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S3-E18 – Previewing The Innovations In NAFLD Care 2022 Conference

Conference founders and directors Jeffrey Lazarus and Jörn Schattenberg join Roger Green to preview the inaugural Innovations in NAFLD Care 2022 conference, scheduled for May 6 and 7 In Barcelona and on-line.

Jeff Lazarus describes this conference as “looking at Fatty Liver disease from a Public Health perspective.” As Jörn Schattenberg expressed, this has been a process over “incredibly productive years” of “just pulling people together and getting this into a movement that I think finally leads up to the conference we’re having now.”

This process has already produced half a dozen or more papers on issues relating to NAFLD, cost and public health, overseen a process by which over 200 countries participated in a three-stage Delphi process, created a consensus statement, held a workshop in January and, now, sponsored this inaugural conference.

After Jeff and Jörn finish discussing the motivations to create this process and how they feel about activities to date, the discussion turns to a session-by-session review of the Conference. Jeff Lazarus leads the review of the first session, which he describes as “epidemiology for action,” an effort to motivate a broader set of healthcare providers, including endocrinologists, cardiologists, primary care physicians, nutritionists, allied health professionals, to think about the liver of each patient they treat when working them up. As Jörn points out, the title of this session includes the provocative phrase “Measuring a Silent Condition,” which was intended by its authors to convey the scale and hidden nature of the challenge.

Discussion shifts to the next two sessions. Session Two focuses on screening and Session Three focuses on treating NAFLD patients in different care settings. While the topics may be different, the sensibilities behind the two sessions are similar: we need to bring a broader swath of health professionals to this effort and to provide them with tools that make it as simple as possible for them to play a role.

Discussion of the Day Two agenda starts by discussing the importance of patient organizations and advocates in driving this process forward, then shift to the three sessions that will take most of the day. The title of Session Four conveys focus on the multidisciplinary management of care; the talks focus on comprehensive care pathways, the best way(s) to integrate non-invasive liver tests outside the clinical trial setting and, finally, the ability of digital technologies and information to create apps and programs that produce effective weight management results. The Title of Session Five conveys focus on the future of pharmacotherapy, but two of the talks discuss obesity and diabetes medications that may be available today. Finally, Session Six constitutes a far-ranging group discussion covering all the elements of the meeting so far, wrapped around the broad question of the ways that social media and digital transformation can help inform care pathways and comprehensive care plans for NAFLD patients.

This description lists the sessions and summarizes their focus because an effort to describe in detail will require more characters and writing space than Buzzsprout provides. Suffice it to say that this conference is the most complete manifestation to date of the unique perspective and Jeff and Jörn have shared on earlier episodes of this podcast.

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