At one time, medical affairs teams concerned themselves primarily with data support and managing regulatory compliance. Today, however, medical affairs is fast becoming the communications hub of clinical research.
With this shift in the role of MA comes increasing demands for information management, analysis, and the generation of actionable insights.
Using the right digital tools can help medical affairs teams stay on top of these demands while remaining committed to complying with regulatory requirements.
What Do Actionable Insights in Medical Affairs Look Like?
Medical affairs teams are involved in a wide range of activities, write Caroline Horwood and Sophie Stiewe at Uptake Strategies. By coordinating and integrating these activities, MA teams can glean information that allows them to “link scientific and clinical results to patient outcomes, adding value at every stage of drug development.”
As MA teams have shifted toward a role as a communications hub, “the life sciences industry has struggled to define what success looks like when it comes to medical affairs,” write Abhitosh Daw and Ramya Gunza at InfoSys.
Several themes have emerged within this struggle. Those include:
- Increasing demands for quality assurance as precision medicine offers more targeted treatments and federal regulators continue to place demands on clinical trial teams.
- An ongoing burden to make data collection and analysis meaningful. More data points can be generated today than at any previous time in history. Being able to glean meaningful insights from that information, however, remains a challenge.
- The need to make sense of available information. Healthcare providers can access vast amounts of information on demand, but can they use it to make decisions that improve patient care? Data visualization and other tools are a must for effective communication.
- Platforms that are themselves intuitive and scalable. Constantly learning new software places a drag on the efforts of healthcare providers, researchers, and consumers. Centralizing data collection and analysis allows these professionals to devote their mental energies to essential tasks.
Medical affairs teams have the potential to become a single source of truth within their organizations. To do so, they must be equipped with the right tools to produce actionable insights.
Choosing the Right Tools for Actionable Insights
Medical affairs teams can no longer rely on paper or on outdated spreadsheets to manage and deliver necessary information.
An end-to-end, adaptable, scalable software solution like IRMS MAX enables MA teams to gather, analyze, and use data in ways that support medical affairs’ role as an information and communications hub.
IRMS MAX supports the development of clear, communicable, actionable insights with several built-in capabilities, including:
- Quality assurance and compliance. Integrated tools for quality assurance reviews and meeting regulatory security and privacy demands both feature in IRMS MAX. Access controls allow for improved data security without sacrificing efficiency. MA teams can work more closely with quality assurance, confident they’re providing usable data and meaningful insights.
- Data completeness and interoperability. The best insights are generated from data that can be incorporated into analysis without lengthy or costly conversion procedures. IRMS MAX’s centralized case intake tools allow MA teams to streamline adverse event and product complaint data, along with related medical information and contact information.
- Outstanding data visualization and analysis. IRMS MAX incorporates Anju Data Visualization (AnjuDV), a robust analytical reporting engine with built-in interactive data visualization tools. These tools help you answer questions and communicate insights to other key participants.
- Scalability and ease of learning. Whether you need to support one small team or a worldwide enterprise, IRMS MAX’s Division feature provides configurability within one system — allowing teams to access the information and tools they need without having to relearn new software each time.
With their data, medical affairs plays an ever-increasing role in delivering actionable insights to a healthcare organization. In this role, MA teams also face increasing pressure to collect data more efficiently and produce more robust insights. They must also do all of this within a regulatory environment that is ever more complex.
To meet these challenges, “it’s essential that Medical Affairs teams explore a strategic alliance with a best-in-class partner,” writes Christina L. Hoffman, global head of medical affairs at Medscape.
With a tool like IRMS MAX, medical affairs teams can provide the right information to the right person at the right time, every time.
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