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Generative AI Virtual Assistants: The Superpower of Field Force in Pharma

25 June 2024
There is little question that sales reps need quick and accurate information for consistently productive meetings with healthcare professionals (HCPs). However, traditional methods of preparing and managing these engagements often fall short, resulting in missed opportunities. Enter Generative AI Virtual Assistants, which have the potential to expand field force capabilities and efficiencies in ways previously unimaginable.
At the recent PMSA Annual Conference 2024, Nitin Raizada from Indegene and Maria Robles from Astellas discussed about this game-changer for pharma sales reps during their presentation. Here are the top four takeaways from their talk.
The industry-wide challenge
Consider this.
Scenario A:  Sales rep, Alexa collates all the information to prepare for her meeting with the HCP from different sources—prior conversations with first line managers, medical science liaisons, available dashboards and reports, and support team.
Scenario B: Alexa relies on support team to know which HCP from her top customers’ list is most likely to engage with her email on approval of a new indication for a drug she is promoting.
This current set up requires large support teams and is riddled with multiple challenges including, inconsistency in responses, extended resolution timelines, higher operational costs, lack of recency in information, and lack of real-time or near real-time personalization.
So, what can pharma companies do differently to address these challenges and provide robust and prompt support to their field force?
Top 4 takeaways you can’t overlook
Here’s a quick summary of the key talking points.
1. Upgrade to GenAI virtual assistants
Generative AI powered virtual assistants bring a new level of efficiency and personalization that traditional methods simply can’t match. This is how extensive capabilities of GenAI surpass conventional virtual assistants.
Adaptable and scalable:  Equipped to tackle diverse business problems and adapts quickly without extensive reprogramming. Moreover, it ensures scalability without operational downtime
Natural language understanding: GenAI virtual assistants enable human-like interactions, allowing understanding of context and true intent while generating unbiased responses
Continuous learning: It improves response accuracy over time based on incremental data points, support team interactions, and near real-time feedback from field force
Expedited processing: Opposed to conventional virtual assistants, GenAI-powered assistants handles data variations effectively and utilize parallel processing, speeding up the exploration of potential solutions
Hyper-personalization: It customizes responses as per the need of your field force and provides real-time or near real-time personalized notifications
2. Make front and back-end work for a seamless experience
The building blocks of the GenAI virtual assistants—front-end user interface and back-end data processing should integrate seamlessly to provide accurate and contextually relevant support to your sales reps.
So, instead of going through the ticket system and SLAs (service-level agreements) for solving queries, Alexa, the sales rep can ask for virtual assistant for help on-the-go. Additionally, these smart assistants can deliver proactive next-best action (NBA) alerts and recommendations to enhance customer (HCPs/HCOs) engagement based on omnichannel interactions.
Generative AI Virtual Assistants: The Superpower of Field Force in Pharma
3. Build smarter and more efficient virtual assistants using training and fine-tuning
This primarily involves three main steps.
Start with a pre-trained model
This model converts human language to machine language but is still not configured to specific business cases.
Fine tune it
Fine-tuning based on parameter optimization, performance evaluation using specified metrics, iterative improvement through different prompts converts this pre-trained model to a fine-tune model.
Deploy it while ensuring continuous improvement
Deploy fine-tuned model in the real-world supported by oversight from data scientists, and enhance its accuracy and efficiency through feedback from users and incremental data points. Another critical aspect of continuous improvement is the bot’s ability to evolve and adapt to new tools and technologies which further enhance its capability and performance.
This process ensures your GenAI virtual assistant is perfectly tailored to your business needs.
4. Supercharge your field force with multiple use cases
GenAI virtual assistants can revolutionize day-to-day operations and interactions through multi-faceted support.
Personal assistant anytime, anywhere: One-stop solution for all your sales reps needs, providing experience as seamless as a human conversation—be it responding to their queries or prompting with actionable alerts.
Accelerated onboarding: Provides step-by-step guidance, protocol explanations, and best practices for new field team members. For instance, as simple as sharing onboarding recommendations with the new sales rep.
Self-service: Offers support for multiple teams (field, home office, market access) on a single interface; sales reps can even respond to an analytical query from the home office.
Customized content generation: Delivers personalized support for sales rep in creating personalized communication for HCPs including emails.
But that’s just the beginning. For real-world impact, GenAI virtual assistants have been shown to resolve 65% of field force queries in real time and reduce human intervention and manual efforts by 70%.
GenAI virtual assistants are a game changer for pharma field force. By integrating these smart assistants, pharma companies can transform their field force by making them more agile, data-driven, and HCP-focused. Leveraging advanced GenAI capabilities and industry nuances, these new-age virtual assistants can address multiple use cases, helping you navigate the complexities of HCP interactions.  

Insights to build #FutureReadyHealthcare