President's Perspective August 2013
College Technology: Investing in Our Future
Jordan P. Grossman, DPM, FACFAS
The world of technology is advancing so fast that it is nearly impossible to keep up. Trite but true. Thank goodness my 11-year-old son keeps me up-to-date, helps me with downloads and syncs all my toys! Like many of you, I am by no means a technology wizard and I find it challenging at times to stay current in our ultra-electronic culture.
Being a “Mac Guy” for over 10 years, I am a fan of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. Jobs, who shaped much of the electronic age with
his vision, once said, “The overall point is that new technology will not necessarily replace old technology, but it will date it, by definition. Eventually, it will replace it. It’s like the people who had black and white TVs when color came out. They eventually decided whether or not the new technology was worth the investment.”
Jobs not only shaped personal technology, he shaped business technology. And the College, like all forward thinking organizations, is keeping pace. A good example is how Apple’s iPhone and the now ubiquitous “apps” changed cell phones forever — and have affected the College’s member technology.
In 2012, we launched our first mobile app at the Annual Scientific Conference. With personalized schedules, exhibit hall floor plans, and much more, it was an instant hit. But, creating an app for ACFAS programs and services, found at acfas.org, took a bit longer. We literally had to wait until technology caught up so that our website would be “mobile friendly” – so that content on acfas.org would also appear on smartphones and tablets without having to create (and maintain) two or three separate platforms.
Earlier this year, the new acfas.org (our fifth version since 1997) was launched. It’s a completely new and “mobile friendly” website that migrates easily to smartphones and tablets. All of the website content (for desktops, smartphones, and tablets) is enhanced with:
- Vastly Improved Navigation
- Advanced Search Features
- Direct Links to the Latest JFAS Articles
- Interactive Educational Calendars for Easy Registration
- A Twitter Feed on the Home Page that Enhances Internet Search Engine Optimization
- A “Marketing Toolbox” with an Array of Practice Promotion Tools
... and much more.
In the first month after we switched over to the new mobile-friendly website, our mobile online access to acfas.org tripled! The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery is also stepping into the digital age with the introduction of a new JFAS iPad app, allowing members, students, and international affiliates to have online access to the Journal. Users can download each issue to easily swipe through articles and issues, bookmark favorites, and highlight and take notes within articles.
ACFAS is also growing strong in the social media arena with Twitter “handles” and Facebook Pages for both members and consumers/media to keep the foot and ankle surgery conversation going among respective audiences. All of our social media outlets
post daily updates, and they continue to expand their followers. Be sure to join in the conversation yourself and share with your patients and community members.
Also this month, we’re returning to our “app roots” and preparing the third Annual Scientific Conference app for the March 2014 meeting in Orlando. Watch for download instructions as the event gets closer. You won’t want to miss it!
As technology advances, be assured that ACFAS will continue to embrace new tools that will enhance your membership and ultimately make you a better surgeon with happier patients. I believe the best is yet to come!