Using blended learning to support pharma and life sciences growth
Posted on 12th December, 2017 by Sean Nugent
In line with most industries, the pharma and life sciences sector is facing rapid change. In this blog, we take a look at the future of pharma and life sciences, and how blended learning can solve the learning challenges ahead.
In recent years, the pharma and life sciences sector has experienced unprecedented levels of change. Increasing regulation, advanced products, new technology and complexity of market access means there is a vast amount of extremely detailed information available. The challenge now is to help people make sense of this information and use it to improve performance.
From product sales staff to laboratory technicians, everyone in the pharma sector is having to learn more information more rapidly. Historically, training in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry has taken place using a traditional face-to-face approach. However the need to deliver learning globally, at scale and at speed, is no longer feasible using only face-to-face methods.
Blended learning supports the future of pharma and life sciences
Digital learning delivered as part of a blended learning programme enables learning to be delivered quicker and in a more cost-effective way. A blended approach enables learning to be delivered at scale and at the point of need.
Blended learning, as LEO’s programmes have shown, can significantly improve performance of thousands of learners over a sustained period of time. This is because they make the most of:
- Multi-device learning that enables people to access training material at their convenience from any location.
- Video-based scenarios that enable people to engage in realistic simulated environments, such enabling a sales representative to engage in a conversation with a medical practitioner.
- Performance support tools, for example, to refresh key facts prior to an important sales meeting.
- Spaced practice assessments, to allow people to demonstrate that they have read and understood the key facts of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
- Virtual technologies allowing learners to see how diseases and devices work at a molecular level, such as through 3D animations, VR, AR and simulations.
- 360 degree video, for example, to explore a manufacturing facility or clean room to understand how a product is made. This is particularly helpful in situations and environments that would be impossible to gain physical access to.
- Face-to-face sessions, where time is spent coaching and supporting individuals rather than presenting information.
- Communities of practice, forums and academies to support informal learning, where people can engage and network with their colleagues to share ideas and working practices.
Blended learning to support a patient-centered approach
Pharma and life sciences professionals are increasingly seizing new opportunities to target their learning at patients as well as employees. Technology can allow patients to directly access and understand insights into their own healthcare. Blended learning gives organisations the potential to really engage patients in the product development lifecycle – from clinical trials right through to gathering real-world evidence.
For patients following a drug regimen (and in a wide range of other situations, such as clinical trials), blended learning content can provide significant support. This could be in the form of videos illustrating the procedures they need to follow and reminders to take their treatment.
Getting the right mix
An effective blend is much more than simply converting face-to-face training into elearning, or creating simple digital assets.
LEO’s starting point is to put in place a clearly defined learning architecture, including the right tools, processes and technology to support blended learning across an organisation. It’s important that the learning architecture is scalable and works across different business units and geographical locations.
As part of setting up this learning architecture, our focus is to ensure that we create learning blends that deliver measurable improvements in performance. It’s also essential to put the right organisational structures in place to support blended learning and to create a learning culture, where the benefits of learning can be clearly demonstrated through the use of data.
Finding the right learning blend for you
The pharmaceutical industry needs to meet the requirements of a diverse variety of learners, across different business areas, including research, manufacturing, product development, clinical trials and market access.
Blended learning programmes give organisations the scope to tackle this challenge head on. Designing an effective blend for pharma and life sciences learners requires a unique mix of skills and expertise. LEO has worked with many global pharma and life sciences organisations to deliver their perfect learning mix.
If you want to transform your learning and achieve measurable results at speed and scale, we can help. To find out how, contact us today.
Want to know more about new approaches to the future of the pharma and life sciences industry? Download our ebook, ‘Future learning in Pharma and Life Sciences’ today.