Posted on January 15th, 2019 by Alex Teckkam
Posted in medDigital
Tagged Digital, digital health, Healthcare, medDigital, NHS, NHS Long Term Plan
How do you future-proof the NHS for the decade ahead? Not an easy question. However, it is one NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens sought to address as he launched the NHS Long Term Plan last week. The plan focuses on offering practical solutions to a wide range of key issues from how services will be delivered, to tackling health inequalities and ensuring staff have appropriate backing. But with the ongoing staffing crisis affecting the NHS and the fast-approaching cloud of Brexit uncertainty, will it be sustainable?
The prime minister announced an additional £20.5bn for the NHS over the next ten years. Using this fund, the plan looks to relieve some of the pressure on NHS staff by shifting the focus to earlier in the healthcare journey, to more preventative and community-focused strategies of improving population health. This approach is certainly welcomed. It is hoped that through the commitments set out in the plan to improve prevention, we will start to see increased collaboration between local governments, community services and the NHS.
Also welcomed is the focus on digitally-enabled care. The plan even sets out a vision for the NHS in ten years’ time:
‘The NHS will offer a ‘digital first’ option for most, allowing for longer and richer face-to-face consultations with clinicians where patients want or need it. Primary care and outpatient services will have changed to a model of tiered escalation depending on need. Senior clinicians will be supported by digital tools, freeing trainees’ time to learn. When ill, people will be increasingly cared for in their own home, with the option for their physiology to be effortlessly monitored by wearable devices. People will be helped to stay well, to recognise important symptoms early, and to manage their own health, guided by digital tools.’
It is great to see a realistic and practical approach to digital in the NHS, building on the vision of Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, to develop ‘the most advanced health and care system in the world’. The Long Term Plan outlines ten top level steps to drive digital transformation including using decision support and artificial intelligence (AI) to help clinicians apply best practice, and using intuitive tools to capture data in order to empower clinicians and reduce administrative burden.On a more tangible level, the plan explains that WiFi is being installed across the NHS and rollout of the NHS app has begun, which will provide people with online access to NHS 111, their GP record and the ability to book appointments from their phone.
Elsewhere, the plan outlines commitments to drastically improve cancer survival, provide much improved services for mental health and halving maternity-related deaths.
Overall, the NHS Long Term Plan has gained a positive response from many key stakeholders, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind and British Heart Foundation. However, there are concerns over long term sustainability. Success of the plan relies on adequate NHS staffing, however recent research by the King’s Fund has highlighted an estimated staff shortage of 250,000 or more by 2030. And, while initiatives have been proposed to solve this issue, attracting essential overseas workers may become even more complex depending on what instance of Brexit is delivered. Waking up to a no-deal reality on 29th March may well leave people asking the question ‘where will the money and the workers to deliver these NHS commitments come from?’
Despite this uncertainty, the NHS Long Term Plan does provide a pragmatic and practical approach to improving health and care services of the next ten years. Future-proofing the NHS is not an easy task, however we hope that this plan will benefit the health of all for the years to come.
 Health Foundation, King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust. The health and care workforce in England: make or break? 2018. https://www.health.org.uk/publications/the-health-care-workforce-in-england
By Alex Teckkam
Meta Title: The NHS Long Term Plan
Meta Description: Blog post on the strengths and weaknesses of the NHS Long Term Plan
Posted on December 13th, 2018 by Alex Teckkam
Posted in medDigital
At medDigital, we are evolving the dialogue between the life sciences industry, healthcare professionals and their patients to improve healthcare delivery for all.
Due to our continued international growth, we are hiring a Designer looking to progress their career in a dynamic and exciting environment. Working with both our internal team of Scientific Advisors and clients within the life sciences industry, this is an opportunity to take on a varied and interesting role. If you want to use innovation to help improve patient care, then you will fit in well with our team.
Join medDigital to help us evolve communication by:
- Collaborating with our team of Scientific Advisors to brainstorm and develop new ideas
- Sharing your expertise and creative ideas across therapy areas
- Developing storyboards and briefs
- Designing PowerPoint presentations, infographics and materials for social media
- Editing video recordings to a very high standard to produce material for brands, campaigns and events
- Creating and editing motion graphics to an excellent standard using a variety of software listed (but not limited to) below:
What do I need to apply?
- Excellent working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator
- Experience with Adobe Premiere or After Effects
What is desired?
- An exceptional eye and passion for crafting pixel-perfect designs
- Ability to show your skills with a portfolio that demonstrates range
- Excellent organisational skills
- Flexibility whilst working under pressure
- Familiarity with agile ways of working
- Experience and understanding of website design best practice
- A scientific background or experience is a plus but not essential as our team of Scientific Advisors will be on hand to work with you
What qualifications or authorisations do I need?
- Minimum of 3 + years of design experience
Where will I be based?
You will be based at our office on the London South Bank with skyline views, great events and free beer! Flexible working is also available. You will also need to visit our clients’ offices from time to time which may involve international travel.
- Competitive salary
- 6% qualifying earnings employer contribution PQM pension
- Private healthcare with BUPA
- Life Insurance (5x your basic annual salary)
- Generous 25-day annual leave allowance
- Team reward activities
- Laptop and current mobile phone
- Perkbox perks!
How can you apply?
To apply please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and complete our on-line application form: https://www.meddigital.com/hr/entry/
Posted on November 22nd, 2018 by Felix Jackson
Posted in medDigital
It is incredible to be writing this blog on the day of medDigital’s 10th birthday celebration. It has been an amazing 10 years.
I can still remember our first office in an old attic in Esher. It was so small and the roof so low that the three of us couldn’t all stand up at the same time. The floor was so wonky pens would roll off the desk if they were placed on the wrong perpendicular. We couldn’t even imagine that we’d now be a fantastic team of 20 people with our head office on the beautiful Southbank with free beer and a roof terrace overlooking the River Thames. Who knew what would grow out of such a cramped and wonky start. Auspicious beginnings, indeed.
Posted on October 22nd, 2018 by Alex Teckkam
Posted in medDigital
Tagged Conference, Digital, Digital Delivery, digital health, insightful science
Does Virtual Reality have a place in the pharmaceutical industry? At medDigital we certainly think so. And as the AR/VR sponsor at this year’s eyeforpharma Marketing and Customer Innovation conference, we were thrilled to see so many presentations, practical demonstrations and discussions dedicated to discussing this question.
Joerg Schaub (Eli Lily) began the discussion, asking “Virtual reality: buzzword or transformative tool?”. Joerg highlighted the fact that human desire for virtual reality is not a new concept. After all, 3D videos were first released in 1961 and the first virtual reality head gear appeared in 1994. Whilst the pharmaceutical industry is not driving the use of this technology, Joerg suggested it should be a potential channel for congresses, face-to-face events and the sales force, stressing that we need to be with our customers when they are using it. He presented a case study of how Lily have been using virtual reality in Dermatology to show HCPs different modes of action under the skin and to help improve their diagnosis of patients. He felt that VR was not a buzzword or a transformative tool but a channel with tangible applications.
Following on from Joerg’s presentation, our very own founder Felix Jackson hosted a round table discussion answering, “Is AI, AR, VR or Machine Learning being applied in pharma?”. This discussion resulted in several potential applications being highlighted for use including:
- Education and information showcasing key concepts such as biological mechanisms and mode of action
- To enhance the treatment of patients
- To provide disease awareness and educate patients about a condition and potential ways to prevent a condition or progression of a disease
- To assess a patient’s response to a treatment
There is clearly potential to use these technologies, with many of the above applications falling under the bracket of education. But when considering using VR in education we have to ask ourselves, how does it compare with other training methods? Does it actually help to improve retention of the information?
According to Abby Fleming (Janssen), the answer is yes. VR powered training allows HCPs to learn by doing, a training method shown to result in an average of 75% learning retention rate, far outweighing audio-visual (20%), reading (10%) and lectures (5%).
Janssen introduced their work using virtual reality nurse training in multiple myeloma to improve patient outcomes and minimise delay to treatment. The room was in awe as the Janssen team demonstrated their VR chemotherapy suite with data, prescriptions, graded symptoms and stats as well as in-built sound to hear the difference in patients’ symptoms. Janssen concluded that VR had vastly improved the confidence of the nurses and tackled their apprehension about using the technology.
As the conference came to an end, it was important to revisit the key question: Is VR still a buzzword or does it have real applications in our industry?
Case studies and discussion have shown us there can be powerful application of VR in this space particularly around education, awareness and training but as with all digital activities the channel should be chosen when it meets a need not because it’s a hot trend! Remember, while you may have great content, it must reach your customers in the way that they want to receive it in order to encourage an action, a meaningful engagement.
At medDigital we look forward to working with our customers to use VR to enhance learning and improve the patient experience. Attending conferences such as the eyeforpharma summit is key for us to be involved with the most up to date discussions and hear key learnings from industry experts. We now look to the 17th annual eyeforpharma Barcelona, held on 12th-14th March 2019. When we asked our Scientific Director Jess Thilaganathan for her thoughts on the upcoming conference she said:
‘In Barcelona next year we’re really looking forward to seeing the progress made in the next six months and how we can contribute to the evolution, with our founder Felix Jackson set to be on stage sharing medDigital’s latest insights.’
We hope to see you all there!
By Alex Teckkam
Meta Title: VR in the pharmaceutical industry
Meta Description: Blog post on opportunities of virtual reality in the pharmaceutical industry
Posted on October 10th, 2018 by Asimina Pantazi
Posted in medDigital
Tagged Conference, Digital, Digital Delivery, digital health, Innovation, insightful science
As the growth of XR (industry umbrella term for all things VR, AR and MR related) continues to gather momentum across both the consumer and enterprise sectors, it is a very exciting, and important time for vendors working across the value chain in the Healthcare sector.
Early disenchantment and doubts over the role of technology in delivering the level of value necessary for sustained investment have been replaced by solid academic evidence of human performance enhancement and an ever-increasing portfolio of case studies that demonstrate tangible value. None more so than across Pharma, Healthcare and Medicine.
Due to the unique benefits of XR and its transformative potential across almost every aspect of Healthcare, growth within the sector is predicted to reach $5.1 billion worldwide by 2025.
Benefits, such as the ability to overcome narrative and communication challenges posed by complexity, scale and distance. All three of which feature regularly across much of Pharma’s subject matter, and the products and services involved.
Or the level to which VR can improve message acquisition and recall by enhancing content with spatial context recreations, and passive content consumption by communication through active interactions.
Link to Alzheimer Research Case study
Augmented Reality, on the other-hand, can bring existing print materials to life using interactive, 3D content that has now been proved to generate x1.9 the depth of response than non-AR content.
Whilst Mixed Reality can create highly memorable and impactful experiences at trade shows, exhibitions or sales conferences, leaving lasting impressions on prospects that improve the chances of further engagement.
All these benefits are now well established, and can be easily researched online, or actively understood through work shopping. What’s not so readily available however, is how to get started. So here are four tips to help bring XR into the center of your marketing and communications
1. Build a culture of curiosity and sustained knowledge sharing.
XR is no longer something that might happen to the way you deliver marcoms – it is going to transform it significantly! Especially as enabling technologies like Artificial Intelligence and 5G unlock new levels of innovation and capability. Awarding it the same degree of ongoing curiosity and discovery as other media in your mix, is essential to making sure your marketing and communications remain competitive.
Equally, packaging and sharing that knowledge with both your wider teams, as well as your clients on a regular basis, will only serve to energize the appetite for how they can be actively used in future campaigns.
2. Make XR tangible within your department
For a relatively small investment, you can set up an XR experience area within your business, with all the main VR, AR and MR hardware and interfaces. Giving staff from all departments – and clients – the opportunity to interact with these tools, and explore content and experiences first hand, will not only demystify XR, it will almost certainly open up internal ideas and suggestions about how it can be used across the business.
3. Start small, take action, learn
Understanding and using new technologies like this can be overwhelming at first, so start small and stay focused on areas that mask the short-term opportunities. Look across the business, your clients buying journeys or their patient wellness pathways, for challenges or opportunities posed by those areas of complexity, scale or distance. Then draft and test hypotheses, build prototypes, test them with users and understand what works and what doesn’t.
4. Choose XR Partners Wisely
Depending on where you are on your XR roadmap, it’s important to choose an XR specialist partner carefully.
As the technologies become increasingly integrated with core business models, working with XR vendors that can provide planning and consulting, and ongoing product and experience management support, either side of creative and production is becoming increasingly important. Providing a genuine extension to your marketing department on all levels, helping you to overcome the medium-term time and talent resources barriers.
XR, supported by ongoing supply chain innovation, and the emerging support of AI and 5G, is going to transform marketing and communications across Pharma, Healthcare and the Life Sciences. Providing a new means of competitive advantage and growth for brands that are willing to adopt the necessary degree of commitment and focus.
To both understand how and where to they can be integrated into their marcoms strategy, and take definitive action towards building, testing and rolling out XR solutions.
VISYON and medDigital will be exhibiting at Eye for Pharma (Booth #4)
By Christian Burne
Commercial Director, VISYON UK
Meta Title: Extended reality in pharma marketing
Meta Description: Blog post on extended (virtual, augmented and mixed) reality in pharma
Posted on October 3rd, 2018 by Alex Teckkam
Posted in medDigital
Tagged Digital, Digital Delivery, digital health, Innovation, insightful science
You are a consultant ophthalmologist. You have been invited to attend a promotional event about the clinical trial data of a pioneering treatment for macular degeneration. You picture the moment: speakers, discussion panel, hundreds of slides and an audience patiently absorbing the words.
To your surprise on the day, you find yourself walking through a 360° video representation of the retina. Graphs and stats are popping up in the space around you as you interact with points of interest and engaging animation is explaining the physiology. How does this make you feel?
In the digital age we live in, virtual and augmented reality are a reality. VR and AR, as usually called, provide immersive experiences that awaken our senses and revolutionise the way we perceive our surroundings. VR started out with a niche in the gaming market. However, with headsets easily available from companies such as Oculus, HTC and Sony, many other industries are beginning to make use of this technology.
The healthcare industry should be no exception. The most valuable asset of VR is its story telling power, that can take healthcare professionals on a journey of deep, personalised engagement with brands that conventional marketing channels simply cannot achieve. VR allows an innovative way of learning through living and interacting, creating emotions and memories that can be easily recalled. As such, the anatomy of a defective eye is no longer a static image, but a 3D hologram that you can virtually operate and examine. The burdens throughout the patient journey are no longer impersonal testimonials, but a deep moving experience unfolding around you, that you become part of. With the power of simulation technologies at hand, why would healthcare stick to worn out methods of customer engagement and education?
The limitless applications of VR in healthcare, from both an educational and customer communications perspective, will be a central theme of this year’s eyeforpharma conference in London. On the 16th and 17th of October 2018, forward thinkers from both the pharma and the technology industry will come together to discuss how to re-shape long-lasting relationships with healthcare professionals by embracing digital. medDigital, a specialist medical communications company, together with Visyon, experts in innovative VR, will be present to showcase transformative ways of evolving customer experience in pharma. The 2-day summit may prove that futurism owns a definitive place in medical education – will you miss it?
By Asimina Pantazi
Meta Title: Virtual reality in pharma
Meta Description: Blog post on virtual and augmented reality in pharma