Thursday, February 13, 2014

#ePharma 2014 Highlights: Main Conference Day 2

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ePharma's Co-Chairman, Pete Dannenfelser, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, kicked off our opening remarks for the final day of ePharma 2014. Dannenfelser emphasized that it's not digital we're talking about, it's changing business. We need to be innovators AND leaders, not one or the other. It took us ten years to become comfortable with video, so what's next? Wearables. He also discussed the idea of telemedicine and technology, EMR's are going to happen. Technology and healthcare are merging, we have to evolve with it, go change, do stuff differently.

Shortly after opening remarks, Otis Anderson, Super Bowl XXV Most Valuable Player, NY Giants took the stage. Anderson spoke about one of America's biggest problems - childhood obesity. So how did we get here, what can we do to prevent it, and how do we stop it? It's extremely important to not only educate yourselves, but also your children. Introducing a healthy, active lifestyle at a young age sets the precedent for years to come. Also, encourage your children to unplug, let them play outside again. Anderson spoke on behalf of a Jeremy's Heroes, he was even able to kick start everyone's morning with a few trivia questions and a few lucky attendees left with a signed football.

Our first panel of the morning, Innovation in Pharma Marketing: Channels & Technologies You'll Want to Use Now, was moderated by Ben Wolin, Everyday Health. Panelists included: Kathleen Hartnett, Pfizer, David Kopp, Heathline Networks, Marilyn Cox, Oracle, and Tony Marlow, Yahoo.

The panel discussed social media, it's not something new, it's just a platform for communicating with consumers. It might be hard to tie revenue to social media activity, but we can't forget that social is a listening tool. It allows us to hear what consumers like about our products, but more importantly what they don't like, you can't be afraid to listen.

The panel also focused on mobile, it's hard to talk about social without talking about mobile. The only media growing in the US is mobile, and it's growing rapidly. People love devices, they're personal, it's important we make their experience relatable and relevant.

Tom McCourt, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and Brennan Spiegel, MD, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, led our next Keynote session, A Case Study to Improve Patient - Physician Communication. Their presentation focused on understanding the collaboration we’re engaged in, the problem we’re trying to solve, the solution we’ve learned along the way, and how can we advance what we’re doing today by what we’re learning from pharma marketing.

McCourt and Spiegel also discussed a program that could revolutionize the healthcare industry - My GI Health. It's a program that takes the time to listen to patients, converts their symptoms into "doctor speak" and then creates an educational script. Because the program has the patients medical records it can compare and contrast their patient history, which would then deliver the most efficient and concise information to their physicians. This type of innovation is really a game changer in the sense that it has the potential to populate information and form trends for not just one patient, but an entire community. All the information is delivered in an easy, engaging way.

What are the essentials when creating an engaging healthcare program? Make sure it's patient centric, that it aligns with stakeholders, it's easy to implement, it presents a compelling value, and it contributes to healthcare. At the end of the day the overall goal is still simply to help treat a patient.

The final session of the morning, Technologies to Watch Now, was led by Joseph C. Kvedar, Center for Connected Health. Kvedar emphasized that the world has changed. So how does the pharma industry move beyond the pill? Bundle with therapeutics, and compete with yourself. Also, start using nontraditional tools that don't involve chemical therapeutics to impact illness. There are already sites, specifically focused on mental health, that patients are using to treat depression. From music therapy, to reaching out to others with depression and fighting it together, these tools can change the way mental health is treated.

Stay tuned for our afternoon sessions from day 2!
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