The symposium gathered medical specialists in psychiatry and neurology to discuss and review the latest developments and treatments in the field of mental illness.
Organised by the Mexican Psychiatry Association and sponsored by AstraZeneca, the medical symposium featured presentations by national and international experts, including Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona, President of the Mexican branch of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), Dr Mark A. Frye, Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, USA and Prof. Allan H. Young, Chair of Psychiatry, Director of the Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London, UK.
Professor Allan H. Young, keynote speaker at the symposium, already had experience of presenting to audiences in multiple locations. According to the Professor: “A dispersed audience may present technical difficulties and feel less personal. Bringing many specialists together and reaching a larger number of individuals in a single session achieves a greater synergy, is more convenient and cost effective. Both the remote participants and the organisers of the events benefit.”
The symposium audience consisted of 200 specialists in Mexico City and 450 scattered across a further 12 key Mexican cities. The remote audiences were able to follow the proceedings live via satellite. They participated fully in the debates and the clinical cases thanks to a chat facility allowing them to ask questions in real-time and electronic voting to answer questions, with instant feedback on the votes.
PowerVote’s technology was used to facilitate audience interaction in this complex multi-location set-up. The voting system allowed all the participants to answer a number of questions, with voting results instantly fed back to the speakers, who were also able to compare responses from all 13 cities. Together with the chat facility, this generated lively debate in spite of the geographically dispersed audience.
The audience and the speakers were very positive about using the technology. Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona, President of the Mexican branch of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), facilitated the symposium. In his experience, “multi-location events, such as the Taller Satelital en Psiquiatría, must rely on more than just a filmed presentation. Thanks to the satellite connection, the specialists were fully engaged in the meeting regardless of their location. They were most impressed with the technology and welcomed it. Throughout the day, I tried to ensure that the remote audience felt as involved in the proceedings as the core audience in Mexico City.”
Key success factors for medical symposiums relying heavily on technology to involve their audiences include thorough organisation and planning, full briefing and training of the speakers in the use of the technologies and provision of good technical back-up, as was the case at the multi-location symposium in Mexico. Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona also adds: “Preparing a sound list of questions relevant to both the speakers and the audience is critical to ensure that the interactive technologies remain a valuable tool. Voting is very effective, be it whilst teaching or during meetings, to ascertain the audience’s knowledge on specific subjects.”
Professor Young concludes: “The use of the PowerVote system was an asset at the Taller Satelital en Psiquiatría. It allowed the audience to feel included and to participate remotely, leading to a more interesting event. Voting is a powerful tool to facilitate medical symposiums with satellite sites in multiple locations, as is a link to allow questions to be asked.”Print