The Past, Present and Future of Urology

History declares that the patron saint of Paris, Sainte Geneviève, thwarted Attila the Hun and his army’s invasion of the city in 451 AD. No such piety stood in the way of some 14,000 urologists from over 100 countries, however, who descended on the French capital for the 27th Annual European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress Conference between February 24-28, 2012.

Attila, himself, would perhaps have appreciated the advice of the world’s leading urologists having suffered an alcohol related abdominal haemorrhage. Unfortunately for him, the EAU Congress was formed over 1500 years after his demise. For almost 40 years the Annual EAU Congress has been a platform for the international urological community to share the latest and most relevant knowledge with medical experts practising across the board.

Today, the overriding message conveyed by the EAU Congress is the necessity to remain at the forefront of advances in communication and technology in a continual effort to provide urologists with excellent opportunities for professional growth and knowledge sharing. An example of this came in the form of the downloadable EAU Congress iPhone app, which allowed delegates to easily negotiate the potentially overwhelming floor plan of the prestigious conference centre, Le Palais des Congrès. In addition, the app allowed those in attendance to create an itinerary by selecting from the impressive scientific programme, which boasted over 400 speakers participating in nearly 20 simultaneous scientific sessions each day. State-of-the-art lectures, debates, hands-on training sessions, oral, poster and video sessions, ESU Courses, EAU Section meetings and other expert sessions were all part of the scientific programme. At least 1,000 abstracts were also presented in video and poster sessions.

Three separate floors of the conference centre hosted a staggering 3,000 company representatives, demonstrating the latest pharmaceuticals and innovative diagnostic procedures for prostate, bladder, kidney and other urological diseases. The latest advances in minimally-invasive surgery included the high-definition 3D vision and EndoWrist® technology for radical cystectomy surgery. Modelled on the human wrist, this technology, coupled with 3D vision, provides surgeons with greater dexterity and depth perception for precise operation through tiny incisions, eliminating many of the challenges faced by surgeons in theatre.

BMC Urology has been accepting publications on all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis and management of urological disorders, as well as related molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and epidemiology since 2001.  Being an open-access journal, BMC Urology already shares the EAU’s philosophy of the benefits of communication by sharing knowledge to a wider audience and making results of research immediately and freely available to a worldwide audience. This is achieved not only through our journal website, but through other social-media interfaces, such as Twitter and Facebook.

However, if one lesson is to be learned from the EAU Conference, it is that even BMC Urology must keep evolving to develop new media platforms to engage our audience and to communicate scientific advances in a fast-paced medical field.  Technology, like Attila’s massed ranks of yore, continues to rampage forth yet we remain committed to the cause by developing BMC Urology further to meet with the high standards of the urologist.

Hayley Henderson

Executive Editor – BMC Urology

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