Marcy Q. Samet
EVP, Managing Director, MRM Princeton

As we begin 2013, one of the most important things pharmaceutical and medical marketers need to understand is that “digital” and “health” must live together.

Science is evolving at a rapid pace with a proliferation of health and wellness news appearing every day, as technology innovation shifts into hyper speed. The environment is ripe for digital health; it’s the way consumers are consuming their information. It’s time to acknowledge the patient truly comes first; patients are people—multidimensional people who want to know more about everything: tests, disease management, diets, lifestyle changes, side effects, and especially how other people are going through what they’re going through. People are curious and by engaging in substantive conversations with consumers, brands prosper and a truly communal health evolves.

Patients are more than their condition. Medicine alone cannot improve the outcome if people are unwilling—or unaware—of the changes they need to make in their own personal behavior.

Health. It’s the foundation of all things. It’s how we grow, advance and evolve. And yet it is one of the most complex, ever-changing ecosystems that exists. A fragile dance between biology and culture, it parallels so closely with the intricate detail, hidden algorithms and power of digital design and infrastructure, that to us at MRM, digital is health.

Digital experience is directly correlated to a society’s ability to understand the complexity of health and connect to important, relevant solutions. The more digitally connected a community, typically the healthier it is. But the digital experience must be transparent, meaningful and above all, simple. Digital access to health is too complex. While science marches forward at warp speed, the industry’s digital response to health is not keeping pace. The pharmaceutical world needs to be pushed further into this space, where barriers to health are removed through simple innovations and powerful digital infrastructure that uses data to do good, with visualizations, experiences and utility that promote healthy living.

Digital is health and health is digital.

The challenge for today’s pharmaceutical leaders is to embrace the dissonance between patients’ needs, health care professional needs and the regulatory environment realities. Innovation comes from simply coming together to focus on people.