Saturday, April 2, 2011

My report on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's 2011 meeting

I attended the AAAAI's (for short!) 2011 meeting in March.  I thought this was a productive meeting for me.  This is an international meeting of allergists from around the world.
I got to investigate a number of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems firsthand.  This helped to crystallize my thoughts of the current status of EMR currently available.
Mannitol challenges seem to have replaced methacholine challenges to test for bronchial hyper-reactivity.  I do not see my practice using them often.
The general plenary sessions were interesting. (photo 1).  Some of the interesting topics: nanotechnology, asthma, studies on sublingual (under-the tongue) immunotherapy, safety of long-acting bronchodilating agents, food allergy, mold exposure.
There were no new medications debuting.
I spoke with allergists from around the world: Japanese, German, Turkey, Finland, Italy, and the U.S.  My conclusion: medical practices and health care systems differ widely, not only within the U.S., but in many countries.
I think there will be some subtle changes in my practice, which should improve my patient's disease outcomes.

Incidentally, while in California, I visited the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, in the San Jose Public Library.  An ultra-fast visit is here and here.  You can see Beethoven's hair.  A sample was used to discover that high lead levels probably contributed to his death.
The next weekend, I attended the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Society of South Carolina's annual meeting.  This was a smaller scale meeting of allergists from South Carolina with 4 nationally known speakers. The topics included immunodeficiencies, EMR, drug allergies, food allergies, and occupational asthma.  The above comments apply here also.  Both meetings were intellectually stimulating and I think they will benefit my patients.

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