Welcome the new ISE President: Antonio (Tom) Luiz Ribeiro
After all is said and done, electrocardiography stands as one of the most established and useful methods of investigation of the heart, being available almost everywhere in the world, helping physicians and health professionals in the recognition, follow-up, prognostication and treatment of cardiovascular and systemic diseases. Electrocardiology is the field that encompasses all investigative methods derived from the cardiac electrical activity or used to record the electrical activity of the heart in one way or another. The International Society of Electrocardiology (ISE) aims to promote the advancement of the science of Electrocardiology, through the dissemination of new knowledge, encouragement of new research in the field and sponsoring of an International Congress on Electrocardiology and supporting other meetings in this field. It is a traditional international society, with a history from the 1950s, and with a long record of contributions to the field of Electrocardiology.
Thus, it is an honor to become the President of ISE for the period of 2019-2021, succeeding eminent cardiologists and researchers such as Adrian Baranchuk, Wojciech Zareba, Peter Macfarlane, and so many others. It is an opportunity to serve the cause of dissemination of a method that can save lives, and help people to live better, by improving the knowledge of the electrical activity of the heart in health and disease. To become the President of this Society is to be the one who will “carry the torch” and pass it to the younger generations. In this context, it is of utmost importance to acknowledge the creation of the Young Community of ISE, the ISE-YC, a global network of young trainees, physicians, and other healthcare professionals who represent the new generation in our field.
Medicine and health are changing very quickly, as is the way clinical tests are being performed, analyzed and used by physicians. Social networks, big data, machine learning, and mobile health are now a reality in all aspects of our life and Electrocardiology should not be spared. The wide availability of ECG recordings from smartphones and digital watches will change how people see and use Electrocardiology, as well as the potential application of new deep learning methods to analyse the traditional electrocardiogram. It is a role of this society to take the lead in this process and guarantee the accuracy and fidelity of the interpretation of the ECG in these new scenarios and to merge this new knowledge with more than a century of experience in recording and interpreting the electrical activity of the heart.
It is also time to work closely with other societies whose focus is convergent with ours, such as the International Society of Holter and Noninvasive Electrocardiology and the International Society of Computerized Electrocardiology, as well as to establish dialogue with related fields, such as electrophysiology, cardiac imaging, cardiovascular epidemiology and genetics, telehealth and digital health. This direction has been established by previous presidents and my aim is to further tighten these associations and partnerships, promoting collaborative events and seminars in International Congresses and establishing partnerships to write consensus and position papers that summarize the state-of-the-art on the major topics in Electrocardiology.
Finally, we should not forget that cardiovascular diseases are still the number one killer in both the developed and developing world, but most of the success in tackling cardiovascular disease has occurred in developed countries. To ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages is one of the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals, which includes the aim of achieving universal health coverage, with access to quality essential health-care services, in order to reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases. Electrocardiography is undoubtedly an essential service which is needed to achieve these goals. To expand access to the knowledge in Electrocardiology in the developing world is also a task for our Society. Time to work!
Antonio Luiz Ribeiro
President, International Society of Electrocardiology