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Providing Critical Resources to HCPs in Time of Crisis

Published 04-09-20

Submitted by Johnson & Johnson

That’s why I’m so proud to share that we have expanded our collaboration with Advances in Surgery (AIS) to make its COVID-19 Resources, powered by DialogEDU, available within our J&J Institute.com ecosystem. HCPs, including doctors, nurses and other clinical and administrative staff members, can access this free platform that brings together news and information from multiple public sources and is updated in real time as this dynamic situation continues to unfold. More than 30,000 HCPs from 123 countries visited the site the first day it went live! This demonstrates the immediate and pressing need for one-stop access to COVID-19 information and critical training such as an online mechanical ventilation course.We know the number of visitors will continue to climb as we get the word out.

I chatted with Rod Menchaca, CEO of Advances in Surgery, to discuss these new resources and how they are benefiting healthcare professionals around the world.

Q: Let’s start on a personal note: How are you and your family doing during this global health care crisis?

Thank you for asking. We're fine at home here in Barcelona, Spain, and doing our best to adapt our daily lives to new habits. But we have taken it with the only possible perspective: it is not just about us, but about everyone. We are obviously more attentive to any possible symptoms, but above all trying to avoid the pseudo-experts on social media and instead relying fully on validated sources.

Q: For people who may not be familiar with AIS, can you tell us a little bit about the channel, when you launched it and why you decided to develop it in the first place?

The AIS Channel is an initiative of world-renowned surgeon Antonio De Lacy, founded in 2014. He had the critical insight that 97% of surgeons cannot train regularly for a variety of reasons.

The AIS Channel aims to tackle this problem by providing surgeons with the ability to maintain constant and free access to procedures performed by the best surgeons in the world, even offering the ability to interact with them directly. The idea continued to grow, and we can now proudly say our broadcasts are seen in 185 countries and have an average audience of 15,000 per broadcast.

Q. I’m so proud that we are expanding our collaboration with AIS. Can you explain how this platform will be useful to healthcare professionals battling the pandemic?

Prior to COVID-19, our systems were used to run our surgical education initiatives. However, as the gravity of the situation became more apparent, we realized our technology could be of use. We decided to turn over our engineering teams and put a medical and biomedical engineering team in place to review all the worldwide publications on the coronavirus, centralize them, and publish them.

We’ve also been contacted by the most relevant international surgical societies to unite criteria. Some of those meetings have been held with the Chinese government, and we’ve received hundreds of COVID-19 protocols. This helped us create a system of forums for international healthcare professionals to interact with their Chinese counterparts.

We are of course proud of the relationship we have had with the Johnson & Johnson Institute in surgical training. As soon as we informed all of you of our plans, we received your immediate and enthusiastic support to collaborate, motivating us even further.

I want to emphasize that this effort is on behalf of all medical specialties, not just those of AIS.

Q: In times like these, why is it crucial for information and resources to be centralized?

We’ve been doing remote training every day since 2014. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ve been able to have the operation flow seamlessly into COVID-19 content – quite literally without a break. It was simply a matter of committing ourselves and aligning goals. It’s strange to say, but the fact we are developing this from Europe, specifically from Spain, makes us time travelers. We are sending content and centralized experiences from the future and, as we have seen from the clinical side every second counts. 

A couple of days ago, the WHO put the U.S. at the center of the development of the virus, a situation that Spain found itself in two weeks ago. That's why what we're doing is so valuable, because it's about reacting together as a global community. Moving as fast as what is needed to combat this global pandemic may not always be perfect, but this level of digital collaboration I believe is one key enabler required.

Q: How do you see the resource center evolving over time?

I think COVID-19 is accelerating the digitization of many things, but possibly one of the biggest impacts will be on the global validation of online education -- not just in healthcare but across many industries.

On average, 40,000 healthcare professionals per day are now coming to our site for resources, action alternatives, and maybe even an extra dose of confidence. We’re working hard to evolve the site two or three times every day, incorporating new initiatives, direct links to international publications and societies, and above all, basic but extremely useful courses for specialists called to the frontline of this war on COVID-19.

Over the coming days and weeks, healthcare warriors around the world will need access to validated, easily accessible material (including mental health material) more than ever. Our clinical team is working hard to get as many courses in many different mediums out as possible and in record time.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?

The COVID-19 resource center is just that; a centralization of resources. That is why I invite societies or generators of validated clinical information that can be helpful in combating this global pandemic to contact us at covid19@aischannel.com so we can evaluate the content, and if accepted by our scientific board, be published as soon as possible.

Antonio De Lacy would have loved to participate in this interview, but he is busy on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus, leading his service at his hospital. So I’ll say to healthcare professionals on his and my behalf, and on behalf of the entire AIS team: You all have strength within you to tackle hard weeks ahead, and you should feel certain that all of us - each one from our small parcel of power - will do our best to defeat this pandemic together.

COVID-19 is testing us. It's time to rise to the occasion and make a difference.

Published on March 27, 2020
by Sandra Humbles, Vice President, Global Education Solutions, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices

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