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Important Notes:

Deadline for Abstract/Paper Submission:
January 12, 2016

About CARS

CAR (Computer Assisted Radiology) began with support for an initiative by the Senate of Berlin in May 1983 directed at the creation of a new congress on information technology in biomedicine. It was one of many government subsidized technical congresses in the divided Berlin that was intended to increase the city's vital contacts with the outside world. Initially, computer graphics and computer vision in biomedicine were proposed as the meetings foci, with the human body as the principal theme. A first definition of CAR, based on CT, was made in 1984 (Ref. 1).

With strong international participation, the first CAR conference and exhibition took place at Berlin's International Congress Center (ICC) in June 1985. The main tracts for the three-day conference were as follows:

  • digital imaging, e.g. CT, MR, DR, US, SPECT, and PET
  • picture archiving and communication systems (PACS)
  • medical workstations for viewing, analyzing and interpretating biomedical images
  • computer assistance in radiological diagnosis, radiation therapy and surgery

The initial CAR meeting program included computer assisted surgery (CAS) topics, such as computer assisted orthopaedics and computer assisted stereotactic surgery. The expected impact of CAR was recognized by Prof. Heinz Oeser, formally a President of the Deutsche Röntgengesellschaft (DRG) (Ref. 2) " CAR wird die Entwicklung der Medizin entscheidend beeinflussen, mitbestimmend bei der Gestaltung des Gesundheitswesens wirken - richtungsweisend als Flaggschiff der gesamten Medizin." (CAR will decisively effect the development of medicine, impacting the structure of the healthcare system - giving direction as the flagship of medicine.)

A contribution from Prof. Tamon Inouye from Japan stated (Ref. 3) "Future developments in computer assisted radiology can be achieved only in deeper and wider international cooperation beyond the concept of conventional cooperative work in radiology".

International participation
CAR '85 and subsequent CAR's were aimed at radiologists, physicians, computer scientists, engineers and physicists. Special emphasis was placed on interdisciplinary and international activities, and this has been maintained throughout all of the CAR conferences.
In particular, there were joint meetings with the EuroPACS Society in 1991, Image Management and Communication (IMAC) in 1993, the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR) in the United States in 1990, 1992 and 1994, and with the International Society for Computer Aided Surgery (ISCAS) and Computed Maxillofacial Imaging (CMI) in Paris, France in 1996. 

Since 1996, a close cooperation has been established with ISCAS, leading to the extension of CAR to Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS). In the following, CARS congresses took place in Berlin, Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco and London. With this spirit of active international presence, other organizations such as Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD), Cardiovascular Imaging (CVI) and EuroPACS have followed to cooperate closely with CARS.

Interdisciplinary cooperation
Progress in specific computer assisted techniques (e.g. digital imaging, computer aided diagnosis, image guided surgery, surgical robotics, MEMS, etc.) combined with computer assisted integration tools (e.g. PACS, Electronic Medical Record (EMR), middleware,  telemedicine, etc.) now offers a valuable complement to or replacement for existing procedures in healthcare. Physicians are employing PACS and telemedicine systems as enabling infrastructures for improving quality of and access to healthcare. Tools based on CAD and CAS facilitate completely new ways in patient care.

To ensure that these tools benefit and include the patient, collaboration between various disciplines, specifically radiology, surgery, engineering, informatics and healthcare management is a critical factor.

Various subspecialties in surgery are bringing image guided interventions into clinical practice. Advances in medical imaging (soon to include molecular imaging), image processing and display, surgical simulation, surgical navigation and robotics as well as surgery adapted PACS infrastructures are the driving forces for this development. The S-PACS (Surgical Picture Acquisition and Communication Systems) will have the greatest impact on the workflow in the “OR of the Future” and can only be successfully realized with intensive interdisciplinary and international cooperation. A representative spectrum of current goals and topics of CARS is reflected in the CARS 2003 Proceedings (Ref. 4).

The informal federation of societies and congresses of CARS 2010 in Chicago (ISCAS, CMI, CAD, EuroPACS and CAR) provides the necessary cooperative framework for advancing the development and application of modern computer assisted technologies in healthcare. These five organizations with their specific scientific/medical topics complement one another. They give a world-wide lead in interdisciplinary and international cooperation which will be the foundation of healthcare in the 21st Century.  

CARS committees and participants
As a result of widespread clinical acceptance of computer assisted methods and tools, more than half of the symposium organizing and program committees for CARS are radiologists or surgeons, the remainder being computer scientists and engineers.

The international participation in CARS is highly significant, since the approximately 1000-1200 participants of CARS meetings typically come from over 45 countries and the members of the program committee are divided approximately equally between Europe, the United States and Asia. The program committee has the difficult task of selecting approximately 190 paper and 150 poster presentations from between 500 to 600 abstracts submitted annually.

Future CARS meetings

  • CARS 2011 - June 22-25, Berlin, Germany
  • CARS 2012 - June 27-30, Pisa, Italy


  1. Lemke, H.U.: Computed Tomography - A basis for Computer Assisted Radiology. Kongressführer, 65. Deutscher Röntgenkongress, Baden-Baden, May 1984.
  2. Oeser H.: CAR - Flaggschiff der Medizin. Proceedings CAR '85, Springer Verlag. pp 621-622.
  3. Inouye T.: Research and Development Activities towards Computer Assisted Radiology in Japan. Proceedings CAR '85, Springer Verlag. pp 623-627.
  4. Lemke, H.U., Vannier, M.W., Inamura K., Farman A.G., Doi K., Reiber J.H.C. Proceedings of CARS 2003, Elsevier Publisher, Amsterdam.

Heinz U. Lemke, August 2010