Mobile in Motion

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There's little doubt that mobile will continue its tear across healthcare. Can we keep up? And what's next? We ask five digital gurus

Otavio Freire
Chief Technology Officer
OpenQ

What has the last year brought in mobile health? Where's the innovation and where is pharma spending?

As social media and EHR continue to take hold, practitioners and patients are driving healthcare marketers to rapidly adopt mobile technologies. Creating online and mobile-access or APP-based communities to reach specialists as well as internal social business communities to foster employee collaboration are key industry trends. Mobile adoption over the last 12 months has continued to accelerate and is becoming the de-facto business platform for industry stakeholders.

Is mobile part of the healthcare marketer's DNA, or is there a lot of curve left to climb? What have been the catalysts and/or hurdles?

As restrictions to engage with HCPs increase, mobile is the new way to collaborate with, and reach, key customers and patients. Having the ability to interact in a new, engaging and compliant manner with key stakeholders has become vital to healthcare organizations' marketing capabilities. The healthcare industry continues to benefit from mobile technologies that enable immediate capture and automatic documentation of product communications to generate data that stands up to audit scrutiny.

What does the next year look like in mobile health? The next 5 years? What would you like to happen?

The ability to create and, more importantly, enforce internal and regulatory policy continues to challenge healthcare.  The life sciences industry alone has paid billions of dollars in fines over email and web-based infractions. With mobile comes greater reward, but also greater risk. New technologies that mitigate risk must be applied in the coming years to ensure mobile collaboration amongst industry stakeholders is frictionless, which will in turn reduce costs and increase the quality of care.

Gautam Gulati
Chief Medical & Innovation ­Officer
Physicians ­Interactive

What has the last year brought in mobile health? Where's the innovation and where is pharma spending?

The impact of mobile products and services in healthcare is no longer a question of “if,” but rather “how.” At the end of the day, we don't have an innovation problem, but rather an integration problem in mHealth. It is integration that will drive relevance and engagement for healthcare professionals. Pharma is looking to be a part of the healthcare professional's workflow experience; and so those who can deliver a personalized, user-centric experience will likely capture pharma's interest.

Is mobile part of the healthcare marketer's DNA, or is there a lot of curve left to climb? What have been the catalysts and/or hurdles?

Mobile is unquestionably a top priority. But the challenges are threefold: (1) How does one apply regulatory learnings from the Web to the mobile world?; (2) What are the appropriate measurement metrics to gauge brand performance?; and (3) Where within mobile devices and platforms should one focus investment? Marketers can best understand mobile by first partnering with curators, aggregators, and integrators to get a feel for the landscape and an understanding of audience needs.

What does the next year look like in mobile health? The next 5 years? What would you like to happen?

Over the next 12 months in mHealth, I predict we will begin to see a weeding out of the “nice-to-have” solutions, paving the way for the “need-to-haves.” The markets will begin shifting from experimentation mode into those with proven models. As a result, over the next five years, we will find innovative ways to harness aggregated data among the various mobile inputs to deliver intelligent mHealth products. I hope the game-changing players find creative ways to collaborate, rather than compete, so that it's win-win for all, especially the patient.

Jason Levy
VP, Director, Mobile
DraftFCB

What has the last year brought in mobile health? Where's the innovation and where is pharma spending?

The most glaring to me is that, for the most part, we're past the app craze. There's nothing wrong with apps. We love apps. In many cases however, the right mobile foundation starts with mobile web and search. Followed by adapting the rest of your marketing strategy for mobile. Is this innovation? By definition, yes. Is it sexy? Maybe not. Unless you find smart sexy. Regardless, marketers are beginning to favor and fund this approach.

Is mobile part of the healthcare marketer's DNA, or is there a lot of curve left to climb? What have been the catalysts and/or hurdles?

The mobile boom comes at an interesting time. Most traditional marketers have embraced digital. Digital natives and seasoned pros have infiltrated the marketing ranks. This smooths the path for mobile. Still, it's no overnight sensation. Consumer latched on early but professional takes a while. Healthcare likes innovative but prefers proven. Eventually, market pressure and success of the bold shakes things up. Were getting there, but the DNA may be a tad ambitious.

What does the next year look like in mobile health? The next 5 years? What would you like to happen?

Over the next year, more and more brands will bake mobile strategy into planning from the start. We'll see an uptake in the huge untapped mobile advertising opportunity. Over the next 5 years this matures from trials and fundamentals to sophisticated multi-pronged mobile programs. We'll continue to blur the line between mobile marketing and mHealth with brands offering tools to support treatment and dialogue. Technology advancements will lead to unforeseen inventions and healthcare innovation.

 

Larry Mickelberg
Chief Digital Officer, Partner
Havas Health Worldwide

What has the last year brought in mobile health? Where's the innovation and where is pharma spending?

There has been the realization that mobile is critical to the health journey—the more consumers and professionals use mobile, the more it becomes the intermediary between consumers, brands and physicians. Much of the innovation is from third parties, with the key players triangulated around academia. But we don't necessarily see enough pharma dollars going into the channel, and much of those that do end up as shlocky apps or simply mobilized versions of the brand.com.

Is mobile part of the healthcare marketer's DNA, or is there a lot of curve left to climb? What have been the catalysts and/or hurdles?

Mobile has entered the stream of consciousness, but it would be a stretch to say it's part of marketers' DNA yet. A mindset shift has to occur to fully understand mobile—thinking in terms of a continuum of interaction. Mobile can transform critical conversations. Today's moments of truth happen not in the doctors' office, but often in between office visits. This “in between time” is the new facetime, and these moments offer marketers massive opportunities for innovation through mobile.

What does the next year look like in mobile health? The next 5 years? What would you like to happen?

The more dynamic any mobile platform becomes, the more it encourages and enables stakeholders to use it. The immediate opportunity is to set the standards in this space. Looking to the medium term, it's likely that healthcare professionals and patients will evaluate products not only on their industry standard criteria, but on the value of the mobile (and, really, cross-platform) services package that comes with the product. These elements will be vital for products to stand out, both at launch and through their lifecycle.

Steve Zatz
EVP, Professional Services
WebMD


What has the last year brought in mobile health? Where's the innovation and where is pharma spending?

Mobile health is on the rise with consumers, physicians and pharmaceutical companies. We're seeing doctors utilize mobile devices at the point of care, on the go and at home. To provide mobile consumers and physicians with access to information, we've released industry-leading apps and fully optimized our Web sites.  We're working with leading brands to build out mobile programs that enable greater engagement with consumers and healthcare providers.

Is mobile part of the healthcare marketer's DNA, or is there a lot of curve left to climb? What have been the catalysts and/or hurdles?

Mobile is becoming a larger part of healthcare marketing, but we're early in the process. Research from Flurry shows that mobile devices capture 23% of consumer time and 1% of advertising spend—TV on the other hand captures 40% of time and 43 percent of advertising spend. With that in mind, brands have tremendous opportunity to interact with key audiences through mobile platforms and are beginning to create relevant and engaging content for mobile consumption.

What does the next year look like in mobile health? The next 5 years? What would you like to happen?

Mobile health will continue to evolve rapidly over the next 5 years. Currently, the majority of top pharmaceutical companies do not yet have mobile optimized Web sites, which limits opportunities to engage mobile consumers and physicians.  To reach their key audiences, brands will find it necessary to create engaging mobile content.  We look forward to continuing to partner with pharma brands as they make the shift to mobile.

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