Anyone watching trends in physician use of digital technology will note the surge in live peer-to-peer discussions taking place via computers, tablets, and smartphones. Live Web chat videoconferencing—or video group chat as it is commonly called—has long been in existence within large-business entities. But it was Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts that brought video group chat into the mainstream. Given their innate desire for peer exchange, physician adoption has spiked in the face of increasing time constraints and travel restrictions in health care. This movement to greater virtual peer exchange—or what we like to call “borderless communities”—has really taken hold. The Manhattan Research shows almost three-quarters of physicians are engaging in online video conferencing.
These converging factors present the perfect opportunity for meaningful innovation. And virtual rounds answer that call.
Virtual rounds tap into the desire to avoid didactic lectures and instead offer up an enriching learning experience where physicians actively exchange information and learn from each other like they do in grand rounds and roundtable discussions—but with the convenience of participating from their practice through a secure video group chat.
Virtual rounds can bridge multiple practices across different areas and even over time by offering a national thought leader and peers a secure and moderated videoconference wherein they see and speak to each other. Topics can range from roundtable discussions on reprint carriers to grand rounds on challenging patient cases. It’s an excellent forum for engaging in in-depth discussions with peers nationwide who share similar clinical expertise and challenges.
Brand teams particularly enjoy the advantage of virtual rounds as an early start to programming for a drug launch. It provides a much faster time to get in-field vs traditional programs. There aren’t a lot of slides or a heavy script to develop, run through approvals, and train the entire speaker bureau on. Instead, we can train one or two speakers to moderate 30-minute video group chats. Thus, virtual rounds become a rewarding experience for everyone.
Responding to physicians’ preferences and expectations allows us to capture new market opportunities, spur innovation, and increase value to our clients, their physicians, and the patients that we collectively serve. So it makes sense to make the most of this opportunity and take peer-to-peer engagements to the next level.