Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great list of virtual training best practices

There are a number of things you can do to increase attendance and encourage engagement among participants when you hold a virtual training event or other activity in a virtual environment. I recently found a great list of virtual training best practices from writer Robin Heyden that I wanted to share here with you.

She posted 11 tips for successful virtual training on Hypergrid Business. It was great to see that much of her advice falls in line with the recommendations we give our customers (which I let her know in the comments on the article).

After reading Robin's tips, I thought of some of the resources we supply our customers with when they start using ProtoSphere for virtual training and other activities.

One set of recommendations came to mind as particularly useful for those conducting virtual training events. I thought I'd share it here to keep the knowledge flowing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Life sciences executives, are you seeing this trend in your organization?

We've seen a common thread running through our conversations with life sciences executives over the past 90 days, and I wanted to blog about it to see if you are experiencing or observing the same thing. I'm thinking this could be an emerging trend that we as an industry need to be paying attention to.

Our team has continued to hear life sciences executives talk about how they are planning to shut down parts of their physical campuses, and set up virtual workplaces and remote working programs.

Executives have told us the primary reason driving their creation of virtual workplaces is their need to shrink their cost centers. Training facilities, for instance, are one of the largest cost centers we hear life sciences executives talk about.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How the Virtual Diabetes Institute keeps continuing medical education costs low and engagement high

Completing continuing medical education coursework has become increasingly challenging over the past several years, primarily due to escalating program and travel costs, and already massive time pressures on physicians. Yet the need to improve disease treatment through engaging educational activities and professional competency standards has not gone away.

One of the goals of SciMed's new Virtual Diabetes Institute is to address this issue for physicians caring for patients with Type 2 diabetes. I recently talked to writer Miriam Pia about this, and she penned an article for Hypergrid Business covering how the Virtual Diabetes Institute supports more engaging and interactive training at lower cost for these physicians.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

6 rules for productive digital collaboration

It's no secret -- workplace etiquette rules have changed over the past 20 years. Digital communications have made it easy to shoot out short messages of mass information without the need for handshakes and hellos.

So how can virtual workers still be courteous without the formalities?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Continuing medical education goes virtual with launch of Virtual Diabetes Institute

Clinic Room for exams
Clinic room for exams in the Virtual Diabetes Institute
I promised you details on SciMed's new Virtual Diabetes Institute, and here they are. We've been working for the past several months with medical education provider SciMed to create this innovative learning environment in ProtoSphere. The initiative is supported by an independent educational grant from Merck.

The Virtual Diabetes Institute is one of the first applications of virtual environment technology in continuing medical education. It is used by physicians caring for Type 2 diabetes patients. Physicians can participate in CME-certified activities in a more realistic, engaging, and collaborative way to help them better treat patients.

I see the Virtual Diabetes Institute as significantly raising the bar on CME, and by extension, the treatment of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

I'll let our press release take it from here with the full story. Read on for more details on how we designed and created the Virtual Diabetes Institute, how physicians are now using it for their continued training and learning, and SciMed's future plans and outlook for the Virtual Diabetes Institute in life sciences.

SciMed Unveils Industry-First Virtual Diabetes Institute in ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere

Virtual collaboration environment brings continuing medical education to life

LANSDALE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virtual collaboration has come to continuing medical education (CME) with the launch of the Virtual Diabetes Institute, an innovative learning environment created in ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere and developed with SciMed, a leading provider of continuing medical education for physicians. The Virtual Diabetes Institute gives primary-care physicians a more realistic, engaging, and collaborative way to participate in CME-certified activities designed to improve the management of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Doors are open! Tour life sciences' first Virtual Diabetes Institute.

I have some great news to share with you today. We've been working with medical education provider SciMed over the past several months on a major project to hit life sciences and continuing medical education (CME). It's been a labor of love, and our teams are excited to pull the curtains off and share our innovation with you!

We've created the industry's first Virtual Diabetes Institute. It's an innovative learning environment made in ProtoSphere. It gives primary-care physicians a more realistic, engaging, and collaborative way to participate in CME-certified activities for improving the management of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The case for the virtual workplace

One of the most common questions we are asked by prospects, media, and bloggers is, why 3-D? Why use a 3-D virtual collaboration environment over 2-D conferencing tools for meeting, training, and other activities?

Meetings and Conventions' Michael Shapiro recently lobbed the question at me, and the short of my answer was, because that's how we learn.

I told him how the 3-D aspect of ProtoSphere supports how our brains think and visualize data. This capability is ideal for life sciences teams that need to analyze and discuss molecules under development, for example.

Telepresence or virtual collaboration environments: Will the real immersive experience please stand up?

One of the most interesting results we've seen in our clients' use of ProtoSphere is what I call the "social lubricant" phenomenon. A number of our customers have found that junior and mid-level employees are more comfortable striking up a conversation with senior managers and executives in ProtoSphere than they are in the real world.

They ask questions they might not have the courage to ask in person, and can interact with managers and executives they don't have easy access to due to their remote work locations and travel and appointment schedules.

When I talked to Processor's Jean Thilmany recently about this, she highlighted my point in an article the other week. However, the focus of her article was on business benefits of telepresence technology, and how some industry experts say it can provide a "high-end immersive experience."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Microsoft's 2011 Life Sciences Innovation Award? I accept!

Better late than never with this video! Here's footage of Michael Naimoli, Managing Director of Life Sciences for Microsoft, announcing PPD and ProtonMedia as winners of Microsoft's 2011 Life Sciences Innovation Award at the DIA conference in June. Heather Schultz, Senior Director of Global Learning and Performance for PPD, and yours truly are accepting the honors.

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