SCATA exists to promote research into the use of computing and technology in the specialties of anaesthesia and perioperative medicine, and to disseminate the results of such research. In addition, SCATA aims to promote and facilitate education and training in digital health, with a focus on perioperative care. Membership is open to clinical and non-clinical members. Our Working Group Meeting is held in February and our main meeting (scientific conference) is normally scheduled in June and includes the Annual Members Meeting (AMM)
SCATA is an external collaborator to the project to develop a FHIR-IG for the intraoperative phase of anaesthesia. More information about the project can be found on the open standards working group page.
SCATA also organises regular #gashack events, where enthusiastic clinicians and developers (or some combination thereof) can meet in an informal way. In common with our friends over at NHS Hackday, we aim to build stuff that is innovative, unexpectedly simple and (most importantly) useful.
SCATA, first named the Computing In Anaesthesia Society, was founded in 1987 by Alastair Lack, Gavin Kenny, Mike Fisher and Malvena Stuart-Taylor. It has gradually expanded to a membership of over 200, and is open to clinical and non-clinical members. Trainees of all levels are encouraged to join.
SCATA became well known for the development of the computerised trainee logbook and has been associated with the development of computerised Propofol infusions. Participation in the international SNOMED-CT Clinical Reference group (led primarily by Dr Andrew Norton) has resulted in the development of agreed clinical terms for use in anaesthetic information systems at an international level. Other key projects that SCATA have led or overseen include critical incident reporting systems and the presentation and development of automated anaesthetic record keeping systems.
Subjects discussed at SCATA meetings include depth of anaesthesia monitoring, body simulator training systems, computer based training methods, using fuzzy logic for decision support and neural networks for data analysis. New technologies that affect anaesthetic practice, such as robot assisted surgery and ultrasound guided nerve blocks and cannulation, have also been considered.
A long-time aspiration has been involvement in online learning. SCATA organised and ran ITLS (information technology life support) courses on a regular basis. An attempt has been made to expand these into a more general course on digital health, with a focus on perioperative care. Unfortunately, this project has stalled, but the embryonic course materials can be found here.
In summary, SCATA plays a leading role not only in developing and researching new technologies, but also in disseminating knowledge informally and through educational courses. It welcomes new members from all clinical disciplines, especially trainees, and also from commercial suppliers.
Original authors: A P Madden, Chairman, 2007-2009 with edits from J Grant Forrest, Chairman 2015-2019
The History of SCATA and ESCTAIC
At the 2007 20th anniversary meeting, Alastair Lack presented his personal reminiscenses from the early days of SCATA. He has kindly agreed to make them available in this document.
The SCATA Constitution is now maintained on the Wiki