Introducing The Best End-To-End Software Solution For Medical Affairs

Today I received an email. A colleague named four vendors asking “which of the four provides the best end-to-end software solution for Medical Affairs teams?” 

The answer, is, of course, spoiler alert “none of them”.

The good news is that the answer, all of them, is also true. 

Today’s edition will focus on how to pick the best software solution for your business needs.

You can also listen to 5 minute podcast here.

Today I received an email. A client named four vendors asking “which of the four provides the best end-to-end software solution for Medical Affairs teams?”

The answer, is, of course, spoiler alert “none of them”

Sorry, to disappoint you so early on in the game, it gets better from here on though, promise.

As a Medical Affairs consultant I work with teams on their global set-up this often also entails selecting a software solution. I have a weakness for nicely designed software solutions. Back in 2006 I designed & launched a web-based Medical Affairs software solution. It was beautiful. It was email & attachment enabled, captured bio-similar and off-label use, gender, age, co-morbidity, co-medications (it was a long time ago) and had real-time dashboards for market analysis. Many of the tools I am shown today cannot do all of the above. So was that the best system? No, although I will always have a soft spot for it, but it was the best system in that environment for that business at that time.

Unfortunately, there is no one best solution. This is not because the available software solutions are bad, but because you have unique needs.

What’s wrong for you, might be right for another company. Asking what is best, is the wrong question, asking what is best for us is the right question.

Selecting a software solution should be the last step in a long process of asking the right questions about your business, your needs, your software environment, your geographical reach, your company size, the list is a long one, so I will stop there. The last step. Not the first step. Not a quick solution. It may be tempting to roll out a system fast. Perhaps you are incentivised to fix an issue. Perhaps you have some budget to use up.

Unlike other purchases buying the wrong software solution is expensive, painful and can have a huge impact on your organisation and on your career.

Don’t pick a tool because others in your industry like working with it, or because you like the solution provider, or because the costs seem to be lower if you pick solution A over solution B, or because you see the solution provider at every conference you go to.

Do take the time to ask questions and interview solution providers and colleagues in other companies. Do involve your IT team, it is your friend. Forget that the last time you called tech support because your monitor was not working they asked if it was plugged in. It’s a different department.

To conclude, unless you understand the problem you want to solve, know the resources you will deploy to solve it on the business side AND have a clear idea of the type of data you want to collect, you cannot identify the best software solution.

Are you in the process of reorganising your Medical Affairs and Medical Information set-up? Do you need to identify and roll out a system in Medical Affairs or Medical Information? Not sure where to start? Contact me to have an informal chat to find out if I can help.