How to Design Innovative Learning in the Life Science Industry

how to design innovative learning in the life science industry featured image

As part of the life science industry, you create cutting-edge innovations in the medical space. And your work is incredibly important. Because you’re not just innovating for innovation’s sake—you’re innovating to save lives. 

So with life-saving technology and new medical solutions on the line, your employees need great training to do their jobs well. And the learning in the life science industry they receive should reflect that—innovative, usable, and effective.

Innovative learning in the life science industry that inspires real change

The life science industry is fast-paced and competitive. Even the smallest problems can cause lasting effects. That’s why it’s so important to teach your employees exactly what they need to know. And to do it quickly and efficiently. 

This type of innovative learning in the life science industry involves two key facets:

  • Strategic content
  • Beautiful, usable design

Why strategic content? 

Always base your learning content on a solid strategy. Strategy helps you communicate exactly what your learners need to know—and do it in the best way possible. This could be eLearning courses, ILT, media, and video. Maybe even AR or VR. Great strategy looks at your learners and the content. Then distills both into the perfect learning solution. 

Why beautiful design?

When you go to an important business meeting, you dress nicely. This makes you feel confident and shows respect—both to yourself and the person you’re meeting with. Dressing well increases your credibility. Often, people will be more likely to take you seriously, and you’re probably more likely to take yourself seriously.

Learning design is no different. When you design high-quality learning, it shows respect to both your company and your learners. Learners see well-designed (beautiful) learning as more credible. And this often means that they’ll be more likely to take their learning seriously. This mindset increases both engagement and retention.

Empowering learners in the life science industry

Here at Maestro, we help life science companies (and their employees) perform beautifully. Our teams work together to solve learning challenges with content, software, and media.

Check out some projects we’ve done with Celgene, Johnson & Johnson, Exact Sciences, and more. 

Creating a digital library—Celgene (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

Celgene is a growing global biopharmaceutical company, recently acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). They research, develop, and create a variety of products that combat serious diseases, from pancreatic cancer to acute myeloid leukemia. 

The problem

As part of the medical industry, Celgene must follow many different regulations. These regulations and policies help prevent unethical practices. And violations could potentially result in costly lawsuits for the company. But these policies change and update often, leaving Celgene scrambling to keep their reps updated. PDFs proved too difficult to track, update, and keep current. 

So, Celgene requested a new solution. One that would keep all employees up-to-date on the latest regulations and compliance policies. All the time. 

The solution

To solve the problem, our strategists and designers sat down with Celgene to discover the ins-and-outs of all their needs. Celgene wanted a platform-agnostic solution. One that was quick to access, easy to use, and simple to keep updated.

So, we created the Digital Compliance Policy Handbook, a digital library of compliance policies. With impeccable UX and a crisp, streamlined appearance, the library is well-organized, searchable, and easy to navigate. This helps Celgene’s employees quickly find any compliance materials they need in seconds—on any device.

celgene digital compliance policy handbook image

The numbers

  • 100% user adoption
  • 45,000 page views to date
  • 1 minute, 8 second average view time

Non-traditional learning in a whole new way—Johnson & Johnson

As one of the largest multinational medical corporations in the world, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) invests immense time and effort into developing medical technologies. From Ebola vaccines to 3D printing, J&J pushes the limits of innovation to create change. 

The problem

In 2018, J&J came to us with a problem. They wanted to educate employees on the benefits of 3D printing. Especially about how 3D printing decreases costs and increases personalization in healthcare. 

But normal, everyday education wasn’t enough. J&J wanted non-traditional learning that would communicate an emotional message. They wanted learning that would resonate. Sound simple? With over 130,000 global employees and a technical subject, this meant taking a completely different approach to learning. 

The solution

To balance J&J’s desire for interactive learning with a technical subject, we created a vertical scrolling experience. The experience used sophisticated design to reflect the innovative and sophisticated subject matter. The scrolling action keeps the learner moving through relevant information at their own pace. And each interaction gives them the choice to opt into more technical details if they wanted. 

The instructional designers divided the content into two different levels: macro and micro. 

  • Macro content: this includes all high-level information about 3D printing. It’s relevant to everyone, company-wide. Topics include defining 3D printing and showing real-world examples. Macro content forms the core of the experience. 
  • Micro content: this delves into the complicated, technical details. It’s relevant only to people with expertise or interest in technical subjects. Learners can opt into this content if interested.

Together with J&J, we used storytelling principles to build an emotional connection to the learners. Then we supported this with media assets, such as photography and live-action video. This approach emphasized 3D printing as an instrument that brings positive change to people’s lives—every day.

johnson & johnson vertical scrolling experience image

Seamless learning for reps on the move—Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Janssen is a global pharmaceutical company with a large, geographically dispersed sales team. They work with Johnson & Johnson to research and treat some of the most complex diseases of our time.

The problem

At Janssen, independent teams manage different products, and this led to a disconnect with product training for reps. In fact, reps had to search over twelve different systems for training. This got so frustrating for the reps that if they couldn’t find the training they needed quickly, often they wouldn’t take the training at all. 

Janssen wanted a change, so they met up with us. The challenge? To develop a solution that got reps all the product training they needed—in one super-simple step.

The solution

Together with Janssen, the Maestro software team stepped up to create an app—YouLearn—that removed the friction between reps and product training. YouLearn merged solid training content with innovative technology. And in only a short amount of time, it became a seamless, one-stop-shop for rep training in the field. Janssen reps immediately saw a boost in their sales abilities and numbers. In turn, this triggered a cycle of improved performance.

After adopting YouLearn, Janssen reached the highest learning engagement rate in company history. They saw incredible numbers company-wide within the first quarter of implementation. In 2016, YouLearn won the Life Science and Educators Network (LTEN) Excellence Award for Innovation. 

First-quarter numbers

  • 40,000+ content views
  • 200,000+ in app minutes
  • 4,000+ assignments
janssen youlearn image
Related Blog Post

How Do Companies Train and Develop Employees Effectively?

Innovative learning for medical technology—Abbott

With over 100,000 employees in over 160 countries, Abbott is a world-changer in the medical space. Abbott works to help people live their best lives, from diagnostics and medical devices to pharmaceuticals. And this means developing comprehensive training for their myriad of products.

The problem

Abbott Cardiovascular’s reps support staff training at countless clinics and hospitals. The goal is to train clinicians on Abbott’s cardiovascular devices before using them. (That’s kinda important, right?) But Abbott faced the problem of a stale LMS and a stiff, impersonal workflow. This didn’t offer many incentives for clinicians to learn about Abbott’s products. Much less learn how to use them.

To solve this, Abbott came to us with a challenge. Create easy and trackable med-device training for clinicians interested in their products.

The solution

To keep things simple for current (and future) Abbott customers, we built the training application off of an Abbott site. The flexible system lets users check out products whenever they want—and tailor the workflow to their schedules. All while being easy to access.

Developing new learning from the ground up—Exact Sciences

Exact Sciences develops solutions that help detect cancer and guide and track treatment. Their main (and most innovative) product is Cologuard, a stool-based alternative to colonoscopy that tests DNA.

The problem

As a revolutionary new product, Cologuard faced breaking into a completely unaware market. Reps needed to do more than simply create awareness, they needed to give doctors a reason to change. This meant convincing doctors that Colorguard is a viable screening method for colorectal cancer (CRC). 

To make this happen, Exact Sciences asked us to do two things: 

  • Collect Cologuard best practices from sales reps, managers, and trainers across the nation
  • Build a scalable, self-driven curriculum that trained reps up to a high level of skill

The solution

So, we got started. Our team went through the week-long onboarding for Cologuard sales reps to get fully immersed in the material, tensions, and motivations of the audience. After becoming “certified,” we interviewed established sales reps, managers, and trainers to better understand their struggles, successes, and experiences in the field. The onboarding and interviews became an important strategic foundation for everything that followed. 

We worked with Exact Sciences to design a learning curriculum based on a “Learn, Practice, Perform” methodology. This method asks reps to learn new skills, practice them in a controlled environment, and then apply those skills in the real world. It also encourages the reps to reflect on both their struggles and successes.

cologuard image

Bringing consistency to innovative learning—CSL

CSL is a global plasma collection and pharmaceutical company. They use collected plasma to research and create life-saving medications and treatments.

The problem

The arm preparation and plasma draw procedure is highly technical. This makes it tough to simulate without practice on dummies or real patients.

CSL wanted to train phlebotomists on draw consistency. But they wanted to avoid managerial oversight or reducing practice time before practicals. This meant simulating a technical skill in a digital environment, built to be as real as possible.

The solution

To solve this challenge, we created a custom eLearning course that simulated key steps of the arm prep procedure. With 3D anatomy and interactive elements, the course teaches the learner about the role, anatomy, and procedure. Then, the course asks learners to conduct the arm prep procedure from start to finish on a 3D model.

Because learners view the course on tablets, they can use styluses in the shape of swabs. This helps them learn accurate swabbing patterns—a key challenge for phlebotomist compliance.

csl phlebotomy course image

Ready to help your life science learners perform beautifully? 

Just like Johnson & Johnson, Celgene, and all the others, you’re committed to doing big things. And giving your people strategic, beautifully designed learning in the life science industry is another step toward empowering your impact.

And don’t feel overwhelmed! You’re not in this alone. Together with a great partner, you can create the learning in the life science industry that you and your learners deserve. 

See what you can do

eLearning refresh

Empower learners with the latest technology, content, and designs


Turn your new hire’s nerves into know-how

Continuous learning

Create habits of personal growth

AR, VR, and more

Open up a whole new world with the latest tech

New launch learning

Debut your newest launch on a whole new level

Rebrand learning

Embrace your new brand look in every part of your learning

Compliance training

Mandatory courses don’t have to be mundane

Sharpen your ILT

Engage your people with custom-created content

What do you need? Let’s build it.

Chat with us about all the ways learning can empower your people!