STARS News & Events

A-A HRC2021 has a real community vibe

Dr Shouvik Haldar (Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals, London, UK) took over from Dr Kim Rajappan (Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK) as programme director of Arrhythmia Alliance Heart Rhythm Congress (A-A HRC) last year. In this interview, he outlines what makes A-A HRC unique and the key sessions to look out for. 

This is your first year as programme director of A-A HRC2021. What were your goals when building this year’s programme?

It is indeed my first year, but I had a fantastic handover with the A-A team and my predecessor Dr Kim Rajappan. I think the basic principles that I adhere to when building agendas is making sure the content is interesting, topical, educational, and succinct.

New for 2021 are the named lectures from eminent arrhythmia specialists, such as Prof John Camm, Prof Hugh Calkins, and I think these lectures make a great addition. Each year, we always look for ways to invigorate the programme.

A-A HRC2021 is a virtual event. What are the main advantages of a virtual event?

The ongoing pandemic means that HRC again needs to be virtual, but the virtual model does allow — in many ways — more flexibility in terms of session numbers and faculty, and we took advantage of this. For example, being able to pre-record content allowed us to get a real mix of faculty together without having to consider the issue of coordinating people from multiple time zones for a live-streamed event. Additionally, virtual means that there are no room size limitations on how many people are allowed to listen to a session.

For the A-A HRC2021 delegates, virtual means that they can watch the content when they are able to; they do not have to be concerned about booking time off or travelling. All content will be available on-demand for at least 12 months.

Social media (specifically #CardioTwitter) is increasingly used to discuss the latest studies and key topics. What are your “tips and tricks” for using social media to discuss Content at HRC2021?

I must admit that I am not exactly a social media influencer, but I do use social media a lot for personal education and keeping up to date! Social media is here to stay, and my simple tip would be to follow @heartrhythmcong on Twitter and connect with Heart Rhythm Congress on LinkedIn to ensure you don’t miss out on cutting-edge arrhythmia education! Also, use the hashtag #HRC2021 in your posts so you can discuss the HRC content with other people on #CardioTwitter.

What makes A-A HRC special and what sessions are you looking forward to?

A-A HRC, for me has a real community “vibe” — it is less impersonal than other events in the calendar, which I really like and why I always look forward to A-A HRC.

There are so many sessions that it is hard to choose which one I am most looking forward to.

I am definitely looking forward to the debates as they are always entertaining and informative, and you get to understand how different clinicians do things differently. I am also looking forward to the Arrhythmia Alliance and HRS Joint Session, which covers a lot of ground.

In your view, what are the hottest topics in electrophysiology in 2021?

Digital health in arrhythmia detection and monitoring, and advances in AF ablation using different energy sources and strategies have been key issues.

What have been the biggest arrhythmia trials in the last 12 months?

I think for me the two important trials will be related to my own pet interests — DECAAF II, which many of us will have been waiting for, that looked at voltage-guided AF ablation; and the LOOP trial that looked at AF screening and stroke outcomes.

A-A HRC2021 has sessions for all members of the multidisciplinary team, from cardiac physiologists to consultant electrophysiologists. Why is this important?

This is important for the simple reason that we work as a very cohesive team to care for our patients. Education, therefore, must focus on meeting the needs for the whole team otherwise we will not be able to carry our roles to the highest standard for our patients.

A-A HRC2021 is unique in that it provides content, in the form of Patient Days (for STARS, Arrhythmia Alliance, and AF Association), for patients – focusing on specific conditions, treatments and lifestyles. What can patients, carers, and healthcare professionals, together with industry, hope to learn from these sessions?

To understand arrhythmic disorders from all different perspectives and learn how best to individualise treatments for patients. That would be how I would approach the conference in terms of learning needs.

What are your top five reasons for attending A-A HRC2021?

To learn, to be entertained, to listen to high quality material from a world-class faculty and then to be able to dip in and out of this content on demand. You cannot ask for more than that!

Registration for A-A HRC2021 is complimentary to A-A subscribers.

Not yet a subscriber? Special offer — register today for HRC2021 and receive free A-A subscription for 12 months.* Not only can you access the virtual HRC2021, but you can also access all our virtual events complimentary for 12 months. A-A subscription also entitles you to discounted registration at our physical events during the next 12 months.

* Registration fee (HCP/Industry) = £50 (US$ or currency of your choice) payable via PayPal, Credit or Debit card. 





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