March 2018

The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) is not only European radiology's most important and innovative scientific get together, it is also the place where professional, political, and technological issues are discussed amongst radiologists, health professionals, and policy makers - and the most important stakeholder of all: the patient!

The ESR has long recognised the importance of reaching out beyond the radiology community. The annual ECR is the ideal place to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to unite them in pursuit of the common goal of providing the best radiological healthcare to patients, even more so in light of ECR 2018's motto 'Diverse & United'.

A European society at its core, the ESR has a large international membership and consequently a strong international outlook. In this context, we are especially grateful to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in particular its Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging Section, for promoting the ESR's streaming service ECR Online among its member states. Facilitating access to ECR Online through these channels doubtlessly contributed to an all-time record ECR Online viewership of 6,415 registered users, a whopping 13 percent increase compared to 2017.


With ECR 2018 in the books, we invite you to revisit some of this year's EU & International Affairs highlights as our focus moves to 'the bigger picture' at ECR 2019.


Joint Session of the European Society of Radiology and the European Commission

ECR 2018 included a joint session of the ESR and the EC on 'eHealth in radiology: policies, practices, pitfalls, potential'. This session explored the connection between the EU’s long-term eHealth and digital health strategies and ESR’s activities in this area. High-level representatives from the European Commission’s DG SANTE and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health presented EU and member state initiatives to increase the uptake of eHealth tools, to guarantee data protection, and to set in motion a digital transformation of health and care. Throughout the session, the ESR reiterated its commitment to remain an active stakeholder, offering practical eHealth tools to support clinical practice and patient-centred care and supporting EU initiatives under the EU eHealth Stakeholder Group. In recognition of the untapped potential for radiology, the ESR is shaping and encouraging the launch of eHealth policies across the EU so to achieve enhanced interoperability, improved clinical practice, and ultimately better care for patients.

The speakers of the joint ESR-EC session discussing eHealth in radiology during the panel debate


ESR Patient Advisory Group Sessions

Every year the ESR Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG) organises sessions at ECR on the patient perspective on radiology. The ESR-PAG brings together patients and imaging professionals to collectively address developments in radiology and advocate for a patient-centred approach in the activities of the ESR to benefit patients across Europe.  

ESR-PAG 1: Patient-doctor relationship and interdisciplinary communication in the radiology department

This well-attended session addressed the professional-patient relationship, particularly presenting ideas on how to improve the communication between patients and professionals in the radiology department. Both patient representatives and radiologists offered practical solutions, based on personal experiences, to optimise the flow of communication in the hospital. Beyond the focus on the radiology department, the session demonstrated once again the importance of a multidisciplinary and interdepartmental approach to achieve patient centred healthcare delivery.

ESR-PAG 2: Big data: implications for medical imaging and the need for data protection and cyber security

The second ESR-PAG session tackled patient concerns related to the increased use of big data, data protection and cyber security, topics that have repeatedly featured on the ECR agenda and gained even more prominence in recent years. A diverse panel, consisting of radiologists, patient representatives and cyber security experts, acknowledged the difficulties in finding a middle ground between data protection and individual and public health interests. There was strong emphasis on the importance of adequate data protection safeguards to maintain patients' trust in health research and services. As healthcare organisations, and imaging departments in particular, are increasingly at risk of data breaches and cyber threats, the last part of the session shed more light on measures to avoid security breaches inside imaging departments to ensure patient safety.


Value-based radiology at ECR 2018

The issue of value-based radiology was in strong demand at this year's congress, with the Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Honorary Lecture 'Value-based radiology: the future is now!' being delivered on this topic by Prof. Marc Dewey from Berlin, who is a member of the ESR's Working Group on Value-Based Imaging.

The ESR's Professional Issues and Economics in Radiology (PIER) Subcommittee organised a session on value-based radiology including lectures on the American and European perspectives on VBR as well as metrics to assess the value provided by radiology.

ECR 2018 introduced a new session format with the Coffee & Talk Open Forum. This series included a session entitled 'From volume- to value-based radiology'. The well-attended Coffee & Talk session included talks on what "value" in radiology really means, and a lecture from a patient representative on what matters most to patients.

ESR 1st Vice-President Prof. Lorenzo Derchi introducing ESR delegates to the ESR's view of the volume- vs. value-based radiology debate


Clinical decision support and referral guidelines at ECR 2018

ECR 2018 included two sessions on guidelines and clinical decision support, as well as posters in the EuroSafe Imaging EPOS Poster Exhibition. In addition, the ESR and NDSC launched the new stand-alone web portal version of the ESR iGuide clinical decision support system.

ESR 2nd Vice-President Prof. Boris Brkljačić educating congress attendees about the benefits of using decision support for imaging referrals


The right test the first time: clinical decision support

This session explored the implementation of referral guidelines through CDS both conceptually and practically, looking at how CDS referrals lead to better diagnoses and showcasing implementation experiences in Europe.

Clinical decision support: challenges to overcome

Exploring some of the technological, financial and managerial challenges to CDS adoption, this session looked beyond Europe with a discussion of the status and way forward for referral guidelines and decision support in Africa.


ESR referral guidelines working group

This poster provides and in-depth look at the work of the ESR's working group on imaging referral guidelines and its cooperation with the American College of Radiology.

ESR iGuide

Check out this poster to find out more about the implementation of ESR iGuide in clinical practice and some of the results of the first concluded pilot projects in Europe.


Launch of the ESR iGuide portal

The ESR iGuide web portal was launched during ECR 2018. It provides a stand-alone decision support solution for appropriate imaging using the ESR's imaging referral guidelines. Enabling users to consult the ESR's guidelines across 10 topic areas developed in cooperation with the American College of Radiology, the portal is available for free for ESR radiologist members, and for all individual users until September 30, 2018!

ESR radiologist members will enjoy permanently free access via the MyUserArea. Other inviduals can sign up via the portal provider and the ESR's exclusive licensing partner National Decision Support Company (NDSC) for free access until September 30. For continued access from October 1, NDSC offers individual subscription options.

The portal is also available as a solution for healthcare organisations for whom integrated decision support is not an option. Contact us for a tailored package for an institutional portal licence to meet your organisation's needs. The ESR and NDSC also provide the option of obtaining a country-wide licence to governments, national health authorities or similar institutions to enable unrestricted access for all doctors in an entire country in the native language.


Access the ESR iGuide Portal for free!