The European Congress of Radiology (ECR), the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology (ESR), will take place from March 6-10, 2014, in Vienna, Austria, for the 20th consecutive time.
The European Congress of Radiology will present the latest scientific results and trends in radiology at the Austria Center Vienna next March. With over 20,000 participants from 101 countries, the ECR is the biggest radiological event in Europe and a hub for world-renowned experts.
The scientific programme will cover some major issues in this rapidly developing discipline by featuring a New Horizons Session on theranostics, personalised medicine and radiogenomics.
"The explosion of 'omics' data is changing the face of medicine so considerably and rapidly that, if we don't pay enough attention, our specialty could be threatened. Personalised medicine is not a just a dream, but an actual reality, and we have to adapt our specialty to this new paradigm. The development of personalised imaging, which has already begun in oncology, should be taken further, and we have to appreciate its impact on education," said ESR President, Professor Guy Frija from Paris.
The other New Horizon Sessions will focus on oncology and the Human Connectome, a groundbreaking project that offers new mapping and ways to navigate through the brain. There will also be State of the Art Symposia on RECIST, ischaemic stroke, cardiac imaging and obesity. Special Focus Sessions will deal with topics as varied as image-guided biopsies in prostate cancer, organ diseases, dental imaging, ultrasound, MR elastography, paediatric abdominal emergencies, safety standards and structured reporting. Finally, the programme will offer a Foundation Course on breast imaging, and the popular Mini Courses on the 'Beauty of Basic Knowledge' will focus on skeletal and chest imaging.
ECR 2014 will feature more interactive sessions, to match the growing demand among radiologists for new teaching tools. "People are increasingly interested in interactive sessions to assess what they have learned from a lecture. The ECR has been developing interactive sessions for several years now, and we want to increase their numbers. Keypads are reliable, but I am sure that very soon everybody will be able to vote with their own iPads or tablets," said ECR 2014 President, Prof. Valentin Sinitsyn from Moscow, Russia.
Interactivity is also at the heart of the ECR's latest innovation, the multimedia classroom, in which radiologists can directly train their peers on several workstations in CT coronary angiography, CT colonography, and CT imaging in oncology and emergency.
Another series will stress the importance of multidisciplinary dialogue. The 'ESR meets' programme traditionally invites three countries to present their state-of-the-art imaging along with a partner discipline to improve cooperation and collaboration. Cardiologists will take part in a multidisciplinary session on cardiac imaging, while Mexico, Russia and Serbia will be the programme's guest countries.
The dialogue between disciplines must translate into a continued effort, according to Prof. Sinitsyn. "This is not something we have to do just during the ECR. Last year for instance we had the Imaging Biomarker's course, which was organised by the European School of Radiology, one day before the congress. We will repeat this initiative in 2014, with radiation oncology as a topic," he said.
Social media has become a powerful communication tool for many physicians and a dedicated Professional Challenges Session will assess the possible impact of social media on the training and work of radiologists.
To extend access to the congress, most sessions will be broadcast live via web streams, which will be accessible via ECR Live. Delegates will be able to share their impressions of the congress in real time. Users will also be able to post comments, exchange thoughts with other users, and ask lecturers questions directly. This is thanks to ECR Live's Social Media Wall, which can be viewed online and on screens throughout the congress. This service proved to be very successful, with over 3,000 messages sent through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the integrated comment function during ECR 2013.
The technical exhibition will once again bring more than 300 exhibitors to a 26,000m2 exhibition space, allowing delegates to experience the very latest cutting-edge imaging technology.
15 January 2014