Share of Voice: Understanding How Your Research is Reaching a Real-World Audience
In this episode of the Elevate podcast series, MAPS speaks with experts from Altmetric about tackling the challenges of an expanding world and understanding who is communicating research by measuring Share of Voice.
This episode is sponsored by Altmetric.
Following is an automated transcription provided by otter.ai. Please excuse inaccuracies.
Garth Sundem 00:00
Welcome to this episode of the Medical Affairs Professional Society podcast series: “Elevate”. I’m your host, Garth Sundem, Communications Director at MAPS. And today we’re talking about share of scientific voice with Mike Taylor, Head of Data Insights at Altmetric. And Carlos Areia, Data Scientist at Altmetric. This episode is sponsored by Altmetric. So, Mike, I have heard, of course of share of scientific voice, as I think have had everyone in Medical Affairs. But all I know is that we would like people in the scientific community community to be talking about us more, that’s all I know, a share of scientific voice. So Mike, what is it? And where did it come from?
Mike Taylor 00:49
Well, gosh, that that’s the problem in a nutshell. How do we know who is talking about our research about our products? What are they saying? Who are they saying it to? And how does that message get out there? Where do we where should we publish our research? Where do we where are the venues that are the most actively talking about and sharing the research? So I think you can involve Digital Science’s experience or intervention with the idea of sharing voice really goes back a couple of years. And as I have said before, it was during a conversation with a Medical Affairs professional, and she was talking to us, I think it was in the context of an event, she was explaining to us the difficulties of, of tracking, the people who were doing research with a product that she wasn’t, I’m not gonna mention names, not gonna mention products, or companies. But I would say that it was definitely her, that was talking about some of the problems that folks in Medical Affairs have in terms of tracking, tracking their research and understanding their influence can stream into the different stakeholder environments. And this little light bulb went on my head. And I realized that actually, the data that we’ve got not metric, which is data about where research and clinical trials are being shared in us, or social media, policy, documents, Twitter, and so on. And that was the data that she was looking for. But it just wasn’t being surfaced in a way that would make sense to her, or to or to any one of her colleagues. And so shortly after that meeting, I sat down with one of my former colleagues. And we defined it a little bit, we went back to this very, very nice person who had given us the idea and we we bounce some ideas around. This is going back almost two years now. But in the process of that, we came up with these dashboards that offered her and other people the ability to select a number of products or, or different areas of research, we have two different flavors of share voice, I’m going to come back to in a minute. And really simply just see, compare them benchmarking against each other, what’s working, what’s not working, what interventions work, what journals work, is of activity on Twitter. And then we started getting involved in trying to decipher that data. Going beyond the numbers. Going beyond the numbers, it’s been been a bit a hallmark of the work that Carlos and I have been doing. This is very much driven by the experience of Medical Affairs professionals, clinicians, and so on, trying to get a handle on how communication happens. The idea of sharing voice, the scientific Share of Voice, the social sharing voice. These are ideas that came to us from Medical Affairs, but I found real resonance with the clinical community. Carlos is part of the clinical community. Oh, was until recently. And he knows a great deal about the importance of engaging with different stakeholder groups.
Carlos Areia 04:00
Yes, well, thanks, Mike. Yes, I think it’s very important to, to engage with stakeholders, and I have that experience most during my clinical academic career. And so I’ve worked in Andover before I joined Altmetric, I was working as part of the University in and we were testing, wearable monitors to implement insight on patients. And this was all done before COVID. We’re trying to find devices tested curacy and tried to test their visibility and implementations at the hospital. And he constantly communicated with patients and nurses and even the management. And that became absolutely crucial during COVID Because we managed to translate to actually implement what we were researching in less than a month. And this was not possible if we didn’t continue continuously engaged with all stakeholders that we are doing research in and we were involved in our research, translating this to the post publication I’m well, I think it’s even more important to see how are your research is being used as it’s been impacting policy? And in my case, clinical guidelines, is your research actually making a change in clinical practice? And if not, why is it not implemented yet, because it is known that even ever since publication ever since a study gets published, it can take quite a few years to be actually implemented into a guideline and even Well, same time or sometimes more to be actually used by clinicians. And a place that you can actually share this and you have, like, quickly, quickly, ever see and assess how your research is impacting the world. And as it’s being used, both like, at a short in during a short period, like how are people tweeting about it? Is it being talked about is it coming is news mention it all the stage up to years, years gone, passed in as it being implemented inside a policy document, for example, or being used in a patent. So I think that’s been one of the things that the Share of Voice interested me the most, because like, being a clinical academic, you’d like busy all the time, like, both clinical, both your clinical duties and all research. And by the time you get published, you’re already like knee deep into into like, 10 or 20 other projects, so you don’t really have the time to dig into the data and see how your research has actually made an impact.
Garth Sundem 06:29
So two things I want to dig in on the first one is, you know, I think of SOS v. And, you know, I imagined that there would be some sort of metric and you’d say, oh, you know, you starting out you have 12% of the share of voice or whatever. And you did these things. And oh, great. Now you have 15% of the share of voice, you know, look at the impact that your Medical Affairs actions have had. But you’re saying Carlos, that you could also use SOS V. To demonstrate the real world impact of research. Mike, is is that true? Is that a? Is that a core action of SOS V? Or is this sort of a subsidiary possible use? You know, looking at? Okay, I did this research, it’s not just that it’s getting talked about, it’s that it’s being implemented in guidelines. Is that really part of sosv?
Carlos Areia 07:26
Increasingly, so I think, yes, because if we think about this, the you made the case very well, that the idea of scientific Share of Voice is about ensuring that Kaos HCPs are aware of the values of our products, that they are researching them, that they’re publishing them. And those published documents are receiving an audience in high profile journals. Yeah, okay. But this is a starting point towards that endless march towards the hospital environment where you’re hoping that the patient is getting the best treatment. And that’s only going to be happening when the diagnosing physician is aware of the research. And that can only come about when it comes back to multiple ways. And actually, we’ve known about the complexities of this for a very long time, the facts since 1991, we’ve known that about the importance of publishing, researching, and it being covered in things like the mass media, and then covered because physicians read those sources. They get their information from multiple, multiple venues. And the great thing that that we’ve seen with COVID is that it’s got much more people are focused on this problem in a much grander scale. Because it grew so fast and became so important, as Carlos was saying, people are getting information from many venues. And our challenge is to try and make all of that data simple or simpler. So that folk who are in working Medical Affairs can come to the same conclusion, but they don’t feel swamped with data. Because it’s really easy to, you know, color slate with, we work with millions of lines of data every day. It’s easy for us to sort of deal with these things. But the reality of the situation is that you’re you’re hard pressed Medical Affairs person doesn’t want to involve themselves in that, but they do you need to be able to see what’s working, what’s not working. They do need to be able to prepare their quarterly reports and say, you know, did this Congress work or did that journal work? Or where’s the next generation of cables coming from which journals is does open access work? All of these different questions, I think is so important in terms of joining up that chain to the prescribing, treating physician to the clinician in the hospital or sitting in front of the patient and to you know, I hope that they are, as well informed as they should be.
Garth Sundem 10:05
Okay, you bring up the second piece I wanted to dig in on, is I’ve always thought of SOS v as a tool, you know, primarily for a publications team, that would be, you know, looking to measure the impact of the studies that they’re, they’re able to place. But in addition to sort of looking at the volume of conversation, and really your share, you mentioned that you can see who is talking about this research? Could sosv also be a tool for field medical teams looking to identify KOLs to to interact with? Carlos, what do you think is this only I’m wondering if this is only a measurement tool? Or if this is a tool that has uses elsewhere in the Medical Affairs ecosystem, you know, potentially for looking at who we should be interacting with?
Carlos Areia 11:10
Yes, and I think that comes into separate. So I’ve been talking about KOLs. And then there’s the digital opinion leaders. So inside the share of voice we have a bit of, well, not a bit, quite a lot, actually. They don’t both. So we we can harness data from from publications and try to find, for example, emergent KOLs, that, for example, that first publication was only five years ago, but they have published like, quite a lot in the past years in a particular field, we can and we can use the other spectrum, and we can identify digital opinion leaders that have, for example, been tweeting a lot about that particular research, and they might be researchers themselves or not, there might be something that’s just tagging a lot of research in that particular product or that particular field. And whenever possible, we use try and use machine learning capabilities to try and match both. And see if we can identify a Kol that is actually also a digital opinion leader.
Garth Sundem 12:16
Okay, so Mike, you started to bring up the post COVID world, and it seems like the data explosion, I mean, there used to be one on one in person, MSL Kol interactions going on. And you know, the best maybe we would get out of that data would be, you know, notes would be a little write up. But now everything is is going online from Congress’s to social media interactions. That’s a lot of data, that’s got to be a challenge. Is that also an opportunity, because now we can see it, and we can crawl it, and we can mine it? Where are we at post COVID with sosv
Mike Taylor 13:03
It’s great to see that the one on one relationships are coming back into into, into, into our into our work. Just last week, I spent two days at a conference in London. And being able to meet people who aren’t only spoken to on on Zoom and teams for the last two or three years was an absolute delight, it’s it, there’s nothing can really replace the importance of that one on one relationship, you know, when you can see the other person’s reaction where they can interrupt you, you know, all of those things are so hard to do. But we have to think about the audience for for research and the appetite for people to use social media platforms to exchange information and to and to learn as well. It is very easy, I think, to get almost overwhelmed by some of the scale and the and the heat of a discourse on social media. One of the things that Carlos and I have been fascinated to find out as we’ve dug in to intellect, the sentiment and the stakeholder groups that are working on on Twitter to exchange information is that where people are linking to research. It’s a much more measured place to have a discussion. If you want the heat, then don’t look for the research because that’s not where the heat is. The couple of exceptionally interesting areas. So no, if you want heat, go and have a look at the research into the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency, because there there is heat. And it’s research focused heat as well. It’s very, very interesting. But that’s that’s the one site in the biomedical sphere. discourse around research is very measured. It’s very thorough. awful. And the work that Carlos and I did, he mentioned that the machine learning work that we did, what we’re looking for is evidence that people are saying something positive about the research. So, for example, when they say, this is an excellent piece of research from world class pharma pharmaceutical, then, you know, if their background of their Twitter bio says, I’m an oncologist at a world leading world leading Oncology Center, and I’m recommending this piece of work to really important signal. And we find that when people are in that situation of being consultant oncologist or an HCP, they get retweeted people follow them, patients, follow them, other clinicians follow them. They’re not necessarily the same people, you know. And I think this is really, really interesting that typically, if you use a tool, any any kind of tool and you, you say, these are the KOLs in the field, folks, like yourself will go, but yeah, of course, I know them. All. Right, I mean, the top 10 there, they’re sure the bear, you know, that they’re all these people, I, you know, they come to Congress as they talk all the time. They’re not necessarily the people that their research may be being shared. They may not be the KOLs, who are sharing the research is a different population. But they’re still clinicians, there tend to be emerging cables. So they’re people who are building a reputation, but they’re more active, they’re sort of native on on, on social media. And they understand the importance of using social media to connect with broader communities. And we do see patient activity as well. So, you know, we do see, particularly with patient advocates, you know, they will also get involved in sharing research and seeing the positive things, you know, so for example, I was, I came across a group of people who were long term survivors of non small cell lung cancer. And they were exchanging links to a clinical trial that have positive results. For example, third line treatment. So when we look at the audience that these these people can have, now they can run into the 10s of 10s of 1000s. I’ve found people in that space that have a million followers. And it’s amazing to think about the importance of those individual people. And the the, what they’re doing to power communications to power to power links. And these are not isolated examples. They, they happen over and over and over again, people have voices on social media, and they use them. And as Medical Affairs professionals, we need to understand what that means and whether information is coming from, and the importance of things like no plain language summaries and things like that in in terms of shaping the discourse of the future.
Garth Sundem 18:06
So Carlos, are people using sosv to measure the impact of specific tactics? And here’s what I wonder, Mike, Mike brings up plain language summaries. And I’m wondering if I’m a Medical Affairs department, or if I’m a, you know, if I’m a team within a Medical Affairs department, and your publications team, and we say, okay, we haven’t been doing plain language summaries. We’re going to start with this publication doing a plain language summary. We wonder if we’re going to have an uptick of share of scientific voice within patient communities? Is that a question that we can ask with sosv?
Carlos Areia 18:49
Yes. That’s the short answer. So like Mike was saying, besides capturing the data, we are also able to label it. So for example, if like getting back to Mike said, if someone tweets about a particular publication, and on that description, it says oncology and these were well known institution, we will capture that, that that person is an oncologist and that person shared this paper. And we can measure the forwards we can get all data for it as we can do for for that example, on apologies we can do for patients, per patient groups or advocates or societies. So we can basically harness natural language processing, and build models around it to try and capture not only what they are sharing, but who they are as well.
Garth Sundem 19:45
Well, I feel like we could go three hours as opposed to 2020 minutes on this topic. But what okay, this has helped me personally, look below the headline of SOS v as a tool Will to basically blanket measure what percentage of the conversation we own to see how sosv can look beneath that headline data to see not only how much is being said, but who’s saying it, who we might want to reach out to to influence sosv. Also who we might want to reach out to, to influence clinical decision making. So thank you, Mike and Carlos for joining us today. To learn more about how your organization can partner with Altmetric visit altmetric.com MAPS members don’t forget to subscribe, and we hope you enjoyed this episode of the Medical Affairs Professional Society podcast series: “Elevate”.