The Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC) was founded in 1990 as a simple technical training course entitled, “International Great Wall Training Course -- Sino-US Radiofrequency Ablation Seminar”. Fewer than 100 participants attended. From these humble beginnings, the Congress has grown from strength to strength. The Congress is now the largest and one of the most influential and successful comprehensive cardiovascular events in the Asian-Pacific region.
Held as a regular annual conference since 1990, GW-ICC has provided a platform for continuing education in cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment, and technology training, through events that leverage on the expertise of internationally renowned cardiologists and scholars from the U.S. and Europe. These world renowned experts have delivered lectures and performed surgical demonstrations, introducing advanced technologies such as coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous coronary intervention and catheter ablation. The Congress, hence, continues to cultivate Chinese doctors and accelerate development of cardiology in China, while advocating public health education and acceptance of state-of-the-art medical technology.
In 1995, GW-ICC matured into a platform for comprehensive professional training and academic exchange, covering topics such as cardiovascular interventional techniques and coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, arrhythmia topics. The objective was to bridge China with international cardiology academic community in an integrated manner.
The focus of GW-ICC has been elevated to a new level since 2000. Today’s Congress attaches heavy emphasis on cross-disciplinary integration and research on areas such as cardiovascular diseases and endocrinology, diabetes, neurology, examination, psychology, medical imaging, among others. This development has led to the progress of many unique Chinese research projects, while encouraging broad collaborations with foreign cardiovascular specialist societies and associations. The scope and fields of academic exchange have fully expanded, demonstrating China’s research achievements in cardiovascular disease.
The 27th Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC, October 13–16, 2016, Beijing, China) was a resounding success. This meeting is the largest and most influential annual cardiovascular event in the Asia-Pacific region. This year, >18 000 delegates from 48 countries participated. Comprehensive education in >550 sessions covered prevention and rehabilitation, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, structural heart disease, heart failure, critical care, imaging and diagnosis, and interdisciplinary medicine. Twenty-two joint sessions were cohosted by cardiac societies worldwide, and >230 international opinion leaders lent an international perspective to the meeting. Topics spanning the full spectrum from basic research to clinical practice, from training of community healthcare providers to specific cutting-edge developments in cardiovascular science, were discussed. Fifty-six live procedures, including trans catheter aortic heart valve, percutaneous coronary intervention, atrial fibrillation ablation, and left atrial appendage trans catheter occlusion, were broadcast to the congress from 15 hospitals all around China and abroad. Participant feedback included, “This congress is splendid, an unprecedented grand occasion” and “It is wonderful that the congress hosts so many people and the science is of such high caliber” (oral communication, 2016).
Currently, GW-ICC has formed a strategic alliance to empower cardiology knowledge development and exchange with international associations such as the American College of Cardiology (ACC), World Heart Foundation (WHF), European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and American Heart Association (AHA). It has also engaged in extensive collaborations with other influential international medical organizations and groups, including Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), China Committee of Cardio-Cerebral-Vascular Diseases of GSC (GSC), Chinese American Heart Association (CnAHA) and Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). The Congress attracts participation from increasing numbers of international academic organizations annually.
This year, the Congress collaborated with JACC to accept online submission of abstracts, clinical studies and case reports at www.gw-icc.org. High impact abstracts featured in the Congress will be published in the supplementary issue of JACC: IF 4.223), searchable online through http://heart.bmj.com/content/97/Suppl_3.toc ，(Chinese content is still under construction).
By engaging in international cooperation, knowledge promotion, professional training, academic exchange and crossover studies, GW-ICC is committed to a global strategic mission: cardiovascular disease prevention, health promotion and education, and disease management and rehabilitation. Together with leading academic organizations, the GW-ICC is determined to improve medical research and disease control, and promote cardiology development for better public health. The latest Congress will raise cardiology research and prevention to a new level and bring its participants one step closer to achieving that vision.