When the US officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, the amount of media coverage was overwhelming.
It changed minute by minute as new research and clinical insights broke, making it increasingly difficult to stay on top of the news, separate fact from fiction or even discern what was important. This proved problematic for everyone, but a daunting challenge for the life sciences industry as it mobilized to develop a response to this rapidly-spreading virus.
With a mission to make the world a healthier place, Real Chemistry felt it had a responsibility to harness its technology-enabled analytics platform to help healthcare leaders cut through the noise. Partnering with the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), Real Chemistry developed the COR COVID Communication Center (COR) dashboard, providing a real-time snapshot of media and social trends around COVID-19.
Research & Insights
When Real Chemistry initially set COR up, it allowed all mentions of COVID-19 without filtering out information from non-reliable sources. W2O quickly realized a lot of the data posted online was inaccurate, so it decided to track only conversations from health professionals, scientists and life sciences companies.
Real Chemistry already had a vetted dataset of 80,000 health professionals, health media and patient advocates who post in English that it used for clients. But it had to painstakingly develop a list of coronavirus scientists by verifying the credentials of 300 scientists -- the leading voices in epidemiology, infectious diseases, biology, virology and other specialties involved in research. The life sciences segment, supplied by CLSA’s database of 1300+ member organizations, was curated similarly.
COR used Twitter as its data source, which it ran through Real Chemistry algorithms based on reach, relevance, resonance and velocity, which was added given how quickly COVID-19 news travels.
Ensure individuals or organizations that could potentially benefit from access to COR are aware of it and use it.
Execution & Tactics
Conceived early into the pandemic, COR was launched an astonishingly quick two weeks later – at the end of March. The platform, powered by Real Chemistry's machine and artificial intelligence data engine, breaks information into five segments: HCPs, life sciences, media, scientific community and California.
For each of those groups, the dashboard breaks out top news stories, top voices, top hashtags and top tweets to reveal what’s trending in each one from that segment’s leading voices and sources in almost real time. The content is ranked according to the number of unique accounts that share, mention or retweet it. Users can also change time parameters to look at the most popular content across minutes, hours or one day. Real Chemistry does not make a distinction about the usefulness or positive or negative impact of the news.
Real Chemistry promoted the launch of COR through:
Both CLSA and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and announced the launch of COR in e-newsletters distributed to members, social channels and emails.
A total of 10,000 users accessed COR for a total of 32,000 hours (to date). A review of users’ IP addresses found that top users included:
Information shared on the site became highly viral: Most of the shares were on user’s personal vs. social networks, indicating a greater likelihood that the data were being used by people working on COVID-19 response teams
Users spent remarkably long times on the dashboard. Average session duration was 49 minutes with 43 pages reviewed per session.
Based on anecdotal feedback from Real Chemistry clients, some life sciences companies used COR to assess trends that informed their COVID-19 communication strategies to ensure their responses were timely, authentic and appropriate.
The widely read health and medical newsletter STAT continues to use the COR Dashboard to identify COVID-19 trends to inform its COVID-19 publication strategy. Trends are also posted on reporters’ social media channels.