ONCOBOARD Virtual Community of Oncology Experts

Virtual collaboration platforms – why they are a must

Traditionally, pharma has engaged with stakeholders during physical meetings to seek input. In today’s environment, however, healthcare providers are less and less inclined to travel across the globe for a 1- or 2-day meeting. This puts pharma companies under pressure, as they continue to have a need for insights into treatment patterns, and filling meetings with their top-tier stakeholders becomes a challenge. Fortunately, the internet has continued to develop at a very rapid pace and provides great opportunities and additional benefits to engage with the same audience digitally and anonymously. Virtual collaboration platforms are one of these opportunities providing unbiased insights into the oncology landscape.

Here are 3 reasons why each medical or commercial lead in pharma should set up virtual collaboration platforms, along with key reasons for starting to use virtual collaboration platforms today:

Get input fast
Getting global key opinion leaders (KOLs) together multiple times per year requires planning up to months in advance. This involves not only getting everything organized on your end, but also allowing adequate time for advisors to free up their schedule. The advantage of collaboration platforms is that new input can be requested in a very short timeframe, and will also be available very quickly. Within a few days (or even a couple of hours) answers to a question can become available. In a matter of days you’ll have a very good sense of what the general position of the opinion leaders is. Another advantage is that instead of grappling with a full-day agenda, it is very easy to build the platform around multiple smaller topics.

The online discussion can be prepared well in advance, making this the perfect insights gathering approach directly after a main oncology conference, or after the market launch of a new compound, allowing to understand the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the new compound and its alternatives on the market.

Compared to offline advisory board collaborations, online discussion boards are more anonymous, providing unbiased, hence better quality output. There is no physical interaction between pharma attendees who can observe the discussion online, without the identity of the participants being disclosed. At the same time, participants know they are discussion topics in on independent online environment, allowing them to speak more freely amongst themselves. All these benefits at substantially less than the overall price tag for a live meeting.

Convenient for your stakeholders
Participating advisors will surely appreciate the fact that they can provide input from wherever they are, whenever that want, using their preferred device. In addition, they will save a lot of time, as they do not need to travel.

Will collaboration platforms completely replace live meetings? Absolutely not! Building a personal relationship is a very important element for successful virtual collaboration. And for more in-depth discussions, live meetings are better suited. So a blend of live meetings and virtual collaboration tools is the ideal setup for key stakeholder engagement.