On 16 April, the first Vestibular Implant and Related Technology Meeting (VIRTM) took place as an online event. Over 800 colleagues from 86 countries across all continents participated in this symposium with the purpose of sharing knowledge in the field of vestibular stimulation.
The VIRTM was organised to work around four main topics:
- Related Technologies and rehabilitation
- Vestibular System and Vestibular Implants Technologies
- Surgical procedure and Intra-operative monitoring
- Future of VI technology
To cover all these topics, the one-day meeting was divided in two invited key lectures, two plenary sessions and three round tables.
After this intensive meeting, we learned two important take-home messages. First of all, vestibular implant technology is evolving very fast; the number of publications has increased enormously in recent years, and it looks like this is only the beginning of this technology. Second, we still have a lot of things to learn from the vestibular organ and vestibular pathway. During the meeting, it was highlighted by all the participants that more and better evaluations of the patients is needed. Prof Raymond van de Berg presented that bilateral vestibular loss is almost as common as bilateral hearing loss and perhaps we have to improve our clinical practice to avoid losing these patients.
Due to the global pandemic, this first VIRTM was online, unfortunately making discussion during coffee breaks or lunch impossible. Next year this meeting will take place face-to-face to allow us to meet and discuss the latest research in vestibular implant technology.
See you next year, 24-27 November in Belgrade, Serbia!