Area9 Lyceum Blog

Accelerating Pace of Pharma and Med Tech Innovation Drives Demand for Effective, Efficient Adaptive Learning

Posted by Dr. Khurram Jamil, President - Strategic Initiatives on Nov 4, 2019 7:15:00 PM
Dr. Khurram Jamil, President - Strategic Initiatives
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Innovations in pharmaceutical and medical technology—gene therapies, stem-cell treatments, and other cutting-edge therapeutic approaches—demand intensive training, both inside and outside the company. Adaptive learning offers a proven approach.

As pharmaceutical and medical technology companies drive innovation at an accelerating pace, the latest breakthroughs launched out of the lab and into the marketplace require intensive training. Both sales and marketing reps and medical affairs personnel, as well as time-pressed clinicians, must quickly become knowledgeable and highly competent in these new treatments and therapies in order to bring about the desired clinical outcomes.

Bombarding people with hundreds of PowerPoint slides cannot fulfill the need for longitudinal education that must occur within pharma and med tech firms and across the medical field. Adaptive learning with its personalized approach offers a proven solution to meet ongoing training needs. Moreover, adaptive learning can eliminate the “info obesity” that occurs when employees are forced to consume an overwhelming amount of content and courses without any personalization to make the learning process more engaging, digestible, and relevant, given their current knowledge and experience.

“One of the greatest problems in modern day corporate learning is getting the right learning to the right person at the right time, to support them in their performance,” said Simon Brown, Chief Learning Officer for Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. “The latest improvements in data, AI, and adaptive learning technologies can hold the key to unlocking immense value from companies’ learning and knowledge assets—proactively serving people with exactly what they need, targeted with precision to when they can best apply it.”

Adaptive learning is a proven solution for pharma and med tech training, as demonstrated by a recent Area9 Lyceum pilot program with a bio-pharmaceutical company. Four adaptive learning training courses were rolled out to its sales force. Data collected from 500 participants revealed compelling results. Here are the highlights:

  • Time savings of more than 2 hours per person were realized using adaptive learning versus traditional e-learning. Overall, the bio-pharma company gained 1,000 hours of productive time from its sales force by realizing the efficiency of the adaptive learning platform with its personalized approach to instruction.
  • Learners became aware of what they know and did not know, including when they were “unconsciously incompetent”—meaning they thought they had the correct knowledge but, in fact, did not.
  • Knowledge gaps could be treated as opportunities to learn. The adaptive learning platform provided additional resources and support until competency was achieved.
  • Learners became more confident in what they did know—in other words, becoming “consciously competent.”

The bio-pharma sales training data showed convincingly that three central goals were achieved:  knowledge mastery, increased confidence, and greater efficiency in training.

From a corporate training perspective, the data are invaluable—for the learning and development team in demonstrating effectiveness of the learning experience; for the VP of sales, in ensuring the team is able to address customers’ needs; and even for the chief financial officer from a budgeting perspective. In a highly complex and technically demanding area such as bio-pharmaceutical sales, achieving all three goals resulted in a winning combination. 

To learn more about adaptive learning in pharmaceutical and medical technology training, and specific results from a pilot program, download our latest white paper, Pharma and Med Tech Innovations and Complexity-Raising the Stakes for Professional Training.

Area9 Lyceum White Paper


About the Authors:

Dr. Khurram Jamil, M.D., is President of Strategic Initiatives of Area9 Group where he focuses on regional expansion, joint ventures, and partnerships, as well as oversees projects for all levels of education and training. Dr. Jamil is also the co-managing director of the newly formed Joint Venture between Thieme and Area9 


Dr. Claus Biermann, M.D., MPH, is Executive Vice President, Healthcare Education, of Area9 Lyceum, overseeing Area9’s healthcare partnerships, and leads Area9’s efforts to partner with industry to further medical education. He also serves as visiting professor at University of Health Sciences in Bochum, Germany. Dr. Biermann is also a board member of the newly formed Joint Venture between Thieme and Area9

Topics: Adaptive Learning, Healthcare Training, Reskilling