News Article

Future Stakeholder Engagement Goes Beyond Video Calls

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 09/08/2021 - 15:23

The pandemic changed how people communicate and allowed companies to innovate their approach to KOLs and stakeholders. Within3 identified the barriers to in-person or real-life virtual meetings to offer a platform for information and valuable insights.

Within3 is a software communications company for life sciences and healthcare organizations that allows stakeholders and organizations to engage with physicians, nurses, payers and patients. To date, the company works with the top 20 pharma companies and medical and biotech companies. “Within3 is a software company whose mission is to connect the world of life sciences and healthcare. All these companies need to be in constant communication with their consumers, from payers to physicians. We bring them together through presential or virtual meetings with these actors,” said Lance Hill, CEO and Founder of Within3.

Within traditional communication dynamics there are several barriers that stop companies from getting the full advantage of meetings. For instance, real time virtual meetings require everyone to connect at the same time using the same platform and for everyone to speak the same language and have good internet bandwidth. “Meetings promote interaction but as more people join the call it is harder for everyone to participate.”

In-person meetings involve different logistics and expenses because companies have to get their KOLs and stakeholders present at the same location, which involves arranging flights and planning venues. This takes more effort, time and significantly limits the ability to get everyone involved. Within3’s platform avoids these technological limits based through smart data analysis. “Anytime virtual meetings allow people to interact at different times while sharing information and material in the same space,” explains Hill. Due to their functionality, these meetings are common at universities but they are now seeing their peak in the business world.

“Typically, the capabilities of anytime virtual meetings are based on conversation, like social media,” Hill said. Within3 has taken the benefits of these meetings and created a platform that allows conversation, documents and co-authoring it also has a language translation and medical dictation. “One of the largest benefits of the Within3 platform is that it offers a structured output that is easier to understand for the company.”

Within3 worked with Takeda, a multinational pharmaceutical company with an innovation-driven approach focusing on oncology, gastroenterology, central nervous system and vaccines, to facilitate project continuity. “Takeda faced barriers to engagement due to the disruption of in-person meetings caused by the pandemic,” said Estefanía Torres, Therapeutic Area Lead Immunology Director at Takeda. “But we need these kinds of engagements to embrace and find the solutions we intend to deliver to patients.”

Torres said that to have continuity in research projects, Takeda adopted the Within3 platform. “It was not easy at the beginning, as there are barriers within the same team. For example, many are not used to these technologies and we had to provide personal guidance to the ones that struggled the most. But when we saw the result, it was all worth it,” said Torres.

Takeda, through Within3, made an advisory board that allowed it to develop creative solutions for projects. “We faced an external barrier because others were not familiar with the resources, but this was easy to overcome,” said Torres. Using Within3, the Japanese pharmaceutical was able to provide personalized, close attention. “As industry leader, we had to explore these novel interaction resources,” said Torres. “The advisory board was successful because it allowed us to approach members and eliminate the time required to travel and stays in one place for in-person meetings.”

The Within3 platform allowed Takeda to receive the true value of meetings and receive the true message each stakeholder wanted to communicate. “This process was much more effective than anything we did in the past,” said Torres. Takeda has continued to schedule real-time virtual meetings but these are now different because they are complemented by the insight obtained from the platform, said Torres. “We integrated the platform to in-person meetings, making them much more effectively.

Teams appreciated the platform’s time flexibility and the different ways it allowed users to engage, said Torres. “We identified how some of the team members could engage easier and on n their own terms. We learned that some stakeholders and KOLs would contribute in the middle of the night, which would not have worked in a real-time meeting, so we could have lost that input.”

Hill explained that people’s personalities really shine through in real-time meetings, but those are not always positive. By using the Within3, Takeda realized that people that would not usually participate engaged more actively through the platform.

“The future is for us to continue embracing this type of platforms,” says Torres. “At Takeda we learned that over 50 percent of the physicians would prefer a hybrid engagement, so it is important to have this in mind to promote technology and in-person meetings, which is why Takeda does the in-person or real-time meetings after it had insights from the online platform.”

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst