Navigating the Transition to Virtual Speaker Programs

The nature of physician education and pharmaceutical marketing is changing and so is navigating the transition to virtual speaker programs. As digital technologies see accelerating adoption in all areas of our lives, virtual platforms are being embraced as a new way to connect expert medical speakers with practicing physicians. Virtual speaker programs are cost-effective, convenient and able to break down the geographical barriers that once kept nationally renowned speakers from reaching local audiences. It’s also inherently easier to maintain compliance with a virtual speaker program, a fact that’s becoming increasingly important in the face of the current regulatory crackdown.

This playbook explains the digital transformation happening in the pharmaceutical sector that changes the ways patients and providers interact with biopharma companies. For more information, please contact MedPoint Digital.

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12 Best Practices for Virtual Meetings to Healthcare Professionals

Virtual meetings to healthcare professionals are very distinct from internal virtual meetings, requiring a different solution than self-service web conferencing. These external meetings often involve top-tier physicians who demand productive use of their time and deserve white-glove support. Today, most biopharma companies are converting on-site events into virtual meetings, including investigator meetings and advisory boards. For these multi-hour VIP events, it can be especially challenging to hold the participants' attention and achieve meeting goals.

This whitepaper outlines best practices for virtual meetings to healthcare professionals garnered over 30 years and thousands of virtual meetings for the biopharma industry. For more information, please contact MedPoint Digital.

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Five Key Components For Remote Monitoring Solutions

Clinical trial monitoring is difficult and expensive, but key to a successful clinical trial. These five capabilities are key to a remote monitoring solution that lowers costs and makes clinical research easier.

The start of the CV19 pandemic sent sponsors and sites scrambling for remote monitoring options. Combinations of Zoom meetings, emails and eRegulatory binders held clinical trials together. Unfortunately, these solutions were often difficult to use, incomplete and had disjointed. Friction arose as we tried to make non-clinical software fit the specific demands of clinical research.

CROs, Sponsors and Sites no longer look for temporary measures for remote clinical research monitoring. Clinical research professionals seek new innovative and efficient ways to do research. Higher quality clinical research tools improve the quality of the clinical trial while reducing costs. Below are key components for remote monitoring solutions to become a new standard.

1. Virtual Meetings

Face to face interaction is a key component to monitor and site interaction. In camera-on meetings monitors can establish rapport, improvise to meet site needs and better understand clinical trial issues. In virtual meetings monitors can complete key objectives such as training, screen sharing, and reviewing important action items. Many virtual meeting platforms work well but few are purpose-built for clinical research regulatory requirements, compliance and security.

A virtual meeting alone is not a practical replacement to perform all site monitoring functions. Dependence on virtual meetings handicaps a monitor’s ability to perform other key aspects of a monitoring visit. For example, CRAs shouldn’t expect sites to perform lengthy and tedious over the shoulder document review in a virtual meeting.

2. Document exchange

Every monitoring visit requires exchanging multiple documents. When requested through e-mail or in person, inefficiencies build. People frequently lose, forget, or take a long time to respond to e-mail and verbal requests. Inefficiencies require redundant emails and communications to get results. A good remote monitoring platform allows monitors to share and request documents ahead of the monitoring visit. When document sharing is on a portal, all requested and shared documents are visible to the site and CRA.

Ideal document exchange platforms cannot lose documents, are visible to everyone responsible, and available ahead of a virtual visit. With document exchange handled prior to the monitoring visit, the CRAS focus on final tasks and review. Flexible workflows allow users to work when it’s most convenient and efficient for them.

3. Easier workflows

With increasingly complex clinical trials, both sites and CRA’s are strapped for time. Unless eClinical solutions are easier than existing solutions and processes, they won’t be adopted.

Remote monitoring solutions make it easy to organize, standardize and structure the routine aspects of monitoring visits so they are not repeated with manual processes. Frequently accessed study resources like the protocol and training documents can be just a click away. Creating easier workflows is a form of site engagement that lowers the barrier for sites to perform clinical trial goals.

4. Automated processes

Automating simple processes is the future clinical research. CRAs are familiar with many manual and redundant tasks required with monitoring visits. Administrative tasks like writing emails recording meeting attendance and following up with users take up precious time. With smart purpose built systems, these manual processes can be automatically completed by the system. Anytime a monitor is manually recording names inputting information or copy and pasting into a new document, there is a opportunity for a system to streamline that process. For example, setting an agenda creating and inviting users to a site visit are all functions that remembered by smart software.

A manual process that takes 15 to 30 minutes is just a few clicks with eClinical software. Plus, remote monitoring systems are customized to specific clinical research projects. Custom built platforms allow standardization and automation of tedious processes. Standardization and automation increases study quality while decreasing the workload on monitors.

5. eRegulatory and Source document binders

Electronic binder eRegulatory platforms are a key component to effective and efficient remote monitoring. Study sites should not perform redundant processes for CRA’s to access their documents. Ideally, sponsors and CRAs will set up eReg for all sites at the beginning of this study. With just one eReg and source document platform, all sites are accessed from a single login by monitors. By setting up eReg platform study the sites are better equipped to handle regulatory and source documents. Electronic binder platforms reduce work, improve quality and enable faster workflows for sites. A good regulatory platform will allow site flexibility to maintain their site specific SOPs and workflows.

A new way of doing things

MedPoint Digital is a leader in virtual meeting and eClinical solutions for the Biopharma industry. After reviewing the specific needs for clinical trial remote monitoring, MedPoint created the InSite Virtual monitoring platform.

InSite Virtual is a one-of-a-kind solution to conduct virtual monitoring visits in a secure, intuitive, and fully automated environment. Built to each clinical trial monitoring plan, InSite reduces the work and burden on the CRA.

The InSite Virtual platform hosts secure virtual meetings, a document exchange portal and enables efficient workflows. These key automated functions make remote monitoring more effective than ever before.

InSite Virtual is fully integrated with Study eSafe, an eRegulatory and Source binder platform, that is free for sites to use for as many studies and users as they wish. Study eSafe gives monitors a single login to access all site documents. For sites, Study eSafe creates faster workflows and start up capabilities.

For more information about MedPoint Digital remote monitoring and eClinical solutions, contact MedPoint Digital today!


Custom Language Audio Translation Capabilities

Situation:

A top Pharma Sponsor reached out to MedPoint Digital (MedPoint) to request multiple language capabilities within one of their European projects. The goal was for a unique virtual investigator meeting setup that allowed for 12 languages, with 9 of the 12 being custom languages to be simultaneously audio translated within Zoom Webinar. The key issue was that Zoom Webinar technology had a limitation on language capabilities and had recently implemented a limitation for the number of translator seats that could join. MedPoint’s goal was to deliver exactly what the Pharma Sponsor team requested in an easy-to-use and cost-effective virtual meeting solution for the sponsor team and still provide the needed audio language capabilities for the attendees.

Solution:

MedPoint engaged with our internal IT team, our experienced Account Development team, and vendor partners to design a novel solution that was implemented into our virtual meeting platform, Elevation.

Results:

The meeting ran seamlessly, and the sponsor and attendees found the MedPoint solution was easy and simple to utilize in their virtual investigator meeting.

To learn more about Elevation, a virtual meeting platform, contact MedPoint Digital today!


Engaging KOLs to Guide Content and Material Development

Situation:

While the pandemic was coming to a slowdown, Pharma A came to MedPoint Digital (MedPoint) with the request of how to best collect feedback on marketing assets, so as to further guide and influence their material development. Pharma A was looking for a way to save time, money, and effort while still seeing increased results. Pharma A wanted to partner with their Medical Communications Agency (Med Comm) to be able to share the materials prior to going live.

Solution:

Pharma A’s goal was to circulate marketing materials via a cost-conscious method while also ensuring the KOLs were able to provide feedback in a manageable way. With the KOL feedback, the marketing materials would be better guided by industry leaders. MedPoint suggested using Cumulus, a speaker training portal, to upload documents, videos, images, and more.

We mainly utilized the Documents center on the portal which allows the sharing of presentations, newsletters, and multiple document types (PDF, Microsoft Word, etc.). Our development team set up the portal to allow for multiple moderators to upload documents on their own time, instead of having to request a file be uploaded each time.

Once the documents were uploaded, the KOLs received email notifications alerting them to the new materials. Once they viewed it, they were able to provide feedback via the Community center or by providing thorough notes to their bureau leads.

Results:

The impact of having a 24/7 digital portal allowing for constant feedback proved to be extremely successful. The Pharma A moderators were able to continuously update the documents in need of feedback. Not only did this portal remove the need for the ‘middleman’ to gather all the feedback in one place, but it also gave the KOLs more time to review confidential pieces.

Pharma A has continued to leverage the portal for assorted projects and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year.

To learn more about Cumulus, a speaker training portal, contact MedPoint Digital today!


Gathering Rapid Feedback from Top KOLs using Asynchronous Advisory Board Portal

Situation:

In Spring 2021, Pharma A came to MedPoint Digital (MedPoint) with the request for a new method to increase KOL feedback, while decreasing in-person events needed. They were also having trouble scheduling a live virtual advisory board that needed high attendance during the summer

Pharma A’s goal was to provide 24/7 access to materials so the KOLs could provide feedback and discussions on their own time, making them more likely to reply, without the need of having constant live virtual advisory boards.

Solution:

MedPoint suggested Stratus, an advisory board portal, to collect opinions and feedback from the KOLs. We presented the Discussions tab within the Community Center, which allows for continuous conversation threads, polls, and replies. Pharma A went live with this in just a few short weeks post request.

The portal is a new channel that allows group activity beyond live virtual events, while still fostering a relationship with KOLs.

Results:

Pharm A noticed an increase in discussions within the first few weeks the portal was live. The KOLs were able to access the portal during their off hours on their own time, which allowed them more flexibility than scheduled events. The portal features allowed for a myriad of results, both qualitative and quantitative.

The Polling center was a simple add-on that yielded fast, simple results. The conversation threads allowed for deeper discussion. Overall, the portal was a fraction of the cost compared to a live event. This meant Pharma A had funds remaining to put towards revising marketing material and updating their content based on the feedback received.

The portal was a major success and is continually being utilized today. We still see an increase in feedback and will be suggesting this method of remote asynchronous advisory boards for all future events.

To learn more about Stratus, an advisory board portal, contact MedPoint Digital today!


Silent Observer Rooms

Situation:

In the Winter of 2020, a medical communications agency (“MedCom A”) reached out to MedPoint Digital (MedPoint) to explore methodologies for executing an advisory board program in which additional client executives could listen/watch a virtual advisory board without being part of the meeting itself. The goal was for a unique meeting setup that allowed for the silent observation of the program, while eliminating the risk of additional attendees interrupting the virtual advisory board and enabling simultaneous conversation on key learnings amongst the silent observers.

Solution:

MedPoint engaged with MedCom A to design a virtual advisory board program that would maintain the effectiveness of typical virtual meetings with no risk of interruption, while allowing additional attendees to witness the meeting in real time.

To accomplish the meeting objectives, MedPoint utilized a virtual technology setup to create two different types of access to the meeting. Participants were divided into active and silent attendees, and based on their role, were given different capabilities for the meeting. The presenter team and active KOL group were provided camera and audio rights, to have full capabilities and involvement in their section of the virtual advisory program.

Meanwhile, silent observers joined the meeting without the ability to interact with active participants. Video and audio rights were disabled to ensure a seamless observation of the active participants. However, group chat capabilities were enabled amongst silent observers, allowing them to share their thoughts and notes in real time with their fellow associates. This solution model is referred to as the Silent Observer Room.

Upon the conclusion of the virtual advisory board meeting, MedPoint’s moderator utilized the virtual technology to update attendees’ rights to allow silent observers to actively participate in a debrief with the rest of their team once the KOL advisors had dropped off the call. This allowed for a seamless transition for observers to join their colleagues in a collaborative virtual debrief.

Results:

The Silent Observer Room generated exceptional results. MedCom A was able to accomplish their goals of having an engaging virtual advisory board program with additional observing attendees who could discuss their takeaways in real time. The meeting was able to have a separate observer role to ensure there were no interruptions, and a seamless debrief transition upon the advisors leaving the call allowed for the full team to collaborate in a virtual debrief. MedCom A was able to utilize MedPoint’s unique technical setup to achieve optimal engagement and a high level of efficiency in coordinating their virtual advisory board program. The Silent Observer Room model has since been a highly sought-after capability for virtual meetings and a core service model component of what MedPoint provides.

To learn more about Elevation, a virtual meetings platform for virtual advisory boards, contact MedPoint Digital today!


Easy Clinical Trial Solutions to 4 Common Problems

New clinical trial solutions are changing the way we doing things for the better.

Clinical research is full of critical but time-consuming activities. While hard work can get you through most obstacles, there are many new solutions available. Small tweaks in processes and adoption of new tools can be the difference between success or burning out your workforce. Here are some common hurdles in clinical trials and easy solutions.

1. In-person Training

With global trials and a tight timeline, in-person training is costly, inefficient, and time consuming.

Sponsors and CROs often train in-person during investigator meetings, study initiation and monitoring visits. While the in-person training might be effective at the time, it is slow and inconsistent. Even worse, staff changes and turnover mean your training efforts repeat with each new study team member.

Many sponsors now leverage virtual meetings to complete training for many people at once. Virtual trainings are a fraction of the cost of in-person training. Combining live and virtual training to optimizes flexibility for users.

Virtual training providers create on-demand training modules for future study team members. Together, virtual trainings and online modules reduce cost of training and make compliance easier.

2. Emailing documents and correspondence

Emails are frequently neglected, forgotten, or sent to junk or spam folders. Countless time is lost with follow up emails, waiting on responses and sending new communications. With the right tools, sponsors can dramatically reduce time spent on email.

Clinical trial portals like TriPort, allow sponsors to host all documents, communications and resources in one place for sites. TriPort allows sponsor visibility to incomplete trainings or unviewed documents. With rapid communication tools you can automate simple reminders. Secure eRegulatory platforms also reduce the need to email documents. MedPoint’s TriPort Investigator portal and Study eSafe platforms integrate to reduce email processes.

3. In-person review of regulatory and source documents

On-site monitoring is one of the largest costs in clinical trial budgets. What’s worse is that travel adds unproductive time and burnout of your study monitors.

With platforms like Study eSafe, sites can set up their own eRegulatory and source document binders free.

Better yet, sponsors can work with MedPoint Digital to set up an eReg/source document platform for all their participating sites. This creates a single login for monitors to access documents, standardizes organization and reduces the need to travel.

Sites benefit from enhanced system security, faster workflows and automated compliance tools.

4. Answering the same questions over and over

Frequent questions are distracting and tedious. Sites waiting for answers causes delays and protocol deviations.

Posting FAQs on a clinical trial portal is a great way to maximize self-sufficiency and learning. With FAQs sponsors can concentrate on giving clear, concise answers to common questions. A good FAQ prevents slow email processes and redundant communications.

With a clinical trial portal, FAQs have easy search tools and can link to related documents or resources. Online FAQs create a self-service model that is ideal for site efficiency.

 

Smarter, Faster, Better
If you made it this far, you recognize the need for new solutions. MedPoint Digital is a leader in eClinical solutions that address common hurdles in clinical research. With virtual meetings and advanced portals sponsors are able to save time, reduce costs and improve the quality.

For more information about MedPoint Digital virtual meetings and clinical trial solutions, contact MedPoint Digital today!


MedPoint Digital eISF Reference Model 2.0

The eISF Reference Model 2.0 brings new standards for eRegulatory and source document binders.

We’ve all been there before; unorganized binders, missing documents, misfiled forms. eRegulatory and source document binders offer new hope to these common problems. New tools allow for simple searching, automated audit trails and more.

The Electronic Investigator Site File (eISF) is a binder and file naming standard that brings more improvements to eBinders. The eISF was originally created by the MAGI eISF Reference Model Steering Committee, a group of clinical research professionals and vendors seeking standardized solutions for clinical trial documentation.

By using standard filing and names, there is greater consistency between sites. The wider the adoption of eISF, the easier it is for different sites to have their data compared and monitored. This also makes it easier for a sponsor to efficiently file to their Trial Master File (TMF).

Firm but Flexible

MedPoint Digital offers the eISF Reference Model binder template to all sites using Study eSafe. Study eSafe is our free eRegulatory and source document binder. Though the eISF model is a standard for all clinical trials, sites using Study eSafe can still modify the binder structure to suit their needs. Coordinators may also apply their own document naming procedure, so documents keep familiar names. Sites have the option to adopt the eISF, edit it, or create their own unique binders when using Study eSafe.

Challenges and Solutions

While the benefits of adopting this reference model are vast, it’s not without some difficulties. Currently document naming conventions can differ from site, sponsor, or monitor. File name inconsistency happens across the clinical trial industry. However, standardization will greatly help communication between all parties involved. Applying a new organization tool can be tedious but once implemented new site staff can jump in and work on studies from multiple sponsors. Monitors now spend less time clarifying documents and can complete certain study tasks more effectively.

Paperless Ecosystem

MedPoint Digital and the MAGI eISF Reference Model Steering Committee urge sites to adopt this new model to work towards a paperless ecosystem within clinical trials.

To learn more about Study eSafe and the eISF, contact MedPoint Digital today!


InSite Virtual Monitoring: Reinventing the Remote Monitoring Visit

InSite Virtual is a powerful new digital solution for remote monitoring of investigator sites. Comprised of a live virtual visit platform and a 24/7 portal, InSite Virtual offers CRAs the ability to share data, documents, and workflows before, during and after a remote monitoring visit. The innovative virtual technology and 24/7 portal allow CRAs to perform core monitoring functions without travel. By reducing the significant expense and downtime of travel, InSite Virtual has the potential to lower costs of clinical trials.

InSite Virtual sets a new standard for remote monitoring and works with Study eSafe, a free eRegulatory and source document binder for sites. By implementing these solutions together, sites and sponsors avoid duplicate documents. InSite Virtual is built to specific monitoring plans and clinical trial protocols. Using this platform for remote monitoring brings new efficiencies to monitoring visits, training, and site engagement as sponsors pursue decentralized clinical trials.

To learn more about InSite Virtual, a remote monitoring visit tool, contact MedPoint Digital today!