ESC Digital Summit 2021: Looking to the Future of Digital Healthcare

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10/11/2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic revolutionized the uptake of digital technologies for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. 

“The ESC – along with patient advocates, technology companies, and others – has been front and center in supporting the need for this ‘techcelleration’,” said Professor Martin Cowie, Chairperson of the ESC Digital Health Committee. “Healthcare professionals and patients are now much more familiar with remote consultation and remote monitoring. But this conference is about state-of-the-art tools including Apps and wearables (m-health), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for decision support, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics.”

Every aspect of digital health will be covered through a combination of short talks, symposia, discussion panels, and technology demonstrations. Explore the scientific program.

Don’t miss the joint session with the European Space Agency, “Lessons from beyond our planet”, exploring what can be learned from beyond Earth that impacts digital health. Get up-to-the-minute information on the use of robots to improve precision in cardiac surgeries and minimally invasive interventions. Hear how virtual reality is helping doctors to plan operations and is being used to manage pain and anxiety in patients undergoing heart procedures.

The meeting will examine novel uses of digital technologies in acute cardiovascular care, heart disease prevention, and rehabilitation after a cardiac event. For example, when the emergency services are called, can AI detect a cardiac arrest before the call handler? “AI has huge potential to tell us things we could never work out as humans from tests such as electrocardiograms (ECGs) and echocardiograms – allowing better decision making on diagnosis and treatment,” said Professor Cowie.

Another key theme is co-design and co-production of digital health – including a look at virtual yoga in heart failure patients and the psychosocial impact of wearable trackers. “This conference brings together patients and patient advocates, technology companies, hospital management, and the wider healthcare team to discuss what ‘good’ looks like,” said Professor Cowie. “By creating solutions together we can ensure that the shiny new toys of the future actually make a difference day-to-day for people with, or at risk of, cardiovascular disease. The ‘best of the best’ new ideas and technologies have been selected for presentation.”

Social media (SoMe) is increasingly used in healthcare – with pros and cons. “During the meeting we will discuss how to most effectively harness the good that it can create while avoiding problems,” commented Professor Cowie.

The ESC Digital Summit is an international event for healthcare professionals with an interest in digital health regardless of their level of expertise, as well as researchers, health economists, policymakers, solution providers, engineers, and students.

Professor Cowie said: “This event is a chance to challenge world leaders in the field of digital health on the most pressing issues in heart disease. We will also set out a global roadmap for digital health for cardiovascular disease prevention, treatment and care in a joint session with the World Heart Federation. Stay tuned for a cutting-edge and inspiring meeting.”

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