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Why heading online for scientific meetings can yield greater HCP engagement

Modern conferencing methods, with enhanced digital information transfers, offer unique opportunities for greater HCP engagement.

In the good old days, HCPs would refer to their extensive collection of journals and textbooks to refresh their memories on conditions and their relevant treatment. To ensure HCP engagement, all pharma had to do was
issue brochures or leaflets, or publish scientific papers. Learning was a physical thing, obtained from objects you actually held in your hands.

And it was exclusive. Those outside the medical sphere of learning had little chance of reading up on matters of medicine or health. Patients arriving at the surgery or clinic would hang on every word of diagnosis, trusting their physician’s almost magical knowledge of the mysteries of the human body, it’s ailments and cures. Back in those days, the world seemed a more innocent place.

The demands of today’s patients

Flash forward to today’s typical doctor’s surgery, and the ranks of bookshelves are replaced with a single computer monitor. And the patient? He or she arrives armed with a wealth of information and a long list of informative web sites they’ve already consulted. They’re ready to argue with HCP opinion, put forward their own diagnosis, and even recommend their own courses of treatment.  

In these days of universal access to knowledge, the ways in which HCPs work and learn has changed beyond recognition within just a few short years. With so much information available at the click of a mouse, pharma needs to adopt equally rapid-access to knowledge if they want to capture, and hold, HCP attention.   

New conferencing methods

The old fashioned medical or scientific meetings still have value, but methods of imparting information and ways of delegate interaction have changed. Some things will always stay the same, of course, and there are certain aspects to physical meetings that digital alternatives just can’t beat, such as:

  • the real-time exchange of ideas
  • direct interaction with key opinion leaders (KOLs)
  • participation in panel discussions.
  • the stimulation of a live audience
  • accidental or arranged meetings and talks in the corridor
  • building a living network, comprised of faces and complete with voices.    

Conferences do, in fact, offer a unique opportunity to blend the best of both virtual and 3D worlds. They open up new avenues to HCP engagement and provide ways to extend the value of information presented during physical meetings.  

Lectures and discussions could be transcribed and distributed amongst delegates, either via flash drives or as downloadable PDFs. During virtual, interactive presentations it would be possible to build-in teaching modules, offering HCP’s the chance to self-test their learning. Making such materials available to delegates beyond the end of the conference would mean far greater opportunity to study and internalise the information at a later date.

Future-proofing today’s information

Far from being optional, if predictions come true that the Internet will become the sole source of HCP information in future years, digitally compiling information will become mandatory. The prediction may not come to pass for a few years yet, but we already have electronically stored medical records, and the technology for ever more digitisation and integration already exists.  HCP’s use a range of digital devices to interact during conferences, for instance, and this natural tendency should be harnessed by conference organisers to enhance HCP engagement.

This blog was originally published here:

20th April 2018



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