It’s a multiple device world for doctors

whyPOST SUMMARY:Doctors are using multiple devices to connect to the Internet but each device is being used at different points in patient care and for different reasons. Marketers need to understand where doctors are using each device, and why before launching any HCP marketing initiatives.

With the introduction of a new bigger iPhone and smaller, lighter iPads we will probably see more and more doctors rely on these devices to help them make their practices more efficient and deliver better patient care. While physicians have always been heavy Internet users, consumers of healthcare along with the transition to EHR’s are making mobile devices more of a necessity.  It would be a mistake, however, to think that doctors are abandoning PC’s.  Recent research indicates that they are still relying on PC’s to get work done and communicate with colleagues.

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According to Google a physician’s search for health information starts with a search engine, however, when I was involved in research earlier this year we found that search often starts within physician specific sites like Medscape.

When trying to get prescription information on specific drugs physicians rely more on apps like ePocrates or go directly to product sites.  We also learned that there is some frustration among physicians to get the information they need within branded drug sites.  The examples given were exact dosage recommendations and information on prescription reimbursement by major insurers.
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Writing for drugs that are not covered by a patient’s insurance usually leads to a series of phone calls between the pharmacy, patient and doctor’s office, which could delay treatment for days or weeks in some cases.  As one doctor told us “when I write an Rx for a patient I need to know before hand if the patients’ insurance is going to approve the RX.  Why drug companies don’t do a better job to help us out in this area is somewhat puzzling”.

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Marketers need to understand that the key to marketing to physicians is having the right information when THEY need it.  That doesn’t necessarily mean another app; it means integrating marketing with the existing top apps and HCP portals. It’s interesting to note that professional journals and websites for HCP’s are top resources according to Manhattan Research.

Websites for HCP Audience are top digital source in reach

Takeaways

1ne: Think multidevice environment for doctors but also where they will access information.

2wo: Integration of product information is key to getting marketing messages to doctors.

3hree: Stop thinking apps.  Like consumers, physicians rely on a very small number of apps and don’t have the time to download and learn new ones.

4our: We should have detailed insights into what information physicians want from us in order to ensure we continually optimize our HCP content and make it valuable to our audience.

5ive: Helping doctors improve patient incomes is the foundation for a good relationship with HCP’s.  Marketers need to focus less on selling and more on providing compelling reasons to use a specific drug or medical device. That reason, more and more, is about patient outcomes.