Written by Victor Donker | Usono B.V., Eindhoven, Netherlands
Once a year, imaging cardiology specialists gather for EuroEcho-Imaging, the main cardiovascular imaging conference in the world. The 22nd edition of this event was organised in co-operation with the Italian Working Group of Echocardiography. From the 5th–8th December 2018, the Milano Convention Centre was full of opportunities to present and discuss the most up-to-date research. Over 4,200 delegates interacted on how to effectively use all the capabilities offered by imaging techniques, like ultrasound, and how to further develop them in the future. Most attendees came from Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, and other European countries; however, the conference, organised by the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI), is world-renowned and attendance from Asia-Pacific countries and North, Central, and Latin America has seen a steady rise since 2014. With a faculty of 423 top cardiologists and imaging professionals, there was a strong presence of very well-renowned experts. An educational track ran throughout the congress, featuring several specifically designed courses and sessions, including two Young Investigator Award competitions. However, the EuroEcho-Imaging congress was more than just education and science. It was also a fantastic possibility to meet the greatest experts in cardiovascular imaging; the 4 days gave attendees the opportunity to exchange ideas and projects with a variety of international colleagues. A daily newspaper was handed out with the highlights from the previous day and interviews with EACVI board members, like Thor Edvardsen and Bogdan Popescu. One of the highlights of the conference was a live stress echo session broadcasted from Policlinico San Donato, Milan, Italy and performed by Prof Marco Guazzi.
The photo collage of the EACVI in the middle of the exhibition provided a strong community feeling among the attendees, who were joined by 23 institutional and industrial exhibitors; these included the British (BSE) and American Society of Echocardiography (ASE); established companies like Philips, GE, Canon, and Siemens; and new innovative companies like Ventripoint Diagnostics and Usono. The live demonstration sessions with the Usono ProbeFix for exercise stress tests attracted a lot of interested visitors and used a high-end Philips machine to perform ‘hands-off and continuous’ imaging. Philips had a very strong presence, with various practice tutorials and informative sessions delivered by experts from Belgium, Italy, the UK, and Germany. In addition, the main sessions related to heart failure; ischaemic, structural, and congenital heart disease; imaging; quantification; and automated solutions. GE invited top speakers to present during their large lunchtime symposium that was overflowing with around 400 attendants. Also, during the breaks, GE had immense interest in their new 4Vc probe, which combines the capabilities of multiple probes in one. Canon invited top doctors of Manchester United and FC Barcelona, which greatly supported this year’s theme of valvular heart disease and exercise and sport, while Ventripoint Diagnostics showcased their next-generation VMS+ System, and Siemens organised very well-received practical hands-on tutorials.
This year’s EuroEcho-Imaging event proved to be more successful than ever before and 2019 promises to be an even better edition. The 23rd EuroEcho-Imaging conference will take place in December 2019 in Vienna, Austria, the birthplace of 123Sonography, the top provider of online echocardiography training. The focus for 2019 will be ‘cardiomyopathies and imaging in acute cardiac care’.