When facilitating peer-to-peer interactions between KOLs and prescribing healthcare practitioners, Medical Affairs professionals need to take multiple therapeutic areas into account and adopt an independent view when assessing clinical value. This requires continuous monitoring of the latest scientific data, clinical guidances, and controversies. Moreover, both Medical Affairs executives and field professionals have to quickly respond to changes in science across therapeutic areas, assess the clinical value, and analyze risk versus benefit trade-offs.
Today, Medical Affairs professionals track new scientific data through corporate medical information and library resources. However, the various approvals and processes in big companies may slow down the dissemination of information, so Medical Affairs field personnel may experience time lags while physicians can acquire new data directly from online resources.
As a Medical Affairs executive, I continuously track new scientific data in two therapeutic areas: Immunology and Cancer. Both areas include multiple novel technologies which result in scientific publications across many medical journals.
While there are several approaches to staying in touch with the new data, I will share three that I’ve tried at different stages of my career in Medical Affairs.
1. Case app for medical professionals.
Case is designed for healthcare and Medical Affairs professionals to stay up-to-date on all newly published data in my focus areas as well as in multiple medical topics. Interestingly, Case uses Google’s machine learning algorithms to personalize my digest over time. Case also takes into account which articles I’ve viewed, saved, or shared, as well as feedback from other users, to bring me the most impactful research—at the right time. Case is easy-to-use and doesn’t spam my email—instead it notifies me when a new weekly digest of data is available.
2. Custom Feedly channels to gather scientific news on your topic.
After registering your account with Feedly, you may customize your news list by entering your topic (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis) on the «Discover and Follow» page. Feedly will provide you with a list of resources that you can follow. Feedly integrates with your web browser, appearing as a clickable icon that redirects you to your Feedly Page, where all of your news feeds are found. Also, you may download Feedly to your mobile devices. However, the websites you are following are not posting all of the newly published article summaries—only the most impactful ones. So this option works if you just want to stay up-to-date with higher levels of information.
3. Automatic NCBI Searches and new record alerts.
If you want to monitor all publications in a certain field, you will probably choose the NCBI tool. If you already have an account, just save a search on your topic of interest and set up the alert schedule with your chosen frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) and date of notification. You may save as many searches as you wish, so you can monitor new medical publications in all areas you are responsible for. In order to modify your search, you will have to login to your account, remove the search, perform another search, and save it. This option works well for Medical Affairs professionals who are responsible for a limited number of medical topics.
The combination of these three approaches will help Medical Affairs professionals continuously monitor the newly published data in multiple therapeutic areas. However, I came to eventually prefer the first two options only due to intrusive spamming from NCBI services.
What are some of your favorite tools for keeping up-to-date with scientific research? Please share your favorites on Twitter with @pm360online.