AO Davos Courses 2018 comes to a successful close

14. December 2018

Highlights of the AO Foundation's flagship educational event the AO Davos Courses


The AO Davos Courses 2018 has come to a close. For two weeks, the Congress Centre Davos has welcomed visiting experts from around the world. Over 1,500 people from 87 countries were involved in ensuring that the AO Foundation's flagship educational event was an unrivalled success. Over 20 courses were offered in the fields of trauma, spine, CMF, veterinary, and recon surgery.

In addition to the 60 years celebration, which was the centerpiece, this year's AO Davos Courses also saw the launch of a new book about the AO's work, a groundbreaking report by the Economist Intelligence Unit on the vital need for AO approaches in low- and middle-income countries, and a landmark agreement with the World Health Organization.

The AO Education Institute and AOTrauma launched two new much-needed books during the AO Davos Courses 2018: one on fragility fracture treatment - Osteoporotic Fracture Care—Medical and Surgical Management by the editors Michael Blauth, Stephen L Kates, and Joseph A Nicholas; and Manual of Fracture Management—Wrist by editors and experienced AOTrauma faculty Jesse Jupiter, Douglas Campbell, and Fiesky Nunez.

AOCMF broke new ground this year, with its inaugural AOCMF​ Live On Air​ broadcast. This new format brought the high-quality educational discussion that is synonymous with the AO to hundreds of people who joined the live session online. Broadcast right from the heart of Davos, this debate involved 100 people joining in person in the Congress Center and over 200 more joining from countries across the world.

AORecon's newly developed Skills Lab on hip and knee replacement was a particular focal point for participants involved in this field. Ten stations offered surgeons the chance to learn crucial steps of the procedures. This approach was also taken to the AORecon complex and revision joint arthroplasty course, and participant feedback on these initiatives has been excellent. This was also introduced to an even broader audience in a Meet the Expert lunch-break session, led by Philipp von Roth, who has been a central figure in its development, supported by Michael Huo, member of the AORecon Education Forum. Local course organizers were particularly interested in this approach – and asked about opportunities to introduce it into courses run in their regions and countries.

This year's AO Davos Courses also saw the first ever winners receive the AOTrauma Innovation in Education award. "Innovation has always been part of the AO Foundation," said AOTrauma’s Global Education Manager Michael Redies. Of the 19 submissions, first prize went to Klaus Dresing and his VirtX-team. Their "Virtual-reality-simulator for teaching radiation hazards prevention" will make future education possible without x-rays and will significantly help reduce cancer risks for surgeons.

Other popular elements of the program included the AOTK Meet the Experts sessions, and the live demonstrations held in the all-new revamped AO World area. The first AOTK Meet the Experts session focused on Advances in Femoral Nailing and was led by Paulo Barbosa and Christopher Finkemeier. The space was packed and participants looked on avidly as these two outstanding experts in their field led them through the subject.

Another crowd-pleasing AOTK Meet the Experts session saw Karl Stoffel and Christoph Sommer explore the Femoral Neck System (FNS) – A New Technique for Minimally Invasive Fixation of Femoral Neck Fractures. The space was packed with participants eagerly watching the session.

AO Invest's Pitch and Preach event, held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Davos, was another stand-out feature of this year's AO Davos Courses. Over 100 people gathered in the chapel venue to hear six promising entrepreneurs pitch their ventures to an expert jury. Four of the start-ups work in digital health, and two in the medtech sector. Medbelle took first place, but the competition was undoubtedly close. Participant feedback clearly shows that this evening of lively debate and interesting discussion was a welcome new addition to the AO Davos Courses suite of activities.

In addition to the academic and scientific program, AO Davos Courses participants enjoyed a wide range of opportunities to mingle with each other, to network with key people in their fields, and to sample some delights of Swiss cuisine and culture.