If we’ve learned one thing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s that when faced with adversity. We can and will come up with new and creative solutions to accomplish our goals. In the pharmaceutical and biotech industries specifically we saw some of the largest and most influential companies work together. To bring several different COVID-19 vaccines to the global population, all in under a year. This is truly a testament to the power of perseverance, teamwork and collaboration under challenging times.
As these two pharma and biotech continue to progress and look for ways to move the needle in the post-pandemic world. The need for an exceptional level of collaboration will become increasingly necessary. Unified communications, particularly video communications, enables companies to communicate and collaborate with several different stakeholders with precision and accuracy. Here are three areas in which unified communications solutions. And will continue to be, pivotal towards advancing the future of science and medicine.
Building a Connected and Curated Patient Experience
Consumer participation in experimental drug trials can be nerve-racking. Many patients experience a mix of emotions such as uncertainty and anxiety about possible side effects or potential outcomes. Increased communication can help lessen patients’ fears and allow them to feel more comfortable with participating. Researchers and doctors facilitating these trials need to make sure patients feel cared for and know what to expect throughout the process. For investigators, constant communication can help with monitoring and flagging when trial participants are experiencing any symptoms or having any concerns.
When offices and clinics closed at the onset of the pandemic and people were encouraged to stay home to reduce the spread of the virus. Tracking participants and their well-being became difficult. Unified communications solutions helped create open lines of communication between all parties by allowing patients to access care at any time of the day or night. For example, a drug trial participant could quickly send a chat to a clinician after noticing something new about their daily health. Then follow up with a video call before having to ever step foot in a facility. This saved all parties time and money, and in return, provided greater peace of mind to patients and investigators.
Research conducted by ERT found that in May 2020, 71% of study sponsors had adopted telehealth in their trials. Even as some organizations begin to move operations to a more in-person model. The convenience and connection provided by digital health communications solutions will continue to grow and drive adoption.
Increasing Agility and Accuracy on the Manufacturing Floor
Imagine a current pharmaceutical biotechnology injecting samples of hazardous chemicals into vials on the floor of a manufacturing plant. Using video, quality assurance agents can virtually observe these activities and let employees on the floor know if they’re observing anything of concern. Suppose machinery on the manufacturing floor breaks or slows down — employees on the floor can speak with management or engineering resources over video, give visual evidence of the issue at hand, and sometimes find a fast solution without exposing a crew to a potentially dangerous situation or slow down production.
Video communications can also play a part in training employees that will be required to work on the floor. While some skills must be learned in person. Safety protocols and concerns, standard operating procedures, and job expectations can all be communicated via webinar or video training sessions ahead of time. This enables employees to improve their knowledge and prepare for their role before ever entering into the facility. It also saves companies time and travel costs by reducing the number of on-site trainings.
Bringing Bright Minds Together for Research Dvelopment
Video communications platforms specifically allow for a nearly unmatched level of information sharing, collaboration. And understanding within the context of research and development. In the early stages of drug development or pharma and biotech advancement. Researchers and scientists from all over the world can easily meet over video to dive into preliminary studies. Determining the efficacy of the research and results or how to proceed. In industries as impactful and powerful as pharmaceutical and biotechnology, real-time discussion is a must. Rather than trying to share research over email and assuming other parties involved have read and understood it correctly. Researchers can present their findings to the larger team and have meaningful, connected conversations on the material.
Furthermore, the use of pharmaceutical and biotech communications allows for individuals in different locations to give authentic and real-time feedback on an idea, strategy or project. In the past, a physician or chemist in Asia might have to hop on a plane to discuss clinical trial results with colleagues in the U.S. But with video and audio platforms. Experts from all corners of the Earth can suddenly feel like they’re in the same room.
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Ron Emerson RN BSN is the Global Healthcare Lead at Zoom. He has more than 20-years’ experience in the healthcare industry having worked on a number of Telemedicine programs in 46 countries and is recognized as a thought leader in Telehealth.