Coronavirus leads to more radiology conference cancelations

As the world continues to try and slow down the spread of the coronavirus, a number of medical societies are doing their part and canceling upcoming annual meetings.

The American Roentgen Ray Society is the latest among them, announcing Monday that it has pulled the plug on its 2020 gathering, which was set to begin May 3 in Chicago. ARRS also called off its virtual meeting.

“In response to CDC guidance, State of Illinois directives, and many institutional bans on staff and faculty travel, the ARRS leadership has determined that the 2020 annual meeting in Chicago, as well as the virtual meeting, must be canceled,” the group said in its announcement.

The Society of Breast Imaging published its own announcement Tuesday, making the “difficult decision” to axe its 2020 symposium planned for April 16-19 in Denver.

“Canceling the symposium required much discussion and deep consideration. It was a decision we came to reluctantly,” SBI leadership said in a letter to attendees. The society also noted that the health and well-being of all participants is its top concern.

Additionally, the Radiology Business Management Association all but announced the cancelation of its own conference in a Tuesday statement. A post on the group’s website read that its PaRADigm show is “not expected to be held in April as planned.”

“The current status of negotiations with the Diplomat (Beach Resort) would allow RBMA to reschedule the conference to the third quarter, but those negotiations are not final,” RBMA wrote of the show, scheduled to begin April 5 in Hollywood, Florida.

Over the past month, the spread of COVID-19 has forced the Association for Medical Imaging Management, Society of Interventional Radiology, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and European Society of Radiology to cancel or postpone annual meetings.

As of this story, there are 195,935 confirmed cases of the new virus worldwide, with 7,866 deaths and 80,840 recoveries.

Radiology’s role in diagnosing and controlling the spread of the coronavirus has been front and center, with much debate over computed tomography’s clinical role.

The ACR recently published a document outlining top priorities to help imaging departments prepare for an influx of potential cases. It also released a list of radiology-specific resources this week, which can be accessed here.