In an effort to describe the intellectual environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), former MIT President Jerome Wiesner once remarked that “getting an education at MIT is like taking a sip from a fire hose.”
For those of us working in the field of medicine, this perspective is far from a pithy witticism. The scope of the informational fire hose in science is truly staggering. For example, according to summaries posted by the National Library of Medicine, new “In Progress” records expand daily by 3,000 to 12,000 citations. While not broken down by scientific discipline, these data underscore the scope of the challenge to understand a rapidly changing clinical marketplace. Additionally, these data don’t begin to address the broad expanse of observations by the media, blogosphere, and social media.
So how do we at Ogilvy CommonHealth Medical Education (OCHME) sip from an informational fire hose? Our scientific team takes a multidisciplinary approach:
- Manage the scientific literature – The National Library of Medicine’s search engine allows a user to program keywords into daily automated searches that are emailed to us each morning
- Leverage capabilities of Internet search engines – Many search engines will alert a user to a particular word string “as it happens.” So the moment a keyword is used on the Internet, we are made aware and can act on it
- Build close intellectual relationships with clients and clinicians – At every opportunity, OCHME shares our perspectives on recent developments in a therapeutic area with our clients and clinicians. As the relationship matures, the exchange of information becomes a two-way street. Before long, this becomes a key source of new information for us
- Embrace nontraditional sources – We routinely monitor blogs and conduct Twitter searches for perspectives that support our projects
- Continue to rely on traditional information channels: Sources such as eMarketer, Forrester, or Kantar Sources & Interactions continue to offer high intrinsic value, allowing OCHME to construct insightful snapshots of a therapeutic marketplace
Using the above techniques, OCHME is frequently the first source of timely strategic information that is shared with our clients. In addition, this comprehensive approach allows OCHME to identify novel data and cutting-edge perspectives that keep our medical content topical, insightful, and exciting.
Still thirsty? The next round is on OCHME. Cheers!
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