Thursday, February 17, 2011

ePharma Summit Digest: Day Two Recap

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Apps, Regs, Google and mHealth…Confused or just plain frustrated?

Editor’s note: Highly digestible tidbits provided by an expert in the audience who – due to the sensitivity of his current role at a major manufacturer – asked to remain anonymous. The editor has added comments and made a few revisions, liberally.

Please note that a more comprehensive exec summary will be available to ePharma registrants soon. Stay tuned!

Highlights, Day Two Program (Wednesday, February 9th)


– “App Phone” – say it with me – is way more than just a smart phone. It is a whole new category separate from cell phones and PCs

– Augmented Reality apps enable someone to point their phone camera at a real place and have the phone screen add tags, data or other intelligence to the image

– Now everything is on demand, even and including healthcare

Editor’s note: Who knew the guy did cabaret? “Capital Steps,” look out! Check out his speech on YouTube:

* Editor’s choice: Music for the Mind & Exceptionally Applied Intellect

LUCY ROSE & Pharma Manufacturers, Reg & Legal Issues

– Original Rx product promotional regulations were written in the 1960s – and according to FDA/DDMAC, not much has changed since

– DDMAC has stated that there will be no platform-specific guidance for Twitter, Facebook, etc. (it’s the message, not the medium – sigh)

– Uptick in DDMAC’s focus on risk and safety information, tread lightly

– Companies may handle equal prominence using many of the interactive features of the Web/digital platforms

Editor’s note: Lawyers and tigers and bears, oh my! This session was worth the price of admission for the entire conference. You’ll not find a more candid blueprint for dealing with your legal folks and regulators.

* Editor’s choice: Collaboration Gold Medal: Drive the Car, Watch the Road, Deers have issues with headlights

BOB BROOKS & Social Media Panel

– Build relationships with stakeholders before a crisis

Editor’s note: The key here is putting the “social” in social media. Marketing relationships make for weak ties and liabilities. There is another way…


– We need a common language for innovation

– Innovation can and should happen at each point in the value chain: Finance, Process, Offering & Delivery

Editor’s note: Good luck! Pardon me if I hedge my bets.

GOOGLE, Mary Ann Belliveau & Amy Cowan

– Information gathered from Internet health searching makes patients more confident in managing their health

– YouTube is the #2 search engine after

– New paid search ad units have been developed for Rx products

Editor’s note: Bless you Mary Ann and Amy. You answered so many questions and, inadvertently, introduced new ones. You ePharma folk haven’t heard the last of this. Über-power and insight here. Stay tuned…

BRIAN DOLAN, MobiHealth News & Mobile Panel

– Pharma industry has driven a lot of early successes in mobile health

– HCP use of Blackberries decreasing, and iPhones & Androids has grown

– WAP-enabled sites are low-hanging fruit for pharma, and right now most Rx brands do not have one

– Remote sensors, apps & other devices generate lots of data about a person/patient. Unfortunately, doctors will be overwhelmed by this and need help in determining the best way to use it

Editor’s note: click here. Trust me.

Jay Goldman, KLICK Pharma, More Mobile

– Use unique URLs, QR/short codes and mobile advertising to drive traffic to mobile sites

– Remember you can’t use/display Flash on Apple devices

– Need to optimize the experience for different types of phones and different Operating Systems (OS)

– 85% of 35-44 year-olds with smartphones have downloaded an app

Editor’s note: Déjà vu? Stay tuned. We’re not done here.

JONATHAN RICHMAN, Bridge Worldwide & Integrated Marketing Panel

– See Jonathan’s “10 Things” at his blog, “Dose of Digital

Editor’s note: Yes, but is 10 enough? I could add another five…

Marc Dresner is an IIR communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Pharma Market Research Report, a confidential newsletter for market researchers in the pharmaceutical industry. He may be reached at

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