The 12th International proCardio symposium in a hybrid format was a success
For the first time ever proCardio took place both in person and virtually. We had 30 speakers, 12 session chairs and 300 participants fill up two inspiring days with the latest evidence and data on cardiac biomarkers. Every session was followed by engaging discussions. The extensive Q&A’s have been recognised as the main differentiator of proCardio among other cardiac congresses and will truly help in shaping future pathways in the field of cardiac biomarkers. Attendees foresee this as an opportunity to help cardiac HCPs and specialists identify and address the unmet medical needs across multiple countries and regions.
The proCardio 2022 conference was divided into 6 sessions: Basic Science, Diagnosis, Prevention, Risk Stratification, Therapy and Innovation. Despite the broad scope, leading from bench to patient’s bed and above, a few topics deserve to be highlighted.
First of all, it seems that integrated diagnostics are the next step and single biomarker measurements may no longer suffice. Such an integrated diagnostics solution (e.g. a biomarker panel) would potentially allow physicians to have a better overview of the patient's health status. Ideally, the result would be provided as a single score upon which the physician could base their decision and choose the most appropriate treatment.
But what about the score result? An intense discussion arose around binary vs probability based systems. One major concern, speaking against probabilistic systems, is actionability. How to help educate physicians about the value of probabilistic approaches? And more importantly, how to interpret a probability score as a patient? On one hand, it might lead to unnecessary anxiety, but on the other hand it also might be a wake up call for the patient to take matters in their own hands and take better care of themselves. A fruitful discussion with no clear outcome yet. To be continued!
Sex specific cardiology
Another dominant topic throughout proCardio 2022 evolved around sex specific differences when it comes to cardiac issues. It does not come as a surprise that hormones affect the levels of biomarkers. Nevertheless, sex specific differences and their consequences are still provocative and hardly implemented in clinical practice. To which extent should sex differences be accounted for? Healthcare professionals are overwhelmed and call for simple and robust protocols. How to balance between simplification of guidelines and personalisation of diagnosis and treatment? Even though it might still take years to make sex specific diagnosis and management commonplace, it became clear that when planning prospective clinical trials it is crucial to keep gender balance in mind.
Precision medicine leads to an enormous incline of data flows. Can this issue be addressed through innovation? Novel technologies and digital solutions were mentioned several times during proCardio 2022. Is it a holy grail or a palpable future? What role can machine learning play in the future of cardiology? Can AI help solve the problems of modern medicine? Trustworthy support systems for clinical decision making could help take the burden off the physicians’ back.