When Prof. József Géza Kiss and his colleagues first began planning ESPCI 2021 they imagined welcoming delegates and the Board to Budapest in person and organising a successful event which engaged people in person to share their scientific work and experiences. Thanks to COVID of course this was not to be, and earlier this year the Board made the decision to make it entirely online – and to make this work to its advantage and enable some new approaches and make it accessible for some who would never have been able to visit Budapest in person.
The mission of the Board of ESPCI is to promote knowledge and skills on paediatric cochlear implantation through the organisation in Europe of a biennial symposium. This symposium continued the mission with over 200 presentations, 11 roundtables, 4 keynote speeches, 4 symposia, 8 workshops and we cannot forget the 3 wonderful Head-to-Head sessions where experts in their field argued about contentious issues such as Round Window vs. Cochleostomy, taking sides in favour of obstruction against not to obliterate and an other great discussion with the title of When do we say no? or…Do we ever say no? or Because we can does it mean we should? – entertaining and enlightening! EPSCI has a high scientific content and the plenary sessions have been watched by 230-250 people on average which is a huge success, with topics such as Cognitive Hearing Science, E-Health, Electrophysiology, Hearing Genetics & Deafness, Imaging of CI Patients, New Technologies, Pre-, Intra- and Postoperative Electrophysiological Examinations, Public Health Issues, Quality of Life and Families, Surgical Complications and Vestibular System. The virtual exhibition spaces were well used and the videos provided by industry gave us access to their latest developments and enabled us to have discussions on line – meeting old friends too. All made possible by an excellent and enthusiastic technical team.
For all registered participants the full scientific content is available until the 31st of January, 2022. Please visit the official website for the event to login and rewatch the sessions.
Our objectives for ESPCI are:
• a multi professional approach, including scientists, otologists, audiologists, psychologists, therapists, educators and researchers
• promotion of good practice, challenging current thinking and stimulating fresh ideas
• promotion of recent outcomes of research
• promotion of knowledge and skills on the latest scientific and medical developments
• the inclusion of key note speeches, plenary sessions, discussions, specialist workshops and free paper and poster sessions
• the inclusion of learning opportunities for students in related sciences and disciplines
• the inclusion of parents, carers and the young people/children themselves
This symposium fulfilled all these – and created new space for discussions on advocacy work by family and user groups and a Civil Societies session about the impact civil societies and NGO’s can have on public policy on CI. We created new traditions in the history of ESPCI meetings through this online symposium and the opportunities it offered to be creative – we are delighted we made the decision. Our next meeting will be in June 2023 in Rotterdam in person led by Prof. Emmanuel Mylanus and if the pandemic situation requires it they will provide an opportunity for those who cannot travel to go online an be able to watch the scientific programme of ESPCI 2023. We look forward to seeing you there and thanks to the Board, our presenters, our delegates and industry partners for all their work and enthusiasm in making this possible.