Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#ePharma 2014: Highlights from Main Conference Day 1 (part 2)

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After our morning presentations concluded, we broke out into our track sessions. Andrew Watson, Wockhardt USA kicked off our HCP Engagement track with the session – The Doctor Will “See” You: Bridging the Gap Between Doctors and Pharma. Watson made the valid argument that virtual engagement can lead to a change in physician behavior and it represents a real opportunity for the industry. So just how exactly do we connect with doctors that we just can’t seem to reach, geographically?

Turnkey tools like virtual rep allow us to communicate with physicians by sending them the technology ahead of time, and connecting virtually via the vRep system. This gives the rep a change to communicate from the comfort of their own office, and the physician the ease of scheduling a meeting at their own convenience. The vRep technology is simply mailed back once the meeting has concluded. This is a tool that can help make a real connection, impact, without either party ever leaving their office.

Mike Marett, WorldOne Interactive led our next session, Emerging Marketing Trends & How to Harness Technology for Physician engagement. Marett focused on the idea of encouraging physicians to use social platforms as a source of education, an interactive community with a professional purpose. One specific platform, Sermo has been creating international buzz. It's a forum for physicians that are treating patients in remote areas, a place where they can discuss symptoms and receive feedback from their top peers around the world. This type of physician social community is continuing to build the most engaged, vibrant community with a purpose.

Our last session of the track, Creating a Resourceful App that Provides Value AND Delivers Your Message, was led by Justin Rauschkolb, Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. Rauschkolb discussed the importance of strategy behind creating an app. Don't create one just to create one, create measurable goals before you start, let your brand plan or franchise goal be your guide. Bottom line? The next time someone says, "I think we should do an app" make sure they are designing it with metrics in mind, make sure it proves value or it won’t get used. 

John Mangano, comScore led the session, The Evolution of the Online Patient and How Good Ideas Turn Into Successful Online Campaigns. Mobile is as influential to online as the internet was to offline. Mobile is big and social media is among the most influenced online categories by mobile. Mangano also discussed how consumers are still hesitant to discuss health-related information online. Which group tends to be the most trusting? Millennials.  

Mangano stressed the importance that pharma actually has the most viewable online advertising, but social media has always been out of reach for pharma. The innovation is there, the internet isn't leaving, it's just evolving, and Pharma needs to evolve with it. 

Our final session of the day, Think backwards (from 2020) led by Bill Drummy, Heartbeat Ideas & Heartbeat West, started with everyone's favorite space saving compartment, the frunk. A frunk is the space in the front of the car that's usually occupied by the engine. The electric car we're referring to in this case is the Tesla Roadster, the car that recognizes your fingerprints and opens the door for you. It's also virtually silent. Drummy went on to mention a number of innovative devices, from healthwear (sophisticated iHealth technology), to the mimo baby monitor. 

So what is the one common denominator of all these devices? They all follow the radical simplification rule. We as consumers want fast, reliable, technology that prevents us from doing most of the work. There may be some incredible technology surfacing, that can do mind-blowing things, but remember the golden rule, keep it simple.  

That concludes day 1, stay tuned for day 2 highlights!


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