When a global pandemic hit and the entire healthcare ecosystem changed, the evolution of virtual engagements was a welcome change for medical science liaisons (MSLs) – well, partly.
In an August 2022 market research study conducted by H1 and the Medical Science Liaison Society (MSLS), more than 600 MSLs surveyed weighed in on their experiences and preferences on virtual vs in-person engagements with potential key opinion leaders (KOLs); how it impacted their day-to-day work and why even with more digital tools available – the same industry challenge persists – it’s still time consuming and arduous to surface and reach diverse and relevant KOLs.
In a post-COVID world, virtual engagements have become a normal part of life for MSLs so the fact that they had to move to virtual engagements with KOLs didn’t have that great of an impact on their job aka business as usual. They can be proficient at their jobs with virtual meetings, but it’s not what they prefer. As these virtual engagements became business as usual and people started going back to in-person meetings, many MSLs kept the model of virtual meetings.
One may assume that moving to a more virtual or hybrid model may make it easier to access KOLs, especially when looking at a broader scope of experts like digital opinion leaders but that isn’t the case.
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