We interviewed Alexander Wielohorski, the General Manager of the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine of America, to find out how he transitioned the Academy’s programs over to Livestorm to provide a better online classroom experience and save their business.
The International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine of America (IAOM-US) was founded in 1988 on the vision of contributing the highest standard of clinical examination and treatment principles in orthopedic medicine and manual therapy. The IAOM offers promising paths to up-and-coming physicians and physical therapists seeking to continue their education and become Complete Clinicians. Besides boasting a roster of the best instructors, practicing physicians, and physical therapists, the Academy’s courses are also a part of the doctorate program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Results with Livestorm
of courses moved to Livestorm
of business saved
We had the pleasure of speaking with Alexander Wielohorski, the IAOM’s sharp-witted General Manager who joined the team in June 2020 to not only oversee all of the IAOM’s departments but also breathe life back into the company.
His primary focus was to ensure that the IAOM’s various programs got filled by their two categories of students: the physical and orthopedic therapists who needed their continuing education credits in order to be able to renew their licenses, and the doctors who wanted to update their knowledge in order to become more specialized and/or treat more effectively.
In the world of medicine, the integrity of classes and course materials is very important. Alexander explained that graduates are expected “to be able to diagnose precisely and treat effectively”. In order to deliver such a high caliber of education, students needed an environment that was conducive to learning.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, 95% of the IAOM’s courses were conducted in person where the instructor would travel to where the students were. The other 5% consisted of pre-recorded course material that students had to watch before attending the in-person courses.
As the pandemic gripped the world, the IAOM had to cancel all their courses, causing their income to plummet to zero and putting their entire business at risk. Alexander had to act fast to reinvent the format of IAOM’s courses, taking as much as possible online.
Alexander explained that they fell into the same group as everyone else and tried Zoom. He told us that while the platform worked, they ran into a lot of issues:
We would have situations where we needed technical support and they either took too long or never got back to us. We felt that we were pretty much alone on this.
Further, he explained:
The second problem, which was also what broke the relationship, was that as we started growing our online offering, we needed to be able to run sessions simultaneously in the same time slot. We couldn't do this with Zoom unless we subscribed to a very expensive package.
Because the IAOM was still recovering from the pandemic, the General Manager simply could not justify upgrading their subscription. He decided that he needed to look for a better solution.
Working with his Operations Manager, who contributed his IT perspective, Alexander narrowed down their platform choices to two: BigMarker and the popular Zoom alternative called Livestorm. The decision ultimately came down to pricing, the ability to run multiple sessions simultaneously, and customer service. He told us:
Business is conducted with people and not with companies. The whole process of the negotiations, training, and testing with Livestorm was great. You were willing to work together with us.
With a reliable new enterprise account in hand, Alexander implemented Livestorm by rolling out a series of internal testing, moving all of the IAOM’s internal meetings over to the new platform. With the assistance of his dedicated Customer Success Manager at Livestorm, Alexander then ran mock sessions to simulate the virtual classroom setting, involving their instructors and getting their team members to join as attendees and pose as students.
Satisfied with the experience, he then started moving IAOM’s live, two-hour classes over to Livestorm. Because Alexander had an account with five hosts, he was able to run up to five classes simultaneously.
In addition to official course material, the Academy also introduced supplementary webinars that invited not only students but also the general public to learn more about practical medical topics, such as the management of persistent pain. These webinars were led by seasoned doctors, who brought their subject-matter expertise, and moderated by Alexander’s team and their Customer Success Manager at Livestorm.
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Since new IAOM courses would start every two weeks, Alexander and his team were still successively rolling out Livestorm when we spoke to him. However, in the span of just four months, he told us that he had already noticed some key results.
The success of Livestorm was being measured on the quality of the online classroom experience, and Alexander found that peace of mind came easily. He said:
With Livestorm, 90% of the glitches were human and not platform-related.
This equated to fewer tech-related interruptions and an environment that was conducive to learning. He also found Livestorm’s recordings, relied upon by students from different time zones, to be better compared to those of Zoom’s.
While pricing and customer service originally won Alexander and the IAOM team over, the various engagement features of Livestorm added to the interactivity of their classes. The sidebar facilitated interaction during each virtual class and the analytics (a feature that was not available on their Zoom subscription) provided a great bird’s-eye view on engagement. Alexander said that it was still too early to share metrics, but that he definitely noticed an increase in interaction among students.
The third key result that came from moving the IAOM’s programs to Livestorm was business savings since instructors were no longer required to travel as frequently to teach in-person classes. Alexander confirmed:
The beauty of online (courses) is that it cuts down on business expenses. We had planned on this being temporary, but are now looking at a 50/50 split between online and in-person courses.
This was a crucial piece to helping the Academy recover from a challenging 2020 and maintain the best educators.
Over the months to come, Alexander told us that the IAOM will continue to transition their programs to Livestorm, phasing out Zoom altogether. He said:
Livestorm is being used across our entire ecosystem and it’s very easy to use. You’re a young company that's willing to adapt and listen to your users.
They are proud to be able to offer a first-class learning experience to their students, no longer have to worry about investing additional dollars in order to be able to run multiple classes simultaneously, and can recover from the difficult year that was 2020.
To get the same results as the IAOM, create a free account on Livestorm now.
Tuesday, October 26th - 3:00 PM
Started 5m ago