Thursday, January 31, 2013

The benefits of filtering your data

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Could the key to optimizing your research and improving your product simply be in the way you filter your data? When we filter our coffee it tastes smoother, all the impurities are removed, so is this same method applied to filtering our data? compares them, 'the entire process on the data side is identical to what occurs with coffee: impurities are removed, and overall quality is made superior. A simple 5 step process governs the “Data Cleansing/Filtering” process.' Check out their infograph and read the full article here.

Data can be useful, overwhelming, and confusing. It's sometimes difficult to pinpoint the best information to use to promote your product and engage your audience, all while staying relevant and up to date with the industry standards. One industry that continues to slowly evolve to the digital world is Pharma. Selecting the right channels, the right content and the right timing for their specifi­c audience, will help the industry exceed tremendously. But where do you start? is a featured exhibitor at the 12th annual ePharma Summit, where we'll provide game-changing case studies and in-depth panels focused on non-personal promotion, mobile, social media, video, ROI (and ROE) measurement and sales force engagement. We'll cover all there is to know about digital marketing and Pharma. Want to learn more? Check out our brochure.

As a reader of this blog, you'll receive 10% off by mentioning code XP1806BLOG when you register to join. We look forward to seeing you March 4-6 in NY, NY!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Session Spotlight: How does your company use mobile to connect consumers to HCPs?

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While there has been a lot of discussion around mobile to increase adherence or to provide HCPs with information, there hasn’t been a lot of dialog around how mobile can be used to increase communication between patients and HCPs. With doctors having on average seven minutes with each patient, there must be open lines of communication outside of the exam room as well in order to make patients healthier. So what is the best form of communication?

Session: The Unrealized Potential of Patient-HCP mobility             
Speaker: Bill Drummy, CEO, Heartbeat Ideas

No technology has been as rapidly embraced by pharma as mobile. Despite all the mobile enthusiasm, the power of connecting patients to physicians has barely been tapped. At the 12th annual ePharma Summit, we discuss the possibilities and share real-world cases of companies that are finding great value in unexpected places, such as mobile. To learn more download our brochure.

As a reader of this blog, you'll receive 10% off by mentioning code XP1806BLOG when you register to join. We look forward to seeing you March 4-6 in NY, NY!

This week's spotify playlist was chosen by: Bill Drummy. Check out the tracks he chose below!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cut through digital noise to reach physicians

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Understanding the way any consumer spends his time online is key to any marketer - but for Pharma companies - it's especially crucial.  This method offsets other alternatives such as conferences and on-site visits.  Many companies are on the quest to quantify how physicians interact online with content and other healthcare professionals.  As often is the case, they don't socialize online, but they're there absorbing the information that appeals to them.

In this article at Forbes, they identify the company Kyruus, which works with hospitals to monitor physicians activity online to ensure that they are compliant.  The company also takes the time to collect data that shows how, when and with who the physicians interact.  This is a key bit of information that is important to the big Pharma companies who are finding ways to interact with them in a constructive way.

The key, as always with social no matter what the field, is to create important content that reaches the right audience in the right spot.  Most physicians have a positive attitude towards Pharma companies.  Now Pharma companies have tools to analyze behavior and are able to better identify when and where to reach their physicians online.

This March at the ePharma Summit, we'll spend an entire afternoon focusing on Healthcare Professional Engagement with presentations from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Evolution Road and Merck.  For more information on these, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us at the ePharma Summit taking place March 4-6, as a reader of this blog, when you mention code XP1806BLOG while registering, you'll save 10% off the current rate!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Can twitter help HCP's track & monitor diseases?

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With the ability to send information to millions in seconds, it's no secret that twitter has revolutionized the way we deliver news. And after last year's debate it also has allowed us to project our thoughts, agree or disagree, and connect with millions of people all over the world. Healthcare has been hesitant to crossover to the world of Social Media, but now, officials are encouraging to tweet how you 'feel'.

Tweets with location information may allow officials to plot points on a map to detect a trend, then alert providers to gear up for a possible outbreak. Though accurate information is available for only about 15% of tweets containing GPS data, it's enough for a system to monitor key words like "fever" or "coughing" in a specific area. 

Will twitter help patients connect with doctors in a more efficient way? How will this change the way we monitor disesases?

At the 12th annual ePharma Summit, we discuss the recent shift in the online landscape as patients use new technologies, including mobile, tablets and biometrics to take control over their healthcare needs. John Mangano, Vice President, comScore, leads our session: Patients, Prescriptions and Prevention: How Americans Use the Internet to Improve Outcomes. To learn more, download our brochure.

As a reader of this blog, you'll receive 10% off  by mentioning code XP1806BLOG when you register to join. We look forward to seeing you March 4-6 in NY, NY!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Branding your product, IRL

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If there's one thing we can take away from 2012 (speaking media-phorically), it's that Social Media has revolutionized the way we market our products. But now that we've mastered the digital campaign, how can we translate translate it back to real life?

Twist! Marketers are realizing that you can actually implement digital media tactics and apply them to real life. gives us three tips to create successful brand engagement:

1. Create a two-way dialogue. This is a fact that traditional media outlets have learned the hard way and have either adapted and flourished (e.g. Forbes) or perished (e.g. Newsweek).

2. Let consumers create their own brand experience. Don Draper would kill me for saying this, but a lot has changed since Sterling Cooper ruled Madison Avenue.

3. Stay in touch. They say that communication is one of the most important things to keep a healthy relationship.

You can read the full article here.

What other types of strategies do you think we'll see in 2013, and which do you think will be the most successful?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brand Planning in a Digital World

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When I first start to put together the program for ePharma, I typically have 15 - 20 phone conversations, then schedule the advisory board meeting with leaders in the space, some of whom have participated at ePharma over the past several years, some of whom have never attended. In preporation for the advisory board meeting, I compile all of my notes: notes from research calls, notes from face-to-face meetings, notes from the previous year's event, notes from ePharma and anything else I've collected throughout the year. I do this to identify industry trends, which I then present to the advisory board and we determine if it's on-point and how we can best address it at ePharma.

One of the trends that I noticed, and that the advisory board supported, is that digital marketing is out. It's dated. At this point, when more than 50% of US adults own smart phones and 175 million people logging onto Facebook every day, even considering building a marketing plan without including digital channels would be crazy. Marketing must include digital, because that's where our customers are. We're marketing in a digital world.

To address this shift in mindset, we've added the Brand Planning in a Digital World track to provide you with the platform to learn and discuss how to build a multi-channel, coheasive marketing plan for your brand that seamlessly integrates digital with traditional channels.

Pssst, check out the advisory board members.

I look forward to seeing you at March!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The glacial movement of Pharma digital marketing integration

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Pharma marketers have made leaps and bounds when it comes to to using digital strategy in their marketing efforts. But Sven Awege of the Pharma Exec Blog believes there's a long way to go. Not only is digitally integrated marketing facing the natural resistance to change, but the article lists a few more things that cause the resistance and slow adoption of digitally integrated marketing: Lack of senior management commitment; Inadequate or incomplete strategy; Lack of internal (and external) capabilities; and MLR resistance to risk or change just to name a few.

So what can we do to encourage this change and show that it has positive effects on the industry? We must integrate the digital structure into the regular marketing mix and make it part of the marketing culture. We must understand how this new form of marketing allows the consumers to connect to products in a new way from there and counter the resistance to change in that way.

This March at the ePharma Summit, Marc Valdiviezo, Director Team Leader, Multi-Channel Marketing, Pfizer, will be on hand to address this topic in the presentation Deliver Multi-Channel Marketing at Scale where he will discuss the newer, evolved marketing strategy that includes the digital piece from marketing to the sales force. For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda. If you'd like to join us in New York City, register today and mention code P1806BLOG to save 10% off the current rate!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Engagement is the key to successful healthcare marketing

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Healthcare marketing is difficult.  Connecting with the audience is important, but how can this happen when the subjects are often difficult and individuals often want to keep them quiet?  The value of connecting with the audience frequently can't be measured but the payoffs long term can show significant value.  At Ragan's Healthcare Community News, they provide a list of small things that can be done to engage your audience - both online and off - to create brand loyalty and engagement both online and off.

A few of the things they suggest are:
  • Downloadable questions to ask your physician about a specific condition
  • Email campaign with links to wellness information, classes and events
  • Men’s health promotional events at local hardware stores
  • Twitter/tweet announcements from live events
  • Heart healthy shopping menus at local grocery stores and restaurants

This March at the ePharma Summit, Charu Chaturvedi of Affinnova will be on hand to present Message Malpractice: Dramatically Improve the Effect of Your Customer Campaigns to look at some of the best engagement campaigns in the industry. For more information on this session and the rest of the event, download the agenda. If you'd like to join us, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1806BLOG, you'll save 10% off the current rate!

What are some things you think companies can do to further engage their audience?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mobile Health Trend Blurs Marketing and Care Delivery

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“Healthcare Anywhere” Rewrites Pharmaceutical Marketing Rules

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

Pharmaceutical marketers: You may not have signed up for this, but measurably improved health outcomes may soon be one of your less indirect responsibilities.

It’s a field afar from conventional DTC, but according to Joe Shields, Global Strategic Marketing at LifeScan, healthcare delivery is no longer exclusive to hospitals and physicians’ offices; it’s mobile and it’s changing the way marketers think about engaging with patients.

Joe Shields
“In the past, [marketing’s role] has been about effecting behavior change when it comes to purchasing and loyalty,” Shields told Inside ePharma. “The behavior changes that we’re talking about now are human, fundamental health issues.”

Commonly known as “mHealth,” Shields and others refer to the trend as “healthcare anywhere”—essentially the ‘consumerization’ of medical treatment devices: smartphone apps that function as hybrid promotional/behavior modification tools with remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities, etc.

In this podcast interview with Inside ePharma, Shields discusses the extraordinary shift taking place as marketers find themselves poised to play an unprecedented role in healthcare.

Listen to the podcast here!

Download a transcript!

Editor’s note: Joe Shields will be moderating a panel of experts on the subject of “Next Generation Mobile Health Technologies” at the 12th Annual ePharma Summit taking place March 4th through 6th in New York City.

For more information on the ePharma Summit taking place March 4-6, 2013, visit the webpage and download our brochure.  If you'd like to join Joe at the event, register today and mention code XP1806BLOG to save 10% off the current rate!

Marc Dresner is IIR USA's senior editor and special communication projects lead. He is the former executive editor of Pharma Market Research Report, a confidential newsletter for marketing researchers in the pharmaceutical industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Photo sharing app Instagram increases number of users

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Do you remember when we featured an out of industry post on Instagram back in December? When millions of users were outraged at the TOS changes and threatening to abandon the app? If you're wondering if Instagram has taken a hit, they haven't. For  the first time they're reporting how many users they have and also that the number has increased by 10% since December.

As for the terms of service, Instagram decided to withdraw the proposed changes and revert to an old set of terms. The change would have allowed users' photos to be part of advertisements that would run within the photo-sharing social network.

Instagram reports 90 million users, 40 million photos per day, 8500 Likes per second, 1000 comments per second. What do you think caused the increase? Will you continue to use instagram, if you're not a user, will you start?

Session Spotlight: Leverage Real-Time Data to Build Timely, Valuable and Targeted Content in Pharma

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 Push vs pull, dialog vs lectures, we all know the key to engagement is creating dialog with your customers. We KNOW this, but not everyone acts accordingly. The key to smart engagement is providing HCPs with the information they want (or need!) at a relevant time. But with so much information, how do you choose the most meaningful data?

At ePharma, join us for a panel focused on leveraging real-time data to build timely, valuable and targeted content: Leverage Real-Time Data to Build Timely, Valuable and Targeted Content in Pharma 

Moderator: Patricia MacWilliams, Head of Healthcare, Google

Panelists: Scott Wearley, Manager, Relationship Marketing, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. 
Matt Barry, Assistant Director, CLP Operations, Astellas Pharma
R.J. Lewis, President & CEO, eHealthcare Solutions
Mickey Lynch, Associate Director, Integrated Marketing, Shire Pharmaceuticals 

Because the internet provides us with a multitude of information, it can be difficult to select the most useful data. At the 12th annual ePharma Summit, we'll provide you with the most relevant solutions to evaluate your campaign in real-time to tweak the messaging and the delivery as needed. To learn more, download our brochure.

The ePharma Summit will take place this March 4-6, 2013 in New York City. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1806BLOG you will receive a 10% discount off the standard rate.

This week's spotify playlist was chosen by: Mickey Lynch, who also found a direct correlation between each song and 'big data'. Check out why he chose each song below, as well as the playlist!

'Baba O’Riley' by The Who Reading the lyrics to this song, you wouldn’t think that there’s a connection to Big Data. However, listen to the looped synthesizer that serves as the backbone of the song. According to Pete Townsend, this pattern is supposed to represent a musical translation that would be generated if individual data points about a specific person were inputted into a computer. In essence, every person would have their own musical pattern based on their unique “big data” blueprint.

'Too Much Information' by The Police The “big data” challenge in a nutshell: getting our arms around a massive array of data inputs and trying to connect them all. Sting intones: “Too much information // Driving me insane.” We can relate.

'Pure Energy' by Information Society This late 1980s dance hit was about a plead from one lover to another. But as marketers trying to get our arms around “big data” to proactively address needs of our customers, we can relate to the chorus: “I wanna know what you’re thinking // There are some things you can’t hide // I wanna know what you’re feeling // tell me what’s on your mind.”

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Social Media and Pharma: Looking Beyond Facebook and Twitter

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Today's guest post comes from Sarah Ray, Research Analyst at Cutting Edge Information

Pharma continues to expand its use of social media. As pharma’s understanding of social media has widened, its use of digital channels has broadened. From Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest, these platforms may help companies promote disease awareness, spread their commercial message and connect with online communities. Although each platform may present overlapping capabilities, it is important to remember that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are not interchangeable. Each social media scene has its benefits and its limitations.

 Facebook helps users actively communicate and connect with one another. However, the potential for users to post off-label comments requires active monitoring of company Facebook pages to remain compliant with regulations. Twitter helps companies promote their recent accomplishments and discuss industry trends using links contained in brief tweets — but it may not foster the type of community connection characteristic of Facebook.

Pinterest is the equivalent of a “virtual pinboard.” Users create online bulletin boards to which they can post pictures and videos from their own activities or “repinned” from other users’ boards. They can also “like” other users’ pins and generate links to their Pinterest accounts via Facebook and Twitter.

Among Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, platforms, Pinterest has exhibited the most growth across the past year — growing by upwards of 1000% and enjoying over 27.2 million viewers monthly. A separate article notes that in February 2012, Pinterest drove more traffic to online publishers than did Twitter —1.05% compared to Twitter’s 0.82%. According to HubSpot, from 2011 to 2012, 80% of pins on Pinterest were “re-pinned” while only 1.4% of tweets became re-tweets.

Pinterest has caught the attention of many pharmaceutical companies that are using pinned images and other media to connect with online users. Pinterest helps companies promote disease awareness and serves as a channel to share non-branded messages. At least five pharmaceutical companies — AstraZeneca, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Boehringer Ingelheim and Novo Nordisk — have a Pinterest account. Some firms, like Bayer, host a wide variety of active boards on their accounts — each with a number of pins and accompanying descriptions. Other companies center their efforts on therapeutic area- specific boards. Bayer’s Pinterest account includes a “Bayer Advertising” board and a “Science, Education and Advocacy” board.

Pinterest also offers companies the opportunity to showcase a less commercialized version of themselves. Bayer’s “Gardening” board, for instance, features tips and tricks which include how to identify common plant diseases. It also provides suggestions for lawn and garden care.

As a more indirect marketing tool, Pinterest offers pharma some of the same benefits as Facebook and Twitter. Like Twitter, Pinterest allows for the transfer of information snippets through repeated shares — only in the case of Pinterest, these data accompany media: images or videos. Like Facebook, Pinterest offers pharma the opportunity to develop a sense of community with its online users. For example, Novo Nordisk has boards that use pictures from recent events, including the company’s “World Diabetes Day,” to promote disease events and inspire community involvement.

Using the visual appeal of videos and photos, Pinterest helps companies target mobile audiences. However, its relatively new status as a digital channel has not facilitated a large understanding of how to best leverage this platform. Like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest has its limitations. If a user posts an off-label comment or discussion, companies would have to delete their pin — along with all associated comments — in order to delete the single comment.

Current estimates cite that 30% of digital health consumers who use Pinterest encounter health and medical content. Given the growth of Pinterest over the past year, pharma’s use of this social media platform will be exciting to watch as 2013 progresses.

About Cutting Edge Information: We are a boutique consulting firm with offices in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Boston, Massachusetts, providing primary and secondary research to Life Science organizations. Cutting Edge Information was founded in 2002 by consultants with extensive experience conducting research studies for high-level clients. We put this experience to work to eliminate traditional consulting’s hurdles and focus on producing high-quality information – drawn from top executives at real-world companies for you and your organization.

Visit our reports online here.

Want to learn more about Social Media and Pharma? Join us at ePharma Summit this March 4-6, 2013 in New York. To view our full program, download out brochure. As a reader of this blog when you register to join mention code XP1806BLOG, you'll save 10% off the current rate!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Patients, Physicians and the Social Connection

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A lot of focused in social media as to how brands can reach the patients on social, Pharma can reach physicians, and the new dynamic relationships that are forming among all those involved in their healthcare online.  With new relationships also comes new hurdles to overcome.  One topic that recently caught my attention was this article from  Fierce Health IT that talks about the misuse of social from Physicians.  For many years, the Pharma industry has feared the letter from the FDA about how they've misused social.  What this report showed was that, most often, when an error in judgement is made on the Physicians part and they misrepresented their credentials or have disclosed patient out comes.  While the American Medical Association has disclosed guidelines, there have not been a strict set of replications that have been set forth should the rules be broken.

But with a few doctors bending the boundaries of social, many others are using social media for the right purposes.  They're reaching out and connecting with their patients on a personal level.  This March at the ePharma Summit, Bill Drummy, CEO of Heartbeat Ideas will be presenting The Unrealized Potential of Patient-HCP mobility.  If patients had the ability to responsibly connect with their patients in the right digital environment,what could the potential be?  Could doctors share more information and build stronger relationships with their patients?  Would their doctors be able to understand the needs and conditions of patients better to impact the level of care?

For more information on this session and the rest of the agenda, download it here.  If you'd like to join us at ePharma Summit this March 4-6, 2013 in New York, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1806BLOG, you'll save 10% off the current rate!

Friday, January 11, 2013

See what I'm saying?

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Every Friday we feature an 'Out of Industry' post. Something that is relevant to media, but not necessarily related to pharma. With 2012 behind us, various lists of what to expect for 2013 have been created. So we have to know, will visual based applications be THE trend in social media for the coming year?

It seems that the more advanced technology becomes, the more it's turning to visuals. Photo sharing applications like Instagram have been increasingly popular over the past few years and they're slowly transitioning into video form. However, it's not just consumers who are attracted to this kind of media, digital marketers have taken notice of the popularity of visual based applications and are now turning them into marketing campaigns.

There have been advertisements on your Facebook for some time now, but have you noticed them? The company announced that this year they will be adding video advertisements to your news feed. Just yesterday Obama signed a bill allowing Netflix to sync with your Facebook feed, allowing users to view which videos you are watching. (much like Spotify showing which song you're listening to) Will sites like Youtube and Vimeo be revamped for Facebook as well?

Will more video features be implemented into platforms like twitter? What type of visual based applications do you think we'll see in 2013?

mHealth Highlights from CES

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With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) running through today we wanted to highlight some of the healthcare technologies that stood out to us:

RP-VITA Robot : how would you feel about consulting with a robot in place of a doctor? What if it meant that you could "see" a leading specialty doctor from the other side of the world? We think telehealth is the future of healthcare and a cost-efficient way to reach patients in remote areas. Attend the Innovation in Pharmaceutical Emerging Markets presentation at ePharma to learn how physicians in China are utlizing telehealth to reach physicians in remote areas.

Virtual reality simulators to treat PTSD: PTSD continues to be a huge problem in the military and a key way to overcome the condition is by confronting stressful situations. With the help of a therapist, veterans can walk through trigger situations (complete with smells) to confront the disorder head on.

Fitbit Flex: Finally, the Fitbit we've been waiting for--one you can wear on your wrist! When deciding which tracking device to use I bought the Jawbone Up over Fitbit solely because I wanted something I could wear on my wrist.

Which new technologies are you most excited about for 2013?


Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New ePharma

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IIR's ePharma Summit is the longest running, largest and most respected marketing event for the life science industry. Year after year, we bring you new content, new speakers and new networking opportunities to inspire you, but also make sure you have the tactical information that you need to move your brand forward. For 2013, we’re bringing you a bigger and better ePharma Summit experience, with:

  • More insight from doctors, health plans and an ACO to ensure you’re successful in the era of healthcare reform
  • More global content with presenters from Asia, Europe and Canada
  • An advisory board consisting of more than 60% new board members, including some who have never attended ePharma which ensures new ideas and reinvigorated content
  • A chance to nominate you colleagues for the first-ever ePharma Summit awards ceremony. To nominate someone.  Nominate them here!
For more information on the program and this year’s experience, download the agenda.

In addition to the new content and opportunities at ePharma, we look forward to continuing to provide you with game-changing case studies and in depth panels focused on non-personal promotion, mobile, social media, video, ROI measurement and sales force engagement.

ePharma Summit will take place this March 4-6, 2013 in New York City. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1806BLOG you will receive a 10% discount off the standard rate. If you have any questions about the agenda or event, feel free to email Kate Devery!

Is Pharma lagging on the digital adoption curve?

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Today, we feature the interview we recently conducted with James Chase, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Marketing and Media. In this portion, James and Marc Dresner, the host of Inside ePharma, discuss whether or not Pharma is behind the digital curve and whether or not the industry is poised to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity digital offers.

The pharmaceutical industry has generally been  perceived as lagging other industries on the digital adoption curve. To what extent do you think pharma is currently equipped and/or prepared to take advantage of the digital opportunity available?
Well, I don’t think anyone really expected pharma to sprint out of the block with digital and aside from obvious concerns in the regulatory environment, I think initially pharma wasn’t very well equipped at all to move into the digital realm. And figuring out digital is not easy. It’s resource-sapping, it demands room for failure, it requires champions and it takes patience and courage and perseverance. Really, certainly in the pharma industry, doing it properly really requires a change in psyche from the top to the bottom of the organization. But, over time, we’ve seen companies move with a lot more urgency in this space and there’s definitely been progress. 
I’ve seen a realization that this digital opportunity, as we call it, is not an opportunity but a necessity. Opting out is not an option. I think companies have begun to structure their digital operations to facilitate a more systematic development and approval process. So, it’s been a steep learning curve, but I think it is making progress.  
On the professional side, pharma has been pretty quick to identify the iPad as a game changer, both in terms of its conduciveness as a detailing tool and also to tap into the physicians’ love affair with the device. But on the consumer side, that’s been hampered a lot by regulatory skittishness.  There are still very few examples of branded digital initiatives, aside from the obligatory Facebook page, etc.; however, some of the unbranded programs and tools overall have been impressive.  
So, is pharma behind the curve on digital? Yes. Has progress been made?  Absolutely. Will pharma ever cut loose in the consumer space like an Old Spice or a BMW or a Pepsi? Not likely. But, I don’t think that should be used as an excuse for not continuing to evolve what is possible.

To read the rest of the with James Chase, download the PDF here.

Join James at ePharma Summit 2013 where through the event he will interview the winners of the MM&M Awards during the MM&M Anatomy of an Award Winning Campaign sessions.  For more information on this year's program, download the agenda here.  If you'd like to join James in New York City, register today and mention code XP1806BLOG to save 10% off the current rate!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Mobile Revolution: Would regulations on the industry slow down innovation?

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The answer is yes.

The world of Mobile is changing rapidly.  It can be seen in almost everything around us, from the evolution of the phone (you can talk to Siri!) or the heavy use we're seeing in the healthcare world (There's an App for that).  In order to not hinder the speedy, ever evolving world of mobile, the Federal Trade Commission decided to drop antitrust charges against Google according to the New York Times.  One of the arguments that Google used in the case was that the market is evolving so quickly that any regulations would hamper the speed and opportunity that comes with innovation.  The article points out that while it appears Google has the edge of internet searches - 96% globally - many users are now bypassing Google all together now in favor of Apps that allow users to do more targeted searches such as Kayak for travel and IMDB for movie related inquiries, an argument for the evolution of search in the mobile world.

Last year at ePharma, many of the presentations lead to the impression that 2011 was the year of mobile.  In 2012, the pace of mobile revolution in the healthcare sector did not slow down.  In fact, if anything, it increased.  One that stands out is that the Federal Communications Commission, according to Information Week HealthCare  has created the position of Health Care Director that will work on all health related issues. They will strive for both public and private contribution in matters such as mobile devices, wireless health technology, and medical body area network (MBAN) devices. 

At ePharma Summit 2013, John Mangano, Vice President, comScore, will join us to present Patients, Prescriptions and Prevention: How Americans Use the Internet to Improve Outcomes, looking at how  the use of the internet has changed in the healthcare field over the past year, including the focus on the evolution of how mobile is used in the aspects of the healthcare industry.  For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us March 4-6 in New York, as a reader of this blog when you register and mention code P1806BLOG, you'll save 10% off the current rate!

What digital revolutions in the healthcare space stood out to you last year in 2012?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Athenahealth buys Epocrates

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Athenahealth, an electronic health record and billing company, recently announced the purchase of the medical app developers, Epocrates Inc. Epocrates has developed many healthcare based applications, most of which have made a lasting impression on doctors.

With the acquisition of Epocrates, Athenahealth said it believes it will be able to better serve an expanded network of providers. Athenahealth added that it plans to build upon Epocrates’ efforts in transforming the way doctors access and engage with clinical information, with one another, and with their patients. The focus of Epocrates apps are to improve patient care, what type of developments would you like to see?

Technological advances in healthcare have helped both Physicians and Patients, with everything from education, drug references, and patient efficiencies, but they're not the only ones who can gain from these developments. So who else can benefit from these types of expansions?

At the 12th annual ePharma Summit, our session: Opportunities for Convergence as a Result of Electronic Health Records, ePrescribing and other Government Initiatives, tackles this topic, and many more! Top Panelists include: John Vieira, Director, Marketing Operations, Daiichi Sankyo, Sanjoy Ray, Director, Health IT Strategy, Merck, Mary Varghese, Director, Primary Care Strategy and Innovation, Pfizer, Elaine Drake Landstra, Director of Managed Markets, Shir.   

The ePharma Summit takes place March 4-6 in NYC! To learn more about the program download our agenda. As a reader of the ePharma Summit blog, you get a 10% discount off the standard rate when using code XP1806BLOG when you register.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hello My Virtual Friend

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Today's guest post comes from Emily Schaller, Founder/CEO of Rock CF Foundation. Follow her on twitter @RockCFem

Technology is both a scary and amazing thing. Humans around the globe are plugged in and online all day and all night waiting for work emails, social media updates, breaking world news Tweets, and so much more. I must admit that I am guilty of all of these things. Every day you can turn on the news and see something wonderful or something tragic that has come from a social media.

Digital communication has been a huge benefit for myself and patients with cystic fibrosis and other illnesses around the world. Because of the risk of cross contamination between cystic fibrosis patients, we are strongly discouraged to have get togethers and hang outs. This is a very hard thing for me because I grew up going to CF camps with hundreds of other patients and also in an era where CF patients would room together in the hospital. This all started to change in the early 90's when patients with CF were shown to be passing bugs and bacteria to each other. Now, if you are living with a chronic illness, wouldn't you like to be able to meet up and talk with someone who is going through the same thing?

Well hello social media! In the last five or so years social media has paved the way to let us discover new friends who are going through the same things that we face. Not sure how to clean your nebulizer? Ask your online CF friend. Need more info about a clinical trial? Ask your online CF friend. What are some healthy high calorie meal? Just post that on Facebook and storm of answers will be shot back in minutes. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Skype, and special online forums just for patients with CF have opened the doors for some very cool opportunities and have given patients and families of cystic fibrosis patients some hope.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What will be THE trend of 2013?

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First it was the year of social media, which lasted more than a year. Then it was the year of mobile, which seemed to go on forever. What will be the big trend of 2013?

After going through lists other people compiled (why recreate the wheel?), I have put together my top three trends to watch in 2013:

According to David Armano (@armano) at Edelman, content is king in 2013. I hope this is the case! After all, it seems like content should always be in the drivers seat. We should always be focused on providing value, especially when marketing to HCPs. Most likely they're looking for solid information, not cute marketing copy.

Branded advertising is dropping, but advertising budgets are on the rise. What gives? Brian Kress, Group Director of Digital Strategy at The Richards Group, says that 2013 will bring is to the rise of brand journalism, which increases access, credibility and up-to-the-minute credibility.

Finally, according to Mark Curtis with the Huffington Post, people are ruining everything for traditional businesses. I think this is my favorite, because it ties in with one of my favorite buzzwords...innovation. Instead of companies, or brands, or technologies driving changes, it's individual people. Think of Kickstarter or online petitions. As consumers, we're driving companies, brands and technologies. They're reacting to us, the people. What does that mean for you in the highly regulated field of marketing pharmaceuticals? It doesn't seem like anyone has all of the answers.

We will be discussing all of these trends at the ePharma Summit, taking place on March 4 - 6 in New York. As a reader of this blog, you get 10% off the standard rate when using the code XP1806BLOG when you register.

See you in March!