CTSA 2013 Annual Face to Face: The Power of Storytelling

Hosted by: University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center (HSC) in cooperation with UNM’s Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)

This year’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) communications key function committee (CKFC) Annual Face to Face  focused on the critical role of storytelling to lift research of out its silos to a wider audience.

Richard Larson, MD, PhD, UNM HSC Vice Chancellor for Research compared communicators to ambassadors of information – after all, “research ignored is research wasted.”

Purpose/Objectives of the Annual F2F:

  • Increase understanding and support of NCATS and NIH priorities
  • Improve awareness of CTSA value, dissemination of key information, and collaboration among key stakeholders across the consortium
  • Inspire CKFC members through new connections, skill building, clear direction, and storytelling

Here’s a selection of tweets by CTSA communicators during the two-day conference:

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Pfizer Announces First U.S. “Virtual” Clinical Trial Allowing Patients to Participate Regardless Of Geography

The randomized pilot study, called REMOTE, uses mobile phone and web-based technology (e.g. electronic diaries, online testing tools, a dedicated website) to collect the necessary data for the trial without clinic visits.

Investigators plan to enroll about 600 patients from about 10 states across the United States. Pfizer will compare results to previous clinical trials and assess whether virtual trials can save time and obtain the same results as traditional ones, or perhaps even more reliable data through increased patient compliance, lower withdrawal rates and real-time data collection.

Although not all clinical trials could be done remotely, if this pilot proves successful, it might be an interesting model for our emerging UCSF-CTSI Participant Recruitment Service.

Watch the animated video that outlines the trial’s basics to patients

More information:

Compelling Video Describes New Visualization Tool “Many Eyes”

It can be challenging to create animated video that conveys a complex message. Here is a great example that shows it’s doable – mind you, without a single spoken word.

A 60 second social story about developing and refining ideas, gaining insight and sharing through community; all based on the premise that many sets of eyes are better than one!

Take a look and let me know what you think. – Btw, the visualization tool “Many Eyes“, developed by IBM, is worth a look as well.

Making online video convert

In “Getting A Reaction From Online Video”, Brian Massey at ClickZ does a good job of breaking down what should be an obvious point: online video works better when it’s embedded in an focused landing page design. He expands on it in at a talk he gave at PubCon 2011.

For example, compare the landing page for the epMotion viral video vs. the decontextualized video below. Which one is more likely to make you want to find out about the product?

Friday Fun: Translational Music?

She Blinded Me With Science

How about a little science silliness for a Friday?  After all, you can’t have funding without the “fun”!

Did you know that there’s a strong musical undercurrent running through our greatest science labs?  Of course, music may have beneficial health effects, interesting physiological roles, or even lead to strange injuries.  But primarily, scientists want to express their feelings in song.  Here are two of my favorites, but I’m sure that there any others out there.  Post some great  links in the comments, and be sure to have a fun Friday!

Online video might be effective, whether people watch it or not

A study based on multivariate testing conducted by Treepodia seems to show that not only shoppers who view a product video buy at a higher rate, but surprisingly also those who choose not to watch the video. This article suggests that online video serves as a trust factor. Users might associate it with believe and investment in a product.

The results on the best way to display video are also interesting: adding a simple link to video from any given page, led to a 5%-15% video view rate, while a video player embedded on the same page delivered 10%-35%.

Neil McBean from RivalSchools who we’re working with on our video project pointed me to the study and to Zappos successful use of video demos online.

Currently one of my favorite online videos is Google’s piece on Gmail Priority Inbox. They truly have found a way to turn even a basic feature like this into an enjoyable thing to learn about.  Watch it