Chongqing- On 2 March, themed on Focusing on Women’s Health and Inspiring the World with Warmth, IWD-HIFU 2021, a multi-center HIFU treatment event, was held in Chongqing, China to celebrate the International Women’s Day 2021. Over 120 Chinese and overseas HIFU centers performed and broadcast live HIFU therapies by connecting to the Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data Center headquartered in Chongqing, China. 2021. Over 120 Chinese and overseas HIFU centers performed and broadcast live HIFU therapies by connecting to the Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data Center headquartered in Chongqing, China.
In response to the call by Dr LEE Keen Whye from Singapore, to remind us to care for women’s health and to pay a tribute to women across the globe, IWD-HIFU has been initiated jointly by the International Society of Minimally Invasive and Virtual Surgery (ISMIVS) and the National Engineering Research Center of Ultrasound Medicine of China (NERCUM) since 2020. Last year, 41 Chinese and international hospitals participated and performed HIFU therapies together to celebrate the International Women’s Day despite the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 120+ Chinese and overseas hospitals joined this philanthropic event, including Hospital of Mutua De Terrassa University, Spain, Seoul HICARE Clinic, South Korea, Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Taiwan, China, the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Suining Central Hospital, Suining Municipal Hospital of TCM, and Chongqing Haifu Hospital from mainland China. It is estimated that IWD-HIFU 2021 will benefit 100,000 patients.
The HIFU therapies at more than 120 HIFU centers were coordinated, performed, and broadcast live concurrently through the connection with the Telemedicine Big Data Center of Chongqing Haifu Medical. During the HIFU treatment, the operating doctor could get the screen-to-screen telemedicine assistance and support.
“Via the live broadcast of HIFU therapies, this multicenter philanthropic event aims to display the noninvasive HIFU ablation technology, disseminate the concept of minimally-invasive and noninvasive medicine and appeal to all of us, not only women, to take responsibility for women’s health, to protect the organs to the maximum and minimize the harm of treatments to patients.;” said Prof. Wang Zhibiao, Director of National Engineering Research Center of Ultrasound Medicine (NERCUM). “Compared to last year, IWD-HIFU 2021 has attracted much more hospitals around the world to take part in, triple that of 2020. Meanwhile, Women Care Group of SUPER-MOM Philanthropic Program of China Women’s Development Foundation and 99zigong.com have joined us, and will try their best to extend this One-Day Charity event into an annual, global and continuous one.”
Following the live broadcast of HIFU therapies, a 30-minute Summit Meeting convened, inviting six world leading experts to talk about the impacts of the COVID-19 on global women’s health and the countermeasures we’ve taken, the special features of HIFU procedures and their perspective on the future of minimally-invasive and noninvasive medicine and therapies for women’s health.
Prof. Gian Carlo Di Renzo from University of Perugia, Italy, Hon. Secretary-General, FIGO, shared FIGO’s instructions to obstetricians as to how to prevent the infection in pregnant women and how to treat the infected while guaranteeing the smooth running of pregnancy as well as the fetal safety. Prof. Philippe Descamps from University Hospital Angers, France, FIGO Executive Board Member, shared FIGO’s guidance to gynecologists as to how to optimize the work flow of emergency and selective surgeries especially when surgeries were severely cut during the pandemic so as to provide necessary medical service while preventing the infection in medical professionals. There is an urgent need for a noninvasive treatment modality which requires no anaesthesia and contact-free between medical professionals and patients, such as the focused ultrasound ablation technology and therapy.
Prof. David Cranston from University of Oxford, UK, President of International Society of Minimally Invasive and Virtual Surgery (ISMIVS), said that the HIFU treatment number of 2020 was remarkable, for normal, emergency and selective surgeries had to be slashed, and Oxford was no exception. The HIFU treatment number highlighted the advantages of HIFU therapies, that is, contact-free, no cutting-open, no bleeding, no need of anaesthesia, allowing more doctors to learn about the benefits of HIFU ablation technology and therapy. He believed that the clinical application and dissemination of this technology would get boosted in the post-pandemic era. He expected this technology to develop in other fields other than OB-GYN and become more mature.
Prof. Zhibiao Wang from Chongqing Medical University, China, Director of National Engineering Research Center of Ultrasound Medicine (NERCUM) of China, said that the HIFU treatment number over the past 21 years showed that the HIFU ablation technology and its commercialization were developing well and rapidly, in the treatment of benign uterine diseases in particular. Compared to conventional treatment modalities, HIFU procedures were not badly affected by the pandemic with the HIFU cases in 2020 accounting for 80% that of 2019.
Prof. Rudy Leon De Wilde from University Hospital for Gynecology, Pius-Hospital Oldenburg, Medical Campus University of Oldenburg, Germany, Past President & Director of the European Society of Gynecological Endoscopy (ESGE), said that endoscopic surgery still caused surgical injury although it was minimally-invasive and the increasing maturity of HIFU treatment in gynecology was signaling the possibility and potential of noninvasive treatment of gynecological diseases.
Prof. Jinghe Lang from Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College (CAMS & PUMC), President of Chinese Obstetricians and Gynecologists Association (COGA), China, believed that medicine was a people-oriented discipline of benevolence and humanity, its object patients were human beings with thoughts, feelings, consciousness, desires, families and social backgrounds, and therefore, patients should also be cared physically and psychologically in addition to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. As the uterus was the axis of female reproductive organs, the holy land of fertility, the cradle of life and the dignity of women, but frequently attacked by disease, doctors should provide the best care for women with womb-preserving modalities that best fit them.
High-intensity Focused Ultrasound(HIFU) ablation or Focused Ultrasound Ablation (FUA) is a noninvasive therapeutic technology that concentrates the extracorporeal low-intensity ultrasound beams onto the targeted diseased tissue inside the body, resulting in an instant temperature rise at the focal point up to 60℃ to 100℃ and induction of the irreversible coagulative necrosis without damaging the surrounding healthy tissues. This technology can realize the treatment of diseases without cutting-open operations nor bleeding and at the same time preserve the structure and function of the tissues and organs.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this contact-free therapeutic technology enables the doctor to complete the treatment without direct physical contact with the patient, lowering the risk of intraoperative cross infection.
The Focused Ultrasound Tumor Therapeutic Systems have been deployed in 29 countries and regions, treating around 170,000 patients with benign or malignant tumors so far.
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