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The Power of Alerts
The Power of Alerts


As medical affairs continues to invest in systems and data it can quickly become overwhelming to keep up with it all.  While working with an MSL recently the Key Opinion Leaders in their territory had over 1,200 publications, 1,400 posters and oral presentations at congresses, and over 4,000 digital scientific mentions in social media, news, blogs, and forums.  This is in addition to all of the internal information about your KOLs coming from multiple systems.

It can be challenging to remember to log into each of the systems consistently enough to remain aware of information that allows you to be best prepared for engagements, identify new opportunities to engage, and discover KOL insights.

The best way to make sure you are getting the maximum impact on the data and systems you have available to you is to set up automated alerts.

What is an automated alert?

An alert is a message that proactively informs you when there is something important that you should pay attention to.  These alerts are automated in your systems based on a specific trigger and either sends it to everyone that might be affected by the alert (a wide-area broadcast) or sends it only to those who could benefit from it (a local broadcast).

There are three reasons that you may want to set up an alert.  In fact, you probably are already using alerts in your everyday life related to each of these:

1. Warning to act – The first reason for an alert is to provide an early warning to take action which may be missed if you waited until the next time you logged in.  Think about how weather apps on your phone warn the public of severe weather conditions so you can evaluate if an action needs to be taken in order to prepare.

2. Curate what you want – Alerts allow you to curate what information you want to see. Your favorite news app probably sends you alerts on current events based on the topics you have previously shown interest in rather than making you read through all of the available news to find what you are interested in.

3. Pull your attention when you wouldn’t look yourself – An alert system can remind you to review important information that you may not remember to review on a frequent enough basis.  This is similar to the monthly email you may get telling you the value of your 401K.

The same is true about your work in medical affairs.  Alerts can be set up to notify you when your KOLs are speaking at a congress, recently published, or engaged in a digital conversation.  These alerts can prompt you to engage, save you time by curating the content important to you, and remind you to look at the data that you may forget to check regularly.

How do alerts work?

Setting up alerts is an integral part of getting started in any new system or acquiring new data.

There are two types of alerts you can set up:  Alerts about People and Alerts about Topics

  1. Alerts About a group of people

In any team, you will have subgroups of people that you want to stay informed about.  This may be following the KOLs in your territory, keeping up to speed on the top global KOLs, monitoring the activity of your speakers, or getting updates for specific KOLs you have coming to an advisory board.

Best-in-class systems allow you to create lists of your experts.  That list should enable you to get an email notification when new content is available based on any expert in that list without having to go back and look at the system every day.

  1. Alerts about Specific Topics

Setting up an alert on a specific topic will curate the content from the day, week, or month and deliver it to you in an email, saving you time from having to search for it in your system or across all of the various systems you have.

To do this, you must first create a meaningful search. The search could be about your product, competitors, specific MOAs, specific congresses, mentions of a study, or anything else that is being discussed which aligns with your strategy.

After saving that search, best-in-class systems will provide you a way to have that alert sent to you on a scheduled basis as an email.


You are busy, and even if you think that certain data is incredibly impactful without alerts, you will miss important details, delay urgent insights, and spend more time than you need to on the tools you use. Having an alert system will make you more efficient, and you will have the information you need when you need it.

If you want to learn more about having alerts set up to inform you of what your Key Opinion Leaders and new Digital Opinion Leaders are saying online, contact us today.


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