Novartis expands Vivinda TV, offering docs digital access to medical conferences

Instead of bringing physicians to congresses the old way, Novartis is now bringing the congress to the physician.

Tune in, docs, Novartis is on. Its Vivinda TV, a burgeoning virtual conference platform created to deliver on-demand medical content, most recently aired the full unedited content from the European Cancer Congress held in Amsterdam last month. And the platform has worked so well that Novartis is ramping it up.

As CEO Joe Jiminez said during Novartis’ latest quarterly financial earnings call, “Instead of bringing physicians to congresses the old way, we're now bringing the congress to the physician, and we're doing that through a device, a vehicle, that we call Vivinda TV. We're finding that we can exponentially increase the number of physicians that we can bring this medical information to at a fraction of the cost.”

A Novartis spokeswoman told FiercePharma via email that Vivinda TV is part of Novartis “investing more than ever before in developing and adopting innovative digital communication tools that will provide a growing number of doctors around the world with important information about the safety and efficacy of its products.”

In June, for the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, for instance, Vivinda TV drew 4,600 registrations from virtual delegates in 103 countries, Novartis reported. And for the European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology conference, Vivinda TV drew 1,800 virtual delegates—compared with the 500 to 600 that attend in person. As Novartis noted on its website, “it is a signal to do more of the same in future.”

Currently, the platform can be accessed by healthcare providers in any country except Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the U.S.

While much of the talk around medical education and pharma has focused on the controversy over a lack of transparency, one resulting trend has been more pharma companies moving away from paying doctors to speak at conferences and shifting to webinars and virtual conferences and meetings to relay information to physicians. GlaxoSmithKline, for instance, instituted a hard stop on paying doctors at conferences by Jan. 1 of this year and has moved to digital platforms that allow doctors to tune in on their own time for information.

The push by doctors away from sales reps also plays into the growth of virtual information platforms from pharma companies.