To be a market leader in medical technology, it is not sufficient to just design and create the best product. The differentiation often comes down to the product story and who narrates it. Collaborating with a well-known key opinion leader (KOL), who genuinely believes in and is willing to advocate objectively for your product, is an invaluable resource for driving technology adoption in the healthcare industry.
Engaging KOLs for this activity is as much art as science. Here are some ways KOLs can support the adoption of medical technology – provide product development feedback, speak at industry events, network with peers, participate in advisory groups and clinical and marketing studies, author and publish articles and white papers in relevant media, and review sales, marketing, and patient education content.
KOL management is traditionally a handmade personalized approach to forming lasting relationships with stalwarts in respective therapeutic areas. Anything personalized is resource-intensive and an expensive affair. This need not be so. The right technology can significantly make engagements effective, efficient, and budget-friendly. Through our 3-step approach Map-Maintain-Measure, we will show you how this can be achieved.
Map - Start with answering the question, “Who are my KOLs?”
KOLs are certified medical device compliance professionals having a high procedural volume who can adopt the new device technology and remote diagnostic trends. They can also assess the financial implications of medical device recalls empirically.
KOL mapping is often reliant on the regional knowledge of the local marketing team. The importance of each KOL is often subjective and their impact cannot be estimated with any certainty. In addition, it is challenging to identify who the next big leaguer will be – the next rising star of a particular therapy area. For this, information must be objectively inferred by keeping up with multiple sources of data including, but not limited to, medical publications, medical device registrie, hospital affiliations, and conference participation. Leverage technology to search, sort, and store this as a list in a central repository accessible throughout your organization.
Maintain the history of engagements with identified KOLs at a central place such that there is visibility at an organization level.
The following information can greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of KOL management – meeting outcomes and actions, engagement across conferences, webinars, advisory boards, research studies, pilot trials and group purchasing organizations, schedules of future engagements and design or technology selections, talking points for their social media profiles and professional credentials or scientific and academic achievements.
Some of the aforementioned data points are extremely important for personalizing the conversations. This can be done by combining professional, academic, and social profiles in the public domain to create insights for interactions. This wealth of information in the form of unstructured data sources can be harnessed through advanced analytics techniques to generate deep insights into KOLs top causes, their areas of interest, treatment preferences, and needs. For more information on how unstructured data can be used to achieve this, you can read this insightful article.
Measure how effective the KOL engagement outcomes are and create visibility around it at all required levels in the organization. Once KOLs are invested in the success of your products and solutions, endeavor to develop a long-term relationship with them. To maximize the effectiveness of their input, develop an approach that links every part of the end-to-end value chain, from R&D to sales.
KOL management gives a competitive advantage to medical technology companies and it need not be a cost-intensive activity. Following the Map-Maintain-Measure approach, with a smart combination of medical and technological proficiency for data mining and the use of AI-enabled automation, we can bring in the desired outcomes.