Ahead of the first ever virtual meeting of the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE), Thomas Kröncke, chairperson of the CIRSE 2020 scientific programme committee, speaks to Interventional News about the programme highlights, and the logistics of how an online congress will function. He encourages readers to participate, and notes that, for those who register for the event before 30 July, there will be a chance to win free CIRSE registration for life.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual CIRSE meeting will take place online. How will the programme look? Which sessions will stay the same as they were, and which will change?
As the CIRSE 2020 congress will be online this year, some of the presentation formats will be adapted, but the content of the congress will remain almost completely as originally planned. All authors of accepted abstracts and all invited speakers will have the opportunity to present their posters and lectures to a worldwide audience.
Part of the on-demand programme will be available online from 1 September, in order to give the interventional community the opportunity to prepare for the large virtual get-together during the four days of the congress. During the CIRSE 2020 Summit from 12–15 September, ten hours of live programming will be offered throughout three channels—the Dotter, Rösche, and Grüntzig auditoriums. On 15 and 15 September, a fourth channel will be added: the IDEAS auditorium. The preliminary programme and registration are already online at www.cirse.org.
During the summit, just as at a physical congress, the focus will be on interactivity and the opportunity to exchange views and ideas. There will be a number of interactive formats for this, such as case-based discussions, expert round tables, workshops, and much more. The participants will always have the opportunity to ask the lecturers questions and to participate in the discussion.
What is the focus for the CIRSE 2020 programme?
A clear focus of this year’s meeting is on the presentation of the latest data and the push for evidence-based practice in interventional radiology. For example, the results of the FEMME study will be presented, in which the quality of life of women after embolization versus myomectomy was examined. The presentation of the first results from two registry studies on transarterial radio- and chemoembolization carried out by CIRSE will also be very exciting. Regarding peripheral endovascular interventions, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) Day and the First @ CIRSE session on Saturday 12 September will certainly be a highlight.
Another important programme focus of the CIRSE Summit is new therapeutic approaches, such as the radiofrequency-based creation of arteriovenous fistulas or fluoroscopy-free 3D imaging.
Are there other programme highlights?
As mentioned, on the first day of the congress we will have a strong focus on peripheral arterial disease in a special PAD track. There will be a session scrutinising the latest study results, as well as an innovation forum in which new therapeutic approaches will be presented and discussed.
On the last two days of the congress the Interdisciplinary Endovascular Aortic Symposium—IDEAS—will again take place. This important format extremely successfully aims at all specialists who deal with the endovascular care of aortic pathologies. In contrast to many other meetings, IDEAS offers a truly interdisciplinary platform through which the pros and cons of all therapeutic approaches are presented and discussed based on evidence.
Another session I would like to highlight is “Women in IR”. With this format, CIRSE deliberately tackles the necessary discussion about a stronger female representation in leadership roles in intervention radiology.
What are the biggest challenges in transforming a physical congress into a virtual one?
Of course, we were disappointed that the physical meeting in Munich, Germany, would not be possible this year. But we soon realised that a virtual congress also offers many opportunities. We can reach a much wider audience online. Many doctors who would not have had the opportunity to travel to Munich will now be able to take part in the CIRSE 2020 Summit.
We are currently working tirelessly to create a virtual format that will further increase interactivity in the sessions. In addition to the opportunities for interaction with the speakers, there will also be break-out rooms where discussions can be continued on a smaller scale.
Our team in Vienna, Austria, has evaluated the best providers and is currently creating a platform through which the meetings, industrial exhibition, and communication between conference participants will be ideally served.
When will the first content be available?
The scientific programme for the CIRSE 2020 Summit is already available at www.cirse.org. The first presentations are expected to be available on the congress portal in early September. In order to stay up-to-date, I invite all those interested to sign up for the CIRSE e-newsletter and to follow our channels on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
When is registration open for the CIRSE 2020 Summit?
Registration is already open, and a discounted early bird fee is available until 30 July. Registering for CIRSE 2020 will not only give you access to the world’s largest interventional congress, but also exclusive on-demand access to all its scientific content in the six months after the congress. No healthcare professional involved in interventional radiology should miss this opportunity! As a special incentive, everyone who registers before 30 July will be entered for a chance to win free CIRSE registration for life. I warmly invite everyone to sign up!