AAOS canceled its 2020 Annual Meeting due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Academy’s board cited factors we’ve all grown accustomed to hearing—potential risks associated with a large gathering, increasing travel restrictions, and the need for AAOS members to protect and help their local institutions and patients prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19.
AAOS’ Annual Meeting is a highlight for much of the orthopedic community due to the presentation of critical research, the debate of surgical techniques and technologies, announcements of new products and the unique and powerful opportunity to network and learn face to face. As conference planners, we know firsthand the amazing progress that people make when they're brought together to share and debate.
Board President Kristy L. Weber, M.D., FAAOS, also commented that, "Orthopaedic surgery is known for innovation and for perseverance in the face of great challenges. We have no doubt that this legacy will remain as our global community and healthcare system copes with the challenges that COVID-19 will bring in the coming months."
Challenges will surface in varying forms—stock market declines, procedure volume reduction, regulatory approval times, supply chain disruptions—not to mention lost sales as a result of missed opportunities on the AAOS exhibit floor. FDA has already announced that it is postponing travel for most foreign inspections through April, which could impact product application reviews. The degree to which any of these scenarios impact you, your company and the global orthopedic market remains to be seen. But you will be impacted. Any disruption to the commercialization chain surfaces up and down the line, eventually.
As to our June meeting, OMTEC® 2020, we remain optimistic that COVID-19 will be contained—but we are planning for every possibility.
For now, we wish you good health.