Digital Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Sector

How we overcome regulatory challenges to create and deliver exceptional digital experiences for Healthcare Professionals.

Design Sprint Workshop

Delivering seamless experiences for Healthcare Professionals

Graphite has been partnered with one of the top ten largest pharmaceutical companies for over 10 years at both a country level in several high priority markets and a global level. Our team provides strategic consultancy, UX and UI design advice for several of the client's key digital initiatives. 

The client team wanted to increase the ease and speed at which busy healthcare professionals could access the information they needed for patients, and help them to feel increased control over the process of registration and searching for content. They approached Graphite to discover service-based features that would aim to improve the customer experience by providing more value to HCPs.

Making things simple in a complex environment

The pharmaceutical industry is a highly complex and regulated environment. Relaying inaccurate or incomplete information, or inadvertently truncating or displaying content out of context that could constitute a claim can have very damaging consequences. To ensure compliance, the client team seeks approval from a group of key stakeholders before releasing any content to healthcare professionals. 

This can make the process from concept to launch of any design a lengthy process. Even seemingly simple and established design patterns that would be simple to approve in other industries, like updating an online form, will be required to be signed off by a number of different departments and team members. The client team wanted to work with speed and velocity despite these legal & regulatory challenges.

The path to innovation

At the initial stage of this project, we ran an exploratory workshop with all of the key stakeholders in the project. The project sponsor was keen to be inclusive from the start, and our process allowed everyone to have continued access as the designs developed. We kicked off the work together with one initial workshop that included representatives from our core client team, their senior management, medical, legal and regulatory colleagues along with the technology team. Graphite facilitated the workshop with representatives from our strategy, design and client services teams.

During the workshop, teams came together to identify and discuss the issues healthcare professionals were facing, particularly their desire to quickly and efficiently access very specific product data with the goal of ultimately improving the standard of information they had available when making clinical decisions. Our research showed that HCPs have relatively low expectations for pharma websites, but that the ones they use the most are the ones that get them what they need quickly, without putting lots of marketing content in their way. 


Rapid prototyping

Prototyping & Iteration

The Graphite team created prototypes using Sketch that could be accessed by all of the stakeholders involved using InVision. This was a new style of working for many of the stakeholders involved but was embraced by the team as they had suitable assets to show to colleagues outside of the initial stakeholder group in order to secure their buy-in to the solutions. We had several follow up meetings and following those created a series of prototypes in Invision that helped to refine our proposed approaches. This meant that when we took our designs through for formal approval, the work had already been reviewed several times, and was able to be recognised as being compliant.


Changing ways of working

Changing up the usual process and ways of working allowed us to bring through a new concept for Healthcare professionals and get it approved. This was a new and far more agile way of working for those involved and proved it was possible to innovate and drive positive change for users while still meeting all of the strict legal and regulatory requirements necessary. Feedback from all of the stakeholders involved was very positive and other stakeholders were encouraged by being involved from the start rather than simply being asked to sign off the final product without consultation

By working in an agile fashion and focusing on bringing regulatory colleagues into projects earlier, showing the work in progress designs and getting their input into potential solutions to objections.
Jon Hume, Commercial Director, Graphite Digital
Affinity Mapping

What’s next?

The team at Graphite continues to work in an agile way to prototype and iterate with stakeholders from across our client’s business to produce new features to launch to healthcare professionals. Learn all about our pharma experince and expertise or feel free to get in touch.