The healthcare sector has been severely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Industry associations, governments, and medical institutes are imposing travel restrictions, and as a result, some scheduled meetings and conferences face postponement or cancellation. The spread of COVID-19 has forced organizations to rethink their plans.

HCPs are already at a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. HCPs can easily pick up COVID-19 from patients and carry the illness to a crowded conference hall. The incubation period for this virus is not yet known. Experts believe that some people may carry the virus for 14 days before showing symptoms. This lengthy incubation period puts conference guests and attendees at risk.

To safeguard the health of attendees, many medical organizations have canceled upcoming events. In many regions, HCPs are encouraged to self-quarantine and avoid in-person meetings. There has never been a better time to explore the benefits of virtual meetings. Virtual tools allow lectures and conferences to move forward while protecting public health.

With virtual meetings, participants can access up-to-date information and network with industry professionals. As COVID-19 spreads, medical organizations can use virtual meetings to keep their schedules on track.

CASE STUDY
THE POWER OF VIRTUAL MEETINGS:
A LATAM/US VIRTUAL HEMATOLOGY EVENT

Aptitude Health just completed a virtual hematology meeting for a top-5 global pharmaceutical company that included faculty members in 2 locations in the US and participants from across Latin America. This virtual educational event provided a great example of the value that digital solutions provide to clinicians and life science partners.

This broadcast occurred with live audiences in 2 different locations in Latin America and included dozens of healthcare professionals in Brazil and Argentina. Two scientific experts were presenting from Buffalo (Dr Eunice Wang) and Houston (Dr Elias Jabbour). Even across continents, the virtual platform allowed for an extremely interactive meeting with clinical presentations and over 30 questions submitted via the virtual meeting website and the live locations.

If you are facing a decision to cancel, postpone, or convert a live event to a virtual program, please contact your Aptitude Health representative or click here to learn how we can best support your business needs.

Virtual meetings circumvent travel restrictions
Travel restrictions have prevented many upcoming conferences from moving forward. Currently, the CDC advises against travel to China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. Other countries have expressly advised HCPs not to travel. Throughout the world, medical training has been canceled or delayed.

These restrictions are likely to become more widespread if the pandemic worsens. Organizations can adapt by shifting to a virtual meeting platform. With virtual meetings, participants in all regions can take part in lectures and conversations. Virtual meetings even allow participation from HCPs undergoing quarantine.

Virtual meetings preserve financial investments
Event cancellations due to COVID-19 have dealt many organizations a hard financial hit. Often, cancellations occur long after hotels and flights have been booked. Some organizations may be unable to secure a refund after a last-minute cancellation. Attendees who have paid for their travel out of pocket may also be out of luck.

With a virtual meeting platform, events can go on as planned. Organizers can rest assured that sudden outbreaks won’t interfere with their itinerary. With no need to book hotels or flights, attendees can avoid a risky investment. Virtual meetings can take place as scheduled, even if travel becomes impossible.

Virtual meetings help organizations meet sustainability goals
COVID-19 prompted recent event cancellations within the medical industry. These outbreaks have led many organizations to take a closer look at their long-term plans, as future outbreaks of infectious disease are inevitable. Natural disasters and political upheaval can also interfere with travel plans. Some professionals may also worry about the environmental impacts of frequent air travel.

Even at the best of times, holding in-person events can be expensive and unsustainable. Virtual meetings are cost-effective and eco-friendly. These tools help organizations cut costs and promote green living. In the future, virtual tools are likely to dominate over in-person sessions.

Virtual meetings are ideal for busy professionals
While no one is pleased by the recent COVID-19 outbreaks, some cancellations may come as a relief to busy HCPs. HCPs often struggle to find time for in-person conferences, training, and seminars. These events can be time-consuming, and they may interfere with patient care.

Virtual meeting platforms allow HCPs to participate from the comfort of their home or office. With virtual tools, HCPs can provide constant care to their patients; there’s no need to leave the office for time-consuming travel. Virtual meetings also offer widespread access to essential information. Shifting from in-person to virtual meetings can remove barriers that prevent participation.

Live meetings are still ideal for building personal relationships, however, virtual meeting platforms offer an excellent alternative. With virtual tools, events can continue on schedule, even if the spread of COVID-19 worsens. Virtual platforms provide a safe, effective alternative to live meetings. With virtual tools, attendees reap the benefits of in-person events while safeguarding their health.