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How the latest elearning technology can help the pharmaceutical industry

It seems as if every corner of the business world is facing change: shifting markets, customer demographics, globalised offerings, amended legislation and operational requirements, as well as changing political boundaries.

The world of L&D has adapted rapidly to meet these challenges, with smart learning technologies, new learning channels, and transformational strategies becoming key factors in ensuring business success.

Each industry comes with its own unique set of challenges – and the pharmaceutical industry is no different, with changing patient needs and patient demographics, advances in medical technology, complex healthcare systems and access to emerging markets being some of the many pharma sector demands. All of these are underpinned by the need to develop and grow employees to ensure that they can meet increasingly challenging business targets.

A key need that keeps emerging is the requirement for teams to understand complex products so that they can engage with stakeholders. So how can this be done?Scientists looking at an ipad

The challenge

Whether it’s medical devices, diagnostic equipment or a new drug, it’s important that everyone has a deep understanding of the mechanisms of the ‘product’. For example, everyone involved in the product lifecycle needs to know what underlying illness or condition the product is addressing and how the product works.  All stakeholders need to understand how a procedure or drug works to be able to explain the benefits of the product in terms of patient outcomes. This is particularly important for people working in customer-facing or sales roles.

For some products, it’s perfectly possible to explain how they work and demonstrate this using the product itself in a physical environment. But what if it’s something you can’t see, like a mechanism of action of a drug at a molecular level? It can be hard or impossible to explain these without the use of visual aids.

The solutions

Video can be a useful and engaging way to explain and demonstrate how a medical device, such as an endoscope or laparoscope, works in practice. 360° interactive video can add another level of engagement to standard video.

3D animation and simulations can help to visualise and explain the mechanism of action of a specific drug and how it operates within the human body at a molecular level.

Virtual Reality (VR) can take 3D to a whole different level and really place the end-user right in the heart of the action. With VR technology you can, for example, follow a molecule as it reaches the site of disease.

We are already using these approaches to deliver learning to a wide range of stakeholders including internal staff, doctors and patients, through a range of different channels. We are starting to see more demand for technology such as AR, VR, and 360° video and we believe the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors will benefit from using advanced digital learning.

There are many more learning challenges emerging as technology evolves. So what is needed for the future? If you’d like to speak to a LEO expert, just get in touch.

Sean Nugent is LEO’s Programme Director.