In The Know: How is technology influencing the MSL-physician relationship?

Year over year, Medical Science Liaison (MSL) professionals in the US and Europe are spending a majority of their time in face-to-face meetings with key opinion leaders (KOLs) and prescribing physicians. However, according to the 2018 survey results, as technology expands into the workplace, MSLs are adopting new strategies and tactics for effective engagement.
In a survey conducted last year, 100 MSLs were asked about the number of KOL and healthcare provider (HCP) interactions an individual has in a typical month, which channels they use, and the percentage of time they spend on each type of engagement (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: MSL-KOL/HCP interactions in a typical month, 2017

Source: FirstWord Charting MSL Activity and Performance 2017

Responses to this question from the 2018 MSL activity and performance survey shows how MSL engagement activities have changed over the past 12 months (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: MSL-KOL/HCP interactions in a typical month, 2018

Source: FirstWord Charting MSL Activity and Performance 2018

While email exchanges with KOLs are still the most common method of interaction, they are 50 percent less in the US than they were last year. Respondents also noted that although they spend most of their time in person with KOLs and HCPs, this will likely be reduced in the coming years as text and online chat grow in importance.

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