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My Nice 2018

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Evgenij Potapov, MD, PhD
Deutsches Herzzentrum
Berlin, Germany

Our Congress in Nice is fast approaching. My high expectations of the congress have not lessened in the past 20 years, and I have been asking myself why.

For me, the aspect I look forward to most is the opportunity to meet my colleagues and close friends, to chat with them personally and have some beautiful moments under the starry sky of Nice which will remain with me forever. What do I mean?

At the beginning of the congress, participation in the ISHLT Academy as a faculty member is very challenging. It is not easy to squeeze all one's knowledge about a particular topic into the requisite 15 minutes, but it is even more challenging to make the presentation easily intelligible and to field the questions that follow. This day is full of vibrant presentations, fresh ideas and questions fired by nimble-minded students.

I know that in Nice I will meet my friends and colleagues and be able to discuss at length all the facets of my topics of interest - mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation. Why is this important? It means that I will acquire personalized information which I would never be able to get from reading abstracts or papers and that I may be able to share in new ideas and thoughts about how to improve my daily work on patients. I hope to bring myself up to date with new ideas and current directions and developments in my field. And I shall be able to refresh my feeling for the needs of young colleagues in terms of education and science, and also to educate myself. Of the greatest importance for me are the abstract sessions and symposia, where I learn from my colleagues and friends and receive community experience, which is of a much higher order than I could ever get from reading journals or working in my institution.

Sometimes I participate in completely different sessions to gain inspiration from other groups outside the MCS field.

Altogether our congress lifts me out of my daily business for 4 days and gives me a perspective on the future regarding medical care, science and new developments.

Communication with the industry can be fun, but apart from small pieces of news and a modest measure of satisfaction, I expect I shall remain mostly frustrated, as usual. I always do expect too much from the MCS industry, it seems. Looking at the leaps and bounds in general technology in the past decade, especially in electronic devices including autopilots, I wonder why developments in the field of MCS are so very slow. Transcutaneous energy and information transfer, better batteries, modular design, smart pumping algorithms using integrated sensors - all these small but extremely important features would definitely improve survival and quality of life on long-term MCS. They would also increase the acceptance of the devices by our friends, the cardiologists. Maybe we need somebody like Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg to further the cause, pluck the obvious solutions out of the air and actually implement them.

In my opinion, because of its varicolored nature the ISHLT meeting is definitely the address for heart failure in spring. However, beautiful Nice, excellent French cuisine and the already warm Mediterranean Sea with its beaches and restaurants on the promenade and boutiques such as Michal Negrin somewhat distract our attention from the congress. In contrast, in autumn, the EUMS meeting, which will be held in Berlin on 1-3 November 2018, will offer comprehensive, pure presentations focused on MCS in a city that is a far cry from sunny beaches and boutiques, but does have its own attractions, among them traditional shopping in KDW and German food accompanied by various German beers.

This has been my very subjective view on Nice. Now I wish you a congress that will not only meet, but exceed, your expectations and where the pleasant surroundings will not distract you too much from the matters at hand. ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest.

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