Heidelberg, Germany – Heidelberg Engineering was due to celebrate its 30th anniversary on the 30th-31st October 2020 with a special edition of the annual International Imaging Symposium. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that the event could no longer take place at the Print Media Academy in Heidelberg, Germany as planned. This did not stop the Heidelberg Engineering Academy team in Germany however, who instead delivered the entire 36-hour programme virtually to more than 2000 participants.
The ambitious Virtual Imaging Symposium (VIS) featured a scientific channel, which comprised of 45 high quality presentations, by a faculty of 44 ophthalmologists and researchers located in 14 different countries across the globe. 43 of the 45 presentations were delivered live, demonstrating exceptional coordination from the team involved, considering they were streaming from multiple different time zones, and provided the opportunity for interaction between both the speakers and the audience. Participants of the VIS were treated to lectures on the present and future of diagnostics from all areas of ophthalmology, with live moderation from Dr. Stephan Schulz, Head of the Global Academy, on stage at the original location in the Print Media Academy Auditorium in Heidelberg. This year, the presentations went beyond the retina and glaucoma content typical of the International SPECTRALIS Symposium and embraced anterior segment and healthcare IT topics as well.
In addition to the scientific programme, participants could enjoy a workshop channel, which featured training on image acquisition using the SPECTRALIS and ANTERION platforms, and image analysis using HEYEX 2, as well as MediSIGHT EMR integration. These presentations included high quality live demonstrations of the products and how to use them, which was another technical marvel.
Finally, the Heidelberg Engineering virtual exhibition booth was launched the same week as the VIS. The booth was attended by Heidelberg Engineering representatives for the duration of the VIS, and visitors had the opportunity to chat live and receive virtual product demonstrations.
“The Virtual Imaging Symposium provides a template for how virtual events should be conducted for the benefit of both the participant and the industry partner”, explains Emily Malbon, Head of UK Marketing and Education, Heidelberg Engineering Limited. “The Academy team organised and delivered the entire event in-house, without the assistance of a professional e-conferencing company, which was not the easy option, but gave them complete control to deliver the educational programme of their dreams. They even had COVID-19 tests and quarantined together for several days so that they could run the show as a team in the original venue. The event was free of charge to attend, making high quality knowledge transfer accessible to all and raising the standards of education across the industry”.
Congratulations to the Academy team for delivering a highly complex and ambitious virtual programme. Visit www.he-academy.com for more educational opportunities.