Friday, January 23, 2015

Why ePharma is different from the rest

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This year at ePharma, we are elevating the digital marketing experiences and networking opportunity to the next level.  How?

Here are a few of the unique opportunities for you to get to know your industry this February:

  • ePharma is focused on collaboration via moderated discussions and impromptu conversations, not dry slide decks or vendor-led presentations
  • ePharma has exclusive, brand new off-site networking and special events including
    • ePharma Karaoke After Party
    • Dinner with Strangers
    • Expedition Learning: The Future of the Interconnected Hospital Room
  • ePharma presents more opportunities to hear from other attendees due to time built into the program specifically for discussion amongst speakers and attendees
  • ePharma's unique format provides you with the opportunity to connect with every speaker and attendee in the room and understand their unique perspectives
  • 70% new speakers for the freshest insights
  • Pharma executives are eligible for a "buy one pass, get one free" offer*
As a reader of this blog, you have the opportunity to register to join us at $100 off current rates when you mention priority code XP2006BL.  ePharma takes place February 24-26 in New York City.  Have any questions about our new marketing opportunities or want to get involved?  Email Jennifer Pereira.

Is There a Difference Between CRM and Marketing Automation?

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By now, customer relationship management (CRM) software has become a staple of how many sales teams operate. CRMs save a lot of time by automating much of the sales process, and many products now offer marketing features.

But if CRMs all offer salesforce automation, do these new marketing capabilities mean CRMs now offer marketing automation?

Are the two terms becoming synonymous?

The answer is no. CRM and marketing automation serve two distinct purposes, and although CRMs have begun to dabble in marketing, their offerings pale in comparison to true marketing automation systems such as Hubspot or Marketo.

The good news is you shouldn’t want CRM and marketing automation to be the same thing. Both types of technology can offer tremendous value to your company, but they have two distinct approaches and serve two different functions.

Let’s clarify this by examining the strengths and methodologies behind each software.

Where CRMs Excel

Customer relationship management software emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s as a combination of database marketing and contact management. Its origins are relevant because these features are still key to CRM’s purpose today.

In a nutshell, CRM software helps sales teams build databases about their company’s customers so they can provide better customer service or sell with more context. This not only makes sales or customer service representatives more effective at their job, but also provider a better experience for the customer.

For life science organizations this is crucial, because physicians are a particularly demanding market who often have limited time and patience. Being armed with relevant information about the physician’s preferences isn’t an option: it’s the standard.

CRM also has other uses, such as:
-          Call logging, appointment setting, and other KPI tracking that measure productivity
-          Social media integration for communicating with customers through Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.
-          Storing financial data like sales numbers as well as administrative data, like contract information
-          Analyzing data to forecast future sales

Again, many CRMs are adding email and other marketing features to this list, but these are really just extras. The number of emails these systems can send are limited, as is the amount of personalization available.
Personalized marketing at scale is best left to marketing automation platforms.

Where Marketing Automation Works Best

Just as CRM evolved from the combination of selling tools, marketing automation tools emerged as a central resource for many of the features necessary for digital marketing.

These systems can be quite powerful and often require technical set up to integrate with your website. Their main functionality includes:
-          Automating and personalizing multiple email or “drip” marketing campaigns
-          Scoring customers or leads based on their activity on your site, your social media channels, and your email marketing
-          Building landing pages and other online resources that contain sign-up forms for acquiring customer information
-          Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, such as Google Adwords and banner ads
-          Granular segmentation based on lead behavior rather than demographic data
-          Attribution models that measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns across channels

This list covers most of the common features, but check out this article by Marketo for a comprehensive list of marketing automation features.

The growing popularity of this software is being driven by the online behavior of consumers. In short, the buying cycle is changing, and customers are contacting sales at a far later stage because they’re doing more of their own research.

Marketing automation’s purpose is distinct from CRM in that it distributes content based on the interests and behaviors of prospects in order to move them closer to the buying stage. CRM works best on a one-to-one basis, and marketing automation is only worth your time once you’re ready to scale.

Despite the inclusion of the word “automation” in the name of these solutions, this technology doesn’t turn your business into a robot. When used correctly, marketing automation’s strong segmentation capabilities should allow you to distribute your content in a way that ensures maximum relevancy — which actually results in more personal communications.

For example, a number of physicians may have an interest in prescribing the same medication, but are their interests all uniform? No? Then they shouldn’t get the same email describing the product.

Marketing automation allows you to divide them up based on the pages they browsed on your website and send them more information that expands on the benefits in which they’ve expressed interest.

So marketing automation not only offers significantly different features than CRM software, but it also serves a significantly different purpose. CRMs help your sales teams become more effective at converting, while marketing automation ensures your sales teams have plenty of opportunities to close.

About the Author: Zach Watson is the content manager at TechnologyAdvice. He covers gamification, healthcare IT, business intelligence, and other emerging technology. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

For patients with chronic illnesses, EHR infrastructure must be improved

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Imagine having a bowel obstruction and going to the emergency room of a hospital you’ve never been to before. When you arrive, you first have to explain to the doctors and nursing staff that you have a debilitating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that many are unfamiliar with. Then you have to run down the list of what medications you take, what allergies you have, and all other pertinent information. The time it takes to share this critical information means that you have to wait longer to get treated, leaving you scared and in pain.

The evolution of Electronic Health Records (EHR) was meant to improve efficiency and quality of care for patients, but for many, the cross-communication between different doctors and medical facilities is lacking. In fact, according to a study by Premier, about 95% of healthcare providers and organizations cite interoperability challenges as a hindrance to transferring data to other medical facilities.

As the caregiver of someone with Crohn's disease, one of the two debilitating digestive diseases under the IBD umbrella, I'm used to having to regurgitate my husband's medical information. Thankfully, it doesn't happen often since most of his care takes place at a major university hospital in Connecticut where EHR is widely utilized. However, when my husband went to the emergency room in 2011 at a different hospital in the state, we had to fill them in on his medical history, and when he was released, his records were not automatically shared with his doctor. Instead, we had to get physical copies of his records and imaging to bring with us when we saw his doctor after he was released. That information then had to be uploaded into his EHR that his gastroenterologist maintains.

For the 117 million people in the U.S. living with one or more chronic illnesses, like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, managing health care records across multiple offices and facilities can be time consuming and burdensome. Patients living with an inflammatory bowel disease experience many health issues in addition to the havoc that is wreaked on their digestive systems. Many suffer from arthritis, migraines, anemia, skin rashes, and other autoimmune diseases. This means that in addition to seeing a gastroenterologist and primary care physician, IBD patients may also see rheumatologists, neurologists, nephrologists, dermatologists, and, often times, colorectal surgeons.

Managing complete paper records with each specialist can be onerous. Prior to the wide implementation of EHRs, each specialist would have to fax or mail physical copies of test results, scans, and other pertinent medical data to the others, which was slow and inefficient.

Now, with 78% of office-based physicians using EHRs, the process should be smoother. Theoretically, a doctor in one office should be able to transmit the blood work of a patient to someone in a different office, allowing for a smooth continuance of care. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and it shouldn’t have to be this complicated.

Congress recognizes the need to fix this interoperability issue and, in the combination long-term omnibus spending bill/short-term continuing resolution (Cromnibus) passed last month, instructions were given to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to “improve the interoperability of Electronic Health Records.”

Streamlining the EHR infrastructure to support information sharing among medical professionals will not only increase efficiency and save money, but it will also vastly improve the quality of care that patients receive from their doctors, nurses, and hospitals. For patients with chronic illness, improving EHR interoperability will allow them to be treated holistically instead of piecemeal by promoting communication and collaboration between specialists on their medical treatment.

This improvement isn't something that can wait. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology must act quickly to tackle these major EHR infrastructure issues. The health and wellbeing of millions of Americans with chronic illnesses depends upon it.

About the author:
Rebecca Kaplan is a communications consultant, freelance writer, and blogger. You can read more about her life loving someone with Crohn's disease on her blog, on Huffington Post, or follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Pharmaceutical Marketers Can Learn From Perfectionists

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This article was originally published on the Physicians Interactive blog by Guest Author Ken Locicero, PhD. Vice President, Physicians Interactive. Physicians Interactive is a media partner of ePharma Summit 2015 taking place February 24-26 in New York City.

Hey, Product Manager… Are you pursuing success? Or fleeing failure?

In the late 90s, I had the chance to research and publish on Perfectionism. It’s a broad area and very entertaining. Everyone always seem to know who the perfectionist is in their family, work group, or social group (if they don’t readily identify themselves as a perfectionist), and some interpretation of what it means to be a perfectionist. However, if you cull down to the core of perfectionism, it’s really about simply setting very high standards.

Perfectionists can be sorted into two distinct types: Adaptive and Maladaptive. The basic difference between Adaptive and Maladaptive Perfectionists is essentially how they react to achieving—or not achieving—the high standard they’ve set. For example, think back to your time in school and that Marketing 101 final exam. Perhaps you set a goal to get an A. For the perfectionist, the goal is to ace the exam. Anything less—even 99 out of 100—is a slippery slope to failure. But now, let’s consider how a maladaptive’s experience differs from an adaptive’s experience in relation to the outcome of their lofty pursuit:

Hmmmm. Exhilaration or Relief. The Adaptive Perfectionist tends to pursue success. The Maladaptive Perfectionist tends to flee failure. We can learn a lot from our perfectionistic friends and loved ones about how we engage at work.

Are you pursuing success or fleeing failure?

In the last 17 years of supporting pharmaceutical marketing teams with HCP engagement solutions to drive business, I’ve worked with many ‘perfectionists’ of both types. Those that pursue success are the ones that always seem to be on the crest or ahead of the wave in the industry. The fleers perpetuate the same cycle of choosing the safe route and ultimately “bask in the glory” of non-failure. In the marketing world, we might call this “exceptional adequacy” (we could also call it complacency). The pursuers are the ones who understand that when something is broken, they have an opportunity to take calculated risks and lead change— fully embracing the notion that success is derived from is the opposite of complacency.

Today’s life sciences marketing is rapidly changing to solve the issues related to the broken commercial model. Digital HCP engagement has been propelled to the forefront of what is required to support medical practice in the HCP workflow — and to do so cost effectively. Accelerated by electronic health record (EHR) adoption, HCPs spend increasingly more time engaging with technology to support education, treatment decisions, and patient outcomes. Consumers and patients have been there long before the recent HCP surge. Opportunity abounds. And yet, most life science company partners either show reluctance to embrace the change, merely providing lip service, or they actively marginalize results by perpetuating a siloed point of view:

“I don’t believe in digital.”

“I’m not convinced about mobile.”

“We know we should be integrating digital, but we still don’t do it or just don’t know how to.”
“Our customers are different; they haven’t really adopted digital and still heavily rely on our sales force.”

With the brightest and most innovative minds in the life science sector, many partners are still holding onto the mantra of “Let’s be first to be second.” How is it still possible, or acceptable, to move so slowly in adapting to the real change that is happening?

Perhaps a more important question: How does leadership inspire an innovative culture of accelerating promotion that better aligns to today’s digital revolution?

And, finally, whether you are or are not a perfectionist, the most important question you can ask yourself every day: Are you pursuing success for your brand or fleeing failure?

Want a free pass to ePharma 2015? Retweet to enter for a chance to win! To retweet, click here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Patient Safety: Are Hospitals Safe?

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This article was originally published on HealthIT and mHealth’s website. HealthIT and mHealth is a media partner of ePharma Summit 2015 taking place February 24-26 in New York City.

Some say that Thanksgiving is the one of the busiest days of the year for hospitals. If you end up in the hospital are you really in good hands or are you being cared for by an intern who has had little sleep and is afraid to talk to their attending?  

In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about how cockpit communication and hierarchy lead to plane crashes.  The aviation industry has since shaped up its act, but the healthcare industry has not.  The culture of the hospital is still very hierarchical; in most hospitals employees use formal prefixes to refer to Dr’s and there is a clear seniority divide between nurses, interns, attendings and surgeons.  Nurses and interns are afraid to speak up if senior level doctor makes a mistake, and senior level doctors are afraid to admit mistakes.  Business school students pour over detailed case studies of the failures of top executives and companies, while medical students are memorizing information they could find online in less than three minutes. Mistakes happen, they need to be pointed out, admitted to and studied.

Here are some scary facts from Pat Mastors’s book, “Design to Survive”:
·         Infections in hospitals kill 99,000 people each year, more than AIDS, car accidents and breast cancer combined
·         U.S. surgeons operate on the wrong body part as often as 40 times per week
·         The CDC estimates that half of antibiotics in the United States are inappropriately prescribed
·         Research published in April 2012 by the American Journal for Infection Control reveals that 92% percent of hospital privacy curtains were contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria such as MRSA and VRE
·         Hand-hygiene compliance by health care workers in many facilities hovers around 50%
·         For decades no one has been charged with inspecting hospitals for cleanliness, or mandating that they are clean at all
·         At the University of Maryland, 65% of medical personnel confessed they change their lab coat less than once a week
·         Up to 195,000 people die each year of potentially preventable medical errors
·         A Boston Globe investigation found 200 patients died in recent five-year period because nurses didn’t hear or failed to react with urgency to beeping alarms

If you or a loved one ends up in the hospital, here are some resources to keep you and your loved ones safe. How to find a safe hospital:
·         Hospital Compare-US Department of Health and Human Services reports on outcomes data for physicians hospitals and nursing homes
·         ZocDoc-Publishes reviews about providers from verified patients
·         Angie’s List-Provides a list of top doctors and dentists from 5 years worth of data from patients.  The site also provides a tool to confirm medical licencing
·         Certification Matters- The American Board of Medical Specialties provides a search tool to determine if your provider is Board Certified
·         Americas Best Hospitals- US News ranks over 5,000 hospitals every year
·         Healthgrades - provides a list of Americas best hospitals based solely on clinical quality outcomes and provides reviews of providers and hospitals
·         RateMDs-allows patients to write and read reviews of their doctors
·         Hopsital Safety Score-the Leapfrog group grades hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from errors, accidents, injuries and infections
·         Patient Satisfaction Scores- The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (HCAHPS) surveys patients on the following topics: communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, cleanliness of the hospital environment, quietness of the hospital environment, and transition of care
·         Clear Health Costs-provides pricing information for treatments, surgeries and other medical procedures or visits
·         Medibid-provides a platform for providers to bid on procedures for self-pay patients
·         Snaphealth-online health care search engine for purchasing medical and diagnostic services in cash-based transactions
·         Castlight Health-a web application that provides information to patients about healthcare costs, usage, coverage and choices
·         pokitDoc-PokitDok provides enterprise access to market driven provider, treatment and price information for Employers, Payers, and Health networks seeking to reduce expenses and capture lost reimbursements. PokitDok also provides an e-commerce storefront for practitioners seeking to market their services and enable consumers to shop & pay for treatment up front.

Educate yourself on hospital acquired infections and medical errors:
·         RID-The committee to reduce infection deaths provides a wealth of information about hospital acquired infections
·         Association of Professionals in Infection Control-is the leading professional association for infection preventionists
·         Mothers Against Medical Error (MAME)- a group of parents committed to promote safety in our medical system
·         Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients (ASAP)-educates and protects patients through awareness of hospital acquired infections such as Necrotizing Fasciitis, MRSA, VRE, and Sepsis
·         Persons United Limiting Sub-Standards and Errors in Healthcare-a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization working to improve patient safety and reduce the rate of medical errors using real life stories and experiences
·         The Institute for Safe Medication Practices- a 501c (3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use
·         Learn as much as you can from other patients who have the same illness and be an engaged patient:
·         CureTogether- a platform for patients to talk about sensitive symptoms, compare which treatments work best for them and track their health.
·         Inspire-online patient engagement community
·         Cautious Patient-informs patients of healthcare quality problems and the pitfalls in the healthcare system, teaches them how to find the information they need, and coaches them to interact with the healthcare system effectively to ensure quality treatment
·         Society for Participatory Medicine-a 501(c) 3 is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting the concept of participatory medicine, a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners.
·         e-Patient Dave- is a cancer patient and blogger who, in 2009, became a noted activist for healthcare transformation through participatory medicine and personal health data rights
·         Patients Like Me- provides a better, more effective way for you to share your real-world health experiences in order to help yourself, other patients like you and organizations that focus on your conditions.
·         EmpoweredPatientCoalition- a 501(c)(3) charitable organization created by patient advocates devoted to helping the public improve the quality and the safety of their healthcare. The organization informs, engages and empowers the public with information and resources. They have dozens of free resources located on their companion website at – all written by and for patients.  They also have an app called Empowered Patient that can be found on the iTunes store.
·         RallyHealth-Rally Health thrives at the intersection of ground-breaking technology and improving healthcare outcomes through patient engagement

Get a patient advocate:
·         AdvoConnection-a directory of private, independent and professional health and patient advocates
·         Advocate Directory- a directory of people whose mission relates to the improvement of quality and transparency in healthcare, or the provision of services or resources that improve the safety of individual patients

·         Kinergy Health-provides the skilled personal assistance your family needs to ease the adoption of healthcare technologies, access qualified information resources, and identify appropriate services.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The challenge of increasing patient adherence

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Over the past few weeks, we've had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Katrina Firlik, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at HealthPrize Technology and have her share her insights on patient adherence, the overall effect of the health care system and if this can be changed. In a recent article published at Mobi Health News, HealthPrize shares some of the recent success they've seen in efforts to increase patient adherence.  They partnered with five different Pharma companies to test adherence measures in diabetes, hypertension, acne and asthma or COPD. Adherence levels raised 54%. They found that the diabetes patients were the one group that were resistant to patient adherence - their group only showing adherence to medication at 39%.

For measurement in success in medication adherence, Healthprize both tracked refills at the pharmacy and used gamification, rewards, and daily educational content to motivate patients to take their medication and to refill prescriptions.  Their unique methods create an engagement and login level on par with Facebook.  Hear directly from Healthprize and founder Dr. Katrina Firlik's efforts to engage patients and adherence in our exclusive ePharma podcast here.

HealthPrize will be joining us this February at ePharma to present "Improve Medication Adherence by Understanding What's Actually Driving Non–Adherence". For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP2006BL, you can save $100 off current rates.

How Digital Health and Demographic Shifts Will Disrupt Consumer Driven Health Care and the Marketing Strategy for Millennials

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We have seen an explosion of digital wearable devices which can monitor and store patient biometric data from heart rate, and blood glucose levels to sleep efficiency. But who is fueling this trend? It’s the same group of individuals raised in the digital age-millennials. What are the actual needs, perception, and acceptance of technology by millennial health consumers and new healthcare practitioners?

As one of the fastest growing demographics and consumers of health, the millennial generation is redefining traditional boundaries and perception of health and wellness. Over the next five years, retail experts predict that millennials will have more combined purchasing power and influence than any other generation that has been in existence. Healthcare will be transformed alongside. A connected cohort, millennials are sometimes described as giving life to the sharing economy: sharing and renting moments, experiences, and utilities, spawning new platforms of engagement.

What does privacy now mean when all the data is patient generated and how can vast amounts of user-generated data be targeted for engagement? Is there a possibility of its monetization? We are in an era where user-generated data is the new currency in health, and everyone from digital marketers, to health care practitioners, payers, to governments, and even those on the outside will be want a stake. This is also where the next frontier in digital marketing will be as well.

From the classroom to the clinic, let’s take a journey to understand the unique health needs and behaviors of millennials critical to effectively targeting this group.

Be ready for an interactive session and a fresh perspective with rare insights from a frontline millennial pharmacist on the trends, disruption, and reorientation in thinking required to engage this new empowered group of patients and health consumers. Aaron Sihota, a Pharmacist and Health Innovator will look at this topic in depth during the next  ePharma web seminar taking place on Monday, February 9 from 2:00PM to 3:00PM EST. Register to join us here.  Mention priority code P2006W2BLOG.

This web seminar is in support of ePharma.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP2006BL, you can save $100 off the current rate.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wearables: Considering impact on behavior

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Wearables are all the rage - the market was $5 billion last year and expected to raise to $12 billion by 2018 according to a recent study at Statista. With all of the success, how can it impact the customer?  This will be the hard part.  Data collection is a huge part of wearables, but a recent article at Fierce Mobile Health points to one very important feature of wearables - the ease of use to and ability to engage users.  They lay the responsibility for user engagement and behavior change on the software behind the product.  Does it regularly prompt the user?  Does it motivate them to change the results that the technology is collecting on their health behavior?

Macadamian's blog recently shared seven principles that can be a guide to changing user behavior:
1. Reduction – Simplification of the task the user is trying to do.
2. Tunnelling – A step by step sequence of activities that guides the user through the behavior.
3. Tailoring – Provision of feedback to the user based on their actions.
4. Suggestion – Provision of suggestions to the user at the right moment and in the right context.
5. Self-monitoring – Enables the user to track and change his own behavior to achieve a predetermined outcome.
6. Surveillance – Observes the user overtly in order to increase a target behavior.
7. Conditioning – Relies on providing reinforcement (or punishments) to the user in order to increase a target behavior.
Do you have a wearable device?  For you as the consumer, what prompts you to change your behavior with the data you collect?

Next month at ePharma, we will have dedicate an afternoon looking at wearables and how they can impact consumers lives. Anita Burrell, Associate Vice President, Commercial Operations Effectiveness, Global Diabetes, Sanofi will be in this track to present Technology Enabling Consumers and Improving Outcomes to look at exactly how to encourage consumers to keep continuing to use the wearable devices to improve patient outcome. For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us February 24-26 with priority code XP2006BL, you can save $100 off the current rates.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Will 2015 Be the Year of the HealthTech IPO?

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This article was originally published on HealthIT and mHealth’s website. HealthIT and mHealth is a media partner of ePharma Summit 2015 taking place February 24-26 in New York City.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 planted the seeds for the disruptive environment we are witnessing today in healthcare. Physicians’ use of EMR/EHR systems increased from 18% in 2001 to 57% in 2011. In 2014 this number has increased to over 85%, following the “2013 year of EHR replacement”. Now that most providers have EHRs in place they are working towards the Affordable Care Act incentives to reduce costs, increase price transparency and increase efficiency. The companies that help health care providers achieve these goals are the companies that are most likely to IPO in the HealthTech space. Key signals for an imminent IPO are Late-Stage investors, high customer retention rates with low acquisition costs, S1 filing and large profit margins. The timing of an IPO also depends on how sell-side fund managers feel about the Healthcare IT industry as a whole. Steven Kraus, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners believes there will be four to five healthIT IPOs each year for the next five years.

Castlight Health (CSLT), price transparency health app, IMSHealth (IMS), healthcare analytics and consulting firm, and Imprivata, single sign on software all had their IPOs in 2014. Castlight received some flak from the media for being overpriced and to some appeared to be an indicator of a tech bubble. Castlight had a 1.4 billion dollar valuation with 13 million dollars total revenue.  The company started trading at $39.8 and is now trading at $11.70. There are a lot healthcare technology startups with amazing ideas, however many struggle to earn a profit. There has been five times increase in venture investments in digital health, however most digital health companies are not profitable. Venture Capitalists have typically strayed away from healthcare companies because of uncertainty in regulations and the difficulty of earning a profit in healthcare. “The strength of investors’ interest in digital health is based on several factors, government policies such as healthcare reform, payment reform and the federal incentives to adopt electronic health records have created a welcoming climate for entrepreneurs to try new models,” Steven Kraus said in an interview with Modern Healthcare. There has been a 6.5 billion dollar investment in digital health in the past 5 years, which signifies that some venture capitalists have changed their mindset toward healthcare technology companies.

IMS Health was the second largest IPO of the year, raising roughly $1.3 billion selling 65 million shares at an initial price of $20 a share. At the close of the market on Dec 31, IMSHealth was trading at $25.64. Impravata (IMPR) had an initial price of $16.25 and at the end of 2014 was selling at $13.00. Impravata raised $66.3M from the sale of 5 million shares of stock, nearly equal to its revenue of $71.1M in 2013. Impravata’s single sign on application allows more than 2.8 million providers to decrease the amount of clicks needed to view their EHRs.

There are several Health IT companies that could IPO in 2015 including: Practice Fusion, Doximity, Healthgrades, Evolent Health, Best Doctors, ZocDoc, and AirStrip. Practice Fusion, founded in 2005 is a free MU2 web based EHR. The company has raised 157.5 Million dollars from 27 investors including KPCB, Founders Fund and Qualcomm. It has 112,000 monthly subscribers that equate to 81 million patient records. Earlier this year Practice Fusion hired Robert Park, who helped Chegg go public as its CFO which could indicate the company plans to go public soon.

Doximity is a networking site, “LinkedIn for physicians”, hailing over 40% of United States providers (300,000 physicians) as members. It is also the largest HIPAA-secure medical network in the country allowing providers to freely discuss patients and their labs via secure messages. It was founded in March of 2011 and has raised a total $81.8 Million from Emergence Capital Partners, Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price, Morgenthaler Ventures, InterWest Partners and DFJ. Last year Doximity surpassed the American Medical Association to become the largest physician group in the United States. Doximity was created by the founders of Epocrates (EPOC) and therefore members of the team have experience with an IPO.

HealthGrades, founded back in 1998 ranks providers and hospitals and has more than 250 million hits a year. It utilizes a subscription based model where consumers pay for access to the physician ratings. In 2010, Vestar Capital Partners took the company private, but it could possibly go public again soon.

Evolent Health aids providers in switching to value based payment systems. It was founded in 2011 and has raised 101.3M in private equity and had a revenue of 40M as of January 2014. Evolent Health earned 4th place in America’s Most Promising Companies: The Top 25 of 2014.

Best Doctors, founded in 1989 provides expert physician opinions to employees and designs and implements health plans for individuals and families. Each sector of the company, the physical advice and health plans contribute equally to the company’s revenue. It has large Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies as customers. Best Doctors has raised $45.5M in private equity from Brown Brothers Harriman and $20M from Nippon Life Insurance Company of Japan.

ZocDoc, founded in 2007 is a website that allows patients to schedule appointments with their providers online and read reviews of providers by real patients. ZocDoc has received $97.9M from 5 rounds of funding, notable investors are Goldman Sachs, SV Angel, Founders Fund, Jeff Bezos and Khosla Ventures.

AirStrip delivers critical patient information to a provider’s tablet, smartphone or computer.  It has received 65M from 4 rounds of investors. Notable investors include Sequoia Capital and Qualcomm.
Other notable companies that could IPO or be acquired in 2015 are Vitals, MediMedia, Emdeon, AmericanWell, Redbrick Health Corp, Proteus Digital Health, 23andMe, One Medical Group, Health Catalyst, Grand Rounds, Zenefits, TelaDoc, Welltok, naviHealth, Oscar Health Insurance, GetInsured, Health Essentials.

Doximity, Healthgrades and Practice fusion are sponsors of ePharma.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Second Screen and Beyond: The explosion of cross-device interactive video experiences

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We’ve all had that moment. Watching the game and wondering… what’s going on in the other game? Watching that movie, with that guy… what was he from? And until recently, we had to wait to find the answer. But now, there’s a tablet on your lap or a smartphone in your pocket, and you can hit ESPN and find out about the blowout in Kansas, or use IMDB to discover that that guy is Michael Ironside. That is the “second screen” in its most basic form.

Advertisers are intensely interested in this phenomenon. Most of the time, people are just noodling around with their phones while watching TV; but occasionally, they are doing something to enhance their viewing experience. That is what we’re going to talk about.

Fish Where the Fish Are: Use Existing Tools

The best second screen experiences use existing platforms because, in general, no one wants your app. Here’s an example. There’s a guilty pleasure of a program called House Hunters International, in which vapid, spoiled caricatures look for overseas lodgings. Michael Ian Black and John Hodgman started live-tweeting the show, eventually moving their snark to the less restrictive Tumblr platform. The comics inspired thousands of followers to join in and poke fun at the show. Hodgman and Black demonstrated that, with a decent following and quality content, they could create a great, albeit unsanctioned, second screen experience for their fans.

Audi and the ABC Family hit Pretty Little Liars went one further—they made the second screen an integral part of the experience, again leveraging a solid following on existing social media platforms. The automaker teamed up with the show’s producers to release unique, Liars-related content via Snapchat, the popular ephemeral messaging app. Audi used Snapchat to send photos, clues, polls, and more to the show’s fans. The campaign was promoted via targeted sponsored tweets to the show’s socially savvy fanbase; a feedback loop saw screenshots of Snapchat content posted back to Twitter, generating more Snapchat followers for Audi.

Did it work? According to data reported by Huge, the agency that masterminded the campaign, the answer is an emphatic yes. Audi Snapchat followers went from 10,000 to 125,000; as many as 75,000 views were reported on a single Snap; and the campaign racked up 487 million Twitter impressions.

Second Screen for Healthcare

The potential for second screen and multiscreen campaigns is clear. The question is how can healthcare industries make use of it? To answer this question, we must think of the goals of a second screen campaign. And those goals, in essence, are similar to the goals of the Audi campaign referenced above. Audi used its second screen campaign to add additional content and context to broadcast material, while generating positive sentiment toward their brand.

The limits of broadcast advertising are clear for healthcare marketers, particularly those in the pharmaceutical business. The nature of the medium allows for relatively little information on the product and its uses because of the preponderance of risk and safety information that must be presented (and rightly so). If we could just get these patients online, they could learn a lot more about our products, what they do, who they’re for, and how to get help paying for them. 

Audio recognition apps like Shazam offer an interesting possibility, especially for patients who have “‘raised their hand” and expressed interest in a condition or product. The weakness of these apps is similar to what sunk QR codes as a marketing tactic in the US: They just aren’t convenient enough—or prevalent enough— to make an impact in the healthcare market until they’re built into the OS.

So we could replicate the approach Audi took with Pretty Little Liars, and extend and alter it to suit our clients. The key success factors in that campaign were good content, and use of existing social media platforms. Again: no one wants another app! Use the platforms your audiences are using.

What’s Next?

We’ve spoken about second screen primarily in the context of broadcast TV and mobiles, but it goes beyond that. Second screen also means a physician looking up information on a mobile while the patient chart is on a desktop display. It can mean augmented reality technology that reveals something new when you view video content via your smartphone camera. Second screen is a mobile device communicating with a big screen display via NFC, triggering targeted content.

Imagine this: A patient walks into the physician’s office. He waves his mobile device in front of a display panel, which brings up his information. He quickly adds any updates or notes, new insurance, etc., and sits down, all checked in. Moments (OK, 20 minutes) later, his mobile chirps. Time to see the doctor! She prescribes a new medication for him and sends the authorization and prescription via her tablet. Because he has opted in to a service, the patient gets an automatic notification from the manufacturer offering support and education services. At home, he accesses his HDTV via Bluetooth connectivity on the phone and watches a few minutes of educational content on the big screen.

This is where we’re headed. In a few years we won’t even be talking about second screen; it will be all around us, like oxygen. Fluid transfer of information among display ports will just be the patient’s and consumer’s expectation. And our industry can play a huge role in helping to mediate that flow and in adding value to each context in use. 

About the Author: Tim R. Garde is the Chief Operating Officer of Calcium. He is relentless in his pursuit of excellence in life sciences communications. Tim couples decades of experience in brand launches, patient communications, healthcare professional initiatives, payer strategies and retail distribution with a passion for digital innovation as a way to improve patient outcomes. Above all, Tim believes that a team-focused, collaborative approach allows team members to shine, and delivers the best value and quality to his clients.