International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine moves annual meeting online due to COVID-19

The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine has decided to transition this year’s annual meeting to a fully virtual format amid the ongoing pandemic.

The 2021 ISMRM Annual Meeting & Exhibition was set to take place May 15-20 as a hybrid in-person and online gathering. In its Friday decision, however, ISMRM said travel restrictions, quarantine mandates, occupation limits and other challenges would make it hard to accommodate those wanting to gather in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Even though COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to some who would attend an in-person annual meeting, these will not reach our entire membership early enough to make a May meeting possible,” President Tim Leiner and 2021 Program Chair Nicole Seiberlich said in a statement. “For all of these reasons, moving to an online meeting is prudent.”

Despite its disappointment, ISMRM said the 2021 conference will retain features of last year’s virtual meeting while adding additional opportunities, including enhanced interaction.

Many organizations were faced with similarly difficult decisions last year, with some such as HIMSS canceling altogether. And 2021 is off to a similar start. 

Just last week the Radiology Business Management Association announced it would delay its meeting by six months, but still retain its in-person format. Other groups, such as the American College of Radiology, will once again host an entirely online experience.