Benefits of social listening

Posted on September 26th, 2019 by

From communications to education and access to information, social media are serving many needs of modern life, in a fast and efficient manner. Not only the public, but also healthcare professionals (HCPs) are joining online communities where they can read articles about new research for their medical development, share practice issues and cases, consult colleagues and network with their peers.

Notably, studies show that internet usage among HCPs worldwide exceeds 80%! To meet this demand for social interaction on the web, alongside the giants Twitter and LinkedIn, several HCP-focused social networks, such as Sermo, Doximity and QuantiaMD, have emerged.

As a result, there is a vast amount of information flowing through the web sphere that the pharma industry can turn into meaningful insights by performing what is called “social listening”: the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what people are saying about a company, their products and a therapy area online.

What are the benefits?

Prepare ahead of scientific congresses and analyse post-congresses

Monitoring of the conversations among clinicians and researchers prior to the congress enables pharma teams to understand the key scientific trends, medical needs and challenges their customers have, and shape their activity at the meeting. Furthermore, continuing analysis of social activity post-meeting can provide information about exceptional engagement, negative or positive feedback and healthcare teams worth engaging with. This analysis could also serve as a benchmark to check against the industry’s strategies and offer key learnings for the future. Furthermore, post-meeting discussions could be initiated with the aim to collect specific insights, through the use of platforms that facilitate communication in a compliant manner, such as medCrowd.

Identify key opinion leaders

Monitoring users’ activity, conversations and engagement contributes to the identification of Key Engagement Experts (KEEs). In fact, the term KEE has lately been replaced by the term Connected Engagements Expert (CEE), as the type of thought leader with influencing power among the social networks. CEEs are established in their field, own a large following and drive conversations using their expertise and reputation.

Plan release of medical publications and follow reactions

Social listening also means being able to analyse the seasonality of conversations, discussions around journals and current research trends, and identify the most suitable timing for a publication. Moreover, it enables outcome forecasting of new data, and how they will be accepted by the scientific community. This is largely based on analysing the public’s perception of competitors’ products. The online “voice” post-publication can also reflect how well a new study was perceived by the community.

Market research and competitive analysis

Social listening can provide insights related to the performance of competitors’ activities, for example a conference campaign or the publication of the data from a new trial. Therefore, pharma companies can understand the competitive landscape and re-evaluate their own strategy. Understanding the landscape may also reveal niches of innovation that pharma companies can consider expanding into, for instance a new unmet medical need or a new collaboration opportunity.

How can I achieve insightful social listening?

Monitoring of discussions, engagement and impressions can offer insights that would have been hard to extract with the limited resources just a decade ago. Specialised social listening programs have been developed, including Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon, Digimind, Linkfluence and NetBase. Remarkably, Symplur is a healthcare-focused social listening tool that gathers data from Twitter to find out what people are talking about in any given therapy area, what are the key trends and who are the main influencers.

In this digital era, it is important that pharma companies leverage the potential of social media efficiently and securely, in order to effectively reach a broader audience, gather insights and achieve their goals.

Contact us to find out more about how we can support you with gathering the most relevant insights!

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6 steps to creating medical content that will truly meet your customers’ needs

Posted on August 29th, 2019 by

Developing engaging, factual and high-quality content can be challenging, particularly in the heavily regulated pharmaceutical industry. As healthcare professionals and patients adapt to the internet of things (IoT) era, their expectations around access to information are continuously evolving.  At least 8 out of 10 people turn to search engines as their first source for health information1, so how do we develop medical content that meets your customers’ needs and stands out from the crowd?

Develop a clear content strategy

Whilst marketers spend months each year brand planning, it can be easy for medical teams to skip the content planning phase. However, developing a clear strategy to identify the objectives of the content you are looking to create is key to success. You can start by answering the following questions:

  • Who is your intended audience?
  • What topics do you want to share as a thought leader in your field?
  • Which platforms are you going to use to share this content?
  • What story are you trying to tell?
  • How will you make sure this content stands-out?
  • Which initiatives are you looking to support with this content?
  • What are your key performance indicators?

Seek advice and collaborate

In order to ensure your content is of the highest quality you need to make sure it resonates with your intended audience.  The best way to do this is to engage with customers to get their feedback on your ideas and throughout the content development lifecycle. This ensures that the content you are producing not only meets your objectives but theirs too. You could do this by setting up a steering committee online using platforms like our very own conversation tool medCrowd.

Plan for approvals          

One potential barrier to creating engaging content is the approval process, which can be challenging and lengthy. Streamline the process by engaging reviewers early in your plans and getting their buy in to your approach. Ensure content is code-compliant and referenced properly before it goes into the approval system.

Do your research and make sure it’s authentic

It is often perceived that most medical content is produced by marketers. While it is true that we need to learn from our marketing colleagues and make sure that content is easy to understand and digest, we also need to make sure it doesn’t come across as too promotional. Medical content should be well researched and referenced as well as being factual. The real benefit comes from translating these facts into something meaningful for the audience with insights about how it will change their lives, practice or understanding.

Make sure it’s accessible

Having an engaging piece of content is only half the job. It’s only valuable if customers can access it. It’s key to make sure you have a dissemination plan to communicate your asset both internally and externally.

Measure performance and adapt

After your asset has been available for a while, it’s important to reflect on the performance against your key performance indicators. Use these insights to adapt your content strategy accordingly and keep creating meaningful content!

Contact us to find out more about how we can support you with creating insightful medical content.  



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medDigital are hiring a Senior Client Relationship Manager!

Posted on July 26th, 2019 by

****Applications now closed****

medDigital is a specialist medical communications agency for the life sciences industry. 

We are a team with expertise in many therapy areas who specialize in digital. We combine insightful science with seamless digital communications to transform patients’ lives.

We have also developed medCrowd, the instant messenger for health and care that protects confidential information to the required standards, which is being used by health and care professionals all over the world.

Client Relationship Manager or Senior Account Manager

Due to our continued international growth, we are looking for someone who wants to progress their career in a dynamic and exciting environment. You will be working with both our internal team and our clients within the life sciences industry, this is an opportunity to take on a varied and interesting role. If you want digital communications to transform patients’ lives, then you will fit in well with our team. Your role will involve:

Client Relationships

  • Working with our clients to build strong relationships and help them get the work done.
  • Leading regular client meetings with our team to help keep projects on track.
  • Overseeing project estimates and budgets. 
  • Supporting pitches and new business proposals.
  • Optimising sales and account management process to constantly improve how we work. 
  • Identifying new opportunities with clients.
  • Help the medDigital team to exceed client expectations.

What do I need to apply?

  • 3+ years experience leading client projects in medical or healthcare communications, advertising or PR within the life sciences industry. 
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Flexibility whilst working under pressure.

What is desired?

  • Experience leading digital activities, such as website content, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts with the life science industry.
  • Familiarity with agile ways of working.
  • A scientific background 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 relevant experience.
  • UK work authorisation.

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
  • £500/year training allocation
  • Team reward activities
  • Laptop and current mobile phone
  • Perkbox perks!

How can you apply?
To apply please send your CV to and complete our on-line application form:  

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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. 

Interested in creating a compelling scientific video? At medDigital we love turning complex science into powerful and digestible content. We offer a range of content services that can support you in engaging your audiences.

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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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