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2021 Radiology Congress sets new virtual standards

It will be a virtual congress, the likes of which have never been seen anywhere before. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the original plans for ECR 2021 have changed and it will be held as a purely virtual meeting instead. But as usual, it will once again feature an outstanding scientific program – from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. The packed schedule includes 342 sessions involving 1,887 individual presentations (live and on-demand), as well as 1,408 digital poster presentations by a total of 2,421 presenters. The technical side is equally impressive, and in 2021 the ECR will make full use of its proprietary ESR Connect streaming platform to facilitate the seamless transfer of medical expertise. Streams will be available on five channels. The organizers expect around 10,000 virtual participants, who can look forward to plenty of interdisciplinary approaches.

Research, information and entertainment

Spread across multiple channels, the 2021 scientific program comprises a mix of live and on-demand talks. Channels 2-5 are reserved for streams covering the scientific program, while channel 1 is a groundbreaking innovation in its own right: it acts as a central information and entertainment hub for ECR 2021. Content for the latter will be broadcast live from a studio in the historic Hotel Kempinski on Vienna’s showpiece Ringstrasse boulevard. The schedule features table talk interviews with some of the biggest personalities from the world of radiology, a daily welcome address from Congress President Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger, and interactive yoga, chi gong and aikido courses in the mornings and afternoons. But the star of the show on channel 1 will be the all-new – and one-of-a-kind – Pop-Up World Tour.

Vienna as a virtual global hub

Under this unique format, institutions and industry partners with close ties to the ECR will host events at various locations around the world. Selected guests and speakers will reach out to ECR participants throughout the Pop-Up World Tour. This format transforms Vienna into a truly global interface for the world of radiology, adding value that goes beyond a purely professional level.

Focus on wellbeing

The In Focus program for ECR 2021 continues in a similar vein, referencing what has been a very challenging year for many sectors due to the pandemic. Aspects such as physical and mental wellbeing take center stage, as the absence of physical connections has proved difficult for so many people. As a result, the In Focus program will zero in on areas such as building up resilience, mindfulness and how to manage work-related stress. Due to the universal relevance of these topics, the program is not just aimed at radiologists, but anyone at all who is looking to enhance their own sense of wellbeing or that of other people in their organization. There's a packed program in store for participants: the 2021 In Focus program will comprise a keynote talk, several continuing education events and a host of interactive workshops involving speakers from a range of professional and academic backgrounds to give the European Congress of Radiology a distinctly interdisciplinary flavor this year.

Virtual exhibition, networking and gamification

Another of the numerous innovations making their debut at ECR 2021 is a virtual exhibition, where around 200 companies will be represented. Live chats with industry representatives will also feature, alongside webinars and product presentations. The option of interacting with other congress participants online in the ECR's virtual Networking Lounge is yet another new development. Gamification is also among this year’s focuses: participants have the chance to win great prizes every day at selected exhibitor stands as part of the Play@ECR format.

Summer and winter editions planned

And there's more: in summer 2021 the organizers will be making it up to anyone who really misses the real-life components of the ECR. There are plans to host a summer edition of the ECR as a hybrid event based in Vienna – pandemic restrictions permitting. Preparations are underway for a winter edition, too: slated to take place in late fall at the ECR Annual Leadership Meeting in Graz, it is intended to support face-to-face interaction, just like its summer counterpart.

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