Insights

Why Pharma Must Provide HCPs with Relevant Digital Tools

July 27, 2015

Megatrend #9: The Majority of HCPs are now Digital Natives; and they Expect Pharma to Follow

HCPs are typically on the go all day – exam rooms, offices, surgery – so their time online is limited. That said, they are anxiously seeking better information on clinical studies and evidence-based medicine. In fact, 81% of physicians in the SERMO survey want higher quality pharma representatives capable of having serious discussions of “multiple therapeutic options.”1

Taking the time to understand physicians’ primary needs – helping their patients be healthy, sharing knowledge with peers, making a good living, keeping themselves up-to-date on clinical and therapeutic developments – provides opportunities for pharma to facilitate these needs and help physicians accomplish their goals. Leveraging digital health as part of that mission can tap into each of those key HCP needs and open doors for pharma firms.1, 2

At the same time, digital poses a “triple-threat” to the autonomy of HCPs. Patients access digital channels, particularly social media, as a primary source for disease and treatment information, subplanting the authority that used to belong to the GP. Pharmaceutical companies, while reluctant to enter the market with end-to-end direct online solutions, could cause income losses for doctors working outside of hospital settings by becoming direct competitors for their patients. And nurses have taken increasing roles in patient care, using digital assets, websites and apps from pharma and other sources as adherence tools and to improve their interactions with patients.2, 3, 4, 5

While not as active as patients online, 2014 will present a tipping point for HCP digital engagement, with 51% becoming “digital native.” More HCPs will get medical news, reference material and textbooks, receive CME credits and visit virtual conferences online than ever before.6 When asked what digital channels they preferred, HCPs cited a broad variety, from social media to mobile apps to independent medical websites. They also noted that pharma reps remain a key source of critical information.7 Finally, more than 80% of HCPs have a desktop/laptop computer and a smartphone, and 72% own a tablet.6 Mobile assets are rapidly becoming components in the clinical environment.

Pharma must reach out to HCPs and provide relevant digital tools, content and communities that help them do their jobs more effectively.

The trend is a product of an evidence-based research study undertaken by the Healthcare Division in Valtech to map the pharmaceutical landscape of digital mega trends. The research study provides essential insights on how Pharma companies could utilize digital engagement to break down stakeholder barriers, impact stakeholder behaviour and demonstrate more cost-effective outcomes. The research study is based on information from 100+ trusted sources and has resulted in the identification of 14 mega trends.

Reach out to gain an understanding of how to execute on the underused digital opportunities

The Healthcare Division in Valtech has developed an analytical framework that can identify the engagement potential of your brand.

Please contact Healthcare Director Conny Carlzon for further advice or to set up an informal meeting.

If you want to read more about Megatrend #9 you can download more information here.

Make sure you did not miss the previous blog posts on pharmaceutical megatrends:
Megatrend #1: Pharmaceutical CEOs Lack Confidence to Act
Megatrend #2: Transforming to a Digital Business: A Fundamental Paradigm Shift
Megatrend #3: The “Trust” Gap: Leveraging Digital to Reconnect with Stakeholders
Megatrend #4: Reinventing the Marketing Function for a Digital Environment
Megatrend #5: Follow the 20-20-20 Rule for Digital Budgets
Megatrend #6: Big Data, Mobile and Social Create a More Level Playing Field; Pharma is Slow to Respond
Megatrend #7: In the New Era of Quantified Self, Patients Want Pharma on Their Side
Megatrend #8: Achieving Long-term, Sustainable Growth Starts with Meeting Patient Expectations

Sources:
1. Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, Inc. (2012). What Physicians Want! www.publicishealthcare.com
2. Bain and Company. Chuck Fargas et. al. (2012). The future of healthcare—there’s an app for that. www.bain.com
3. T. Kearney. Oliver Scheel et. al. (2013). Mobile health: Mirage or growth opportunity? www.atkearney.com
4. Vertic healthcare. Mads Krogh Petersen (2013). How Digital is Reinventing Everything in the Healthcare Industry www.vertic.com
5. Manhattan Research. Monique Levy et. al. (2014). Pharma Multichannel Marketing Outlook: 14 Trends to Drive Growth in 2014. www.manhattanresearch.com
6. Manhattan Research. Unknow Author. (2013). Taking the pulse 2013. www.manhattanresearch.com
7. Capgemini. Tim Moore et. al. (2012). Multichannel Closed Loop Marketing. Digitally Transforming the Life Sciences Industry. www.capgemini.com