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Healthcare Accepts the Virtual World with Open Arms

Healthcare, that has always been criticized to be a industry that is laid back in adopting latest technology and digital world, has proved the World wrong. The coronavirus pandemic made it even more crucial for healthcare organisations to ramp up their technological support systems. From using AI for drug development to better software for patient management, healthcare revamped its systems. What is more surprising that the sector not just focused inwards, but also had upgrades outwards.

The biggest example has been the Seventy-Third World Health Assembly (WHA) that took place online and was even attended by World leaders like President Sommaruga, President Ramaphosa, President Xi, President Macron, President Moon, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Mottley, and Jagat Prakash Nadda- President of the World Health Assembly. Not just WHA, but the World Health Organisations (WHO) has been conducting press conferences using Zoom meeting and updating the world about the latest COVID-19 situation and their efforts in it since March.

The private organisations too are using virtual ways to reach out to the industry. public, media and investors. Recently Synlogic, that is pioneering the development of a novel class of living medicines, Synthetic BioticTM medicines, decided to host a Virtual R&D Event on May 27th, 2020. They decided to take registrations of the Investors & Media fro their website. This meeting will not be like the ones WHO had, with speakers talking and a few QnAs, but plans to have a full-fledged discussion, like at any medical conference. This event will provide an in-depth review of Synlogic’s Synthetic Biotic platform and programs for the treatment of metabolic diseases inflammatory and immune disorders, and cancer.  In addition, guest speaker David S. Goldfarb, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Physiology, NYU School of Medicine, Clinical Chief, Nephrology Division, NYU Langone Health, Chief, Nephrology Section, New York VA Medical Center, will present an overview of enteric hyperoxaluria and a patient perspective.

Last week Make Announced Virtually Maker Faire, a 24-hour schedule of online sessions and a curated collection of maker projects, many of them developed in response to Covid-19. They believe that around the world, makers have been rallying, rising up to solve shortages in medical supplies and equipment, turning makerspaces into micro-factories, creating self-organized community networks, and developing clever distribution strategies. At the first Virtually Maker Faire on May 23, makers representing 25 countries shared over 350 presentations, demonstrations, and online project exhibits. Programming was curated into five tracks: Community Organizing, Learning & Teaching, Re-Thinking the Future, Design & Production, and Making. Some of the highlights included a session by Gui Cavalcanti, founder and co-CEO of Open Source Medical Supplies, about the role of Open Source in the pandemic and how their group documented the global fabrication of over 7 million units of personal protective equipment, medical and community supplies. Josef Prusa of Prusa Research, a company in Prague that develops 3D printers, talked about the importance of 3D printing in creating PPE in response to COVID-19. Prusa designed the Prusa Face Shield, one of the first designs to be widely replicated on 3D printers around the world. From Italy, TechForCare: an open-source support platform created for the pandemic, jointly developed by I-RIM (Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines) and Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition had a session. Overall it was a mega event and showed how virtual meetings are a possibility.

Talking the virtual meetings a step ahead, Akebia Therapeutics has announced elections online. Their 2020 annual meeting of stockholders (Annual Meeting) has been changed to a virtual meeting on June 5, that will be held via live audio webcast. Stockholders will be able to attend the Annual Meeting only via the webcast. The distributed proxy materials for the Annual Meeting, and entitled members to attend and vote at the Annual Meeting. While they had their rules of the stockholder being one by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 9, 2020, the record date, or hold a legal proxy for the meeting provided by your bank, broker or nominee as of such record date. They shared a link (www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/AKBA2020) and have asked members to enter the control number found on the proxy card, voting instruction form or notice that has been previously received. They also have a list of registered stockholders which will be available to record holders during the Annual Meeting at that same website.

The creative and sound solutions that the healthcare industry is coming out with, during this pandemic, is commendable and it is expected that more such solutions will be seen in the coming months.

Meeta Ramnani
Meeta Ramnani
Meeta develops credible content about various markets based on deep research, opinions from experts and inputs from industry leaders. As the managing editor at Smart Industry News, she assures that every piece of news and article adds to the knowledge of decision makers. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries experience from mainstream print media including The Times Group and Sakal Media Group.
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