Medical Education is a critical function in both the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Despite this, recent regulatory restrictions and budget challenges have made it more and more difficult for Medical Education groups to effectively educate healthcare practitioners on the safe and effective use of new products. With the pressure to reduce budgets mounting, it is crucial that medical education groups decipher how to strategically increase their effectiveness while still holding down costs.
Although the medical device & pharmaceutical sectors both embrace Medical Education as an essential function, both areas utilize strikingly different approaches to the development and delivery of medical education programs. This just goes to show that what works for one company may not work for another. In a recent research report developed by Best Practices, various key findings related to delivery & development of these programs were identified. These key differences included:
- 2/3 of medical device participants’ education programs were developed and delivered in-house. The remaining 1/3 of the participants’ programs were by third-party vendors.
Compared to Pharma, which takes the opposite approach:
- 2/3 are developed & delivered by vendors while 1/3 are created & completed in-house.
Even determining the best means of developing and deploying companies’ Medical Education programs is shifting & can play a significant role in the success of the programs.
Along with determining the means to develop & deploy the Medical Education function, companies are also being faced with determining how to integrate new technologies into their programs. When asked about the future of Medical Education, Jeff Zimmer, a senior researcher who has led several medical education studies for Best Practices stated:
“The future of medical education is tied to the use of online platforms, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with just doing a PowerPoint presentation with audio,” said Zimmer. “Because the online format can be sterile and lack the vibrant interaction that goes with live presentations, it’s important that online education be engaging, both visually and in its content.”
Zimmer continued, “Likewise, in-person education programs will not disappear and should be one of the venue types used by every organization. Our research has demonstrated that the opportunity for learning about – and adopting – important new therapies or medical devices is much higher in the classroom or conference setting.”
Clearly, the Medical Education function is being transformed by current trends. As always, by utilizing benchmarking & studying industry trends, executives can equip themselves with the critical data needed to educate themselves for better outcomes.