The Radiological Society of North America’s 106th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting (RSNA 2020) held November 30 to December 5 as an entirely virtual event, attracted a virtual audience of 29,339 people from 134 countries worldwide.
Following its theme, “Human Insight/Visionary Medicine,” the meeting highlighted RSNA’s ongoing commitment to global diversity, equity and inclusion in health care while showcasing the latest developments in COVID-19 research and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
“The RSNA annual meeting holds great scientific and educational importance for our members, exhibitors and the radiology specialty as a whole,” said RSNA Executive Director Mark G. Watson. “I am pleased that we were able to deliver a robust and engaging virtual meeting experience for our attendees during this challenging time. The feedback we’ve received from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.”
The meeting’s virtual format attracted many attendees who have been unable to travel to the physical meeting in the past. Registration numbers showed a 28% increase in radiologist member registrants over 2019, as well as a 78% increase in resident and fellow members. Approximately 40% of professional registrants were from countries outside North America.
RSNA 2020 offered access to more than 120 featured education courses, 40 featured science sessions, and 6 plenary sessions, many with live Q&A. There were also more than 130 on-demand education courses and 60 on-demand science sessions.
Along with more than 1,700 research papers and posters and 1,400 education exhibits encompassing the breadth of radiologic subspecialties and modalities, the meeting tackled important social issues such as global health, diversity and inclusion in radiology, and health disparities and inequities.
Lectures highlighted the need for improving access to medical care around the world. Speakers outlined the importance of diversity in the field of radiology and offered practical solutions for practicing and supporting inclusiveness. In the New Horizons Lecture: “Insights for Radiology from the Hidden Brain,” social science correspondent and “Hidden Brain” podcast host Shankar Vedantam talked about how the hidden brain affects diversity, change and AI.
COVID-19 dominated the Hot Topic sessions at RSNA 2020 with five sessions covering everything from imaging manifestations of the disease to its impact on workforce resilience. There were 74 sessions on COVID-19 throughout the meeting programming.
Popular features like Case of the Day, rapid-fire “Fast 5” presentations, and Image Interpretation sessions provided dynamic experiences for attendees.
The Virtual Exhibition included more than 230 exhibiting companies and offered more than 100 industry presentations, product demonstrations and ample opportunities for attendees to interact with exhibitors. Nearly 54,000 booth visits were tracked throughout the week.
As in recent years, AI was featured prominently. The AI Showcase and Theater spotlighted innovative products, solutions and presentations from industry leaders, as well as the “Imaging AI in Practice” demonstration, which outlined different ways AI and machine learning applications could be employed in clinical practice to improve diagnostics and expedite workflow.
The showcase also hosted a recognition video for the awardees of RSNA-STR Pulmonary Embolism Detection Challenge, an AI competition that invited researchers to develop machine-learning algorithms to detect and characterize instances of pulmonary embolism on chest CT images.
RSNA also provided wellness programming throughout the meeting, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness segments. RSNA Play encouraged attendees to interact with different components of the meeting in a type of scavenger hunt.
On-demand access to the meeting is available through April 2021 at RSNA2020.RSNA.org. RSNA 2021, RSNA’s 107th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, is scheduled to take place in Chicago November 28 to December 2, 2021. The meeting’s theme is “Redefining Radiology.”