Historically, Clinical Trial Investigator meetings are dry events, with a room full of HCPs viewing endless PowerPoint slides detailing clinical trial protocols and pharmacokinetic information. Essentially, these meetings tend to be conducted as a monologue, with little time for deep discussion or engagement.
Over the last decade, the number of clinical trials has increased, along with the demand to bring new therapies to market faster, creating competition to recruit investigators and to enroll patients. Thus – it is more important than ever to engage investigators at live events, and to also make sure that when they leave the event, they are prepared to properly identify, enroll and retain patients for a successful trial.
Fortunately, digital technologies, combined with highly effective information design can dramatically transform these meetings, delivering higher levels of attention, better collaboration, and higher rates of retention.
These four information design approaches are especially powerful for raising the bar at investigator meetings.
1. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
A simple, well-conceived illustration or infographic can successfully convey many layers of complex and nuanced protocol information in a manner investigators, their staff and subjects can quickly understand. It is important to note that commonly used tables and charts can have the opposite effect—creating confusion. Therefore, it is critical to carefully design for simplicity so that your materials gain maximum impact as a short form storytelling tool.
2. Sometimes Less Is More — Focus on What’s Most Important
Details are important, but too many facts and figures increase the likelihood of confusion. Thus, it becomes critical to identify and highlight a few of the most important items as stand-alone elements. This focus will allow your investigators to quickly digest the core principles, and also make them easier to remember. Meanwhile, the full protocol remains accessible to drill down. This simplicity of design also allows these protocol materials to be re-purposed globally for different languages with minimal rework.
3. Use Whatever It Takes to Tell Your Story and Make It Memorable and Engaging
A simple presentation of essential facts and figures isn’t an effective way to support comprehension AND retention. Thus, it’s critical to provide opportunities for attendees to engage with the material in a variety of formats and mediums. Well-designed user experiences can command attention while driving engagement and collaboration. Some specific tactics to consider include:
- Protocols designed as interactive infographics – This solution gives participants the ability to better understand the protocol and provides them with a tool to train their staff and, in some cases, enrolled subjects.
- Games that test investigators knowledge of the protocol as well as fun, event location-specific trivia. These games serve as a fun and engaging way to reinforce key points.
- A virtual journey through the trial protocol. This experience takes investigators on a “Trial Run” from appropriate patient identification and selection, through treatment phases. Include real-life scenarios and issues that may be encountered to get investigators thinking about potential issues before they occur.
- Detailed interactive maps and meet-the-team applications, allowing HCPs to explore investigator sites and learn about their colleagues, as well as the trial team.
- Embedded videos also provide additional background knowledge about the trial, and advocacy efforts
4. Monitor What Resonates
It can be difficult to predict which messages and tactics will resonate most with trial investigators. Therefore, it is very important to define what success will look like for your event; and then use digital technologies to monitor how these tactics are enhancing your investigator meetings. This ongoing measurement will allow future meetings to be even more effective!
As the frequency and complexity of clinical trials increase, the challenge of effectively training investigators and study staff is more critical than ever. To meet this challenge, study teams can lead the way by employing visual storytelling, focusing on key messages, using multiple approaches, and monitoring the results. The investment in this type of information-rich trial investigator meeting not only creates a more memorable and engaging event but also impacts the overall speed and success of the trial itself, as investigators begin the trial better informed about the details of the trial and are better connected with their peers who are also participating in the trial.
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