TCT at 25: An International Success Story

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 - Gary S. Mintz, MD
Gary S. Mintz, MD

Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year in San Francisco, Oct. 27 – Nov. 1.

In its 25th year, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is arguably the largest and most intense international conference focusing on the medical specialty of interventional cardiovascular medicine. TCT features the latest data from groundbreaking clinical trials, enabling physicians to incorporate advanced techniques for treating patients with heart disease into their everyday practices.

TCT is sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF), a 501c(3) not-for-profit research and education foundation. The first TCT meetings were held in Washington, D.C., initially in the basement of hotels and then in the old and finally in the new Washington Convention Center. Beginning in 2009, TCT has followed other large meetings and has been held in San Francisco  and Miami, as well as Washington.

The growth of TCT has been remarkable, especially in international registration. Here are the attendance numbers from the last three years:

Lead Extraction Risks

  2010 2011 2012
Total Attendance 10,333 11,992 11,763
U.S. 6,030 6,446 5,745
International 4,303 5,496 6,018

In 2012, the countries with the largest number of attendees were India, Japan, and Brazil with 427, 402, and 362 registrants, respectively.

TCT’s global influence is also apparent in that 50 international societies contribute to the TCT program and by the growing number of annual affiliated partnership meetings. These partnerships include three meetings in Asia, three in Latin America, one in Russia and two in the Mediterranean. There are also plans to expand TCT’s global outreach to other countries.

TCT goes tablet

TCT has prided itself on technical innovations that are often copied and adopted by other similar meetings. For example, TCT was the first conference to feature international live case demonstrations that are transmitted by satellite to the TCT audience. In 2013, TCT will feature live cases from 13 international sites (via satellite) and seven U.S. hospitals (via optical fiber) that will be viewed by audiences in three separate theaters at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Going digital has become almost a cliché among medical meetings, but TCT takes this step seriously. This year for its silver anniversary, TCT will eliminate the traditional ways in which information is conveyed to attendees in an effort that, it is hoped, will revolutionize the conference experience, making it more interactive, educational, and stimulating.

Each attendee will receive an eight-inch Samsung tablet that will be preloaded with a new TCT app that will allow attendees to do the following:

  • View and easily navigate the TCT final program
  • Plan the TCT schedule in advance
  • Participate in moderated live chats and audience response question and answer sessions
  • Rate sessions and request Continuing Medical Education credit
  • View live streaming of Main Arena sessions
  • View all archived live case transmissions
  • Download speaker slides
  • View abstracts
  • Access TCT Factoids
  • Navigate the Moscone Center
  • Communicate with TCT faculty and attendees
  • Take notes
  • Share TCT info with colleagues both in San Francisco and worldwide

Because CRF is extremely sensitive about privacy issues (and while a limited number of sponsored ads may appear), no lists or tracking information from these devices will be sold or provided to anyone. This is all about enhancing and redefining the TCT experience.

Dr. Mintz is chief medical officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and managing co-director of the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics.