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Interactive Medical Content for Greater HCP Engagement​

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are inundated with different types of digital content from multiple sources. Medical Affairs teams want to ensure that their communication of key scientific information and clinical trial data stands out as a valuable resource for HCPs. One of the most promising and widely adopted measures to achieve better engagement is the adoption of interactive medical content, that delivers complex scientific information in a relatively easy manner while simultaneously engaging the HCPs. “Interactive content for scientific exchange” refers to the use of interactive, electronic tools in a face-to-face discussion or an online meeting between Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) and HCPs. Interactive content is different from other forms of content as it allows the HCPs to play an active role in the discussion and thereby derive a greater value from the conversation. It provides HCPs with greater autonomy to absorb specific content at their pace and requirement, thereby adding more meaning and value to the interactions.
As HCPs become more exposed to virtual engagements, their preferences for content consumption have also evolved. HCPs want simple and bite-sized content that is interactive and easily consumable. Their digital experience of engaging with other industries, such as e-commerce, banking, travel, and hospitality, as well as media and entertainment, is shaping their expectations for their engagement with pharma and especially Medical Affairs. They no longer wish to be passive participants and prefer two-way interactions that allow them to engage with the content and have a better say in how the conversations evolve.
This white paper aims to discuss the current state of adoption of interactive medical content by the Medical Affairs teams and provide recommendations on how these teams can design and deliver a great customer experience using interactive content in their HCP engagement strategy.

Interactive Medical Content Provides Strategic Benefits

The Medical Affairs Digital Strategy Council, a #FutureReadyHealthcare initiative orchestrated by Indegene, commissioned a survey in 2021 to explore digital evolution through the lens of Medical Affairs across 15 biopharma organizations. The survey highlighted that 33% of the respondents had implemented an interactive medical content strategy and 40% were planning to do so (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Status of implementing digital capabilities in Medical Affairs at a global level
Have you implemented the following digital capabilities at a global level?
© Aspirations vs Actuality – Medical Affairs Digital Strategy
Companies that are implementing an interactive medical content strategy have a composite best practice score of 60 (Figure 2). This is inclusive of both the development and the use of interactive content. These data reflect that Medical Affairs teams are prioritizing the adoption of interactive content given its strategic benefits for HCP engagement.
Barriers such as lack of resources, expertise in developing interactive content, regulatory and compliance concerns, budget, and bandwidth constraints do impact the pace of execution. Despite these limiting factors, Medical Affairs teams are confident that they will receive the necessary leadership support to implement interactive content on a larger scale once its positive effect on the overall HCP engagement journey is demonstrated.
Figure 2: Digital Excellence (DX) best practice scores
© Aspirations vs Actuality – Medical Affairs Digital Strategy
A decrease in the frequency of in-person engagement has further emphasized the need for creating high-quality content that can be packaged in various formats and delivered over digital channels on the basis of HCP preferences. Interactive content provides the Medical Affairs team with the toolbox that can deliver this differentiated experience. It can help in changing the course of a discussion or sequence of pages based on responses or inputs provided by the HCPs. Thus, it not only helps in grabbing the attention of HCPs but also increases the chances of HCPs retaining the content long term.
Interactive content also has the advantage of gathering valuable first-party HCP data that provide additional insights into HCPs’ behavior and preferences. These insights act as valuable inputs for refining the engagement strategy with HCPs and provide the Medical Affairs team with an opportunity to course-correct and make changes based on the inputs received through HCP interactions. Eventually, these insights contribute to high-end HCP profiles and a better understanding of the requirements and preferences of HCPs.

Key Considerations for Delivering Interactive Medical Content

Although the benefits of delivering interactive medical content are many, the process itself is time and resource intensive. The content must be interactive in a true sense so that HCPs can easily engage, provide inputs, and share feedback. This can be achieved through various options such as integrating surveys, polls, quizzes, and voice-overs or by using technology such as augmented reality, interactive videos, and virtual reality.

Content relevancy over fancy technology

An important aspect is that the focus should be on the relevance of content and meeting the expectations of HCPs. Technology, a means to achieve better HCP engagement, should not take precedence over the relevancy of content that should continue to be the driving factor. Thus, technology should be viewed from the lens of how it can deliver the relevant content effectively and interactively and not become the key factor or divert the focus from developing pertinent and personalized content for the HCPs.
An in-depth understanding of the preferences of HCPs can help the Medical Affairs teams in building their strategy for interactive medical content.

Interactive content is time and resource intensive. It can be very valuable but if the interactive content doesn’t work across different devices, browsers, and channels it can impede a global rollout

Robin Winter-Sperry

Global Field Medical Lead, Ipsen

Digital savviness of HCPs should drive the interactive content

It is important to understand that the preference of HCPs for interactive medical content is strongly influenced by their digital affinity. Factors such as experience level, geography, specialty, and daily schedule influence an HCPs digital savviness. Therefore, segmenting the HCPs on the basis of their preferences and affinity is necessary to ensure that the Medical Affairs teams can derive maximum value from their investments and efforts in interactive medical content. This will also help them plan resource and budget allocation better based on the complexity of interactive content required for a specific HCP cluster/segment.

Interactive content is an incredibly powerful medium to gather real-time insights and feedback from the HCPs. These insights can help in making strategic decisions as well as change the course of a discussion based on answers provided by the HCPs

Ravi Tayi

CMO and Head GMA, Endo Pharmaceuticals

Automation to deliver efficient and sustainable interactive content

While the relevancy of content is of paramount importance, it is equally important to get this content delivered in a manner that is efficient and sustainable. The Medical Affairs teams need to deliver personalization at scale and ensure that the content is Medical Legal Regulatory (MLR) approved. This is where investments in solutions such as automated modular content and tier-based MLR approvals can benefit and vastly improve the effectiveness of interactive content for engaging the HCPs.

Interactive content is not just about making things fancy or chasing the shiny objects. One needs to keep things simple and relevant to make the HCP engagement effective and sustainable

Jung Hyun Lee

PharmD, Sr. Director, Medical Information Operations Excellence, AstraZeneca

Use engagement metrics to decode HCP preference

Engagement metrics can also provide valuable information on the content preferences of HCPs. It is critical to ensure that the right data are captured from interactive electronic tools regarding the HCP interactions, for example, what screens/ pages are consumed, time spent on each page, medical and scientific content used, and sequence of consumption. At the same time, the Medical Affairs teams should also consider shifting from the traditional volume or time-based metrics to ones that are a true measurement of engagement and experience.

Collaboration Among Stakeholders for Effective Interactive Content Strategy

Building an effective strategy for interactive medical content starts with a greater collaboration among all the stakeholders that are involved—the Medical Affairs, IT, the field medical, legal, and compliance teams, as well as the HCPs. Strong collaboration will ensure clarity on the content that needs to be delivered in an interactive manner, the type of technology that will be relevant, and the way the content will be rendered to the HCPs. The global teams should also incorporate feedback and inputs from the local teams. This will ensure that the best practices are applied across the organization and will allow teams to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Understanding potential biases for the use of technology held by compliance, field medical team, clinicians or others is key. Medical Affairs must be at the forefront to assess and adapt policies and procedures to address the use of evolving technology for exchange of scientific information.

Meg Heim

President, Heim Global Consulting

In Conclusion

With so much content being generated every day, interactive medical content can help HCPs to transition from being mere passive listeners to active participants. The engagement data measured during these interactions can eventually help in building high-end HCP profiles and delivering dynamic and relevant content in real-time, based on HCP preferences. These will eventually help Medical Affairs teams to make changes that lead to greater engagement and scientific exchange in our HCP interactions.
Learn more about the changes in DX Score (2022 Versus 2021) and Global and Local Adoption of Digital in Medical Interactive Content.


Medical Affairs Digital Strategy Council | Indegene. www.indegene.com. Accessed August 11, 2022
Aspiration vs Actuality – Assessing the progress of digital excellence in Medical Affairs | Indegene. www. indegene.com. Accessed August 11, 2022


The white paper is written by the members of the Medical Affairs Digital Strategy with active contribution from
Mary Alice Dwyer
Ravi Tayi
CMO and Head GMA, Endo
Meg Heim
President, Heim Global Consulting
Dominick Albano
VP, Pfizer
Andrew Fariello
VP, AstraZeneca
Maureen Feeney
VP, Takeda
Catrinel Galateanu
Sarah Guadagno
VP, Alexion
Rick Harms
Executive Director, Merck
Michael Kavanaugh
Executive Director, Boehringer Ingelheim
Jung Hyun Lee
Sr. Director, AstraZeneca
Deb Long
SVP, Vertex
Roy Palmer
Global Medical Affairs Operations Lead, Pfizer
Fran Paradiso-Hardy
VP, Astellas Pharma
Jennifer Riggins
President, JSR Medical Affairs Consulting
Bill Strickland
VP, Elevar
Richard Swank
Head Global/US Field Medical, Amgen
Dave Tang
VP, AbbVie
Robin Winter-Sperry
Global Field Medical Lead, Ipsen
Thierry Auperin
VP, Alnylam
Writing support was provided by Nisha Laju and Kay Uttech.
DISCLAIMER — The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this white paper belong solely to the authors, and not to their respective employers or any other organizations.