Setting new standards in information exchange for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry
Conference Takeaways: Executing Global Clinical Trials and Disruptive Innovations – BBK Worldwide
September 19, 2012
As the BBK Worldwide team returns from the Executing Global Clinical Trials and Disruptive Innovations Conference in Boston, we reflect on our major takeaways from the event:
It was obvious that there are tremendous synergies between the Disruptive Innovations conference and the Global Clinical Trials conference. At the GCT Conference, an overriding notion was that there are different ways to do things in order to achieve better results. Indeed we work in an industry that respects empirical evidence, and yet, for those individuals who oppose change, there isn’t any data that supports their current way of doing things. It’s only experiential with an ‘n’ of one. Often the industry repeats mistakes by replicating actions that we know are broken. And, as it has been stated many times before: this is a definition for “insanity”.
Innovation needs to be embraced by this innovative industry. As crazy as that sounds, let’s try this on for size: people need to become more comfortable with risk of one sort (trying innovative things) in order to mitigate risk of another (failure to enroll trials on time). Merging the two conferences has never made more sense to me.
One of the most interesting things that I took from the Global Clinical Trials Conference was the underlying and uniformed need for change for some sponsors in the role of social media in clinical trials. Although there are a few sponsors who have tapped into this resource, many have not even attempted to explore it for a number of reasons.
The main reason being experience – many of these pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are somewhat old fashioned in their thinking and approaches to clinical trials, and although they may recognize this, many do not have internal access to the resources to implement programs involving social media. This is why many companies who are innovative experts in this field, like BBK, are sought after as the younger generations grow. As Aaron and I were talking to a variety of people at the booth during the conference, many were very surprised at the depth and engagement our social media programs offered (listening, engagement, etc.) – and the benefits they could reap from implementing them into their trials.
While BBK was the sponsor of the Global Clinical Trials portion of the conference, I had the privilege of attending the Disruptive Innovation conference. As a member of the BBK social media team, I was excited to see so many sponsors taking giant steps forward in using patient recruitment for social media. I think one of the main themes that came across in each presentation was, that social media isn’t as scary as people once thought. It can be a powerful and meaningful tool to develop lasting connections with patients. I also had the honor of interviewing a clinical research patient, Jeri Burtchell. Jeri and I sat down to talk about her experience as a participant in a clinical trial for Multiple Sclerosis. Her interview will be posted to our blog next week. All in all, I think patients should be encouraged by what was discussed last week, as the patient recruitment industry as a whole continues to make major improvements and continues to be innovative in our approach to bringing awareness to clinical research.