Last week, Point-of-Care (POCUS) Certification Academy™ hosted more than 76 countries from around the world at their second annual POCUS World Conference. Medical professionals tuned in virtually from India, Uganda, Spain, Canada, the United States, and many more countries around the world, greeting each other in live chats throughout sessions.
The conference offered unique online features such as a virtual exhibit hall, where guests could explore presentations from businesses invested in POCUS development, a photo booth, and a community lobby for guests to cultivate relationships with exhibitors, presenters, and other attendees. By offering both seminar-style breakout sessions and small group discussions, the convention was an opportunity for guests to learn about the scope of bedside ultrasound technology and meet fellow POCUS-enthusiasts.
Session scopes ranged from entry-level to advanced, engaging ultrasound users of all stages. Topics included instructing medical students on POCUS utilization, the diversity of settings in which POCUS proves beneficial, and clinical applications such as assessing volume responsiveness in critically ill patients. Through these diverse topics, attendees were encouraged to consider the endless possibilities of handheld ultrasound.
The event kicked off on Friday, September 16, with a presentation from Dr. Libertario Demi, Ph.D., who discussed the latest developments in lung ultrasound (LUS). He reviewed the most important steps necessary in the design of a study, the need for standardized imaging protocols and scoring systems, and the applicability of AI to ease and support the analysis of LUS data.
This initial keynote session set the tone for the remainder of the conference: innovation in the medical field. By first analyzing the historical approach to LUS, Demi shed light on both how far ultrasound use has advanced and how much further it still has to go. Because artificial intelligence (AI) has become a significant factor in LUS data analysis, he pointed out how such technology has helped progress the field but also highlighted its limitations.
In every session, audience members were encouraged to submit questions to the speakers. Keynote presentations included a chat feature that allowed attendees to submit their questions throughout the session. Presenters would then address those questions at the end of their talk. Attendees of the breakouts and small groups were invited to enter Zoom discussions to dive deep with presenters and fellow guests.
On Saturday, Dr. Lisa Rotenstein, M.D., M.B.A., led the second keynote session, focusing her message on the rising rates of burnout across the healthcare workforce. She highlighted key contributors to burnout in healthcare and discussed practical, actionable systems, culture, and technological approaches to enhancing well-being.
Because burnout affects mental health, drives turnover, and limits quality of care, it is in everyone’s best interest to eradicate its existence. Looking into the future and considering many innovative opportunities, Dr. Rotenstein offered suggestions on improving medical workers’ mental health. She focused specifically on a “culture of wellness” and an “efficiency of practice.”
The approach around culture involves encouraging medical teams to care for their well-being and decreasing the stigma around seeking necessary mental healthcare. In contrast, efficiency consists in improving systems and structures to make tasks as streamlined as possible. Though complicated, Dr. Rotenstein believes taking these steps could greatly refine the future of healthcare.
Closing the conference on Saturday, Dr. Larry Istrail, M.D., led the final keynote session. He first looked back at the history of POCUS and then looked ahead at the many possibilities offered by the handheld device. “In the 1960s, scanning a patient and instantly diagnosing disease was only possible on Star Trek,” he said. Now, 60 years later, POCUS provides that opportunity every day.
Dr. Istrail detailed how POCUS enables clinicians to digitally peel back skin and observe the ecosystem of internal organs functioning in real-time. This final session concisely iterated the theme of the 2022 POCUS World Conference by highlighting where ultrasound technology began, how far it has advanced, and the doors that it will open going forward.
Guests who missed any of these presentations or are interested in viewing them again can access on-demand recordings through the conference portal. We ask that attendees leave us feedback by clicking “evaluate” next to each session title. We’d love to know your thoughts! If you missed this conference, subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates about POCUS World Conference 2023!