One of the biggest healthcare and technology shows has been forced to cancel due to growing concerns around COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) made the announcement on its website yesterday, saying it was “necessary” to cancel HIMSS20 following recent reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

HIMSS20 was due to take place from March 9-13 in Orlando, Florida and the event typically attracts more than 40,000 people every year. It is seen as one of the largest gatherings of health IT professionals, with US President, Donald Trump, due to speak at this year’s event.

In a statement, the organisers of HIMSS said it was the first time in 58 years that they’d had to cancel a show.

Hal Wolf, president and CEO of HIMSS, said: “We recognise all the hard work that so many have put into preparing for their presentations and panels that accompany every HIMSS conference.

“Based on evaluation of evolving circumstances and coordination with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making, it is clear that it would be an unacceptable risk to bring so many thousands of people together in Orlando next week.”

According to Modern Healthcare, a number of healthcare and technology companies had already pulled back on plans to attend HIMSS20. This included Amazon and Siemens Healthineers.

HIMSS said exhibitors and attendees will be contacted with further information regarding booth contracts and registrations.