Get the Most Out of #ACC19 – Even if You're Not Attending

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Leverage Social Media to Attend Virtually
Even if you are missing out and cannot make it to New Orleans for this year's ACC Scientific Sessions (ACC.19), you can still attend virtually by leveraging social media. Many attendees "live tweet" during the meeting, posting real-time comments and salient slides from presentations they attend. While nothing beats attending the meeting in person, you can use social media to stay in the know!

Download the ACC.19 App
Make sure to download the ACC.19 app to plan your schedule ahead of time and access abstracts, sessions, maps and live-streaming sessions; claim CME credit; or download session slides. Search ACC.19 in the app store to download.

Why #Hashtags Matter – Be Part of the Conversation
Twitter is the new Gutenberg printing press, disseminating news and opinions world-wide with a few quick keystrokes. If you have not made yourself an account on Twitter and LinkedIn yet, you are missing out. You do not have to post or tweet anything to create an account or follow along.

The official hashtag for ACC.19 is #ACC19. Use this hashtag to follow the conference in real time. The official Non-Invasive Imaging Learning Pathway hashtag is #cvImaging. Follow or use this hashtag join the conversation.

The ACC also has designated individuals to be the official ACC.19 Pathway Tweeters for each learning pathway. Be sure to follow the Non-Invasive Imaging Learning Pathway Tweeter, Purvi Parwani, MD, FACC, at @purviparwani. Also stay in-the-know by also following @ACCinTouch on Twitter and Facebook.

Hashtags are important because they serve as a directory or file header that can be searched on Twitter, letting users follow what people are discussing. Hashtags allow you to filter your search results to what is important to you. Are you interested in just reading about the COAPT echocardiographic outcomes? Simply search #COAPT and #cvImaging.

Use hashtags on your own post to be part of the conversation. If you do not use the hashtag associated with your topic of interest, then the only people that see your comments are those people who are actually following your account. By using the hashtag, your comments will be visible to anyone in the world searching for that hashtag!

Time always seems to run short while attending the ACC Scientific Sessions, especially when it comes to asking detailed and thoughtful questions. Do you want to ask the author a question about their study? Or one of the pathway presenters about their thoughts on an important topic? Ask them on Twitter! It is likely that if you have a great question, one of your peers is thinking the same thing. By leveraging social media, the answer to your question can now reach 5,000 cardiologists and patients, not just 50 people in a breakout room.

Wondering what your peers or patients are saying about the most recent Late Breaking Clinical Trial? What do cardiology luminaries like Eric J. Topol, MD, FACC; C. Michael Gibson, MD, FACC; or Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, think about this year's Late Breaking Clinical Trials? Search hashtags of interest to find out. Spirited debates and discussions are soon to follow. Social media destroys echo chambers. Critiques of studies are no longer solely relegated to the last two pages of a journal in a "letter to the editor" published three months after the trail was presented. Social media has truly become the new letter to the editor. This platform engages patients, the press, administrators, physician extenders, academia, private practice and industry all in one forum. Important conversations are public and transparent – you should be part of it.

Make New Connections
If someone is consistently using hashtags you are interested in, consider following them on Twitter. This is a great opportunity to expand your network of cardiovascular imaging aficionados. Another tip is to see who the people you admire are following, as you may find a gold mine of both like- and contrarian-minded connections.

Network and Meet With Friends at the ACC Imaging Section Meeting
There will be an ACC Imaging Section Meeting and Reception on Saturday, March 16 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. CT, at the Hilton Riverside, Grand Ballroom A. Enjoy light refreshments amongst friends and colleagues while discussing imaging, the best place to get dinner in New Orleans and networking. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about what the ACC Imaging Section is doing, this year's initiatives and how you can get involved.

Attend "Tweet-ups"
Another great opportunity to meet new people is attending informal meet-ups of colleagues that are active on social media. ACC's official Tweet Up will take place on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m. CT, in the Ritz-Carlton Davenport Lounge.

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I look forward seeing you all at #ACC19!

This article was authored by Ryan P. Daly, MD, FACC, cardiologist at Franciscan Health Indianapolis in Indianapolis, IN. Twitter: @DrRyanPDaly.