GKA Blog

As market researchers, we're always on the look out for new ways to collect data more effectively and improve our healthcare fieldwork - the industry's been that way since taking its tentative first steps back in the early 20th century. This constant drive to evolve means market research has seen lots of ground-breaking innovations over the past 100 years or so. Now, we're wrestling with the best way to use one of the newest kids on the block - neuroscience.

At GKA our strength in recruiting and conducting patient studies in Parkinson's disease (PD) allows us to get a true understanding of what people living with PD face every day. Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition which can be symptomatically treated, but not cured. Treatments aim to reduce symptoms and maintain quality of life by replacing or preserving dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is involved in the coordination and control of movement, and as the levels progressively fall as PD worsens, the symptoms of Parkinson's start to appear.

Healthcare market research agency GKA, conducts patient fieldwork in a broad range of therapy areas. GKA has extensive experience in larger disease areas, such as diabetes, asthma and oncology, and the expert team routinely recruits patients with conditions as diverse as haemophilia, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, obesity, epilepsy, fibromyalgia and Parkinson's disease.

Picture the scenario. Your client wants additional healthcare market research amongst a cluster of hard-to-reach Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). He wants it now but he "has no budget".  Yet, given the condition's low incidence, the KOLs will be spread far and wide and this will make convening a focus group difficult, costly and time-consuming, won't it?

From focus groups and in-depth interviews to online communities and ethnographic studies, whatever research method you choose for your healthcare market research project, they all have one thing in common: in order to be a success, they need good moderation. Market research is a way to peer into people's minds, but it's often only as effective as the person moderating the process. In fact, in many ways the moderator is actually just as important as the research subject itself, with a good moderator being responsible for the smooth running of the research, from asking the right questions at the right time to gently guiding the research in the right direction.

It's fair to say that technology has completely changed both our professional and personal lives. From scrolling through social media last thing at night and answering emails as soon as you wake up to joining in meetings on the go, technology has totally transformed the way we communicate. This is true for market research too, with new technology and faster broadband speeds resulting in significant improvements to existing methodologies.