Please describe how MSLs can foster innovation within their medical science liaison group?
Innovation is a team sport. A critical first step in creating an innovation team is to get the creative minds in your department participating, along with your technology experts. Once that team is formed it is important to set an environment for change and creative thinking. Finally, you need clear direction for the team with a focused approach to innovating around a specific topic or opportunity. Obstacles that can detour your efforts include virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings, compliance restriction, costs, and duplication of similar efforts within the organization. Without the full support of upper management your efforts may be futile.
What are some ways MSL teams can become more innovative with KOLs?
The medical science liaison value proposition is straightforward. Innovation can focus on how MSLs bring information or opportunities to KOLs and also on how MSLs bring back KOL insights that can inform strategies to better impact KOLs and the practice of medicine. Capabilities now exist for MSLs to arrange virtual advisory boards, conduct remote study site visits, and to connect immediately in real time with KOLs that have clinical questions. Healthcare companies with expertise in data management are creating solutions that can assist the MSL department in documenting KOL feedback, compiling reports, and turning raw data into usable information that the MSLs can adapt for better KOL engagements.
How can technology be used to support interactions?
Technology is the fast lane on the road to innovative approaches to KOL interactions. Comfort levels with emerging technology varies widely within the MSL community and also with KOLs. Critical elements for MSLs to successfully engage in remote interactions include a simple, reliable platform, an understanding of when alternative modalities are effective, and the preferences of the KOL you are engaging. Surveys indicate that the majority of KOLs rate their experiences and preferences with virtual engagements to be low as compared to face to face interactions. Understanding the context for these views and creating workable solutions is the next critical step for moving these alternative modalities into common practice.
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