About this event

  • Date and time Fri 4 Dec 2020 from 2:00pm to 4:45pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Otology

The aim of this webinar is to provide expert insights and updates on new and future technological advances in the field of Otology and an insight into the fascinating world of microbiomes and how they can influence disease development in humans.  

There will also be a panel discussion on how to manage common otological problems. The key learning objectives will be as follows:

  • To provide a contemporary update on emerging technologies and areas of research in otology
  • To understand new aspects of brainstem and middle ear hearing implants  
  • To examine the potential for machine learning and artificial intelligence to support the diagnosis of ear disease
  • To provide a forum to delegates to ask questions of the experts on a wide range of issues related to hearing implant technology and management of common otological problems
  • To have an insight into the world of microbiomes and learn how it might influence disease development in ENT.  

A CPD certificate with CPD credit will be issued to those joining the webinar live as well as those who watch the recording afterwards. Certificates will be issued 7 days after the webinar to those who watch it live and after 30 days for those that watch the recording. 

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The Otology Section would like to thank our Annual Sponsors KARL STORZ Endoscopy (UK) Ltd and Medtronic for their valued support of the 2020-2021 Academic Programme. We would also like to thank our sponsor MED-EL UK Ltd for their support of this webinar.

Please note that none of the companies listed have had any influence or involvement over the agenda, content or organisation of the meetings.


Key speakers

Professor Stephen O’Keefe

Professor of Medicine

Speaker's biography

Stephen O’Keefe was born in South Africa, raised in Zambia, and qualified in Medicine (MBBS) at Guy’s Hospital, London University in 1972. He completed an MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1974 and wrote his thesis for his MD from London University in 1981 (equivalent to PhD). He trained in internal medicine at Oxford University Hospitals (FRCP) and completed a fellowship in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School in 1980. He has been a Professor of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, the Mayo Clinic, Virginia Commonwealth University, and currently the University of Pittsburgh since 2003. In 2016 he was awarded a joint position as Extraordinary Professor in Medicine at Stellenbosch University in South African to support his career-long studies in the nutrition and health of Africans. Here, he established the African Microbiome Institute, of which he now serves as Director. His research is translational in the field of nutritional gastroenterology. He has had almost continual NIH funding since 2000. His current NIH-funded research explores the role diet (chiefly fiber-rich foods), colonic microbiota and the metabolome in explaining the profound variations in colon cancer risk in rural Africans (very low), African Americans (very high) and Alaska Native people aka ‘Eskimos’ (extreme). These studies have led to the current conduct of an NIH R01 randomized controlled trial of high fiber supplement in suppressing the extreme risk of colon cancer and non-communicable diseases in Alaska Native people, and a second R01 in investigation the potential for a high legume diet to treat obesity, T2 diabetes, and prevent colonic polyp recurrence in patients with these diseases in the USA.

Dr Cian Hughes

Staff Research Scientist and Informatics Lead, Google Health

Speaker's biography

Cían joined DeepMind in August 2015 starting DeepMind Health. Building on his previous work in acute kidney injury alerting, he helped to design and build Streams, DeepMind Health's clinician facing mobile application.

Prior to joining DeepMind he was an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in ENT at the University College London Ear Institute with research interests in artificial intelligence, health informatics and epidemiology.

He now works on a mixture of Imaging and EHR based applications of machine learning at Google Health. He has a particular interest in the segmentation of 3D imaging, with recent publications in Opthalmology as well as Head and Neck Cancer.

He is a founding fellow of the UK Faculty of Clinical Informatics, a founder of the INTEROPen Summit, and a strong supporter of open data and interoperability standards.

Miss Irumee Pai

Consultant ENT Surgeon
St. Thomas’ Hearing Implant Centre

Speaker's biography

Miss Pai is a consultant ENT surgeon at Guy’s and St. Thomas Hospitals in London and specialises in otology and hearing implant surgery. Her particular research interest includes cochlear implants, middle ear implants and imaging technologies.


View the programme


Mr Philip Robinson – President of the RSM Section of Otology University Hospitals Bristol and Weston, UK

Microbiomes: A new understanding of disease

Professor Stephen O’Keefe, Universities of Pittsburgh, USA and Stellenbosch, South Africa

Opportunities for machine learning in otology?

Dr Cian Hughes, Google Deep Mind, London

Comfort break and sponsored industry presentation

Endoscopic Ear Surgery – given by Ben Pattinson

Midbrain auditory implants

Professor Amir Samii, Hanover, Germany

Active middle ear implants and chronic otitis media

Miss Irumee Pai, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Interactive panel discussion: Pitfalls and pearls for everyday otology

Mr Stephen Broomfield, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston

Miss Irumee Pai, Miss Kay Chacksfield, Mr Simon Freeman, Mr Harry Powell, Mr David Selvadurai


End of the webinar




Disclaimer:All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations. 

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

Webinar recordings will be available for registered delegates up to 30 days after the live webinar, via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.