Electronic and digital tools in modern medicine

Over the years, I have been fortunate to attend many urology conferences all over the world including four EAU/EAUN conferences. And for me the EAU/EAUN 16 sessions in Munich in 2016 were the best I’ve experienced with its comprehensive programme and an exceptional hospital visit at the University of Munich.

This year’s conference in London was equally exceptional with a meeting agenda that tackled several key urology issues and topics. It was quite difficult to select from the very diverse sessions and what topic to focus on when faced with a wide range of options. There were so many interesting areas, not to mention the industry exhibitions. But one EAUN topic took my interest and this concerns our use of electronic and digital tools in providing care and information in medicine.

I have been practising nursing for over 30 years and have seen the numerous changes and evolution happening in my profession. Unlike many of the younger nurses and doctors, I did not grow up with an iPhone, iPad or computers. Despite that, my career has taken me forward and I work comfortably when using computers. As mentioned during the session, the use of a webcam as a consultation tool was of course unheard 20 years ago. But today informing patients for them to go online and download hospital instructions and information is now quite normal, and which leads to reduced paper use and postal costs.

Using a webcam system to provide language translator service works efficiently in medical consultations. However, the electronic world also presents some challenges since when our patients consult “Dr. Google” the information they get may not always be accurate. This can lead to potential conflicts or misunderstanding between the patient and medical professionals. These key messages in the session have reminded me of the crucial and yet tricky role of electronic tools. At the same time I can see several advantages when using computer-based methods, particularly in our out-patient clinic. As with the other EAUN topics presented during the congress, this presentation about electronic use was thought-provoking and has inspired me to share the key messages with my colleagues.

I would like to express my thanks to the EAUN and Astellas for giving me this opportunity to attend the Annual EAU Congress/EAUN 2017 Conference in London. I look forward next year’s congress in Copenhagen.

Inga Saxild Bendixen, Fredericia Hospital, Dept. of Urology, Fredericia (DK),