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Five technology trends for the pharmaceutical industry to embrace in 2022

By Alistair Barton, Project Director at SWM Partners

While the new year points to the continued return of in-person events, virtual experiences were widely adopted by the pharmaceutical industry throughout 2020 and 2021, and we anticipate that these will continue to play an important role in the future.

At the same time, when delivered safely, there’s incredible value in face-to-face engagements, however following an extended period of predominantly virtual event experiences, medical professionals now expect technology-led experiences across all formats. It will therefore be more important than ever to incorporate the latest technologies into events in 2022, in order to educate, inform and engage this audience.

Enhancing health and safety in the wake of COVID-19

Safeguarding those attending hybrid and in-person events will continue to be vital, and technology will be leveraged to enhance a number of processes here. Contactless check-ins will be the norm, as they eliminate the need for human contact and lengthy queuing, while also streamlining the event and session entry process.

We’ll also see the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technology, which will be increasingly used to trace the movements of attendees and send them personalised messages in response. The team at GreetHealth, for example, have developed technology which sends messages thanking those for following COVID-19 guidelines, and encouragements to attendees who are detected as not wearing their masks or keeping their distance.

Exploring possibilities in the metaverse

Digital evolution no doubt accelerated as a result of the pandemic, and while not new, there has been a lot of buzz about the metaverse this year, a world where our virtual and physical lives converge. There is an immense opportunity to create engaging, educational experiences for medical professionals in this space, and it seems our industry has already started to embrace it.

Wunderman’s recent report on the metaverse discusses the prescription-strength video game from EndeavorRx by Akili Interactive, and reveals that 74% of those who have heard of the metaverse would be interested in attending a digital business conference, meanwhile 54% of those who haven’t heard of it feel the same way.

Achieving maximum personalisation through technology

The healthcare industry is already looking to AI to increase efficiencies when it comes to the development of new treatments and therapies. From a personalisation perspective, its use will become more widespread in events in 2022 and beyond. AI can be leveraged to identify patterns in attendees’ behaviour in real time, allowing companies to tailor their communications in response to this. It can be used to drive interest pre-event, enhance an individual’s experience as it unfolds, and provide relevant information and resources at the post-event stage. Event apps can be integrated here too, to send personalised push notifications across these three key stages of the event lifecycle.

A continued focus on attendee interactivity

Across all event formats, creating opportunities for medical professionals to actively take part in an experience and connect with one another will remain essential. Live polling allows people to contribute to how the event unfolds and will therefore drive engagement, meanwhile Q&As provide them with the opportunity to ask questions about the product and information being shared. For hybrid events, creating platforms where virtual audiences can schedule opportunities to meet with their in-person counterparts, as CES is doing in 2022, will prove an effective way to bring both audiences together. 

Immersing and educating through content

The role of technology in content will continue to play its part, both as a means of educating and engaging medical professionals. By developing state-of-the-art video animations and looking to the latest in motion graphics to share key drug information, audiences will develop a more in-depth understanding of a product, its applications and uses. This will then ultimately ensure they pass accurate information on to their patients, and make informed decisions when determining which treatments to recommend and provide.

Our world is constantly changing and evolving, and this has never been truer as a result of the pandemic. Despite all of this, one thing we know for certain is that technology will advance and progress ongoing, and continue to play an important role in the lifecycle of pharmaceutical events.

Learn more about how you can incorporate technology into events in 2022 and beyond. Get in touch with the SWM Partners team: hello@swm-partners.com.

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