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Modern Medical Affairs: Embracing Digital Agility and Customer Centricity

29 Oct 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on the vital role that functions such as medical information play within an organization at the time of a crisis. The pandemic has shown how Medical Affairs can rise to the challenge and take a leadership role in ensuring fast, efficient, and meaningful responses to all stakeholders using digital tools. In order to bring digital agility and customer centricity as the cornerstones for building a modern Medical Affairs organisation, the Medical Affairs Digital Strategy Council strives to achieve much greater cross functional collaboration, seeks to remove regulatory hurdles and evolve the measurement framework.

In its most recent whitepaper*, "From Aspiration to Action- Embracing a customer-centric mindset in Medical Affairs through digital transformation", this independent body of accomplished Medical Affairs professionals from around the world, is seeking to address challenges such as functional ownership of the customer, gaps in cross-functional collaboration between R&D, medical and commercial teams, and regulatory challenges to digital information-sharing. These operational and regulatory barriers have so far impeded the shift to an all-encompassing customer-centric digital approach by life science companies.

The paper sets out three core criteria for delivering good customer experience and interaction in Medical Affairs:

Human-centered design

  • Inspired and co-developed by the ultimate users
  • Intuitive, effortless user experience
  • Seamless experience and systems (omnichannel)
  • Aligned with the user's workflow with easy and quick access in real time
  • Individualization

  • Optimizes customer experience for each person
  • Uses a rich dataset to adapt and adjust the experience for each person
  • Responsive to the needs of each individual, ensuring geographical and cultural sensitivity and environmental and generational relevance
  • Trust

  • Credible, accurate, and evidence-based content across all channels
  • Transparency in how data is obtained and utilized
  • Reliability of service and speed of response
  • With science becoming more and more complex, HCPs are looking to pharmaceutical companies for high-level non-promotional scientific content and engagement. HCPs want to have immediate access to content as well as the ability to easily recall it for the future. The focus on personalization of healthcare delivery and characterization of individual patients also means there is an increasing need to differentiate based on outcomes and to optimize care delivery. Medical Affairs is uniquely positioned to lead in these areas with the deep-rooted scientific capabilities and expertise.

    The time is right to move from aspiration to action and drive the change that needs to happen to put the customer first and foremost in everything we do within Medical Affairs. This is a marathon, not a sprint, requiring long-term investment and commitment from leadership.

    Note: Medical Affairs Digital Strategy Council is an independent body of Medical Affairs specialists from the life science and biopharma companies in US and Europe supported by Indegene with the vision to help Medical Affairs organizations embrace technology and innovation through a digital and data-driven model. The objective is to further unlock growth and maximize impact across internal and external engagements.

    *From Aspiration to Action: Embracing a Customer-centric mindset in Medical Affairs through Digital Transformation