Yesterday HMV, the beleaguered British entertainment retailer, laid off 190 employees, in an effort to cut costs and right its balance sheet. The company apparently pulled a large group into human resources and gave them the bad news.
Sven Awege's insight:
This really makes me laugh. I've seen exactly the same thing happen in a top ten Pharma company! Pharma needs to put into place procedures for managing social media platform user names and passwords. Most of the time the agencies run these on their behalf, adding an additional layer of risk and not knowing who has the pw.
This week, guest writer Cecile LaBore brings us a practical look at how healthcare providers can effectively use social media as part of their communications plans.
Cecile LaBore is Administrator for Recovery Systems Institute. RecoverySI focuses on bridging the gap between treatment and recovery by providing information, tools, and resources for people in recovery and their families, clinicians, and addiction treatment programs.
Sven Awege's insight:
Pharma can learn some serious lessons from the wider stakeholder community. They're not scared of using social media. With a cool brain and a bit of creativity we can see how true value can be created.
Well worth reading the article - click on the image.
As patients increasingly turn toward social media to access healthcare and self-diagnose, the patient-provider relationship is changing, the book argues. The first step in this change came when patients gained access to medical information online. Now they're adding the power of crowd sourcing, which means the healthcare industry isn't just seeing a more educated patient but also patients interpreting information and, essentially, becoming a member of their healthcare team.
"Patients are becoming our colleagues," said co-author of 'Social Media For Nurses' Ramona Nelson. "It's changing relationships and the kinds of questions and services a patient asks for."
With healthcare becoming increasingly virtual, said Wolf, it's becoming the provider's responsibility to direct patients to the best online resources.
Looking ahead, Wolf advises that nurses and practitioners need to incorporate social media into a strategic plan to determine how they're going to use different platforms and extend services through them. This plan, she said, should be created from a clinical perspective as well as an IT perspective, allowing for an interdisciplinary approach.
"Clinicians in services may not understand websites or synchronized information versus unsynchronized information," she said. "They need help to get them out there virtually."
As pharma companies confront the digital health wave and contemplate their digital health strategy, I see four high-level options:
1. Opportunistic adjacency: Leverage healthcare knowledge and regulatory expertise to develop technology in a related but distinct area, ultimately anticipating it evolves into a discrete business unit, analogous to animal health (e.g. Lilly’s Elanco), generics (Novartis subsidiary Sandoz), nutrition, and consumer health.
2. Follow with interest: Determine that digital health, while promising, is still in its earliest days. Just as some pharmas may be relieved they resisted investing in the first round of stem cell technologies, for instance, they might be similarly inclined to adopt a watchful waiting posture, and give the field some time to settle out. Functional areas could utilize specific digital health solutions when they evolve to the point they are available from vendors, similar to the way other solutions are utilized by the industry.
3. Elevate: Set up a dedicated “digital health” division envisioned not as a standalone business unit, but tightly integrated and explicitly intended to support the main pharma business, similar to the way many companies have dedicated “biomarker” divisions, for example. This group could be responsible for monitoring external developments and internalizing and operationalizing the most promising technologies.
4. Planned obsolescence: My personal choice, this approach would set up a dedicated “digital health” group, as in 3, but with the stated mission of catalyzing technology adoption, and with the explicit expectation that it would wind down within a set time (say five years). If successful, awareness of the relevant digital health opportunities and expertise in their appropriate utilization would by that point be located in the individual functional areas.
DHC's start of a landscape of social media in Pharma. As usual, don't be surprised if 99% are US or English language. The rest of the world doesn't do anything anyway! (there, my bugbear is over). Good start though, and should raise the bar for future initiatives.
WebMD's Todd Zander talks to Digiday about the mobile revenue gap, why advertisers are reluctant to fully embrace mobile and imperatives for a successful mobile strategy.
What are the imperatives for a successful mobile strategy for brands? The first thing is to think about mobile in a multi-screen environment and don’t look at it on its own. It is about one audience accessing services across various different platforms. Creative is a big challenge on mobile as well. Brands need to be watching what their doing and iterating on the fly. But there’s an investment with regards to that, and some brands are reluctant to make it. Mobile is new, and brands need to understand it’s not going to work every single time. They need to be willing to test and learn and optimize to figure out what works and what does not.
Sven Awege's insight:
WebMD is a great example to share with Pharma marketers - firstly because they have pioneered where we will probably follow, in a "simiar" mindset as ourselves.
I particularly like the last paragraph of this article, that I've copied above.
McDonald's Australia's mobile app lets diners track food source Fox News McDonald's Australia has launched a new app that will allow diners to track where the ingredients to their meal came from--down to the farm, bakery or ranch. Could be interesting for Pharma products, thinking on the counterfeit side!
Toronto photo-sharing startup 500px is reporting today that both of its applications, 500px for iOS and its recent acquisition ISO500, have been pulled from the App Store, after nearly a year of being there. I've recently had a similar case with a Pharma app - the pharmaco only wanted to change some text in the T&C's (to make it more explicit). Beware Pharma Marketers! See my post "To Pharma App or not to Pharma App...", will help you with this minefield.
This last week – the widely read Dr. Rob Lamberts lamented the usability of his Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software for his new primary care practice. It's worth reading (here) as it highlights the larger systemic problem of EMR software...
Recorded live in front of an audience of 70 medical communications and pharmaceutical professionals in Oxford by the @Digitally_Sick team of Faisal Ahmed (@sickonthenet), Alex Butler (@Alex__Butler) and Andrew Spong (@andrewspong) at the kind invitation of Peter Llewellyn (@NetworkPharma)
This represents a considerable shift in the rankings, though it remains behind Facebook. Though Facebook’s massive user base of one billion is going strong, Google+ has crept ahead of the rest of i
Sven Awege's insight:
Many thought Google+ would never amount to anything but the fact that it is Google behind this (or infront of it to be more gramatically correct!) there was always a distinct possibility that it might just make it.
They have done this in a stealth-fighter manner, harnessing their various properties to garner strengh and strategic advantage.
Whether Pharma will adopt or not is another matter. Facebook has always posed problems for the weak-hearted regulatory and compliance folks, where possibly G+ could actually have some advantages.
Unfortunately for Google though the marketers have kept in mind the barriers raised by Fb and might not dig to compare, or even look where the fish are these days!
As I often say, each business case should take a fresh look at the environment - things change, and fast in this space.
News that the FDA has cleared iRobot’s medical robots for use in hospitals stoked interest across the web, but ‘robodocs’ are just one way telemedicine could keep healthcare costs down, improve care and increase access to patients.
According to a recent article from Pharma Exec, “there is a new approach to lifelong learning for healthcare professionals”; an approach that is “effective and accountable, and uses technology platforms to deliver tailored content to improve...
In a recent report from BI Intelligence on the mobile advertising ecosystem, we give an overview of the mobile advertising industry's size and explore the "monetization problem." We also examine the mobile platform wars' ...
A lot of ink has flowed describing the tough times that big pharma companies are experiencing as each, lemming-like, tumbles off the patent cliff. (The patent cliff doesn't mean that it is all doom and gloom for big pharma companies.
Mobile and digital health’s potential to help bring about healthy behavior changes has led a number of companies to target the problem with new connected devices, applications, and services. Some of these have claimed to be highly effective: MediSafe recently stated that their app raised users’ adherence rate to 81 percent over the course of its first eight weeks that it was made available, and Vitality GlowCaps once reported pushing adherence rates to as high as 98 percent, both well above the World Health Organization average of 50 percent. NEHI has stated that digital health offerings similar to these have considerably improved adherence, but the market penetration for these tools is still low.
The challenge for these companies is not just to develop an effective product, but also to figure out who will pay for it. That means addressing the sticky question of whose problem med adherence really is.
Patients don’t take their medication for a number of reasons. Forgetfulness is one, particularly in chronic disease patients who have a large regimen of pills to keep track of and in elderly patients who may have poor memories or become confused easily. But other patients don’t take their meds for psychological reasons: some patients “feel fine” and skip a drug, some are concerned about real side effects. Some, according to NEHI Senior Health Policy Associate Nick McNeill, are concerned about imagined side effects. Finally, many patients stop taking medications because they simply can’t afford the co-pay. This, of course, is not a complete list but it does include some of the more commonly referenced reasons. Digital health could play a role in resolving some of them.
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