With COVID cases on the rise again and the new Omicron strain spreading, medical conferences across the world are being canceled. However, healthcare professionals rely on these conferences to stay current in their field and learn about new breakthroughs in medicine.
This begs the question: How are healthcare professionals supposed to keep up-to-date with the latest news about the virus and beyond?
In this article, we’ll explore the impact of these cancelations, how medical organizations are pivoting in response to the spread of the virus, and how Juisci can help healthcare professionals stay current in the time of COVID.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, medical conference organizers in Europe, the U.S. and across the world are at a loss. Many of the biggest players in the medical conference space, from Mayo Clinic to Amwell, have either canceled, scaled down, or fallen silent about upcoming in-person gatherings.
Medical conference organizers are confronting an unsettling question: Should healthcare professionals who share a mission to advance human health be attending an event that could unintentionally undermine it?
This past summer, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses chose to cancel its 5,000-attendee annual meeting just 10 days ahead of the event’s opening on August 7. The reason? An alarming spike in new COVID cases in and around Orlando—the event’s host city and the nation’s second-largest convention destination.
In Las Vegas, the 2021 Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference promised to explore some of the most pressing issues in healthcare technology, including the expanded use of telehealth and artificial intelligence tools adopted during the pandemic. However, a large number of vendors decided to pull out of the conference because the host-city of Las Vegas saw a major surge of COVID cases.
Back in 2019, the HIMSS conference attracted more than 30,000 healthcare system and hospital attendees. This year, the total number of people who attended the in-person portion of the meeting was about 17,500. This number included attendees and vendor staff combined. According to a HIMSS representative, the final count of exhibiting vendors was about 700, which is a 50 percent decrease from the number of vendors in 2019. Additionally, it appeared most vendors cut back significantly on the amount of booth space they had reserved.
As we look ahead to 2022, it seems there’s no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic. Conference organizers cannot anticipate new waves and variants of the virus, so more live meetings and conferences will be forced to move over to a virtual platform.
According to Dr. Blake Johnson, medical director of the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, “More business meetings will take place virtually, but it won’t replace live meetings…. The virtual concept will remain in a hybrid fashion.” Dr. Johnson has chaired several continuing medical education (CME) virtual meetings over the past year.
However, the draw of a live conference isn’t just the in-person lectures and education. A big part of any event is the off-line conversations, networking, and shared experiences. This infrastructure is something that conference organizers have very little of during virtual events.
Now that the pandemic has served as a catalyst for greater acceptance of virtual platforms, it’s important that healthcare professionals don’t lose the benefits of in-person events and gatherings.
With Juisci, you can have discussions and share relevant articles with peers—all within the app. Comment on an article you find interesting and you’ll receive a notification when someone replies. Users are able to direct message peers, have group conversations, and collaborate around online events like e-Congress or other organizational offerings.
Oftentimes, healthcare professionals attend medical conferences for continuing education. With Juisci’s interactive platform, you can complete short quizzes and games related to the content that’s most important to your specialty.
In the future, Juisci plans to collaborate with several different accreditation institutions to fulfill their CME competency requirements—all while you complete your normal daily learning with Juisci.
As we brace for a fifth wave of the pandemic this winter, it’s important to acknowledge that upcoming 2022 medical conferences will be operating at a reduced capacity or moving to a fully virtual platform.
That’s why having Juisci can help you stay current in the time of COVID. With infrastructure built around community and shared learning, the Juisci app ensures you’ll never miss an update in your field.
Download Juisci today and join the community of like-minded healthcare professionals staying up-to-date with the latest medical breakthroughs.