Dear WEO newsletter readers,

Despite the continuing challenges posed by COVID-19 to international meetings and travel,  in 2022 WEO has been very active in leading promotion and education in high quality endoscopy within the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Africa regions, with online, in-person, and hybrid activities.

The new Executive, the Standing Committee Chairs, and the Ad Hoc Committee Chairs were elected at the beginning of the year. With ENDO 2022 providing the opportunity for an official handover, the WEO presidential torch was passed from Dr. Fabian Emura to Dr. Hisao Tajiri. Dr. Yutaka Saito has taken on the role of Secretary-General and Dr. Mário Dinis-Ribeiro that of Treasurer. Dr. Lars Aabakken is WEO’s new President-Elect. The WEO leadership is convinced that all the efforts made and learning experiences acquired during the pandemic will be reflected in an even stronger society in the coming years. 

WEO activities in 2022

WEO aims to play a key role in connecting endoscopy societies around the world, and the record of our work in 2022 proves that we are on the right track towards this goal. As WEO President, it is my great pleasure to share with you some of the most important events that WEO has produced in 2022:

●  The WEO International School of EUS (WISE):
–  Modules 1–5 were delivered online in March to November
–  The WISE Egyptian Chapter 2022 took place on December 2–5 in Cairo, Egypt

●  Colorectal Cancer Screening Committee (CRC SC) meetings:
–  At ESGE Days, April 28–30, a hybrid event in Prague, Czech Republic
–  Preceding the Digestive Diseases Week (DDW), May 20, in San Diego, USA: this hybrid event included a Plenary Meeting and Expert Working Group sessions
–  At UEG Week, October 7, in Vienna, Austria (again a hybrid format)
–  At the Asian Pacific Digestive Week (APDW) 2022; on November 17 (online)

●  Emerging Stars meeting, in Munich July 10–15

● WEO Super Minimally Invasive Interventions Forum: within the SMII/SMIS congress in Taiyuan, China; September 17

● The Advanced Diagnosis Endoscopy Course (ADEC)
– At the Asian Pacific Digestive Week (APDW) 2022, online on November 19

● At the China International Forum on NOTES and Interventional Endoscopy 2022, Zhengzhou, September 16–18
–At the Conference of Digestive Endoscopology, WEO International session, online on November 11

In addition, seven webinars provided by various committees were hosted in 2022, and WEO endorsed 13 world events in 2022.

WEO has also extended its online presence. The number of followers of the WEO Facebook page grew to 8107. WEO followers on LinkedIn increased to 3424, from 2332 in 2021 and 1823 in 2020, and WEO on YouTube increased to 2362 subscribers, from 1730 subscribers in 2021.

In 2022, WEO continued the circulation of its monthly e-Newsletter, now with 11618 subscribers, and of its newsletter in Digestive Endoscopy journal six times per year. The monthly e-Video link section was continued, with Endoscopy, Video GIE, and DEN each selecting their e-Video of the month. All three journals confirmed continuation of this successful endeavor in 2023.

Another important pillar of WEO activity is research conducted on behalf of the organization. We are proud that several papers were published under the aegis of WEO and we aim to continue our endeavors to advance research within GI endoscopy in 2023. Important papers published in 2022 included:

●  “Proposal of minimum elements for screening and diagnosis of early gastric cancer by an an international Delphi consensus” was published in DEN Open, on February 24, 2022. The study was designed by Drs. Naomi Kakushima and Mitsuhiro Fujishiro with contributions from WEO’s Stomach and Duodenal Committee members.

●  The October 2022 issue of Gastrointestinal Nursing’s Endoscopy Supplement featured Dr. Yuichi Mori, the Chair of WEO’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ad Hoc Committee, discussing the use of AI in endoscopy practice. The article, titled “Optimizing endoscopy practice with AI,” addresses trends in using AI devices, specifically in the field of endoscopy.

The 3rd World Congress of GI Endoscopy in hybrid format

As the culmination of more than two years of intensive planning and the direction of Dr. Fabian Emura and myself, ENDO 2022 was successfully accomplished. WEO and the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society (JGES) set up a historic collaboration to achieve this milestone event,. Thus, the 3rd World Congress of GI Endoscopy took place jointly with the 103rd JGES Congress that was under the Presidency of Prof. Haruhiko Ogata. Preparations for a joint exhibition were made, and both ENDO 2022 and the 103rd JGES Congress were held at the Kyoto International Conference Center

The Congress had a hybrid  format as ENDO 2022 was committed to enabling as many colleagues as possible to take part. The Scientific Committee, chaired by Prof. Prateek Sharma and Prof. Yutaka Saito, delivered a world-class program tailored to all endoscopy needs – from basic to advanced.

Finally, 607 abstracts, including video abstracts, were submitted for ENDO 2022 and given also the 9940 participants from 75 countries, this confirmed that our congress is becoming an important hub for all endoscopy learners and teachers around the world. Some of the Congress highlights were the presentation of live endoscopy demonstration by six outstanding host units, the six hands-on training sessions, the eight WEO educational courses that were integrated into the program, the 25 free paper sessions presenting the best abstracts, and the 19 industry symposia.

The 4th World Congress of GI Endoscopy

I am pleased to report that in 2024, we will host the 4th World Congress in collaboration with the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (KSGE), incorporating the International Digestive Endoscopy Network (IDEN). This will take place in Seoul at the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center. I am sure that we will all work closely together for a wonderful world-class congress in GI endoscopy, spreading new teachings, techniques, and technology for better patient care.

ENDO 2024 will include all the components required for an excellent meeting: state-of-the-art scientific symposia, keynote speaker lectures, live demonstrations, hands-on training, a learning center, and much more.

Save the date in your diary: July 4–6, 2024. For more information stay tuned via the WEO website and the e-newsletter!

The coming years and beyond.

I very much hope that the COVID-19 pandemic settles down and that international conferences and various WEO activities return to the same level as before the pandemic. We would like to further develop international collaborations through the WEO network. We will be actively promoting ENDO 2024 to ensure its success, and so ask for your strong support and enormous cooperation to that end.

As this year ends and we begin another, I promise that we will carry on working together to ensure that WEO contributes to the promotion and development of endoscopy around the world in the coming years.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the WEO Executive Board, Committee Chairs and partner societies for their continued involvement beyond any geographical borders.

I am also grateful to our industry partners and to the representatives from partner events and publications.

We will continue to grow and achieve our mission.

Thank you all for your continued inputs to the future of endoscopy. I believe we can all help promote endoscopy around the world!

Hisao Tajiri

WEO President