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Jelena Spyropoulos

Executive Director, Sales and Strategy Team Lead, Medscape

Better informed cardiologists will improve outcomes for patients. It is essential to ensure the most up to date information reaches more people.

The cardiology industry never stands still. There is a greater need than ever to deliver more and better education about cardiovascular conditions to cardiology professionals – and now to patients, high risk groups and the public.

“Cardiovascular medicine and treatment are becoming a partnership that includes patients. Wider continuing medical education and public awareness will improve cardiovascular health,” says Jelena Spyropoulos, Executive Director, Sales and Strategy Team Lead at Medscape.

Spreading the word around the world

Medscape, a cardiology platform providing educational resources for cardiologists and the wider HCP community, started in the US but is now accessible in the UK through the acquisition of specialist healthcare publisher MGP. It has also been extended to more than 5 million physicians across every country worldwide. In addition to the UK, it has language and country -specific editions in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, where it delivers news and education about cardiology developments in those markets in their national languages.

People can meet live or virtually which is much more accessible now that flying to meetings is more difficult.

Staying ahead of educational needs

Over the years the platform has evolved but remains focussed on key pillars of educational need:

First, it delivers education to cardiologists when they need it and how they need. For example, it routinely polls their members about their specific needs via surveys and need assessments. Based on those needs, it has introduced ‘microlearning’ for cardiologists seeking specific information on demand. “We now offer a range of videos that are typically less than five minutes long,” says Spyropoulos. “They are more user-friendly than the traditional long lectures, which is important as COVID-19 means cardiologists have less time to pursue information and continuing professional education.”

Second, it extends the reach of traditional live meetings and conferences by using their proprietary hybrid meeting platform. “People can meet live or virtually which is much more accessible now that flying to meetings is more difficult,” Spyropoulos says. “This also promotes equality in education because sessions are more cost efficient to access for specialists in lesser developed countries.”

Third, it offers parallel tracks of education for both HCPs and patients. “Patient and carer education is key to the success of treatment,” says Spyropoulos. In the past, patients largely gained information about their conditions from physicians, but now patients can find cardiovascular health education, including the benefits of exercise, nutrition and lifestyle, online. “Patient education is something we are skilled at, as our parent company is the healthcare education site WebMD,” says Spyropoulos.

We have seen truly remarkable innovations in cardiovascular science and clinical cardiovascular therapies, but we face an ongoing challenge. Across nations a major gap exists between what can be done, and is approved, and what is done in practice. Ongoing innovative education is critical in bridging this gap and in bringing the evidence to busy clinicians. [It] has been hugely successful in doing this with engaging, challenging and exciting educational platforms.

Keith AA Fox, Professor of Cardiology, University of Edinburgh 
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