June 9, 2022
Teckro Powered, Blue T-Shirts and Reaching for the Stars! - Silvina Baudino
Industry Expert & Site AdvocateGuest
Silvina Baudino, our director of site engagement, is back on the Totally Clinical podcast! We last caught up in December last year – and she’s been very busy since – spreading the word about our exciting new community for sites, Teckro Powered. From Texas to Florida, Silvina relays engaging tales from her travels, explaining how the Teckro Powered program can help support diversity, her big plans for the program’s international expansion – and the popularity of the Teckro Powered blue T-shirt!
“You know, we always shoot for the stars. We have the power to get there!”
HANNAH LIPPITT: Hello and welcome to the Totally Clinical podcast brought to you by Teckro. Totally Clinical is a deep dive into the freshest trends, big-time challenges and most excellent triumphs of clinical trials. I'm Hannah, your host. Join me as I chat with industry experts, trailblazers, thought leaders and, most importantly, the people benefiting from clinical research. So, tune in, settle back and don't touch that dial. It's time to get Totally Clinical.
HANNAH LIPPITT: This week, Silvina Baudino, our director of site engagement, is back on the Totally Clinical podcast. As regular listeners will know, Silvina has joined me a couple of times to keep everyone updated on Teckro’s novel new program for sites, Teckro Powered. Now, the goal of Teckro Powered is to build a strong community of sites to understand pain points and to help them adapt to technology adoption. In our catch up this week, she has a lot of exciting news to share, so without further ado, over to you, Silvina. Could you start by giving us a quick recap of where you are with the program?
SILVINA BAUDINO: Last year, I mentioned that we were working on an onboarding program for sites, and now it's finally a reality. We cannot believe it and we are super happy. As you know, Teckro is very intuitive and easy to use, but we created an experience for sites. The idea is to give them the opportunity to use Teckro before they have a project that uses our platform. They didn't have that option before. In a nutshell, this is a program that has two steps.
First, the sites receive a link to access to a web page where they can watch a few short videos and learn more about the different features of our platform. While there, they can answer a quiz that is not a test – we are not grading anybody – the idea is to check their understanding because when they finish this process – that takes no more than 20 minutes – they can really get access to a sandbox and try out the app by themselves in their own phones and understand how it used to use it. They can set up their accounts, use different features, and at the end, they provide feedback in a survey. We want to hear from the users directly, what they think about Teckro, what they like, what they dislike, and if they want to keep in touch with us. When they finish the program we provide them with the digital badge, so because they are Teckro Powered already, and they can display this in social media and share their new power with friends and colleagues.
Also, we send them a little something to show our gratitude for their time and to welcome to the Teckro Powered community. So we are really happy with this program. It has been very well received by sites and we really wanted to provide an opportunity to sites, as I said, to get familiar with our platform beforehand and then when they have a project with Teckro, they can embrace our platform and really have a very good use of it because they know how to use it and go directly to the information they need when they need it.
HANNAH LIPPITT: Now, I know you've recently been at the Society for Clinical Research Sites’ Diversity Summit in Texas – a great chance to spread the word about Teckro Powered. Could you go into some more detail about the feedback you've received there?
SILVINA BAUDINO: Yes, of course Hannah. We just came back and it was an amazing experience. The first thing I want to say that, for me at least, it has been the first event in a while where we didn't have to wear masks. That made a lot of difference. People like, we're talking to each other with a lot of enthusiasm and on top of that, you know, the topic of the first day that was diversity was something different was the first time. So it brought different kinds of people, not just sites and sponsors and vendors, but also some not-for-profit organizations representing different communities so was a very important experience, everybody was welcoming everybody and really the vibe there was sharing. That was really nice and was the perfect – I think – setting to start talking and continue talking about what we are going, where what we are doing really for sites, and it's part of our piece working on inclusion and diversity, providing access to technology to more sites and through Teckro Powered offering then something to get familiar with the platform.
So we had the opportunity to speak with some Teckro Powered users when we were there and get additional feedback about the program. They like it, they are eager to get studies on Teckro – real studies from pharma companies – and we hope that that will happen soon. But we also had the opportunity to speak with Teckro users with really actual pharma sponsors that are integral, and I have some of the nicest stories that I can share with you about that, but before I get into those stories that I know you like, we also have the opportunity to speak with new sites that didn't know Teckro or Teckro Powered, and you know, we have different people from Teckro there. We were having different type of demos showing them how it works, exchanging information, and it's always fulfilling to speak with sites, to learn more about what they need, what they like, what they want and how we can engage with them.
HANNAH LIPPITT: You mentioned non-profits. How did you engage with representatives from these organizations?
SILVINA BAUDINO: Other organizations, as I mentioned, that were some not-for-profit organizations that represented different communities that now are not very engaged in clinical trials, and they are trying really to promote them like black women in clinical research or Latinos in clinical research. And that was another opportunity for us to offer Teckro Powered as they help clinical research professionals to get jobs. So we offer that opportunity to get Teckro Powered and also to some training organizations. These are organizations that help people that want to work in clinical research, but they don't have the background or the training, so they have programs to help that people and we offer Teckro Powered as part of their program.
HANNAH LIPPITT: I know that you have a lot of exciting stories from your travels. Can you share some with the audience?
When it comes to stories, I have three stories I want to share with you.
The first one is about a Teckro user – a manager of oncology for a hospital system in California that she was familiar with Teckro, she had used Teckro in one or two projects, and she was telling us the story with her study coordinators that sometimes they were coming and asking questions about the protocol and she said, “Ladies, you use your phones for everything. You use your phone for different social media things. You use the phone to call a car, you use the phone to check YouTube or videos, so you have to use your phone to check the protocol because everything is in there.” And how she was telling the story, it was funny, and you know, she's a champion for Teckro, and we were super happy to hear to her stories and listen what she had to say because she really is a Teckro champion and there is nothing more rewarding than having happy users. So that was a great experience and a great, I think, story to share.
HANNAH LIPPITT: And the blue Teckro Powered T-shirt was very popular with some of the attendees wasn’t it?
SILVINA BAUDINO: I met with the site that I knew. We have known each other for a while and I have seen her in other events and she stopped by our booth and we were talking and catching up and I was wearing, we have some T-shirts, our T-shirts in our booth, that were white with our logo, and she was very excited that she got the T-shirt. But then she looked at me and said, “But you're wearing a blue version. I would like the blue version better,” and I said, “You know what? If you want the blue version, you need to go to Teckro Powered and finish our program because that blue shirt is our little thing that we're giving the sites when they finish the Teckro Powered program.” So that was a funny story and you know what? When we came back she already enrolled in the Teckro Powered program. It seemed that she really want that blue t-shirt.
HANNAH LIPPITT: The power of the blue t-shirt!
SILVINA BAUDINO: And then the last story; it's about a customer because as you know, my focus are the sites, but I want every site to have Teckro and the only way to have Teckro for every site is every sponsor to put their studies on Teckro, so everything is related. But we were, as I mentioned, not just me, but a couple of colleagues were attending this event too and we were in the booth talking to different people, and sometimes we were like three or four different sites on people from sites or the different organization at the booth and we were talking to each other, you know, trying to answer all the questions and really take care of the people and help the people and listen to the people. And I was speaking with the site and on my back, I was listening to another conversation that was going on. Somebody talking about Teckro explaining Teckro, but I couldn't identify that voice, and then when the person that was talking to me left, I turned around and I saw one of our customers’ representative talking about Teckro at the site, it’s like, she wasn’t a Teckro employee. On the other hand, she was a Teckro customer, you know, so our customers were talking about Teckro, like selling Teckro to the sites on our behalf. I think that when we talk about engagement and loyalty, you cannot have any better. So that was, I think, for me, the highest standard of loyalty we can see – sponsors really engaging sites on our behalf. That was an amazing experience.
HANNAH LIPPITT: So the stories you've been telling have really emphasized how much you become the voice, so to speak, of Teckro Powered, spreading the word about how important community is for sites. What approach have you found works best when liaising with sites to get them enrolled on the program?
SILVINA BAUDINO: It's funny that you mention the voice of Teckro. I couldn't see myself, you know, like that when I joined Teckro a year ago, but that is a reality. My passion for sites is what brought me to Teckro, and I think that the secret, first, is listening because sites have a lot of things to say, and they feel that nobody is really listening. We are not selling anything directly to the site and that is powerful because they want to engage in the conversation and share what's going on at their level, what are the challenges, what are the things that are working for them, and they're grateful that somebody is listening and we are really interested in their feedback to bring this back to our product team and be sure that our platform is an answer to their needs – and obviously the sponsors’ needs.
But I think that is the secret of engagement, is to listen and to have a real conversation with sites. I think that they appreciate our interest in that engagement and in their voice, and also trying to alleviate the burden that they have when they start a clinical trial and they need to comply with so many requirements. And offering the opportunity to get familiar with Teckro in advance is something that they see as a benefit. I know that they are busy people and we talk about that and they don't have a lot of time for extras, but really, Teckro Powered is something that doesn't take a lot of time. As I mentioned, is the initial 20 minutes and then use our sandbox for a couple of days when they have the time. So it's not that they need to sit there and answer many questions and complete a lot of training and watch a lot of videos. It’s really, really simple. But they appreciate our interest in them and also because, as I mentioned, when they are part of Teckro Powered they can, if they are interested, we can continue the conversation, they can work with us on focus groups, we can work with us in different types of activities and also, they can be guests in your podcast, Hannah, if they are interested. And I must say that we heard a lot of good things about this podcast, so we're very proud of Totally Clinical too. So Teckro Powered is the way that we use to talk to sites and Teckro Powered is more than just our onboarding program. Teckro Powered is our language. This is how we communicate with sites. So Totally Clinical is part of Teckro Powered. All the tools we develop to help our users are Teckro Powered, and the onboarding program that we have is just a piece of a bigger thing.
HANNAH LIPPITT: I love that, you know, you're spreading the word about the podcast. That's brilliant, and I'm glad you've got such a good feedback. What are your key goals for Teckro Powered this year?
SILVINA BAUDINO: That was the first time, and I had the opportunity to be part of a focus group in person. The focus group was conducted for some of our colleagues in research and in product. I was just helping them during the session. It was interesting because it was a really big event, very noisy but then we have this small room with few people there really feeling in a safe space and a space that was friendly and they were, I think, very open to speak and to share their thoughts and their experiences. We have site representation but also sponsor representation and even when sometimes on things between particular clinical trial, things between sponsors and site that are not working great, everybody was very open and nobody felt offended. It was all in the spirit of collaboration and trying to overcome some of the challenges that they are facing. What I think that there are many challenges and we have talked the different occasions about those, I think that one of the things that keeps coming back is the challenges they face with patient-facing technology that is not Teckro exactly, but they mentioned, especially eConsent, when things do not work, we always assume that things will work, but it's not always the case and especially when you have a patient using technology and the technology is not working, you create a bad or frustrating experience for the patient. And at the end of the day, we do everything for the patients and we need the patients to be engaged in clinical trials because we need to bring new medications to market, right? So we need to ensure that the patient, we listen to the patients. And we create that safe environment and we provide them the best possible experience as part of their care.
So when you, the patients are frustrated and they, you know, things are not working, and what assumption, the assumption is that patients can do things like complete diaries. Some completed consent by themselves because it's a technology platform and it doesn't work. It's a lot of work first for the coordinator to help the patient to complete the task, whatever it is, and also sometimes when they are technical difficulties. Not all the companies have adequate customer support. So it creates frustration from the patient, from the site, and sometimes we face this vendor from the sponsor. So some probably at some point technologies are out there, but they haven't been tested enough. They need to run more tests before they put the technology in the hands of a patient. And on the other hand, we need to understand that patients are different. Not all of them. I think that there is a misunderstanding or an assumption that the problem are patients in their elderly years, and it's not always the truth. Some patients come from low-income places, and they haven't been exposed to very sophisticated technology, so they feel overwhelmed with technology.
HANNAH LIPPITT: Is there anything else you felt stood out collaboration between sites and sponsors?
SILVINA BAUDINO: We know that sponsors are asking more often to sites to provide feedback about the protocols, not just the protocol content in terms of the scientific piece, but also the or especially. I think the processes around the protocol, the operations and what we heard from sites that sometimes are the sponsor are asking the questions to the investigators. And when you talk with investigators about operations, they always defer those type of questions to the study coordinators or other people in their site on their sites that work more on the operations side. So when sponsors requests feedback, they should include the right people. It's not just to include decided to include the right people from the site because they are the study coordinators. They want really running the operations and going with the patient through their journey. The investigator have a different role in when they conduct clinical trials, so it's important not just to engage sites, but also to engage the right people at site. For that reason, for us, what's important to have some executive from site but also users, you know, like study coordinators or nurses, people that really are the ones using our technology. So I think that the conversation we need to think when we are having the conversation sites are entities, but each entity has a lot of people and you really need to target the right people for different types of conversations.
SILVINA BAUDINO: You know, we always shoot for the stars. We have the power to get there, I think. This year we have had a good start. Obviously, as I mentioned, it's important to have the onboarding program because one of the things that we had in the past is done with people from sites to reaching out through our website and asking for a demo. We had to ... sometimes it was not really what they wanted, but now we can offer Teckro Powered and they can try by themselves, you know – Teckro – instead of having a demo and that makes more sense.
So we want to continue to build on that and also continue growing Teckro Powered, not just with the onboarding program, but also with different activities like blogs, inviting sites to write blogs with us, inviting sites to continue talking to you, Hannah, because we realize that when we have a podcast that when we invite somebody, a site representative, different type of people from sites, different roles, we have a large audience out there listening and learning from each other, so I think that this is the power of Teckro Powered too. and also continue building this community that, you know, get together in focus groups and different activities that fit together with information from the ground as we develop, continue developing our platform and think about new features. I think that is powerful.
The other piece that is very important for us is the international expansion. We have been, we started in the US, we have some sites from Latin America because I am from Latin America, that are using Teckro Powered, we are starting with Africa too, but we are growing and we want the same level of engagement in other regions. So that is the big goal for us this year, is the global expansion. And at the end of the day, what I want is every site to be Teckro Powered and we went, this weekend we went to a dinner with some site representatives and also sponsors and one of the sites was talking to me about some challenges, and I look at the owner and I said, “I would be happy to Teckro Power your site.” So, we want to Teckro Power every site around the globe and really, hopefully at some point we will see every study out there.
HANNAH LIPPITT: Silvina, thank you so much for joining me today. And I look forward to catching up with you soon. And that's your dose of Totally Clinical. For all the listeners out there, you can follow Teckro on Twitter – the handle is @TeckroOfficial – LinkedIn and Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And, of course, download the Totally Clinical podcast on Apple, Spotify and Google. See you on your next visit and remember to bring your friends. Thanks for listening! Goodbye!