9 March 2020

Keep Calm and Carry on Researching

With restrictions to travel and the increasing number of medical congresses, sporting and music events being cancelled COVID-19 is challenging the inter-connected nature of modern life. The impact is being felt in almost every industry and healthcare market research is no different.

In some regions in Asia and northern Italy it is no longer possible for in person research to take place. Elsewhere, patients and clinicians are becoming increasingly hesitant to attend either individual or group research in facility.

But the digital and virtual tools, already being expertly utilised by our team, enables us to continue generating powerful qualitative insights. Methodologies such as insight communities and digital patient journals, do not just offer a comparable experience to in-person interviews but can, if well executed, uncover more powerful insights. From a client perspective, access to communities can engage the broader brand team, creating excitement and interest in the research. The team can view discussions, start to analyse data and where relevant ask new questions and add reactive exercises based on initial insights.

Insight Communities

Ranging from agile research to long term iterative co-creation, insight communities offer an incredibly flexible and interactive approach to uncovering insights to core commercial questions.

While the platform enables a mix of individual, social, qualitative and quantitative questions we believe the depth and quality of the insight comes from accessing both system one and system two thinking. Through building in both top-of-mind and considered responses we are able to understand what is really driving decision making.

Social tasks and discussion topics, moderated by our team, can provide the same level of debate and creative development as focus group discussions. And unlike a moment in time focus group, these discussions can span days or weeks providing different levels of insight as participants consider topics during their usual daily life.

Not only can we as researchers get incredible insights out of this tool, but patients also find the community and the ability to discuss how they manage their condition with others incredibly rewarding. This is especially true for patients and caregivers of people with isolating or rare diseases.

Digital patient journals

Developed either as a stand-alone research workstream or as part of an insights community, digital journals provide a unique view into the daily life of patients, caregivers and clinicians.

In contrast to in-facility or even at home ethnos where the researcher has a set period of time with the participant, digital journals capture feelings, challenges and events in real time. Participants use tagged photos and videos to record daily events. For example, participants can document therapy induction through short videos captured before and after medication initiation providing unique ‘in the moment’ insight.

While moderation is not always live, not having a researcher in front of them can unarm participants helping them to open up and give us a true view into their life – not just the tidy house they cleaned because a researcher was coming!

Whether travel restrictions are in place or not, we are strong advocates for utilising digital research methodologies to answer core business questions, through uncovering and truly understanding real-world behaviour of pharma/MedDev customers.