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The Joint meeting of the American College of Cardiology’s and World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC)is the latest medtech/pharma conference to be canceled over concerns of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The event was slated to occur March 28-30.
Instead, the organization said virtual options for science and award presentations will be announced in the coming days.
"The health, safety, and well-being of our members, staff, exhibitors, faculty and other stakeholders is of paramount importance," ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, said in a release. "With an ever-increasing number of ACC members on the front lines of preparing and reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, 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’s annual meeting joins several other high-profile conferences that have been canceled because of fears of the spread of the coronavirus. Last week both Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and South by Southwest (SXSW) announced cancelations heeding the CDC’s recommendations.
The COVID-19 crisis opens up opportunities for healthcare media companies such as Evermed to help with digital and virtual alternatives.
“Growing concerns about COVID-19 have led to 30% to 50% of participants canceling their participation at some of the large annual scientific conferences,” Cass Wheeler, former national CEO of the American Heart Association and senior advisor to Evermed, said in a release. “We expect some societies to cancel or postpone their entire annual conferences. This will lead to reduced opportunities for pharma and medical device companies to engage the global scientific community with their latest clinical trials and innovations to improve patient care. It will also create revenue gaps for the medical societies."
Evermed said under its new Conference Response Strategy, medical societies can turn their annual conferences into global, digitally powered, multi-day events.
To date, the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. is now more than 550 and 22 people have died from the disease, according to a report on NBC News’s website.