Jan 13, 2022
Haruhiro Inoue, MD. PhD, FJGES, FASGE
As president of JGES, I would like to share a new year celebration with all JGES members and partners. For the last several years, we have encountered and suffered from a public health crisis with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. I respect all brave endoscopists who keep fighting against this disease by caring for patients even under the potential risk of self-contamination.
In Japan, the first wave of COVID-19 occurred at the end of 2019. The 99th JGES Congress (President: K. Higuchi) had to be postponed from June to September 2020, expecting that the pandemic would be under control in a three-month period, but the spread of COVID-19 infection had not yet improved. Since then, the Congress was eventually organized in hybrid style (in person and on the web). The 100th JGES Congress (President: T. Kawai) was held in conjunction with JDDW2020 in Kobe. At that time, the COVID pandemic situation had slightly improved, but was still not yet under control. Nobody could imagine that this unexpected serious situation would continue through May 2021, when the 101st JGES Congress (President: S. Tanaka) was held. The fifth big surge occurred at the time of the 101st JGES Congress. It was originally arranged with a hybrid style, but most delegates were forced to join the meeting on the web from their homes, because COVID-19 infection was rapidly spreading. At this 101st JGES Congress, we held a ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of JGES. His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino gave a video message to JGES members celebrating its long history and great achievements in its history.
Even in this tough period, particularly with regard to the global conference, web-based meetings became a standard platform, providing clear images that can be shared and saving travel time of the attendants. Many international webinars have been held, and hundreds of lectures and live demonstrations have been shared on social media. This platform evolution brought us huge benefits because endoscopic medicine is based on image-based diagnosis and treatment.
During this period, endoscopic medicine has continued to show dramatic advances. An AI (artificial intelligence)-based diagnostic platform was launched commercially, which opened the pathway to AI-assisted lesion detection and tissue characterization of gastrointestinal disease.
Endoscopic medicine, including submucosal endoscopy, EUS (endoscopic ultrasonographic) intervention and EFTR (endoscopic full thickness resection), has advanced steadily.
This year, the ENDO 2022 Conference (President: F. Emura, Co-president: H. Tajiri) will be held in Kyoto in conjunction with the 103rd JGES Spring Congress (President: H. Ogata). We very much welcome you in person and on the web.