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0 comments on “Mobile Shift in Pharma Communications”

Mobile Shift in Pharma Communications

This article was originally published on Pharmaphorum. 

Balance engagement and compliance with a non-promotional, patient-centric approach and ongoing development for app success.

The dramatic speed of adoption of smartphones is making the fastest-growing marketing channel mobile; smart companies understand they need to be as mobile as their target audiences.

The convenience and control that smartphones offer have clearly raised our expectations as users. Pharma is no exception; patients and healthcare professionals expect health apps that empower them with information and enable them to better understand and manage health issues.

A survey conducted by PwC showed that mobile health app adoption doubled between 2013 and 2015, signalling clear potential for the healthcare industry.

Source: HRI Consumer Survey, PwC, 2013, 2015

With mobiles apps, utility is king. Bearing in mind that only about 16% of people would try an app more than once, and up to 90% of downloaded apps are used only once then deleted, according to a study by Compuware, identifying users’ real requirements is key to the success of any mobile app.

Pharma can act strategically by creating apps that are centered on patients’ daily needs and integrating them into the broader health ecosystem.

Regulatory challenges

Many indicators show that health apps can help patients with medication adherence and improve clinical trial efforts. However, fears of compliance risks in the highly regulated pharma industry are a major element slowing down innovation.

Pharma companies must always assess their new apps to determine if regulators view them as medical devices, and what regulatory obligations this entails. Those health-related apps considered to be medical devices are given the same close scrutiny as software that is intended to assist in diagnosing or treating an illness.

To balance engagement and compliance, many pharma companies have launched non-promotional heath apps focusing on disease awareness and management.

In the last few years there have been many noteworthy health apps sponsored by major players in the industry, balancing engagement and compliance with a non-promotional, patient-centric approach. For example, the Skin Peace app, sponsored by Bayer, helps patients to calculate appropriate topical medicine doses. The ViaOpta app, sponsored by Novartis, provides navigation for the visually impaired and is also available on Apple Watch. Eczema Care is another skin care app. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, it helps patients better understand and manage their eczema by allowing them to track flare-ups, log their daily eczema management activities and create customised reports they can share with their physician.

Enabling the shift

This increasing adoption of mobile health apps presents a great opportunity for the pharma industry to truly empower patients and healthcare professionals, by providing apps that improve the ways they understand and manage disease.

For this shift to happen, new capabilities must be developed to unleash the potential of digital innovation in the healthcare industry.

Mohanad Fors, global director of Digital Marketing and Innovation, Novartis Ophthalmology Franchise, believes pharma is taking “powerful and serious strides” in digital innovation, especially mobile health apps. He sees two main areas where the industry can improve to achieve more success:

“In most cases, app development or production is done on a tactical level without an overarching strategic plan, which sometimes results in short-lived apps that do not achieve the desired success. Launching digital awareness and training programmes can help us build digital capabilities and embed the digital mind-set in the business.

“The second one, which I believe is more critical, is the need for dedicated teams working on the whole cycle of health apps creation, from idea to maintenance and follow up. If you look at any successful app on the market you will find a complete team working day and night on it to ensure user satisfaction and interest. This is slowly happening now as digital becomes a top priority on industry executives’ agendas.”

Promising initiatives

It is encouraging to see the mindset shifting, despite the challenges, with some pharma giants investing in digital health startups, providing mentorships and grants to create and nurture networks of innovation incubators. These efforts, led by big players like Bayer and Janssen, will hopefully flourish in the near future.

The hope is that such efforts will bring successful digital health solutions that support patient engagement, prevention, compliance, clinical trials and disease management, as they bring pharma experience and investment together with agile and innovative digital health startups.

0 comments on “Digital transforming talent markets: The Hollywood model”

Digital transforming talent markets: The Hollywood model

Many of the concepts that we are using today, such as remote working, virtual teams and distance learning were probably not part of the vocabulary about 15 years ago.

It sounds like digital development is enabling a revolutionary transformation in the way we learn, work and collaborate.

What’s fueling the change?

Devices, apps and personal technology made remote work easier than ever, except they are not the only digital aspect that is transforming talent markets. Online platforms pairing talent with business are significantly changing the way independent experts are filling their project pipelines.

HourlyNerd is one of many such platforms; designed by Harvard MBA students to connect companies with talented business consultants, allowing employers to compare expert profiles and choose the one that best fit their needs.

Online platforms allow the creation of local, nationwide, and even worldwide job markets, they allow companies to make use of wider expertise pools and associate job opportunists with a wider world of possibilities.

Trends in the self-employed market

In today’s world, many people are attracted by the flexibility of independent working models. At the same time, the challenging economic circumstances are pushing more firms to pursue on-demand experts and specialists to scale labor effectively.

Even though it is hard to track consistent and aggregated statistics about the volume of freelance and independent work being done, studies and research about the topic can give some indication.

An independent study in the US estimates that by 2020 more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers—freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees.

In 2014, the Office of National Statistics in the UK indicated that 4.6 million people were self-employed accounting for 15% of the workforce, which is the highest percentage at any point in the past 40 years.

The European freelance economy increased by 45% from just under 6.2 million to 8.9 million in 2013, making them the fastest growing group in the EU labor market according to this study by Patricia Leighton, professor of European law at the IPAG Business School, France.

Harvard Business Review calls this development “The Rise of the Supertemp” explaining that even specialists like attorneys, CMOs, and consultants with world-class training are increasingly choosing to work independently.

A look at the Hollywood model

The idea of independent experts coming together to fulfill a project then going their own ways goes at least 100 years back in history, if we look at models such as Hollywood, where independent experts come together to create a movie then separate once it’s completed.

Interestingly, employment was initially casual even in the manufacturing era in the 19th century; everything was virtually outsourced. It’s wage controls, during World War II that pushed employers – that were no longer able to attract employees with higher pay – to develop benefits and pension schemes marking the beginning of the lifetime employment idea.

The modern talent market is buzzing with how chronic recessions and downsizings are going to impact the dynamics of the employer-employee relationship, given the world of opportunities enabled by digital development.

While many are focusing on internet staffing and its effect on the standard staffing model; digital transformation goes beyond that by making the marketplace more efficient and transparent, which is exactly the type of disruption that today’s workforce needs.

In this video, Ted Coiné – author of “A world gone social” – explains how he sees a future in which large, steady corporate workforces displaced by skilled teams brought together for specific projects and terms.

 

0 comments on “Digital Disruption? Remember the iPhone introduction”

Digital Disruption? Remember the iPhone introduction

The iPhone introduction back in 2007 is a classic example of how digital advancement disrupts business.

Digital disruption goes far beyond a social media channel or a digital platform, it’s more like a vortex that attracts every part of the business model and absorbs it.

This interview with Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer following the introduction of the first iPhone shows how digital disruption can change the face of an industry.

Priced at 500 dollars versus 99 dollars for competing cell phones, the iPhone could still transform the phone industry being the first smart phone available, even though Apple had zero presence in the cell phone industry prior to the launch.

In 2013, worldwide sales of smartphones surpassed sales of the more basic (and generally cheaper) feature phone devices for the first time (read more here)