Digital continues to have impact on pharma says study

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According to data from a white paper by Manhattan Research, the average physician spends a full work day [about eight hours] each week using the internet for professional reasons, a significant jump from only 2 1/2 hours in 2002.

“How Digital is Shaping the Future of Pharmaceutical Marketing,” reported that the trend of shifting to digital channels is expected to continue, as physicians expect to increase their use of online resources.

Data from the white paper indicate that professional content that have been feeling “the shift” the most are clinical textbooks/references, journals, conferences, news and CME.

Mobile technology, according to Manhattan Research, has played a significant role in increasing doctors' dependency on online resources. Sixty-four percent of doctors own smart phones and are using them to supplement their computer usage to be “always on.”

In addition, mobile devices help physicians to access clinical resources at multiple points throughout their day, even at point-of-care. As a group, physicians have acclimated themselves to advanced online activities, such as watching streaming video and listening to podcasts, at a faster rate than consumers.

Doctors are collaborating in online communities designed specifically for healthcare professionals; participation in these networks doubled between 2008 and 2009. According to Manhattan Research, just as the professional channel mix is evolving, so is the traditional physician-sales rep relationship.

As a result, pharmas are offering physician's online customer services such as customer service portals, live video reps, interactive detailing and e-sampling.

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