Mobility and Medical Affairs: Enabling Communication and Collaboration – Technology Considerations – Part 2

Oct 05, 2017

Part 2: Technology considerations and questions to ask when seeking mobile medical information solutions for medical affairs

Our first blog on this topic addressed “The importance of mobility and medical affairs (MA) and its value to the organization is most definitely on the rise.” In this concluding blog we share specific examples of how mobile technology improves MA and arms you with the criteria and questions to ask as you investigate possible medical information solutions.

Harnessing Mobile Technology to Unify Medical Information

By virtue of their role, field-based teams including sales staff and medical science liaisons (MSLs) are often disconnected from corporate medical information management solutions, especially as many organizations still use outdated solutions – Excel spreadsheets, email or complicated systems that have been derived from other purposes – that are simply not user friendly or easy to access from a remote location. The net effect is a time-consuming and painful reporting and tracking process of product complaints, medical inquiries and side effects that discourages all those involved – including external customers including healthcare professionals and even patients from taking the time and effort to engage.

Without real-time and easy access to the latest product information, teams are required to submit their medical information requests and are often kept waiting for responses to their medical inquiries.

Aside from the significant compliance risk of non-reporting of possible adverse events, which should be more than enough to encourage a change in approach, companies also damage their reputation and put patient safety at risk by their inability to respond quickly to medical queries or complaints that get submitted.

Giving all stakeholders involved ready access to web and mobile-based, multilingual medicaI information solutions is an important threshold toward enabling your “first point of contact” with the ability to report, track and access all of your latest approved content. But what criteria should weigh into what solution is best for your organization? Here’s a short list to consider:

  • Is multilingual support needed?
  • Does the solution give users real-time access based on their channel preference for Web and mobile device?
  • Do you need offline support?
  • Do you need a device agnostic solution (available on any device) or is there a corporate standard?
  • Is the solution based on an open architecture to enable integration with back-end systems, such as product complaint, safety databases and medical information management systems? How about integration with your CRM system?
  • Can it provide support for documenting off-label discussions to enable field-based teams with self-service and easier ways of documenting discussions with HCPs?
  • Does it support your data privacy needs?
  • How is full security and traceability provided?
  • Can data be synchronized automatically offline and include the capture of e-signatures and content such as photos or videos?
  • Does the solution’s design reflect the input of best practices from the vendor’s user community?
  • How does the solution fit in with your long term cognitive computing (artificial intelligence) strategy

Constrained by limited budgets and tightening staff resources, heads of medical affairs are looking for ways to enhance lower the total cost of ownership for any solution they adopt. For those reasons, technology solutions that are offered as multi-tenant cloud solutions should also be a serious consideration.

As much as a mobile-enabled medical information (MI) solution streamlines, speeds, simplifies all of the activities described here, and reduces paperwork and transcription errors, perhaps the benefit of greater business insight and business trends that can be realized from the mobile capture of information is the “dangling carrot” that makes it the right time to advance medical affairs into a new approach for managing medical information.

Learn how ArisGlobal’s LifeSphere Mobile MA™ is transforming medical information management.

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