The History — And Future — Of Medical Conferences
Medical conferences are eagerly anticipated annual events for many physicians. Depending on a physician’s specialty and schedule, he or she might feel motivated to attend two or more conferences in a given year. Historically, medical conferences have functioned as forums for exploring new ideas, techniques, procedures and best practices.
They also represent excellent opportunities to present the results of new research, while exploring issues ripe for additional investigation. Conferences are where relationships are forged, ideas are explored, careers are advanced, research projects are conceived, information is exchanged and issues are debated. And, increasingly, they’re an important destination for medical device manufacturers eager to display the merits of their wares.
Conferences for every conceivable specialty abound. There are even conferences dedicated to the history of medicine. From pr development to disseminating new research to exploring new techniques and practices, the medial conference plays an important, time-honored role in the advancement of medicine and medical science.
Presentation Practices — Old and New
Of course, medical conferences provide crucial opportunities for continuing medical education, too. Traditionally, presenters relied on tried and true techniques to share their messages. Poster presentations, usually featuring hard copies of published or unpublished findings, are common. Simple visual aids, such as slide shows, overhead projectors, whiteboards and blackboards are all but ubiquitous. In recent years, the use of sophisticated software programs to streamline the slide-making process and dress up these presentations (e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple’s Keynote, or Microsoft’s newest presentation app, Sway), has become common.
Multimedia-capable devices and presentation software can provide much-needed visual clarity to often-challenging concepts and processes, to be sure. Today’s presenters have the option of offering electronic posters, with integrated medical animations. Paper and ink have their place, but there’s a sense that the old, static approach to presentation lacks the pizazz needed to grab and hold attendees’ attention.
The new Sway app, for example, has been described as “PowerPoint on steroids, but much easier to use.” This Web-based multimedia app makes it simple to integrate far more than just text and simplistic images or graphics. Numerous other examples of software programs dedicated to bringing new life to presentations exist. Indeed, at present there more than 30 different presentation software programs available for use.
In today’s world of instant digital messaging, and multiple platforms for sharing photographs, audio clips, and videos, it’s no wonder conference attendees are likely to appreciate more-sophisticated video-sharing platforms, and easy-to-use multimedia. Dry, static slides with simple text and abstract graphics will no longer cut it in our digital, multimedia-on-demand age. Increasingly, savvy presenters are embracing the shift toward more sophisticated presentations by incorporating amusing, entertaining or utterly informative animations, video, sound, etc. Indeed, medical animation appears to be playing an increasingly important role in various aspects of medical marketing, continuing and medical student education, and even patient education.
Medical conferences are increasingly important forums for medical device marketers to show off their devices, systems and methods. Cardiology is an example of a medical specialty that benefits greatly from the use of modern medical animations to illustrate fascinating new approaches to emerging procedures, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). Implantation of the Direct Flow Medical® repositionable and retrievable transcatheter aortic valve implantation system is just one example of TAVI that comes to life through the use of 3D medical animation.
The upcoming EuroPCR 2016 conference in Paris, May 17-20, 2016, is an example of an international conference where medical animations are likely to be on prominent display. Sponsored by the European Society of Cardiology®, this annual conference for interventional cardiology professionals (Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions), represents the cutting-edge of medical interventions aimed at stripping cardiovascular disease of its dubious distinction as the leading cause of death in the developed world. We hope to see you at EuroPCR 2016, in beautiful Paris, France.