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Evolution towards multimodalities cardiovascular Imaging - The Cyprus experience

Interview with Dr Kyriakos Yiangou , President of the Working Group of Echocardiography of the Cyprus Society of Cardiology

Non-invasive Imaging: Echocardiography

Dear Dr Yiangou, did you, in your country, already envisage an evolution phase towards a multimodality imaging approach?

A multimodality imaging approach is a model that has been discussed within the frameworks of the national Working Group and the National Cardiac Society. However, multiple considerations, of technical, academic – educational and financial aspect do not allow us yet to have stronger and more focused targets and ideas.

What are the major challenges in getting there?

From the aspect of constituent bodies-working groups, as far as the Cyprus Society of Cardiology is concerned, there is only the Working Group of Echocardiography, since the Magnetic Resonance, Cardiac CT, and Nuclear Cardiology are performed by radiologists. So the main challenge is to form a common dream, and persuade colleagues of other specialties for the common aim. Moreover the vast majority of Magnetic Resonance, Cardiac CT, and Nuclear Cardiology equipment is in the private health sector so there should be a formula of putting together the private and public sector. The fact that there is no medical school yet in Cyprus makes the academic – scientific support lacking. Also the tests are quite expensive and in the era of financial crisis, cost is more than a matter.

Is it a national level or different from one hospital/clinic to the other?

There is no national level or policy on that. Some private institutions have autonomy of equipment while most public hospitals do not. So it is a matter of each institution itself and since public hospitals are funded by the government, the development of imaging campus departments within public hospitals is still far away. 

What information would you like to share with other countries which are planning to make a similar imaging evolution?

Knowledge should be disseminated. Information on how to create clear financial pathways, how to gain adequate resources (human and equipment), how many and where located focused targeted centres (in order to achieve high volume) should be, are of utmost importance.

Any other information to note?

Since imaging is not a cardiology matter alone, respect to the others, their concerns and worries. Collaboration is the key word with focus on the patient. Furthermore, the establishment of, what is called, an imaging team (just as the already recommended heart team) of well educated personnel aided by high quality equipment should be of high priority

Are there any support networks/systems in place for institutions/leaders wishing to move towards an integrated modality approach in your country?

Unfortunately there are not. Institutions or individuals willing to move towards an integrated imaging approach should ‘import’ all the knowledge from other countries.

Thank you Dr. Yiangou for sharing your experience !