Creating compelling scientific videos for social media

Posted on July 16th, 2019 by


Social media presents a fantastic opportunity for keeping in touch with your wider audiences. Posting videos can be especially useful for sharing engaging educational content, highlights from conferences or key updates on a therapy area. But with many social media users scrolling through hundreds of posts per session, you have to be savvy to draw someone in and keep them interested.

Remember that viewers on social media may not understand complex topics and scientific language, so it is important to explain information in a clear and simple way. Imagine you are telling the viewer a story. This format helps to keep the viewer engaged while making sure that the flow of the information is easy to follow.


1. Have a clear beginning, middle and end

When conveying the story, it is important to have a clear beginning, middle and end. Try to share the ‘why’ before the ‘how’, so that each point clearly and simply leads on to the next. This will help to keep the viewer engaged and interested throughout the video. 


2. Avoid jargon

Viewers on social media may not understand specialized scientific terms. It is important to keep messages simple and to avoid jargon. One way to reduce specialized vocabulary is to consider your language through the eyes of someone you know – perhaps someone without a professional science background at all. 


3. Be light on the detail

Try to resist explaining too much too soon. If detail is not directly relevant to your key points, it is best to avoid including this completely. If the detail is essential, make sure that you share this only once the viewer understands the basic concept.


4. Use analogies and examples

Using examples and analogies can help a viewer to understand complex topics, as it gives them a frame of reference. Even if an analogy is not 100% accurate, it may help to get your point across without confusing the viewer. 


5. Talk to the viewer as an individual

Using the first person as much as possible is important when trying to educate. It helps to keep the viewer engaged, which is key when discussing a complex topic.


6. Make the content relevant

Why is the topic important to the viewer? As interesting as the science may be, public audiences are not likely to engage unless it has relevance to them. Try explaining the end goal of the research or how it could directly impact patients, even if this is far in the future. 


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medDigital insights in the Journal of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine!

Posted on June 7th, 2019 by


medDigital logo on frosted glass

Last Monday, we were thrilled to find out that the medDigital article “Enabling the Digital Health Innovators” was published in the lead column of the Journal of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (JFPM)!


The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) is an organisation that brings together around 1,500 medically qualified members of three colleges of physicians in the UK:

  • The Royal College of Physicians of London
  • The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

medDigital fully align with the mission of FPM “to advance the science and practice of pharmaceutical medicine by working to develop and maintain competence, ethics and integrity and the highest professional standards in the specialty for the benefit of the public”. FPM members work in diverse areas in order to achieve this, from clinical trials, pharmaceutical marketing and regulatory affairs. They aim to improve health of the public through their activities, including discovery, development, evaluation, licensing and monitoring of medicines.


In our article, we wanted to highlight the importance of digital innovations in healthcare and offer an overview of the support available in the UK environment. We believe that all modern healthcare systems, including the NHS, should adapt to the technological developments in order to ensure patients receive the care they need, quickly and efficiently. For instance, in 2018 and early 2019 we have seen numerous medical applications (Apps), wearables, virtual reality systems emerging in the healthcare start-up environment. These new technologies are enabling real-time diagnosis, tele-monitoring of symptoms and health progress tracking. In our article we listed organisations and initiatives, such as DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, Health Foundry, Digital Catapult and MedCity who are doing the essential work of offering useful services and shaping the right ecosystem for digital innovations to flourish.


Transforming patients’ lives is at the heart of all the work we do at medDigital. We believe that insightful science combined with digital means can upgrade health and we are advocates of the digital movement in healthcare and its supporters.

Are you interested in Digital Health Innovators? Read our article on page 4 of FPM, edition 4, summer 2019!


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A new emerging event for pharma: NEXT Pharma Summit

Posted on May 21st, 2019 by


What are the most challenging aspects of pharma today? What should be the main focus for the industry going forwards?

These were the key questions behind the very first edition of NEXT Pharma Summit, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in May 2019.

The international experts who stepped on the stage expressed some key reflections: the challenge of gathering and sharing engaging information online, developing digital multichannel excellence, bridging the gap between pharma, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and individual patients, and understanding why pharma appears to be trailing behind all other industries in the race for a digital presence.

In a brilliant talk, Tim Cave (GSK) discussed the need for virtual communication channels in this day and age. He highlighted that in the coming years, 70% of HCPs will be digital natives. In his opinion, the pharmaceutical industry cannot quite capture a key need of this generation: going digital.

Doctors repeatedly express the desire for fast, accessible, digital information, and have been asking for virtual conferences, digital insights and virtual communication channels. However, there are many historical and regulatory reasons hindering the race to digitise pharma. Despite that, the industry must tackle this challenge and ensure it can be up to speed with the ever-evolving and constant technological development. Most consumer industries, such as transportation, communication and fintech have made a gigantic shift into digital – why can’t pharma?

Another great contribution was made by Laura Greco during both a talk and a group panel. A 40-year-old lawyer-turned-patient-advocate, with a stage 4 ALK+ lung cancer diagnosis, made a strong case for the patients’ right to be informed and involved in decisions about their own treatment.

She highlighted the value of social media during her patient journey. This hits home for many stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry – the value of sharing accurate, engaging and relevant content online will enable both HCPs and patients to access information and create closer ties with the community.

Laura Greco also discussed the need for transparency at the R&D stage. She reported often finding herself unaware of her personal patient history data being used in scientific publications, or not knowing the outcome of clinical trials she had personally been a part of. This is another opportunity for the industry to bridge a gap – patients and pharma should be able to work together to find answers and advance research.

Our very own founder Felix Jackson also gave a talk about Dynamic Digital Content & Real-Time Expert Engagement. He presented the growing need to turn data into actionable insights and improve current communication channels. A solution can be found if the pharmaceutical industry expands into new digital options, such as online content creation and Digital Advisory Boards.

Providing a digital space for HCPs to offer expert insights, which also doubles as a place for patients to efficiently liaise with pharma, can overcome some of the key barriers that we know are holding stakeholders back from a digital revolution. This could be a lack of human resource or talent, compliance barriers, or lack of financial support.

Our technology, medCrowd, offers a compliant and accessible option to help pharma transition into a digital route, in order to lead the conversation and easily discover actionable insights with Digital Advisory Boards.

We had a wonderful time at NEXT Pharma 2019, and we’re already getting ready for the NEXT Pharma Summit 2020!

The stunning backdrop of Dubrovnik will be expecting us once again on the 6th and 7th of May 2020, for a weekend packed with influential speakers, new ideas and incredible insights.

Did you attend NEXT Pharma 2018? What did you think of it? Get in touch and let us know!


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WHO releases guidance on digital health technologies

Posted on May 16th, 2019 by


The World Health Organisation (WHO) released their first guidance on digital technologies in healthcare last month. Given the vast scale of the digital health industry, the recommendations in this guideline cover just a small subset of digital interventions, with the intention to expand in future versions. Reviewing the evidence and assessing the risks, the WHO hopes that this guidance will help policy-makers to make informed investments, supporting all areas of the industry from providers to patients. 

Digital technologies continue to evolve the world around us, and healthcare has been no exception. From artificial reality (AR) aiding diagnosis to virtual reality (VR) for healthcare professional training, we continue to see innovators developing new technologies to shape the industry. But how many of these innovations actually have a strong evidence base? How do we know if they truly have a tangible benefit? These, amongst others, were the questions that the new WHO guidance sought to address.

The recommendations covered a wide range of digital technologies:

  • Birth notification via mobile devices
  • Death notification via mobile devices
  • Stock notification and commodity management via mobile devices
  • Client-to-provider telemedicine
  • Provider-to-provider telemedicine
  • Targeted client communication via mobile devices
  • Health worker decision support via mobile devices
  • Digital tracking of clients’ health status and services combined with decision support and targeted client communication
  • Digital provision of training and educational content to health workers via mobile devices/mobile learning

For some recommendations, the WHO suggested that digital solutions should act as a complement to traditional methods, rather than as a replacement. For others, the ability for the health system to support implementation in an integrated manner was highlighted as key. Indeed, it is important to recognise that digital health interventions cannot substitute key components needed by a health system, such as workforce, leadership and governance.

The WHO recognised that while recommendations were based on distinct digital interventions, the whole picture is more convoluted and interlinked. The executive summary provides an interesting infographic explaining some of these links between the recommendations.  The publication of the first WHO guidance on digital technologies is a key step in recognising the importance of digital health advancements around us today. It is also important in ensuring that health systems can reliably choose technologies that are effective and work for the people who need them.By Alex Teckkam


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Smartphones signal a new era in the fight against TB

Posted on March 26th, 2019 by


24th March 2019 marked World TB Day, created to raise awareness about tuberculosis worldwide. Robert Kock discovered the cause of tuberculosis on this day in 1882 and in the 137 years since, there has been a huge effort to combat this deadly disease.1 However, despite a definite improvement in diagnosis and treatment, TB is still a major epidemic killing 1.6 million people a year.2

TB remains a serious and deadly threat but if the right drugs are prescribed and taken properly it can be cured. Unfortunately, this is not always easy! To help, researchers are now applying technology to change the way TB is diagnosed and treated. Smartphones could radically transform the way we diagnose and treat TB.

A key factor in the success of treatment is making sure that drug regimens are adhered to and patients can be closely monitored – usually for at least 6 months. Technology developed by researchers at the University of California and John Hopkins University allows patients to send encrypted videos to public health workers who can watch videos securely rather than having to travel to visit patients.3 And it worked – video monitoring improved adherence which in turn not only can improve outcomes but also reduce costs.4

The real breakthrough with smartphone diagnosis came at the end of last year, when researchers from the UK and Malaysia developed a mobile phone testing system which can detect TB specific antibodies in sputum with 98% accuracy.5 The sputum is placed on a biosensor which simply changes colour based on the result. Then, using a smartphone camera a diagnosis can be delivered in seconds.5 This technology can be used without an internet connection and the only cost would be the biosensor. Using this technology in rural, hard to reach places could transform early diagnosis of TB and help people access care. Perhaps, with technologies such as these we could make the goal of a TB free world by 2030 a reality!5

In light of all the potential of mHealth, WHO published evidence-based recommendations for the use of digital technologies for TB treatment and adherence based on text messaging, medication event monitoring systems and video supported treatment. Who knows, maybe our smartphones could be our strongest weapon against TB?6

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/history.htm
  2. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-03/tl-tle031819.php
  3. https://www.statnews.com/2018/08/21/tuberculosis-smartphones-disease-surveillance/
  4. https://www.emocha.com/home
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957417418304214
  6. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255052/9789241550000-eng.pdf;jsessionid=FCDB56CAF6F602A449D95F4A799E2E15?sequence=1

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medDigital join the ABPI!

Posted on March 14th, 2019 by


 

MedDigital are thrilled to have joined the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) as general affiliate members. This allows us to share our knowledge and experience with wider industry partners, provide our opinions to dictate the evolution of the ABPI Code and to gather the latest insights for our clients.

At medDigital we pride ourselves in our understanding of the ABPI Code and our knack for delivering compelling, creative and compliant content. We subscribe fully to the principles set out in the Code and this is reflected on all aspects of our work. Joining the ABPI further cements our drive to maintain our knowledge and provide the best quality services to our clients.

Watch medDigital Founder Dr. Felix Jackson explain further why joining the ABPI is so important.


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