Best Practices for Implementing New Technology and Facilitating Adoption
Author: Spencer RouxPublished: March 20, 2023 Life Sciences Tech 4 min read
On Thursday March 9th, 2023, eClinical Solutions hosted a brunch and learn panel discussion for local Boston area life science companies in drug development which brought together leaders in Data Management, Clinical Operations, IT, Biometrics, Quality, Digital Health, and Innovation across emerging biotech, mid-size and large pharma companies. Panelists included current elluminate Clinical Data Cloud and Biometrics Services clients and partners from Morphic Therapeutics, Bluebird Bio and Halloran Consulting with panel moderator Jodi Holman of eClinical Solutions.
The panel discussion focused on best practices associated with planning, onboarding, and measuring success with new technology implementation & adoption in life science organizations. The attendees discussed strategies to align stakeholders at every level and function, facilitate adoption & buy-in, and pitfalls to avoid during the process.
Here are the key takeaways.
Work Through Adoption First
When evaluating any type of new technology, not just modern clinical data technology, it is helpful to focus on adoption planning first and work with your vendor to understand how much they are going do, and do not assume they will do ‘everything’. The panel emphasized dedicating time and resources for implementation & adoption planning. In addition, an organization’s size and available resources can influence this approach.
One panelist’s approach to implementing elluminate® at his current emerging biotech company was to engage eClinical for Biometrics Services. Since the Biometrics Services team utilizes elluminate, this got his team’s hands in elluminate and provided early exposure to the platform. He further explained that when the company was ready to implement, this assists with the adoption as end users are more familiar with the platform.
Identify Key Stakeholders: The Champions and the Reluctant
The group emphasized that understanding the processes to support new tech is important when implementing new technology, and that leaders should try to understand user readiness for change and any challenges that may arise. The panelists highlighted the importance of targeting communication to various stakeholders in different ways and customizing training based on their role and responsibilities. Defining champions from all functions and involving the most reluctant users upfront can also contribute to adoption success.
Define your Data Roadmap
This panel recommended using the technology in pilot studies before full multi-study implementation. They also emphasized the significance of integration points with different systems. They agreed that a long-term roadmap with short and midterm plans are valuable for successful technology adoption, and how crucial it is to have a designated system owner to document the technology landscape within the organization. The group also highlighted that many smaller biopharma companies are investing early in technology to build a foundation for their digital trials that can scale and grow with them.
Data Governance to Mitigate Silos
This discussion offered advice on building an organic governance team that can help manage data standards & ensure success and highlighted that the data governance team doesn’t always have to be C-suite; often the best data governance comes from the ground up. Panel members also emphasized the importance of having standards and oversight as organizations that lack can face delays and costly data clean-up efforts from a “spaghetti bowl” of data.
Metrics to Measure Success
The final panel discussed metrics to measure the success of technology implementation at an organization, including the time saved from having all data in one place, total number of users engaged, number of use cases adopted, number of timelines shortened, etc. They recommended being careful not to over-promise on metrics or to try and add bespoke metrics during the implementation phase, but rather to focus on key metrics that are applicable to any technology implementation. They also emphasized that the goal is to make users’ lives easier and to quantify the value added by using the technology. One panelist added, “You want your team to wake up in the morning excited to see what data is in elluminate!”, while another panelist added it is “impossible to measure innovation”.
These various panels of experts discussed several critical factors to consider when implementing new technology in life science organizations. They stressed the importance of adoption planning and having dedicated resources to ensure success, as well as understanding the processes to support new technology while utilizing the technology vendor to support you. The speakers also emphasized the need for defining champions and involving reluctant users upfront, and the added value of having a long-term data roadmap and a designated system owner to ensure your data and analytics infrastructure is working in harmony.
Spencer RouxCustomer Success Manager, eClinical Solutions
Spencer Roux is a Customer Success Manager with eight years of experience in research and technology companies in the New England region. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of New Hampshire. Spencer is part of eClinical Solutions Customer Success Team, focused on mid-market accounts, based out of Massachusetts. Aside from his professional career, Spencer is an active member of Harvard's Digital Psychiatry unit and serves on their patient advisory board and has a keen interest in digital health and his ultimate goal is to make the world a better place.
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