Using asynchronous virtual engagement to gain more new, actionable insights and increase differentiation
Getting more feedback to identify market opportunities
Pharmaceutical teams often convene a post-market advisory board to gather physician perspectives and feedback about a product, patient experience, and unmet needs or gaps in educational materials. This insight can be used in several ways to provide opportunities for further differentiation and distinction in the market.
A medical affairs team wanted to obtain new insight from physicians to understand better the effect of gender and sex on a neurological condition and to identify educational needs and gaps for treatment practitioners regarding sex and gender. The team’s objectives included:
- Gather insights on how sex differences may impact disease state pathophysiology, prognosis, and disease presentation
- Identify sex and gender differences that may impact patient experience, including outcome measures, access to care, and use of therapeutics for the condition
- Obtain guidance on the variable impact of the condition over the lifespan in women, transgender individuals, and those receiving hormone supplementation
- Identify and understand educational gaps and needs for women’s health specific to the disease
Typically, the team engaged physicians in a face-to-face advisory board meeting. Due to scheduling difficulties, the team decided to use a new approach: a virtual advisory board meeting with an over-time format, meaning advisors would log in to an online platform over about a week to answer questions and discuss different topics.
“When we go into in-person meetings we really expect maybe 10% something new, 90% things we’ve heard already. This was more of a 30-70% split or 40-60% because they were able to give us some things we didn’t know. We knew there were efficiencies and data generation and where they were, but we didn’t know ways to execute on that or how they were dealing with it in their clinics.
We got more tactical feedback – specifically how to help those resources, improve them, what data to add, what data to take away, and what words to avoid. When you’re in-person with advisors, they have 30 minutes to think…it’s not as well thought out or laid out.” – Medical affairs team lead
The team held the virtual advisory board meeting on the Within3 insights management platform, with the Within3 client success team providing consultation around session design, moderator involvement, and other critical aspects of the meeting. The team wanted to ask the advisors around 30 questions – fewer than in a typical in-person setting, but with qualitative and quantitative inquiries to obtain holistic feedback—and solicit input on existing resources via Within3’s document annotation tool.
During the nine-day meeting, the advisors could log in and contribute to the discussion anytime from any connected device. The questions were released over several days to encourage the advisors to continue logging in and to avoid fatigue. Moderators repurposed what would have been primary questions in a face-to-face meeting as follow-up questions to prompt further discussion of interesting points.
“A couple of advisors were brand new. A lot of times in these meetings, when there are global experts in the room, new advisors tend to not speak as much. But not only did the new advisors contribute more than I would have imagined, they also got the conversation on a really good trail of thought as a result of having that more innovative thinking.” – Medical affairs team lead
The team received results from the over-time meeting that were comparable to or an improvement over a traditional in-person meeting:
- Up to 30-40% new information, instead of around 10% new information obtained in face-to-face meetings
- An increase in the amount of tactical feedback about how to improve existing resources, including what data to add or omit
- More specific information about real-world experiences in clinical settings
- A richer variety of responses from different advisors, some of whom may have contributed less in a face-to-face setting
After the virtual ad board, the team examined the volume of information gathered during the session and explored additional avenues of action based on the expanded feedback versus an in-person meeting. The team also planned to discuss how they might leverage Within3 to engage new stakeholders, including new practitioner types and audiences that are less available to travel to face-to-face meetings.