What’s new on Univadis?

Shona Davies provides an update on the latest developments of Univadis, an online resource for healthcare professionals, which was created by MSD in partnership with some of the world’s leading medical publishers, such as BMJ Learning, The Lancet and Elsevier®.

(Continued from “Maximizing engagement in online medical communities“)

Last year I was interviewed for pharmaphorum and given an opportunity to introduce the Univadis platform. At the time, there was a huge amount of internal excitement; we had just completed the conception and design of a cutting-edge new version of our site and we were about to embark upon the complete overhaul upgrade of the service for our customers and the team were itching to get started. A lot has happened since then and I’m thrilled to be back and tell you all about what we’ve achieved in just 12 short months.

“I’m thrilled to be back and tell you all about what we’ve achieved in just 12 short months.”

First, the relaunch itself has been a roaring success and we believe that we’ve succeeded thanks to a few key factors…

1. Customisation & Personalisation: The site is all about users’ individual needs. Healthcare professionals lack time, so they need access to relevant information fast. That’s why we’ve customised Univadis to suit a range of users’ needs (8 user types, 60+ specialties, 40+ markets and 17 languages) based on the profile that they provide at registration. They can then further personalise it to get quick access to the content and services that matter most to them.

2. Simple, intuitive navigation: The app-based navigation of Univadis has opened up areas of the site that users likely never realised existed beforehand. And our powerful search function accelerates access to exactly what they need. Our users are able to organically and intuitively reach the information that they need to improve patient outcomes. There are also easy-to-use social sharing widgets which make it simple to share the content they like with their peers.

3. Scalability: From the very beginning, it was crucial for us to create a solution which can be translated, localised and augmented at market level and thus be relevant for our user base, no matter where they are in the world, and which can scale at a global and local level easily and fast, without compromising on the relevance and value of the service for our customers. It means we’re able to roll out one new market per month, evolve the product and iteratively add fantastic new features which delight our members.

“…our users can enjoy their favourite content on Univadis on any mobile device.”

4. Responsive Design: The fully responsive nature of Univadis means that our users can enjoy their favourite content on Univadis on any mobile device. The user experience is optimised and 100% consistent with the web version. HCPs have fully adopted mobile technologies, so we want them to have the best experience with Univadis wherever they are. And this has paid off; we have seen tremendous acceleration in depth of usage thanks to our mobile strategy.

5. Great Content from World Leading Publishers: HCPs like Univadis because we’re able to bring them great content from third party, independent partner publishers that they trust and whom we work with to continuously optimise our offering. We never get involved in topic selection – we leave that to their external editorial boards – but we do pay very close attention to our customer satisfaction scores around relevance, frequency, format, etc. As a direct result of our users’ feedback, we’ve evolved our existing services and added fantastic new elements too!

a. NEW: Following a successful pilot in the US, we launched our global partnership with the JAMA Network in 2013 giving HCPs video access to the best of clinical research in just 3 minutes. This service quickly grew to be amongst our top five content.

b. AND IMPROVED: We’re rolling out a completely redesigned online version of the Merck Manual 19th edition – the world’s most widely used medical reference. We have translated into seven languages and is available free of charge on Univadis.

With the new service we’ve seen increased frequency, depth of visits and improved customer satisfaction across the board. And they were pretty good to start with… recently, Manhattan Research published the Taking the Pulse report for China and placed us second in a list of the Top services used by HCPs…behind only the NIH! Now that Chinese HCPs have access to the new version, we hope we’ll hit the number one spot.

“…we have rolled out the upgraded service in 10 markets including opening up key geographies in Latin America.”

The reputation that we continue to develop for building quality engagement and providing customer-centred services gives us a platform to create exclusive partnerships. It’s not just about content partners anymore…we now work extensively with medical / scientific societies across the globe. For example, the AMB in Brazil accredited all of the BMJ Learning modules on Univadis before we launched there 2 months ago. This is a growing area for us; building relationships based on the scientific credibility of our offering really is at the core of what we do.

So far, we have rolled out the upgraded service in 10 markets including opening up key geographies in Latin America. The launch has helped us to continue our impressive year on year growth. The fact that our Latin American markets are amongst our fastest growing services demonstrates that there is a strong appetite for our services and a worldwide recognition of the value that we can provide.

It’s been a busy year for us and there is plenty more to come…watch this space…


About the author:

Shona is originally a chemist but discovered early on that she didn’t enjoy researching whether acid rain had a deleterious effect on the reproductive efficacy of earthworms. And the wine farms weren’t hiring. So she got a job working for Accenture with projects for the South African National Treasury &, De Beers. There, she was introduced to the world of “online” and hasn’t looked back.

Shona has spent 13 years working in the digital space across many industries and nearly 10 years on the Univadis programme. Univadis is one of the world’s largest online HCP communities, operating across 40+ countries with over 2.1m members.

Also, she loves her job. True story.

What next for Univadis?