Tech-Con Amps Up the Wow Factor

Tech-Con 2016 will feature an increased emphasis on new technology in the pipeline.

When STS/AATS Tech-Con was introduced in 2002, its goal was to provide a platform for presenting innovative techniques, concepts, and devices for cardiothoracic surgery. In short, Tech-Con was conceived with the wow factor in mind. Fourteen years later, the Tech-Con Task Force has come up with new ways to provide the wow factor.

Beginning in 2016, Tech Con will focus on new devices and procedures that have yet to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, but could be available (with FDA approval) within 1-3 years from the time of presentation.

“We thought that this time frame allows industry to introduce near-ready products so that surgeons can begin to prepare,” said Tech-Con Task Force Co-Chair Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, MPH. “The advantage of this approach is that it will not overlap with what we are seeing at the main STS Annual Meeting.”

Despite the expanding focus on not-yet-released technology, Tech-Con will still feature information that attendees immediately can put into action.

“We still want the audience to go home with something they can use tomorrow in their next case,” said Tech-Con Task Force Co-Chair Gorav Ailawadi, MD. “A part of the program will certainly still focus on techniques or devices that are available now, but are not yet adopted by all cardiothoracic surgeons.”

Proposals for presentation topics were accepted this past summer. For the first time, anyone involved in the field of cardiothoracic surgery—including surgeons, allied health care professionals, engineers, and industry representatives—could submit a proposal.

“One of the most exciting parts of Tech-Con will be the ‘Shark Tank’ session. Inventors will give a brief elevator pitch about their technology, and a panel of experts will critique the ideas,” Dr. Ailawadi said.

The presentations will cover the newest robotic, haptic, and stapling technology, plus minimally invasive access procedures.

“Specifically in the general thoracic sessions, we’ll feature new ways to treat lung cancer, potentially using percutaneous access to ablate tumors in a way that’s never been done before,” said Dr. Blackmon.

STS/AATS Tech-Con will be held January 23-24, 2016, in conjunction with the STS 52nd Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. You can register today at the STS Annual Meeting website. Continuing medical education credit will not be offered for Tech-Con programming.