Compliance and authenticity

Back in the late 90’s, I had a lot of fun working as an interviewer with Ernie Goddard on the ‘Talking Medicine’ audiotape series. This was in the days long before podcasts, heck even before CD-ROMs.
We had long-form conversations with doctors about their therapy area and steered the conversation around to the pharmaceutical brand that we were promoting. These tapes proved very popular and Ernie had a very successful business. Listening back to some of the early interview tapes (I still have my Sony Walkman) and the questions we used to ask, and the answers that doctors gave, would never be compliant today! Boy, times have changed, both in terms of the digital technology available—you can now make a decent video with your iPhone—and in terms of compliance. It is all very locked down. Interviews are sometimes scripted and/or edited to ensure compliance. And they are short, very short. As the Edge team worked on video interviews of a group of HCPS in London yesterday, it set my head wondering about authenticity. The presentation is immaculate, the conversation perfectly compliant, and the soundbite short. But I can’t help wondering if something gets lost. How far can the conversation be pushed to give us genuine insights into their practice and stay compliant? And most doctors are storytellers. We are all storytellers. Does the story get lost? We are told that people have short attention spans, so any video must be very short. I am not so sure. Anyway, Liz and Ben from the Edge Team are off today to London to the ABPI course “Making things happen in the digital space”, to understand better compliance in the digital space. I bet there won’t be any talk of a Sony Walkman.

EDGE—communicating evidence, changing clinical practice