Greetings from the President


chu pak lau

It is my great honour to be elected as the President of Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) for the year 2019. This is a prestigious position and demands both responsibility and accountability.

The idea of a society dedicated to heart rhythm management in Asia Pacific has been in the mind of many physicians in the region involved in arrhythmia care. About 10 years ago, a few of us established the APHRS. It was a small society then, with the main role of holding the annual scientific meeting in different cities. With the leadership of our successive Presidents, Professor Masayasu Hiraoka, followed by Professor Shih-Ann Chen, Professor Young-Hoon Kim, Dr Wee Siong Teo, Professor Shu Zhang and most recently Professor Jonathan Kalman, the society now has members from 31 countries, and an increasingly successful annual scientific meeting. For example, the last scientific meeting in Taipei, under the leadership of Professor Shih-Ann Chen and Professor Tsu-Juey Wu, was attended by 3,341 participants from 58 countries, and received a total of 1,148 abstracts.

The Annual Scientific Session of APHRS is now the main meeting on rhythm management in the region. The APHRS has its own journal, is publishing practice guidelines, and has regular joint scientific documents on rhythm management with the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA). Every year, the APHRS has held public campaigns in the health promotion, such as the AF Awareness Month. On the research side, the APHRS publishes a yearly White Book on device utilisation and catheter ablation status in the region. As education is an important mission, regular device and ablation courses, as well as country pairing systems in which young physicians from emerging countries will receive training in established centers and practice what they have learned in their own countries. Fellowship within and outside the region are available for training. 

The challenges we face is a region with diversity in health care and standard of arrhythmia practice. However, this also our opportunity to bring education to different regions. With electronic link, it is possible to encourage inter-country research such as the establishment of a central facility for data storage and processing. Membership enhancement and recruitment will also be an important direction.

The next meeting of APHRS will be in Bangkok, Thailand under Dr Tachapong Ngarmukos and Dr Buncha Sunsaneewitayakul. It will certainly be exciting and academically valuable for you to attend. 

With best wishes, and I encourage you to join and contribute to APHRS.


Chu-Pak LAU, MD
President of the APHRS (2019)

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