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Recap: ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined as a Fully Digital Meeting

Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined, organized by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), was held fully online Oct. 19-25. Educational presentations were delivered live-streamed, simulive and on-demand. Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined also offered ePosters, a digital exhibit hall, virtual networking and other interactive opportunities. The DaVita team presented 14 abstracts during the meeting, with 11 shown as ePosters and three highlighted as oral presentations. A full view of the research posters can be found at DaVita Clinical Research and high level overviews shared on the @DaVitaDoc Twitter profile, such as a tweetorial on Racial Disparities in the Kidney Transplant Process Among Dialysis Patients.

Similar to previous years’ meetings, Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined provided international participants with ample opportunities to exchange knowledge (via chat and Q&A sessions), learn about the latest scientific and medical advances, and network. New and compelling topics of discussion this year included race and equity, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN gave his overall impressions of the weeklong meeting in an email on Oct. 26, “The presentations, discussions, and breadth of innovation showcased this week has been exciting, challenging, and renewing for all of us. This year each of you has focused on advancing treatment and care, sometimes against great odds. That you also contributed so many advances and new insights to Kidney Week is a testament to your sustained commitment to improving the lives of those we serve.” In addition, the patient voice seemed to be present more than ever before at Kidney Week, with patients presenting alone, with other patients or with their physicians in several of the 2020 sessions.

Attendees seemed to be inspired by the innovative research that was presented during the meeting. Presentations that were featured included those by Sir Peter Radcliffe and other researchers awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and the prolyl hydroxylase (PH) pathway. This finding led to the development of new drugs targeting anemia in CKD and other diseases with abnormal oxygen metabolism.

Another session that generated much discussion was High-Impact Clinical Trials, which covered eight late-breaking clinical trials that are expected to have a significant impact on kidney care. Whether the sessions were live, simulive or on-demand, Kidney Week registrants can access the content presented through the online platform until Dec. 4, 2020.

ASN has hosted Kidney Week—the world’s largest nephrology conference—in person for 50 years until this year when it was transformed into a completely virtual meeting. The adaptability and commitment of ASN staff and members to pull this off while in the midst of a global health crisis was truly amazing.

Although the ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined was amazing as a digital meeting, we look forward to ASN Kidney Week 2021, which is planned to be held Nov. 2-7 at the San Diego Convention Center. We hope to see you in person there!

Managing Editor