The 25th European Congress of Radiology (ECR), the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology (ESR), was held from 7-11 2013 in Vienna, Austria. Over 20,000 delegates from 101 countries attended the event, which is the biggest radiology meeting in Europe.
The outstanding quality of the scientific programme, which featured over 1,600 lectures on every aspect of medical imaging, was reflected in the eight percent growth in lecture attendance compared to last year. International experts presented the latest research advances in medical imaging, with an emphasis on oncology, radiation protection, abdomen and neurology imaging, as well as interventional and hybrid imaging.
Multidisciplinary exchange is now a regular highlight of the ECR. This year the congress again offered a series of lectures on cancer patient management, during which radiologists, oncologists, haematologists and surgeons focused on the benefits brought by their cooperation. The ECR also paid special attention to radiology technicians, through a dedicated course programme.
“I am pleased that we could once again improve the interaction and exchange of knowledge between scientists and physicians from all over the world; not just at the congress centre, but also through our new service ‘ECR Live’, which enabled colleagues who could not come to Vienna to watch lectures free of charge and give their feedback,” said ECR 2013 president, Professor José I. Bilbao, from Pamplona, Spain. More than 1,400 lectures were broadcast online in real time, and over 3,000 people registered for the service.
ECR Live viewers could leave comments and ask lecturers questions via an integrated social media stream, which could also be viewed as a separate ‘Social Media Wall’, both online and on screens throughout the congress venue. Over 3,000 messages, which were sent through Facebook, Twitter, and ECR Live’s built-in chat function, were displayed on the Social Media Wall in just five days.
A radiologist from Vienna General Hospital found it to be an ideal supplement to the congress: “I gave a lecture at the ECR on Friday, and used this opportunity to meet and talk with many colleagues. On Saturday, I stayed home with my kids and took part in the congress through ECR Live, which was just perfect,” he said.
Another highlight this year was a partnership with ‘Youth at Work’ (Jugend Am Werk), a Viennese non-profit organisation which finds employment for young people and people with intellectual disabilities. The new staff’s dedication and enthusiasm seemed to be infectious, and they helped create a warm and hospitable atmosphere throughout the congress centre. The ESR hopes to continue this collaboration next year.
The next European Congress of Radiology will take place on March 6–10, 2014, again at the Austria Center Vienna.