The concept that a medical app can replace a health care professional is myopic. At best, health apps can alert users to potential problems, but only a trained health care professional can diagnose problems.
SUMMARY: Digital marketing is too damn important to leave to your agency. Pharma needs to develop digital marketing expertise in-house and have marketing people integrated within each brand team.
- A survey of more than 4,000 physicians showed that virtually every physician uses social media for personal reasons, while two-thirds use it for professional reasons.
- 86% of diagnostic device companies, 65% of pharma marketers, and over half of biotechs use social as a critical part of their marketing mix to reach HCPs.
- Doximity was flagged for having anti-vaccine information.
- HCPs don’t necessarily want pharma trying to sell products via social media.
- The best approach is to use social media to connect HCPs to clincial information and drug trials.
- Telemedicine claims as a proportion of all commercial health insurance claims decreased by 5.1% nationwide from February to March, after a steeper decline of 15.7% from January to February as vaccination efforts increased and COVID-19 increased. Cases declined as a result.
- Telehealth claims accounted for 7% of all medical claims positions in January, before falling to 5.9% in February and 5.6% in March, suggesting a steady slowdown in virtual care demand this year.
- The historically high usage of telemedicine over the past year has resulted in an unprecedented inflow of cash into the sector and an increase in mergers and acquisitions among virtual care players looking to gain market share.
- Doctors using telemedicine software are not sure of its value to patients and believe telehealth may pose risks.
SUMMARY: DigitalHealth.com, a British website, had a fascinating look at the use of health apps during the pandemic. Among their findings:
- Downloads of apps supporting consumers with mental health needs increased by nearly 200% from summer 2019 to summer 2020
- Downloads of those supporting consumers with diets and weight loss rose by a massive 1294% from mid-2019 to mid-2020.
Some may see this as a good sign but we need to proceed with caution.
SUMMARY: The future of healthcare involves digital transformation but moving too fast in a matrix management environment can cause problems and set digital back months.
OPENING: DTC marketers have relied too much on TV advertising. Despite data that shows that people are watching more TV than usual during the pandemic, there has been an overall and steady decline in traditional TV viewing in the past few years. Just 59% of US consumers watched traditional TV on a weekly basis in 2020, compared to 83% who did so in 2017. New ways to reach consumers need to be explored.
SUMMARY: Digital marketing is not a tactic. It’s a mindset. With the changes to healthcare on the horizon, the time has come to start building digital capabilities in all areas of company functions.