Reuters Reflections – one month on…

Weirdly, I tend to reflect the most when I’m brushing my teeth (but never look this cute!)

It’s been one month since Tas and I attended Reuters Pharma. I’d like to say something deeply philosophical about allowing time to pass for true reflections to bubble up, but I get a bit tired of the ‘loftier than thou’ stuff on social media, so the truth is… I’ve just been a bit rubbish at committing pen to paper about what stayed with me.

Nevertheless, here are my five favourite take-aways that I’m still pondering over four weeks since being in Nice…

1. Getting out of my usual working environment really does help my brain to wake up, properly! And look at things slightly differently. Nothing genius (sorry) but just a bit ‘zestier’. Inadvertently linked to the piece David wrote about ‘looking up’; we lucked out big time being able to do that from Nice!

2. One patient at the conference said: “You need more than a leaflet to live with a disease” and boy that’s stuck with me. Designing and delivering solid patient research has been a passion of mine for a while now and this sentiment keeps poking my brain into how to go ‘beyond the leaflet’ in a meaningful way.

3. Another presenter said: “Pharma has missed the digital revolution” and went on to summarise all the positives that flow. I not only love this grounded perspective, but the illustrations and controversial quotes shared really to bring the ideas to life. The images from that presentation keep popping into my mind… and I’d love for my presentations to do that more!

4. I posted at the time about how inspired I felt by the HBA morning workshop on How Not to F-up Talking about Women’s Health and it’s interesting how I recall the feeling in the room more than the content (warm, collaborative, ‘in it together’ vibes). Content-wise, I still remember the type of problem solver we’re naturally programmed to be (people, performance or process) and how to ‘hold the space’ when having a difficult conversation (be open, breathe and remind yourself of your positive intention).

5. Digital personalisation is the hot topic (or potato) in pharma and “you can’t know me by a set of figures” made me question how personalised our marketing is becoming. In the (never ending) era of customer and patient centricity, are we in danger of crafting deeply impersonal content? Being truly person centric is at the core of what we do and I just can’t be persuaded away from the conviction that human methods need to enrich any machine-based ones.

More may bubble up (with my toothpaste) but I think for now, that sums it up.

Elena Geatches - Head of Health