Written by Richard Marcil on October 23, 2014
in Digital Marketing, Healthcare Marketing, Mobile Marketing

Below is an interesting piece from Digital Insight Group on primary care physicians’ use of digital. It’s a piece that we’ve shared broadly with clients, and one I think is a must read for all on the front lines of Pharma marketing today:


Oct 22 14 Connected-Physician-Primary-Care-Q2-2014

*Digital Insights Group, 2014

While it may be US-based research (for now), we believe it portends Canadian HCP usage and brand opportunities, the brands that will succeed are the ones who get ahead of the curve. A few specifics to ponder:

  • Physicians are using multiple devices in practice, from desktop computers to smartphones to tablets. Interestingly, they’re using each of these devices differently, e.g. desktop for EMR, smartphone for quick searches and email, tablets for professional resources. And tools like the Liberate app will only accelerate this trend. Ariad continues to work with clients closely on this, in monitoring, in understanding, in testing & trialing. As media AOR’s continue to gap in terms of specific Canadian usage information.
  • EMR’s are (finally) the next big thing. We’re probably in the equivalent of the fifth inning of EMR consolidation in Canada, and usage is set to shift from simple practice management to more sophisticated clinical and PatientConsumer™ engagement. Telus Health is leading the charge with patient portal capabilities, changing the way patients interact with their physicians. To create first mover advantage, this should be an area of testing for brands in 2015, especially as related to patient engagement post visit. In 1H 2015, Ariad will be testing a number of patient start programs that do just that.
  • It’s not longer a question of rep versus digital. It needs to be rep AND digital. This piece suggests that physicians are spending 2.2X more time accessing digital brand resources versus engaging a rep, a stat that we’ve seen in one way or another. Yes, it may be somewhat misleading. It’s a bit of an apples and oranges comparison. However, it’s clear that physicians are accessing brand resources digitally, and we’re mostly not there as Canadian marketers. Check out the Xeralto and Invokana websites. Are your digital resources as comprehensive and as helpful? Ariad is using these as benchmarks for professional portal work we are doing now.
  • Content really does matter, whether it’s for HCP education, or point-of-care support, or PatientConsumer engagement. All of the actors in healthcare consumption and delivery are increasingly digital and mobile, and more so than most of the 2015 business and media plans reflect. Much of the work Ariad is doing with clients here is about increasing meaningful and measurable reach & frequency with physicians, and meaningfully and measurably activating with PatientConsumers. “Impressions” and the lack of clear success metrics just don’t cut it in 2015.

In short, HCP’s really in the fast lane (as are PatientConsumers). The opportunity is ours to capitalize on, especially as digital consumption and channels have moved beyond critical mass. Perhaps it’s time to nip & tuck 2015 plans already with some completely fresh thinking?

Richard Marcil is the General Manager of Ariad Healthcare

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