AM: Tell us a bit about yourself and your current focus of research.
SO: I am a cardiologist, Director of the Italian Institute of Telemedicine, and Professor of Cardiology at the First Moscow State Medical University Department of Cardiology. My work is focused on researching and developing new telemedicine solutions to diagnose and manage chronic diseases. I am also and expert of hypertension and cardiovascular epidemiology.
AM: What do you think is the most fascinating recent development in cardiovascular research/Cardiology?
SO: I am very interested in the advances in technology in this field, particularly in telehealth solutions based on artificial intelligence. They have an excellent potential for improving disease prevention and management.
AM: Is there an area of Cardiovascular biology/Cardiology that you think is currently under-explored?
SO: Cardiology is one of the most active and innovative fields of medicine. There are several sub-specialties on which research is being focusing. I am fascinated by the Internet-of-Medical-Things and its potentials for remote monitoring of patients at risk (e.g., arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension).
AM: Where do you see (or where would you like to see) the cardiovascular/Cardiology research field 10 years from now?
SO: I see an increased approach to personalized medicine and digital health for managing subjects at cardiovascular risk or with established heart disease.
AM: Can you think of any collective initiatives that could support/speed up ‘bench to bedside’ research?
SO: We need to focus on multidisciplinary approaches to research, and we need to be open to fresh ideas from different fields. Medicine is becoming too much specialized. Researchers are often focused on details and do not see the big picture. Evidence-based medicine is still the right approach to make research translated into practice.
AM: What does it mean to you to be an Editorial Board Member for BMC Cardiovascular Disorders?
SO: It is a very challenging task, requiring quality time and appropriate use of your knowledge.
AM: What is one piece of advice you would give to reviewers as an EBM overseeing peer review ?
SO: I would recommend reviewers pay more attention to the content of the paper and the validity of the proposed research rather than focus on the presentation form. Some papers are written impeccably, but they lack novelty or relevant research. I also suggest taking the right amount of time to review a paper since it is often the result of the authors' significant effort that must not be disregarded.
AM: What is one piece of advice you would give to prospective authors ?
SO: I would always recommend looking in-depth at the existing literature. I see, especially in my field (digital health and telemedicine), that many authors are naïve and not well informed on the specific literature, and often they cannot discern the quality of the cited research.
AM: What would you change in scientific publishing if you could?
SO: As an author and a reviewer, I often see good research being rejected for inexplicable reasons. I think the journals' selection should improve, paying attention to the reviewer's quality rather than the time taken for review. Fast reviewers are not always good reviewers.
Another aspect regards the high open-access fees of some journals that limit the publication of good science. The journals should establish a policy for fair prices to increase the dissemination of relevant publications.