Technology and services firm Cegedim Relationship Management is plunging into the US network market. The company says it is launching the first phase of its network Docnet in January, and the full offering, which is designed for desktops, tablets and phones, will be online and accessible as of July 2014.
Although it may sound like another network that will compete for time and mobile space alongside established services like Doximity and Epocrates, Angela Miccoli, Cegedim’s president of the firm’s North American operations, told MM&M that company research revealed an overlooked need, despite all of the professional connectedness—both physician-to-physician and physician-to-pharmaceutical-industry—that’s been happening.
Miccoli says Docnet is different because it puts a portfolio of professional needs—sample orders, co-pay cards, doctor-to-doctor connectivity, pharmaceutical industry-to-physician contact, and medical information —in one place.
“There is a fragmentation of communities,” Miccoli said. The company president explained that company research has showed that healthcare providers were bouncing around between resources like drug directories, pharmaceutical websites, networks and even face-to-face interactions to satisfy different information needs.
Although pharmaceutical websites are perceived as a low priority among industry critics, Miccoli said 64% of the physicians polled said they visit pharma websites about once a week, which she considers a “very intense frequency.”
She added that although it wasn’t surprising to find physicians were interested in industry contact, she was surprised by “the magnitude and willingness of physicians to engage digitally with life sciences and probably a level of unpreparedness…of life sciences of providing digital engagement.”
The company already has professional vetting down, and will be using the SAFE-BioPharma standard, which is accepted by the EMA and the FDA.
The first launch phase will include sending a wave of emails to the 800,000 MDs and DOs in its healthcare professional database.
The first wave will also include uploading everything that relates to medical and clinical information, and what Miccoli said will be a major driver to the service: Sunshine Act payment disclosure information submitted by life-sciences companies, which she said opted to pre-disclose 2013 physician spend data before sending it to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Miccoli said users will be able to not only view the data, but dispute the amounts through Docnet.
Miccoli said the company goal is to have 75,000 users by July.