Developments in data-collection and artificial-intelligence tools in the healthcare system will make waves in how pharma marketers promote products, experts said at ePharma Impact in New York on Wednesday.

Researchers are making strides in using machine learning to detect, diagnose, and treat. Some algorithms have met and even surpassed human accuracy in finding diseases like lung cancer, said Daniel Gomes, chief innovation officer at Trident Tech.

As these tools become more common in healthcare, there are questions about how marketers will integrate them into their marketing plans and campaigns, Gomes said.

Other applications of machine learning, like algorithms that can process natural-language data, risk equations, or HCP targeting, will either directly affect a marketer’s job or become part of the product that marketers will promote. Gomes said that marketers will need to start thinking about how to address these tools over the next five years.

Aptus Health is using predictive analytics, a form of machine learning, to target HCPs. Using this tool has doubled the click and open rates for many of its emails to doctors, said Tom Wassel, director of analytics at Aptus Health. The company segments doctors by their format, topic, and channel and sends them their preferred type of email. If companies want to get past the “cold call” mentality of emails, they should invest in data and analytics that will show them what doctors or patients prefer to engage with.

“We’re in a complex and flooded digital landscape, and HCPs say they don’t have time to read all of [their emails],” he said. “There’s no silver bullet here. It’s about gaining some hints and insights about behaviors so when the doctor comes in and is considering deleting [emails], maybe we send him something that’s more appropriate that he will want to engage with.”