From 17 to 21 January 2023, the IFOS World Congress will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It will be a great opportunity to share, face to face, all our recent research, clinical observations and experiences, in a wonderful atmosphere of friendship and education.
Over the last few years, together with the President of the Scientific Committee Prof Hagr (Saudí Arabia) and my Co-Chair Prof Kameswaran (India), we have been collaborating to prepare an exceptional scientific programme; I am particularly proud of the coverage of hearing implant devices. As you may know, advances during the last few years in this field have been remarkable. The main consequence of hearing loss in adults and children is the impairment of communication which, in turn, can lead to difficulties in the workplace, school and family, causing social isolation, problems in language acquisition and result in a lower quality of life. Hearing implantable devices such as cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing aids, active middle ear implants, auditory brainstem implants and others, have become one of the most important tools in hearing loss treatment in recent years.
Cochlear implant array neural interphase.
For the IFOS Congress, a variety of current and engaging topics have been selected: a few examples include ‘Treatment of deafness – new expectations’, ‘Minimizing intracochlear trauma during CI surgery’, ‘ABI in children’, ‘New technologies to be applied in CI surgery’, ‘Active middle ear implants – state of the art’, ‘Ethics and economics in cochlear implants’, ‘Cochlear implant during COVID period’ and ‘Active or passive bone conduction stimulation’.
We will also be focusing on hearing loss screening programmes. It is known that many children suffering from bilateral hearing loss would benefit from cochlear implants or other implantable technology in order to obtain a better hearing performance and spoken language.
"I am particularly proud of the coverage of hearing implant devices. As you may know, advances during the last few years in this field have been remarkable"
The estimated incidence of sensorineural hearing impairment (>40 dB HL) at birth is 1.86 per 1000 newborns in developed countries, and 30-40% of these are unilateral. Behavioural and brain findings support the need for an early intervention to optimise the auditory exposure.
A number of round tables, instructional courses and symposia have been organised to generate positive and constructive discussions. Some of the topics included are: ‘Extended indications for cochlear implantation’, ‘Single-side deafness and residual hearing in children’, ‘New technologies in cochlear and vestibular implants’, ‘New audiological developments in severe to profound hearing loss’, ‘Imaging in cochlear implantation’, ‘Cochlear implants outcomes validation systems’, ‘Research in vestibular implants’, ‘Cochlear implant surgery: tips and tricks with the actual technologies’, ‘New techniques in intraoperative monitoring in CI’ and ‘How to avoid complications’.
Intraoperative new techniques in cochlear implant surgery.
Other aspects such as ‘Education in developing countries’ and ‘The role of professionals and family’ have been included in order to open the view in this field.
The academic highlights of IFOS 2023 are extraordinary, and the goals we hope to achieve at the conference include:
- Improving the international participation and different points of view;
- Increasing the numbers of talks devoted to young speakers and new participations focused on the younger generations;
- Creating new consensus groups;
- Bringing the new technologies to front line.
We have also included the Humanitarian Committee activities in the field of audiology and hearing devices.
IFOS is strongly committed to training and medical education, and not only during the IFOS World Congress. With this in mind, the congress will feature special sessions to discuss:
- Learning the principles of surgery in general and theoretical knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and treatment of diseases of the ear where implantable hearing devices must be considered.
- Improving access for trainees to other centres, with either real or virtual surgical techniques.
- Improving access for trainees to other centres, with audiological techniques.
I would also like to mention other areas that will be part of the scientific programme: equilibrium, facial plastic surgery, head and neck, laryngology, otology, paediatrics, phoniatrics, rhinology, and sleep medicine. Important areas include humanitarian aspects and YO-IFOS (Young Otolaryngologists of IFOS, founded in Paris in 2017). With regards to humanitarian aspects in our field ‘Open access education to address global otolaryngology’ and ‘Overcoming challenges in humanitarian campaigns’ will be included in the discussions, as well as the importance of the increasing role of women in otolaryngology, mainly in developing countries.
"IFOS is strongly committed to training and medical education, and not only during the IFOS World Congress"
Regarding YO-IFOS, meetings with senior speakers and lectures in otology, laryngology and other areas of otolaryngology will be organised. Aspects related to basic research and future visions will be also considered. Finally, important sessions on surgical videos and challenges in education will be delivered by experts.
I would like to invite all of you to participate in IFOS Dubai 2023, and share the hospitality of the people, the incredible facilities and the extraordinary organisation. This will be a great opportunity to re-start our face-to-face discussions and share our different points of view.