More than 2,200 people gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 19th annual Cardiovascular Research Technologies Conference (CRT 2016), the highest attendance ever for the premier meeting.
A faculty of more than 400 experts and more than 700 presentations focused on the most current information about advanced interventional cardi- ology research and clinical practices around the globe. The conference offered an array of interactive, live-case demonstrations, hands-on simulations, and lively discussions in and out of the sessions, all with the potential to spur dissemination and use of advanced cardiovascular interventions.
Keynote speaker, the Honorable Mitt Romney, addressed the challenges facing the nation in and out of health care—government debt, education, income inequality, global warming and terrorism.
A growing number of attendees were women, but despite increased pres- ence in the specialty, women still face inequities in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. At the Women & Heart Symposium, keynoter cardiologist Holly Atkinson, MD, noted the continuing gender gap in cardiovascular care in the U.S., and the need to educate women about their risks and their unique symp- toms of heart attack. She warned female cardiologists about the threat to their own cardiovascular health posed by stress and burnout.
Disparities in cardiovascular care were discussed at the Association of Black Cardiologists symposium. CNN political commentator Donna Brazile, former American College of Cardiology President David Holms, MD, and Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions President James Blankenship, MD, discussed the impact of race and socioeconomics on life expectancy from myo- cardial infarction and the role of government in addressing these inequities.
In Praise of Innovation
First prize for the 2016 CRT Innovations Award was awarded to Scott Lim, MD, for the Trialign Transcatheter Repair for Tricuspid Regurgitation. This exciting technology is the first percutaneous therapy for tricuspid regurgitation under investigation in early clinical studies in the U.S.
Manufacturers, regulators, patients and practitioners gathered at the FDA Town Hall to take a look at the latest medical devices. The Town Hall fostered short discussions, including differing criteria between the U.S. and other countries for device approval and the latest regulations that apply to new cardiovascular technologies. In one session, participants announced the launching of the National Medical Device Evaluation System to develop a master network of data on medical devices.
Other conference highlights included 20 live cases spotlighting new procedures and devices in the U.S. and abroad, including a demonstration of the use of robotic assisted PCI from MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Participants also got hands-on experience in the use of innovative tools in simulations that featured use of robotics and virtual reality in cath labs.
In other presentations, participants debated the future of bioresorbable scaffolds, the use of TAVR in non-surgical risk patients, and future technologies for mitral valve repair and replacement now under investigation.
Maurice Buchbinder, MD, moderates the Complex Coronary Intervention II-Live Case at CRT 2016.
Ron Waksman, MD, presents Scott Lim, MD, with first prize for the Innovations Award.