Omnichannel engagement in medical technology: Now is the time (2023)

(9 pages)

In healthcare systems around the worldThe adoption of digital and analytical tools and methods has accelerated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.Telemedicine has become popular, and digital analytics and collaboration have been widely used to improve patient outcomes and increase productivityprovision of health servicesShifts for outpatient and home care. At the same time, medical technology companies accelerated their digital transformations and added more functions and channels, including self-service portals, webinars and social media content, to support remote interactions with healthcare professionals (HCPs) and stakeholders. . such as payers, hospital managers and procurement professionals.

About the authors

This article was a collaborative effort byRalph Breuer,Delphine Nain Zurkiya, Abhi Patangay, Julia SamorezovChristian Zerbi, which reflects the views of McKinsey's pharmaceutical and medical device practice.

As a result, the medical technology industry is shifting from a vendor-centric model to an omnichannel world where HCPs can access information when they need it. While salespeople remain the primary point of contact, companies are expanding these relationships with new resources and tools and aligning them across channels to meet stakeholder needs. This change is intended to enable stakeholders to make better, faster decisions that benefit both patients and healthcare systems (see sidebar, "Understanding Healthcare Professionals' Engagement Preferences").

Understanding the participation preferences of health professionals

to understand howPhysician behavior has changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinsey conducted longitudinal surveys of physicians in the European Union, United Kingdom and United States in seven specialties: gastroenterology, general dentistry, general surgery, interventional cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery and radiology. The first round of the survey was conducted in April 2020 with 509 respondents and the second in November 2020 with 876 respondents. We also conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews with 100 physicians and procurement professionals to understand their needs, how medical technology companies can better serve them, and a glimpse into what the next normal for HCP engagement might be. ).

As shown in Figure A, physicians' expectations for remotely interacting with patients declined between March and November 2020, although respondents expect virtual engagement to increase in other areas. Two-thirds expect to conduct more professional training through virtual channels, and half expect to receive more new product training this way. In interviews, clinicians said they appreciate the flexibility of virtual models, allowing them to learn on demand and participate in sessions that time or budget constraints would otherwise have prevented. Physicians also expect fewer in-person visits from sales reps, potentially signaling a deeper shift in their preferred way of working with medical technology companies.

Figure B, which shows healthcare professionals' responses to a sales rep disclosure question, suggests that the future of engagement will be a hybrid one. A multi-channel trend was already evident before 2020, but other important changes have taken place recently. One shift is a marked shift in physicians' preferred channel for interacting with field workers in person (preferred by 79% of respondents prior to 2020, but only 49% in 2021 and beyond) to electronic mail (preferred by 54% and 65 %, or). Another notable change is physicians' preference for video calls, which has increased more than fivefold (from 7% to 38%).

Physicians' channel preferences when ordering medical technology products are summarized in Appendix C. While they still prefer face-to-face interactions when demos and case support are needed, they prefer digital and remote models for finding information, negotiating deals, and placing orders. Overall, the top three channels preferred by physicians for ordering medical products in 2020 and beyond were the provider's website, the provider's mobile app, and the e-procurement portal within the HCP organization itself, representing an overall increase of 20 times in Digital Media Preferences. and self-service channels since 2019.


Omnichannel engagement in medical technology: Now is the time (1)


(Video) Defining the Omnichannel Customer Journey
Omnichannel engagement in medical technology: Now is the time (2)


Omnichannel engagement in medical technology: Now is the time (3)
(Video) Developing Design KPIs for an Omnichannel Experience Strategy | Angel Brown talk video

For medical technology companies, a properly planned omnichannel model promises to improve not only HCP engagement, but also overall quality of care, patient outcomes, revenue, productivity, staff satisfaction, and talent engagement and retention. . To deliver on that promise, leaders must reflect on two key questions, which this article examines: What do healthcare professionals and non-clinical stakeholders look forward to in the next normal? How might medical technology companies consider changing their go-to-market models to address them?

First steps in omnichannel

To accommodate the changing preferences of HCPs and non-clinical stakeholders, medical technology companies are utilizing a wider range of channels, including:

  • digital advertising.Eighty percent of medical technology companies shifted some of their marketing spend (over 20% in most cases) to digital channels in 2020.1McKinsey Medtech Digital Marketing Survey (100 respondents), February 2020.
  • domestic sales.64% of medical technology companies are starting or expanding their "inside sales" capabilities.
  • Portals and eCommerce.Two-thirds of medical technology companies expect online channels to account for more than 20% of their sales by 2025.
  • Hybrid interactions with sales reps.Most medical technology companies equip their sales force with virtual communication tools, digital content and train them in distance selling.

However,Medical technology companies have yet to reinvent the way they interact with provide a seamless experience across digital, remote and in-person channels; In fact, 77 percent report a channel conflict. Stakeholders demand better coordination across channels, more digital content that is relevant and tailored to their needs, and the ability to access information on demand. To meet these expectations, medical technology companies must radically rethink the people, processes and technology that make up their go-to-market models. Omnichannel engagement is not about adapting existing models. It's about moving to a new model where agile teams bring design thinking, digital engagement, and analytics to help sales reps deliver the right message, at the right time, through the right channel, to the right stakeholders.

Some pioneers show what can be achieved with it. A global provider ofin vitroDiagnostics redesigned its service delivery across all channels, using ethnographic research to uncover unmet needs; Create new digital tools such as B. Online problem solving; and improve collaboration between your call centers, field technicians and sales representatives. A leading medical device and diagnostics company used a combination of digital and remote channels, including inside sales and self-service portals, to reach a new segment of outpatients with personalized information and support. And a hospital supplies supplier achieved new growth by implementing an omnichannel engagement model that helps purchasing managers simplify product ordering across the mix of clinical activities and increase user satisfaction and service quality. All of these companies have built their omnichannel models around a well-defined approach.

Development of an omnichannel model in medical technology

To create a seamless omnichannel experience, successful medical technology players follow a six-element process: define the vision, design the engagement model, set up cross-functional implementation teams, create an analytics engine, create a scalable technology plan, and prepare the organization for change.

1. Define the vision

Every successful omnichannel transformation starts with aligning leaders with a vision for how to embrace a new way of working that focuses on meeting the needs of healthcare professionals, non-clinical stakeholders and patients. This view identifies which business units, countries, segments and interactions are associated with creating measurable value for external stakeholders and companies.

A common bottleneck in omnichannel transformations is resource allocation, especially in organizations with rigid, siled and slow processes for annual business planning and market-based budget allocations. Successful companies often create well-targeted core budgets to fuel their omnichannel investments and scale them as impact occurs so that programs are truly self-funding. They implement regular, at least quarterly, resource allocation processes that engage executives across all functions to reallocate funding and talent to the most promising omnichannel business cases, maximizing ROI and accelerating scaling.

2. Integrate design thinking

When determining the needs of healthcare professionals and non-clinical stakeholders, many medical device companies rely on market research and other traditional techniques, or draw on institutional knowledge and experience. However, such an approach can lead to incremental thinking that doesn't take new engagement opportunities into account. Design thinking, using techniques such as ethnographic research to understand stakeholder needs, along with creativity, empathy and intuition, and rational inquiry can help medical technology companies escape this trap. For example deep drivingethnographic researchwith patients, clinicians, procurement professionals and others can uncover unmet needs and pain points and help inform which channels, messages and experiences to include in the design of new engagement models (Showcase). Such research can also shed light on where analytics can be useful and what new tools and ways of interacting may be needed.

(Video) Omnichannel Customer Experience - The Big Opportunity

Omnichannel engagement in medical technology: Now is the time (4)

Design-based problem solving is not a one-time exercise. It's an ongoing process of testing new stakeholder engagement concepts, learning what works and what doesn't, and refining iteration after iteration until the concepts mature enough to scale throughout the organization.

3. Establish agile, cross-functional implementation teams

Developing and implementing an omnichannel engagement model requires close collaboration across different roles and skills, as well as a rapid progression from ideas to prototypes that are quickly tested and refined with stakeholders. Successful companies form cross-functional squads to provide the foundation for new engagement journeys, with members from sales, marketing, service, analytics, IT and design. Every omnichannel transformation revolves around Squads: they foster, test and institutionalize innovation; build organizational capacity; offer specific training; implement change management; identify barriers to change; and help shape scaling processes and key performance indicators.

For example, a medical technology company that wants to engage healthcare professionals in product research and evaluation might ask their product and digital marketing specialists to conduct a series of webinars and develop personalized support digital content for each physician. At the same time, sales representatives can connect with physicians who have specific questions and find out which physicians would find it helpful to attend a demo. Meanwhile, an analytics team working behind the scenes can track the impact of these activities on HCP satisfaction and business goals.

Squads typically work in agile two-week sprint cycles, using daily huddles to coordinate efforts across functions and create tight execution feedback loops. Through these sprints, squads identify what is working and needs to scale on the one hand, and what gaps need to be closed on the other (in terms of skills, mindset, operating model, incentives, processes, data, and technology).

4. Build an analytics engine to orchestrate engagement across all channels

In the past, the success of many medical technology companies was largely based on the experience and knowledge of their front-line talent. But as channels proliferate and the medical technology landscape increases in complexity, companies see the need to augment sales rep pattern recognition with other techniques and tools. Advanced analytics can help medical technology companies create a better experience for HCPs and other stakeholders, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of their own operations.

The first step for many new users is to use simple descriptive analysis based on historical data to learn from past buying patterns. Much of the value of this approach comes from combining internal and external datasets, which is often a challenge for organizations using traditional data management structures and techniques. External datasets such as Data such as health insurance claim records are combined with data collected from interactions with healthcare professionals to provide valuable insight into a particular physician's needs and challenges. Even in the absence of historical interaction data, analytics teams can use a physician's care history to predict that person's needs and understand when they are likely to arise.

In more advanced applications, machine learning algorithms use data on stakeholder properties, interaction history, and outcomes to simulate the content, channels, contact frequency, and order that create the best experience for a company, a specific stakeholder. or a health facility. A “recommendation engine” can then be developed to suggest what steps a sales representative or other professional can take to engage a particular stakeholder at any given time.

Successful analytics engines are co-developed through close collaboration between data scientists, teams and frontline workers, supported by translators who use their technology and business knowledge to mediate between different functions. Teams use descriptive analysis to formulate hypotheses that can be tested in the field, identify additional data that can be used to optimize algorithms, and discover how interaction data can be integrated to improve outcomes. Other success factors include adopting data engineering best practices and creating reusable building blocks (models, functions, data pipelines, etc.) that can be reassembled and adapted for each new wave of analytics.

5. Develop a scalable technology landscape

Perhaps surprisingly, IT is rarely a barrier to starting an omnichannel transformation. Most medical technology companies already have the basic technology components in place: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and master data sets. What they need to get started are often targeted interventions to improve the integration between the building blocks.

However, as teams learn the most effective workflows and interactions and prepare to scale them, organizations need fully integrated technology stacks designed to address business needs and support critical functions. This can include channel capabilities (e.g. product catalogs for e-commerce and contract management for self-service portals), engagement capabilities (e.g. personalization, consent management and purchase approval) and back-end capabilities (e.g. checkout systems). . and electronic signature authorization).

As medical technology companies begin to expand their technology stacks, they can make quick wins by integrating new capabilities into existing systems and workflows, such as the integration of analytical insights and a dashboard recommendation engine. Successful transformations are business-led and IT-enabled, with both parties equally responsible for delivering an improved experience to external stakeholders and employees alike.

6. Prepare the organization for change

Once an organization is ready to move from experimentation (with two or three teams) to transformation (with dozens or hundreds of teams helping most companies adopt the new omnichannel model), it needs to deal with talent, capability development , process and performance business management .

Medical technology companies rarely have all the talent they need for omnichannel operations and typically have to hire large numbers of new employees over time, e.g. Likewise, most companies need to expand their digital marketing talent in disciplines like content creation and marketing analytics, as well as hire new roles in areas like ethnographic research and user experience design.

(Video) Hyper-Personalize Your HCP Engagement in Real-Time with OneKey

In analysis, it might make sense to initially hire a few engineers and data scientists and a translator to lead the group and collaborate with the business teams. Another new role to fill is Omnichannel Product Owner, tasked with orchestrating cross-functional collaboration across design, analytics, digital marketing, etc., delivering new digital experiences, tools to enable inside selling, and more.

To build internal capabilities, companies often conduct organization-wide training on a variety of topics for each cohort, such as: B. AI fundamentals for leaders and agile methods for team members. Digital platforms are an effective way to deliver this training, which should be available to team members from the start.

When it comes to processes, successful companies create repeatable models and capture them in an omnichannel playbook, along with a constantly updated set of options for coding and scaling. This handbook serves as a guide to setting up and running Squads (for example, how to set up an agile cadence, how to conduct user-centric research, and how to rapidly iterate and test with external stakeholders) and explore cross-functional issues. Squad support teams (e.g. advanced analytics and sales training). Squadrons and support teams are expected to follow the playbook and continually improve it through a testing and refining approach. The playbook then becomes a mechanism for building omnichannel capabilities across the organization.

When approaching performance management, organizations need to track not only the impact of omnichannel initiatives, but also their progress at scale. Key impact metrics include the number of stakeholder interactions per channel, the number of follow-up opportunities, and email click-through rates. Final metrics include stakeholder satisfaction and business performance metrics. When monitoring scaling progress, organizations can use metrics such as the number of people trained on omnichannel topics, the number of roles in key skill areas (such as design and analytics) that have been filled, and the proportion of business that is being done through from omnichannel. . Engagement.

how to begin

While moving to an omnichannel marketing model requires a fundamental shift in skills and budget, with the right approach, the transformation can be self-funding. Furthermore, organizations can accomplish a lot relatively quickly, even with limited data and tools. The key is to move the needle by making the right first few strokes.

A pragmatic way to start is to define a vision and translate it into a 2-3 year opportunity roadmap. Executives then prioritize these opportunities based on the value at stake and the organization's starting point in terms of skills, technology readiness, and investment capacity. They assemble a few squadrons in a carefully chosen country and business unit and ensure that the organization can digest and implement the desired changes. They also link datasets using simple descriptive analysis and business rules to guide teams.

Successful pilots generally share three main attributes. First, the pilot has a dedicated CEO and sponsor who exemplify an external orientation and agile mindset, helping to allocate resources and breaking down barriers between functions, ensuring teams work at a common pace. Second, it targets a country and business unit that offers an opportunity to drive business impact, along with broad support for reinventing the engagement model through sprints. Third, teams specify a set of tangible deliverables that can be used as the foundation for a compelling change story and, over time, as a benchmark for achieving significant improvements in HCP satisfaction and business goals to build momentum. across the organization.

By the end of the first few sprints, a company should have demonstrated that the new model can move the needle to leading metrics, have developed a “North Star” that excites the organization, have learned about any obstacles that impede or block scaling could, and refined the roadmap with a clear vision of where to go next.

How and how quickly medical technology companies embrace omnichannel engagement will likely determine whether they join the ranks of industry leaders or maintain their place. You only have to look at other industries with more advanced omnichannel capabilities to see how this dynamic can play out. Early adopters have a unique opportunity to lead the omnichannel trend while addressing significant unmet needs of healthcare stakeholders.

Ralph Breuer is a partner in McKinsey's Cologne office;Delphine Nain Zurkiyais a partner in the Boston office, whereJúlia Samorezovis an associate member;Abhi Patangaiis a partner in the Minneapolis office; ANDChristian Zerbi is a partner in the London office.

The authors thank Aliza Dzik, Matt Fujisawa, Thomas Gersdorf, Elizabeth Guenther, Chris Llewellyn, Karen Passmore, Catherine Peralta, Andrew Smith, Jennifer Stanley, Dan Tinkoff, Amy Vickers, and Lisha Yang for their contributions to this article.

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