ESC review 2015


My impressions from a well visited European Society of Cardiology in the very well equipped  ExCeL Exhibition Centre Congress venue in London. 

But even they could not manage the influx of the first waves 30.000 visiting cardiologists and associated professionals on the Sunday, where the 'fast track' pre-registration line extended out the front door and along the banks of the Thames.

Once finally inside, visitors were greeted and treated with the latest scientific insights in all aspects of cardiology, in well laid out in villages by the subject of your cardiac interest, and a splendid main auditorium.

Chairman or talk show host? 

The ExCeL convention Centre also offers well placed live-talk 360 degree open arena's for TV show like setups between the two main exhibition halls.  The ‘mediazation’ of clinical talks is noticeable, with the chairpersons being the clinical talk show hosts with camera's humming and displaying real-time TV. The arenas also ensure there is constant traffic across the exhibition halls and exposure for the exhibiting companies; a very good formula. 

 Six fully equipped classroom suites along the side of the exhibition area offered repetitive hands-on sessions by industry leading brands where session tickets were all sold out. I had my first hands-on taste of 3D echo capabilities in left ventricular dysfunction, using the anatomical analysis tool called Heart Model, courtesy of Philips.

 Diagnostic ECG equipment

My interest was in diagnostic ECG equipment, searching for industry synergies for Hemologic, where we are preparing for the clinical validation phase of our innovative noninvasive Hemologic Cardiac Profiler, being able to generate continuous volume time curves in a wearable setup. 

 Valuable new relationships were started, and meaningful discussions were held with industry partners about bringing this diagnostic to the toolkit of clinicians, by integration into existing ECG equipment and providing a value proposition uplift.


Miniaturized, Wireless and Remote, but what about reimbursement?

Imaging equipment such as echo Doppler can be can be either topnotch 3D solutions with seamless integration of data, or 'just' handheld lab coat pocketsize and portable, as I was shown at GE. Smart watches such as at CustoMed and phone applications in cardiac diagnostics are abundant, telemedicine and remote solutions are everywhere, with one major issue continuing to be healthcare reimbursement for such systems in the very varied health insurance by country landscape of Europe. 

 The benefit of home monitoring and diagnostics are demonstrated continuously, and can offer monitoring healthcare at a fraction of the cost of hospital based healthcare, but health insurance companies still seem quite reluctant despite the demonstrated cost effectiveness, such was a stated as concern by many I spoke to.

 The US, while proving a bigger barrier for product registration, offers a better reimbursement landscape.

Picking up the leads while back in the office, it has already proven to be a rewarding congress.