmologists tend to also like to look at more than one side to the issue. With the QR codes, links can be accessed to provide instantaneous information, without the additional normal efforts required for research of a subject. It is all about one thing: instant gratification and accessibility—modern technology at your fingertips. CRST Europe is providing you, once again, with the latest technology to make your day go smoother and your information gathering easier.”

Just like the surgeons who read our publication, CRST Europe and Bryn Mawr Communications like to stay on the cutting edge of our field. We aim to be among the first of your preferred publications (we have five eye care titles in total: Advanced Ocular Care, CRST, CRST Europe, Glaucoma Today, and Retina Today) to embrace the use of social and digital media. Follow Eyetube.net on Twitter (@eyetubenet) and check out our Eyetube fan page on Facebook to stay up to date on what new videos are posted. Additionally, I plan to start tweeting (@CRSTeurope) during upcoming conferences and meetings we attend.

As the weather hints at summer, I hope you enjoy reading up on the trends that our editorial board members pinpointed as worthy of coverage in CRST Europe.