March 2023

The European Congress of Radiology 2023 took place last week in Vienna, returning to its traditional spot as a spring meeting. The congress welcomed 17,262 participants from 122 countries, an increase of 14 percent in comparison to ECR 2022. Under the watch of the magnificent golden skull which adorned the congress entrance hall, medical imaging professionals and industry leaders gathered for a meeting marked by cutting-edge science, invaluable education and unforgettable moments.

With a focus on radiology throughout the human life cycle, extending from prenatal radiology right through to forensic imaging, the scientific programme featured a series of special sessions dedicated to the congress’ theme, ‘The Cycle of Life’. This theme lived and breathed, not only through these educational sessions, but also through the stunning congress spaces, impressive technical exhibits and exciting social events.

One of the most memorable experiences of ECR 2023 took place on Wednesday evening during the Opening Ceremony – Dreams. With a closing song, ‘I wouldn’t change a thing’, specifically written for the ECR by composer Christian Barylli and performed alongside stunning visuals, the ceremony was the best way to start the congress. ESR President, Prof. Adrian Brady dove into the topic of the cycle of life and the future of radiology in his Opening Speech and honoured three Honorary Members and three Gold Medallists who have made waves and advanced practice in the radiological community during their careers. The entire Opening Ceremony can be viewed now here.

A special highlight unique to this year’s ECR was the Trainees in Focus programme which offered a platform for the next generation of radiologists to discuss and debate the topics most important to them. To complement the 8-session programme, Trainees in Focus had its own dedicated lounge area, complete with a coffee bar, table football and retro arcade machines, which proved to be one of the most popular corners of the congress.

For online attendees, all sessions were streamed live with the opportunity to interact with speakers and take part in interactive voting via the ECR 2023 App. In addition, the ECR Studio and ECR Mobile Film Crew streamed live interviews, roundtable discussions, and highlights straight from the congress floor, from some of radiology’s most prominent speakers and companies.  

“After all the disruptions to lives in recent years, it was wonderful to see the halls and rooms of the Austria Center crowded with busy, enthusiastic, happy attendees, enjoying all the educational and social opportunities provided by ECR 2023. On-site feedback from Congress participants was very positive, and watching attendees, I sensed that the future of radiology is in excellent hands, with young colleagues ready to continue the success and constantly-increasing clinical relevance of and delivery of value by our specialty”, said ECR 2023 Congress President, Adrian Brady.

One of the most impressive highlights this year was the industry exhibition which featured over 250 of the world’s biggest companies in medical imaging. With a more integrated approach, involving many companies taking space within the main halls of the Austria Center, the industry presented state-of-the-art technology and services, and held numerous interactive demonstrations, informative sessions and social events for attendees.

Two areas, known for bringing industry and education together, were the Cube, with incredible updates from the world of interventional radiology, and the AI Expo and Theatre, with a line-up of impressive tech set to impact radiology in the future. Both featured a series of sessions, accompanied by exhibition areas with companies, product demonstrations and interactive exhibits. In particular, the scientific sessions in the AI Theatre were a huge hit with crowds of attendees queuing outside the theatre to take part. 

Other congress highlights, returning by popular demand, included the Image Interpretation Quizzes, Open Forum sessions, Escape Rooms, and the ESR Meets sessions, which this year hosted Ireland, Canada and Romania.

Once again, the diversity of participants at the congress stood out strongly. The congress hosted attendees from 122 countries, making it a truly global event, with a programme that saw a strong gender balance amongst speakers and participants. Professionally too, the meeting welcomed a wide range of working groups. A full programme designed in collaboration with the European Federation of Radiographer Societies awaited visiting radiographers, whilst multidisciplinary sessions, with input from a mix of clinicians and medical professionals, were very prominent.

The very best highlights from ECR 2023 can be seen in the ESR Connect Photo Gallery here

The European Congress of Radiology 2024 returns next year on February 28 – March 3, 2024, with the theme ‘Next Generation Radiology’. You can now download the poster here.