Dr. Ladislao Endrei
Argentine Federation of Cardiology
We have finally arrived at the end of this important event with almost 22,500 participants from 133 countries. Besides being a trademark of the Argentine Federation of Cardiology (FAC, in Spanish) these Virtual Congresses are part of the policies of continuing education that our Institution holds. That is why every edition, of these events, is based on the experience of the previous ones, providing increasing quality for the Program of Continuing Medical Education (CME). Apart from the Virtual Congresses, FAC offers a wide variety of up-to-date resources such as the National Congresses, Courses, Workshops, Scientific Journals and so on.
I do congratulate the Organizing Committee, its President, Dr. Jorge Sanagua, the Secretariat of Medical Informatics of the FAC, represented by Dr. Armando Pacher, and finally, my recognition to the wonderful team that has worked on the development of this Congress, in which FAC truly stands out in its specialty.
In a high-speed frenzy modern world, this Congress was an example of how technology can be used to create a place where we can exchange our opinions, enriching ourselves through an exchange of knowledge in the different sub-specialties forums. We had also the chance to know more than 500 works (among papers, symposiums, researches, etc.), and had the opportunity to attend, without moving from our places, to a Lecture, like the one offered by Dr. Juan Carlos Chachques, “Bioartificial Myocardium: Dream or Reality", among other conferences.
New technologies have always awakened several debates. A lot has been said about regular Congresses vs. Virtual Congresses and, in this sense, it has been discussed if the Internet is a true democratizing tool of knowledge or if it is an instrument of power that would promote the alienation of human beings. Even some people have fantasized about the possibility of humans being replaced by machines.
For certain, this Virtual Congress has shown, once more, that technology can be used for really good purposes, making possible to spread every new scientific and technological development all along the country. Its quality and accessibility allowed colleagues, of every distant place of our geography, to have the same possibilities of updating; every single region, no matter how far or isolated it is from urban areas, should have the same opportunity to get a high standard in cardiology.
Regarding all this, if I am asked about my position towards new technology and the discussion about the advantages or disadvantages of “physical reality” vs. “virtual reality”, I believe that there is just a single reality, the one that this 5th International Congress of Cardiology on the Internet helped to build; the one that every member of FAC works for day by day.