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Q&A with ESR president, Lorenzo Derchi

par Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | February 26, 2019
European News
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

I am very much looking forward to a new addition to the program called “Women in Focus”, which was envisioned by myself and the ESR, and is being led by professor Hedvig Hricak. “Women in Focus” will explore and celebrate the crucial role that women play in healthcare on a daily basis, whilst offering advice and insights to all attendees. The two-day programme will provide a platform for a diverse range of speakers to share their inspiring experiences, offer constructive advice and debate the often difficult issues surrounding gender and healthcare. The entire programme will be held in memoriam to the late professor Alexander Margulis.

Education, science and training at the highest level are an ECR trademark and despite my being amongst the few people who have attended every single congress since its debut in Vienna in 1991, I still get excited every year about the lectures, courses and workshops to come. This year, it is not only the stunning honorary lectures, the great number of premier clinical trials, the sessions with our “ESR meets” partners Africa, Italy and Pakistan, or the impressive contributions from our younger colleagues that excite me, but also the notion that every single session at ECR can widen your horizons as a medical professional.

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One development I would like to draw your attention to is the fact that The Cube, ECR’s dedicated learning space for interventional radiology, has more than doubled in size for ECR 2019. Due to its outstanding success last year, The Cube will move into a new building, the DC Tower, which is the tallest building in Austria and is located just a few steps away from the conference center. The tower, together with the adjoining Techgate and the DC Box, mark the latest three additions to the ECR City, which is growing every year as the congress expands to other surrounding buildings.

Another thing not to miss at ECR 2019 will be the great additions to the technical exhibition, which will, amongst other topics, focus on artificial intelligence, and will be presented in a very exciting and unique way.

There are many more developments I could mention, but let me conclude with the thing I am most looking forward to, which is meeting all of you at ECR 2019.

HCB News: Can you give a prediction as to how radiology will evolve in the next decade?
LD: There are two main challenges. The first is to ensure the availability of radiological services everywhere. There are still many areas in the world where only basic radiological services are available and too many people still have no access to up-to-date technology. The ESR has a number of initiatives and educational activities which help to tackle these issues. The second, as mentioned before, is related to the rapid advancement of technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is entering our field and it is difficult to foresee how and in which ways exactly it will impact our profession. The program of ECR 2019 will explore this issue with a number of sessions dedicated to AI from a variety of points of view. These include looking at the applications of AI in our current work, what the possible future developments of AI will be, how these will affect our daily work, and how they will change the doctor/patient relationship.

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