The March 5 cancellation of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2020 Global Health Conference & Exhibition was one of the first examples of the reaction to the outbreak and the domino effect it may have. Conversely, Biogen (NSDQ:BIIB) hosted a company meeting the same week in which up to 175 people could have been exposed to the virus after three employees who had tested positive for COVID-19 were in attendance, raising concerns over the potential knock-on effect of meetings, conferences, shows and more.
Here at WTWH Media’s MassDevice, we’ve started a running tally of canceled medtech and medical device events. Here is our updated list of canceled events:
- The 2020 Heart Rhythm Scientific sessions scheduled for May 6-9 in San Diego have been canceled as a result of the coronavirus.
- In lieu of in-person meetings, HRS intends to offer digital programs on its Heart Rhythm 365 online learning platform. They will be available on May 6. The platform will include abstract presentations and webinars in place of the expected abstracts that were planned for the event.
- HRS2021 will take place in Boston from May 19-22, 2021.
- The European Atherosclerosis Society announced that it is moving its EAS 2020 conference in Geneva to new dates from Oct. 4-7, 2020.
- EAS maintained in an announcement that it will proceed with the originally planned programming in the same city as previously established.
- The society added that it will have more information in the coming days as it can provide more details regarding the changed dates and updated event.
- The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons announced that it is canceling its annual meeting, scheduled for March 24-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
- The academy expected the meeting to host 479 presentations in 250,000 net square feet of exhibit space with 27,000 attendees from around the world.
- AAOS said it plans to share details soon on how it will “work to bring the substance and spirit” of the meeting to those who had planned to participate.
- The joint meeting of the American College of Cardiology and World Congress of Cardiology was scheduled for March 28-30 in Chicago. The ACC announced that it will not be held amid worries stemming from coronavirus.
- More than 18,000 attendees from 108 countries were expected to attend.
- “With an ever-increasing number of ACC members on the front lines of preparing and reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, we believe it is in the best interest of everyone to cancel the meeting and ensure our members are able to do what they do best—help and heal,” ACC president Dr. Richard Kovacs said in a prepared statement. “This is a first for us. We have never not held an Annual Scientific Session live and in-person in the last 69 years.”
- Kovacs noted that there are virtual presentations in the works as the ACC seeks to recognize award winners and deliver some information intended to be shared at the meeting. The ACC plans to share more information regarding refunds and options in the coming days.
AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference
- Southeast Life Sciences announced that it intends to hold its inaugural AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference as planned from May 26-28 at the Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, S.C.
- In a news release, Southeast Life Sciences told potential attendees that it plans to monitor the state, regional, national and international responses and recommendations and to quickly communicate any decision to postpone the event.
- The BIOMEDevice Boston Design & Manufacturing event has been moved to Sept. 16-17.
- Those who have registered will have their attendee registration automatically transferred to the rescheduled date and no action is needed at this time, according to a release.
- Anyone who booked hotel rooms in the event block will receive information regarding rescheduling dates and the process of canceling the existing room and reserving a new one.
- Updates will be posted on the event website as they become available.
Design of Medical Devices 2020
- The University of Minnesota canceled its Design of Medical Devices 2020 conference due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- The event had been scheduled for April 6-9 in Minneapolis.
- According to a news release, planners are in the process of setting up a one-day DMD 2020 event later this year so that artificial intelligence and medical devices emerging technology forums may be held, along with other topics. More information on that is expected to come soon.
- Those who registered for the event will receive information about refund options. DMD 2021 is set for April 12-15 next year.
- Registration remains open for DeviceTalks Minnesota (June 1-2) and DeviceTalks West (June 23-23).
- Conference organizer WTWH Media (which also owns MassDevice and MDO) has instituted a policy to ensure sponsors and attendees are financially protected in the event of a cancellation.
- WTWH Media will monitor the situation and decide if the conferences should be postponed. The decision will be made in April.
- DeviceTalks Boston (Sept. 24-25) is proceeding as scheduled. That will take place at the Hynes Convention Center alongside the Robotics Expo and Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum.
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- The European Society of Radiology postponed its annual ECR congress for July 15-19 in Vienna, Austria. The event was previously scheduled to take place from March 11-15.
- Registration fees and online services remain in place for the new date and registration remains open.
ESC Acute Cardiovascular Care conference
- On March 4, the European Society of Cardiology called off its Acute Cardiovascular Care conference, scheduled for March 7-9 in Athens. At the time of cancellation, the CDC had confirmed eight cases of coronavirus in Greece.
- ESC was expecting more than 1,000 participants from over 70 countries, and said it will be looking into the possibility of rescheduling for a later date.
- “Your health and safety are of the greatest priority to us,” Acute Cardiovascular Care Association president Susanna Price said in a news release. “You have a vital role to play throughout the year but especially now, during the spread of the coronavirus. Most of the reported deaths from COVID-19 have been in patients with underlying cardiovascular disease.”
- The Medical Device Innovation Consortium postponed its Patient Engagement Forum scheduled for March 26 in Washington, D.C., citing advisories and restrictions imposed by the CDC and WHO.
- MDIC said it is monitoring updates and recommendations and will notify registered attendees of a new date once it is confirmed.
Large gathering are also temporarily banned in Silicon Valley, The Hill reports.
This story originally ran on Monday, March 9, 2019. We’ll keep this updated with more events impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.