2020: An unprecedented year, a break from tradition
The January issue of Cardiology Today traditionally features a list of the Top 10 Stories of the Year in CVD, selected by the Cardiology Today Editorial Board. Clearly, the top news of 2020 was the novel coronavirus. In this issue, the Editors and I acknowledge that and break from tradition.
2020 was an unprecedented year. COVID-19 has infiltrated daily life. Health care professionals have been dealt myriad challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the daily practice of cardiology. Initially believed to be a lung disease, this viral infection is far beyond that, as new information on its CV system involvement continues to emerge.
Our colleagues have become ill and many have succumbed to this virus, elective cases were canceled, and the pandemic caused many patients to avoid going to the hospital, or even to outpatient visits, for CV issues. Use of telehealth has exploded, changing how cardiologists must interact with patients remotely, manage their time and get reimbursed. I have observed that discussing symptoms with a masked patient removes valuable clues from observing their facial expressions. For this reason, I prefer the televisit and have informed my patients of this. COVID-19 will have far-reaching impacts in our cardiology community and beyond.
It is important to knowledge a number of advancements in cardiology in the past year. The Editors have compiled a list of the most-read cardiology articles posted to Healio in 2020 (see Graphic). Also, you will find the 2020 Drug and Device Update, which details major approvals and clearances relative to cardiology over the past year.
Looking ahead, we can see that many concerns remain in 2021. But, at the time of writing this Commentary, there is hope on the horizon. COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the United States and other countries. I and many of our colleagues and other frontline workers have already received the vaccine. And there are others in development. The science behind developing, testing, large-scale manufacturing and distributing vaccines against this novel virus in less than 1 year is absolutely remarkable.
Wishing you well in the new year from the editorial team of Cardiology Today and Healio.
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- Carl J. Pepine, MD, MACC, is Chief Medical Editor of Cardiology Today. He also holds the title of Eminent Scholar Emeritus and professor in the division of cardiovascular medicine at University of Florida, Gainesville. Pepine can be reached at Cardiology Today, 6900 Grove Road, Thorofare, NJ 08086; email: email@example.com.