The 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition has been cancelled, following new reports from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control concerning the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This marks the first HIMSS conference cancellation in 58 years.
In an official statement issued Thursday, HIMSS President and CEO Hal Wolf said: “Based on evaluation of evolving circumstances and coordination with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making, it is clear that it would be an unacceptable risk to bring so many thousands of people together in Orlando next week.”
A unique consideration facing HIMSS during this health crisis is its global audience of healthcare professionals. In announcing the conference cancellation, the organization cited “concerns about disproportionate risk to the healthcare system given the unique medical profile of Global Conference attendees and the consequences of potentially displacing healthcare workers during a critical time, as well as stressing the local health systems were there to be an adverse event.”
The cancellation of the HIMSS conference comes a month after coronavirus concerns caused the GSMA to call off this year’s Mobile World Congress.