ATS 2024: Building Real-World Data to Inform Clinical Practice and More Takeaways


Expert speakers at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2024 international conference share their favorite parts of the event and the key takeaways they will leave the conference with.

At the recent American Thoracic Society (ATS) conference, leading pulmonologists, critical care specialists, and sleep medicine experts convened to share the latest advancements in their fields. We spoke with various experts about their key takeaways from the event.

  • Paul A. Frohna, MD, PhD, PharmD, chief medical officer of Endeavor BioMedicines, shared results from a phase 2 trial that benefits patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Michael Arzt, MD, senior physician and head of the department of internal medicine at the University Hospital of Regensburg discussed the effects adaptive servo-ventilation had on treatment emergent central sleep apnea.
  • Monica Kraft, MD, ATSF, system chair for the department of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, touched on research regarding long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients who were previously diagnosed with and/or treated for COVID-19.
  • Adam Benjafield, PhD, vice president of medical affairs at ResMed, discussed the impact opioid use has on patients with central sleep apnea conditions and included research on adaptive servo-ventilation among users.
  • Julie Linton, MD, immediate past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health, spoke about immigrant populations and the significant challenges they face in accessing adequate health care.


What are your key takeaways or favorite things from the ATS 2024 International Conference?

Frohna: I think for us, it's just been super exciting to present what we feel are very exciting and promising data in our hometown, where Endeavor [BioMedicines] was founded in San Diego. I think for us, it's just being able to be at home, share this with all the colleagues at work who were able to attend this meeting, which wouldn't be the case if it were a distant location. So, I think just being home and sharing it with the entire Endeavor team has been a real fun experience so far.

Arzt: I come to ATS every year [to] meet good colleagues and friends at ATS. My field of expertise—sleep apnea and cardiovascular diseases—are represented very well. That's what I like and of course, the location.

Kraft: Well, I love the American Thoracic Society. It's my main professional society. I was president of the society back in 2011, so it's a special one for me.

We had a few years where we didn't have the meeting, and even the last couple of years, it's taken a while for the attendance to really get to back to where it was. I think now people are much more comfortable gathering and really having that great scientific interchange that this meeting offers and just seeing old friends. So, it's a wonderful combination of events.

Benjafield: Something that's really interesting at this ATS and is building is the use of real-world data to generate clinically meaningful insights to inform clinical practice. It's adding to the diversity of studies, it's getting insights that will hopefully change the clinical management of patients much more rapidly and get us closer towards their personalized medicine, giving patients the best chance of a happy, healthier life.

Linton: Absolutely, I think one of the best things about coming to a really huge conference like this is the opportunity to reconnect with people. I had the privilege of connecting with a dear friend of mine. I'll embarrass him but Chris Cielo, DO, who's the head of the sleep lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and it was incredible to hear about his work, and then to learn about potential intersections with my work. He's doing a study on use of home sleep studies for children with trisomy 21 [Down syndrome].

Many of the children that I have always cared for with trisomy 21 really struggle with sleep studies in a sleep lab because it's scary. Add on to that the fact that if it's an immigrant family, it might be particularly scary, because of lack of eligibility for coverage, lack of ability to pay for that service, fear and uncertainty for staying overnight in a hospital when there's a lot going on in the world.

It was really neat to hear about his research and to think about how big the world is, but also how small the world is, so that's always my favorite part.

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