Consumer health privacy protections can feel like a moving target as platforms and governments continue to adopt new restrictions. Most recently, Washington state passed the My Health My Data Act (MHMD). While not the first, and most surely not the last, legislation that limits how consumer health data can be shared and collected for ad targeting, MHMD represents the next step in this constantly evolving privacy environment. It’s also a reminder that healthcare marketers need to work closely with their partners to ensure continued privacy compliance while limiting impact on reaching and engaging the ideal patient audiences. In this podcast, Kevin Elwell, Vice President of Health Analytics at Swoop provides an overview of the current landscape and what marketers need to know, how analyze and select preferred vendors who help mitigate risk while maximizing outcomes, and how Swoop is proactively adapting to the new privacy reality to ensure client success.

Note: The MM+M Podcast uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast.

[00:00] Hi, this is Marc Iskowitz, editor at large for MM+M. Healthcare is path toward a cookie-less future has done exactly been clear cut after series of delays Google has said it plans to phase out cookies for 100% of Chrome users by later this year. [00:14] There’s also the looming threat of more government regulation. [00:17] Similar to California is CCPA privacy law which is model off of Europe’s GDPR. [00:23] To prevent what some call surveillance marketing with change on the immediate Horizon then? [00:27] You present today sponsored podcast with swoop entitled privacy first but Healthcare marketers need to know in a fractured evolving environment my co-hosts Swoop’s Kevin Elwell, vice president of health Analytics will provide an overview of the current landscape. [00:40] And what marketers need to know also have analyse and select preferred vendors who help mitigate risk while maximising outcomes. [00:47] And how Swoop is proactively adapting to the new privacy reality? [00:50] to ensure clients success [00:58] Kevin how are you and welcome to the MM+M Podcast? [01:01] Hey, I’m great thanks for having me. [01:03] Absolutely, so you know data these days is the currency of most health care marketing. [01:08] And you know as we said at the top of the podcast it’s becoming a very fractured. [01:12] environment where privacy is concerned [01:15] I thought we’d start with one particular state level piece of regulation. [01:18] Most recently Washington state passed the my health my data act mhmd. [01:23] Can you tell our audience? What is the mhmd Acton what does it impact? [01:28] Yeah, so the my help my data act is sort of the newest and farthest to reaching privacy legislation. We’ve had in the Healthcare data space. [01:37] I think in particular introduces to kind of really big concepts. [01:43] Won being inferred health knowledge. [01:45] Right, so it’s no longer protecting. You know actual health data, but we’re also trying to protect consumers around what you could infer from other aspects of what they do and how that might relate to their health. [01:59] So, it’s really important and you need to be very careful on. [02:02] How you’re using? [02:04] Even different forms of data to try and you know give a health message out there. [02:09] The other thing that introduces is the right of private action all of the laws that we’ve had are. [02:14] the [02:15] ccpa the California law that got passed a couple of years ago the state of California needs to take action against any one who is violating the law. [02:23] whereas for Washington [02:26] a citizen an advocacy group could take action as well, so there’s a lot. [02:31] more risk and you want to make sure that you’re not only doing things correctly but [02:36] kind of presenting yourself as doing things correctly. [02:39] Because sometimes you just want to avoid. [02:42] The press as much as you want to avoid an actual lawsuit. [02:45] Right so marketers need to avoid even the appearance. [02:48] of doing anything on toward your [02:51] and this isn’t like you know we saw a years ago with pharmaceutical marketing research where certain states. [02:56] were requiring owners reporting laws if they [03:00] pay it a doctor to participate in a marketing research survey like some States like Minnesota we saw we’re doing this every month. [03:06] And we kind of joke like oh those are becoming no fly zones for pharmaceutical marketing research. That’s not really an option here right because [03:12] besides the fact that California is you know the biggest state I think and then the country this kind of really no choice but to operate there and as you say. [03:20] this is just [03:20] typically iceberg in terms of state regulations [03:23] exactly and there’s there’s going to be more we saw California to it. We saw Washington do it Nevada has a law that’s very similar to the my health my data act that got passed right about the same time. [03:35] so we all need to make sure that we’re [03:38] moving into this era of like real privacy legislations used to be hipaa, and maybe the nigh which is a self-regulatory body or nothing now. There’s real. [03:49] Like actual penalties and real actual laws that we need to pay attention to in terms of how. [03:54] The data is activated upon which really hasn’t been the case in the past. [03:58] Alright that inferred health data clause in the mhmd really interesting. [04:02] So some of these data privacy reforms. [04:06] explicitly target health data others are you know a little bit more Broad [04:10] Can you take us through some others that marketers need to be aware of and have been addressed over the last 12 to 24 months? [04:16] Yeah, I mean ccpa. I think was a little bit outside of that time frame, but was the first one that really started to address it but then since then we had like mentioned Nevada the Virginia consumer data Protection Act hits on consumer privacy as a whole but has some specific language around health data. [04:32] And then you’ve been finding the stuff coming out in interesting or weird places New York passed a fiscal budget bill that included legislation around how you could. [04:44] Geo-target Healthcare facilities right, so you can you can’t. [04:47] geo target health facilities within a certain radius otherwise [04:50] you know it’s it’s seen as [04:52] kind of using the health facility for [04:54] odd means if nothing else. [04:57] We also had the FDA updated their faq on direct to consumer advertising recently. There was no big action out of that one and that was interesting because even in that faq. They sort of talked about. [05:08] It’s still important to reach out to consumers. We just need to make sure we’re doing it. [05:13] Data side ethically but also messaging that all the messaging that firms will companies are providing to potential. [05:20] patience [05:21] that it’s really easy for them to understand right. This is very complex spacing me to make sure that what you’re getting is understandable to any of the books that are receiving the message. [05:31] Term we’ll talked about more of those sort of implications for Pharma marketers. [05:35] One other question before we get there. [05:37] I wanted to ask you about. [05:39] Is there any future regulations or policy changes? [05:42] that you’re sort of closely tracking at this point including you know as we said Google and [05:47] I don’t know about you, but when I talk to healthcare marketers and ever we bring up the topic of Google and cookie this future. We see a series of eye rolls and you know that’ll eventually be phased in maybe like 20 30 or something. [05:59] But can you give us a quick update there and then you know? What what you have your [06:03] I closely [06:04] yeah, so Google cookie wise I do think that they’re going to. [06:09] Keep kicking the can down the road. I I personally think that cookies are going to finally go away when no one is using them anymore which I think actually might be pretty closer on the horizon. The industry has been preparing for this for so long that. [06:23] We’re all sort of ready for it. [06:24] A lot of the data, that’s being used is not based on online data and a lot of the old Tactics that you use that we’re based on online data are available to any more. [06:33] write Facebook’s [06:35] health interest targeting based on like the groups that you are in on Facebook comes to mind if they shut that down but a year or so ago at this point. [06:43] In terms of future regulations and policy changes there’s a lot. [06:47] If I had to pick one, it’s the apra the American privacy Rights Act it’s federal legislation. That’s currently working its way through Capitol Hill [06:57] no timeline on when that’s going to be taken for a boat who knows with. [07:01] All of the things that are happening in Washington right now. [07:04] but that’s a very interesting one just because having [07:07] A federal privacy regulation I would really like. [07:11] Because then hey all the states get the same sort of protections which is. [07:15] a good for everyone [07:17] But you know they’re working right now on things like. [07:20] deep pre-emption [07:21] Right, there’s just a Desire by some folks to have that legislation preempt all state law whereas some States want to say no we should be able to add additional things that they’re working on that right now and we’ll see how that all flushes out, but having one big privacy law that everyone should adhere to I think would be. [07:38] Great and definitely something we’re keeping in our eye on. [07:41] Alright, and I think a lot hinges as you as you. [07:44] alluded to what’s going on in Washington with the election a lot of probably hinges on who’s in the white house because the presumptive Republican nominee is very much in favour of states right but [07:54] The combat probably more and leaning toward being a fan of the federal federal regulations, I would think yeah. [08:01] I could see it going either way, too it because I know that the last version of this got shut down by Nancy Pelosi and California because they [08:11] wanted to add additional things on to federal legislation so [08:15] It no I don’t honestly almost don’t even know which way it’ll go depending against life and stuff. That’s really fast okay, so it’s a little bit counterintuitive there. Yeah. [08:25] so, this is a very complex market and I wanted to ask you what should marketers kind of keep in mind when thinking about privacy and targeting and [08:32] You know if I may add my two cents here I see a connection here with. [08:36] what went on you know last year with the series of [08:39] settlements you know between several web health-related websites and the ftc with you know sharing data with Facebook and so obviously that had a direct implication on marketers, but what do they need to keep in mind here when thinking about privacy and targeting? [08:53] Yeah, she really need to make sure that the data that you’re using. [08:57] Your you’re using in an ethical manner. [09:00] Right, there’s a of course you want to comply with the law but considering the direction we’re moving in. [09:06] I think you got to be careful and just also kind of [09:09] past the smell test if nothing else as well. [09:12] You know health data like where I work in right we go through an immense amount of effort to make sure we know as a little as possible about anyone but [09:22] I think marketers are going to even need to re-evaluate how they’re using just their websites. [09:27] Write all the data that they collect just by operating the website is potentially problematic or at least you need to make sure you’re using it. [09:35] in a [09:36] Both compliant and ethical manner so that you’re not. [09:40] Stepping over any boundaries or you know catching. [09:42] You know raising your head up above the ground up in terms of doing things that perhaps you shouldn’t be. [09:48] and everybody kind of [09:49] Falls back on the trope of well as the identified data so we’re safe. [09:54] but it’s pretty much a [09:56] fallacy that any data can really be truly. [09:59] the identified anymore right [10:01] to a certain extent it depends on how far you go with it right. [10:05] when I [10:06] first started building segments we would do look like Mark look like modeling right because that’s kind of what you do when you build these kind of things but [10:14] to your point well, it’s de-identified data, but I’m still working off. [10:18] People that I know have a condition right and that very known quantity makes things. [10:23] a little bit wishy washy right, what’s really happening there if you [10:27] are working off unknown quantity, so [10:30] we’ve done our best to work through that in terms of not only having the data be identified, but by not actually touching health data at all when we’re building the segment you go through and you actually build things based on. [10:42] In our case nothing at all, but you need to. [10:45] Be very careful about how you construct it in addition to the kind of data that you’re using. [10:50] sure and swoop probably understands, it’s better than anyone because [10:53] when Google says we’re moving to Outlaws [10:56] cookies those aren’t first part of kukas. There’s a third party cookies and soup has been trying to move. [11:00] The industry toward you know building its own. [11:03] first party audiences to sort of [11:05] create a little bit of a remote around its itself marketers campaigns, so that they can effectively market and this new future with their own data, which you know has advantages and several areas. [11:16] but tell me more about the swoop approach and how you [11:19] make sure that your ethical and compliant. [11:22] Yeah, so we created years ago when we first entered the space this concept of zero knowledge. [11:29] Health segment generation right where you actually build it based on nothing at all. Originally we only use it for sensitive conditions and built. [11:39] you know A diabetes or [11:41] heart disease the quote unquote normal way with [11:45] utilising look like modelling, but then it matured to a point and we stopped and thought well. Why are we bothering to build things in a [11:52] less safe way if we can build everything and in the safest way, so we’ve moved everything to zero dollars. [11:58] generation which [12:00] really is at its core rapid ab testing right if you think about like. [12:05] Any anything that any marketer does it’s all about evaluating different possibilities, what we do is we create. [12:12] That was in the pump thousands of possibilities based on simple random. I’d selection it’s actually based on. [12:19] No information about the consumer at all. We just grab your ID because we roll the dice and that’s the idea that we came up with. [12:26] We measure the big group of IDS and see how it did and then the ones that did best. [12:31] go into one big segment that goes out the door so [12:34] We don’t know anything about anyone at any point in time and it’s it’s great, but it requires a lot of work to make sure. [12:41] you’re structured that way and that you’re [12:43] thinking about that even when you’re talking to clients because [12:47] I think a lot of there’s a lot of desired. [12:49] From a lot of people knowing how much data is out there to over engineer what you’re doing and over engineering can lead to privacy problems if you’re not careful about it right. So you kind of have to stop yourselves and say hey. [13:00] if we go any further, you know we’re entering a little bit of a grey zone here so [13:04] The less we know the better. [13:06] Exactly right you want to you want to know as little as possible while still. [13:11] Getting the message that needs to be got out to. [13:14] two consumers [13:15] yeah, I think sometimes people are a little odd about health care marketing but [13:20] I think it’s it is still a really really important one of the things that obvious look to in terms of the importance of why we do this is. [13:28] clinical trials [13:29] Something like 60% of all clinical trials fail. [13:33] Just because they did not get enough people signed up for them. [13:36] Right and those are treatments that are promising and real and we don’t know if they were. [13:41] Good or not. Just because we couldn’t get enough people to sign up so if we can. [13:44] Get messages to those individuals get them onto potential new therapies and new cures for diseases. [13:50] That’s kind of why you go home at night right. [13:53] Yeah, right get you up in the morning. [13:55] and then [13:56] we’re talking about. [13:58] various types of data here clean, it could be claims data it could be [14:02] data on patient preferences or for media consumption [14:07] anything that a marketer in just into its CRM system. [14:11] for instance [14:12] is [14:13] governed by [14:14] you know a strict should be covered by strict. [14:17] data privacy policy [14:19] and wanted to [14:20] asked you also to get your take on. [14:23] What are some of the most frequently asked questions? [14:25] by marketers [14:26] Had a swoop solve for these. [14:28] I get questions all the time around like what conditions are too small to target. What are the different ways or [14:34] can we target and then how do you do kind of all encompassing? [14:37] Targeting with I think. [14:38] With state legislation HTTP targeting is becoming perhaps more important than ever https are a special class in the United States considering their publicly listed database if you’re targeting hcps based on their. [14:50] Professional behavior that’s entirely above board and you know the doctors are uniquely. [14:55] you know through the years and years of training capable of taking in this information that use utilizing it in the ethical way but [15:01] Themselves as well. [15:03] But then in terms of what we’re doing you know on one hand you don’t want to over engineer but the other hand be filled some safeguards into our systems to say. [15:11] there’s nothing that’s potentially too small to target some of the the conditions out there are really rare and it’s really important to reach out to those individuals but [15:20] we have a [15:21] greater than 1 million less than 50% rule here which kind of says that. [15:25] We can be no more than 50% accurate. [15:28] But any audience I make has at least 1 million people and it. [15:33] so one of the [15:34] first clients I ever worked with was for inherited retinal disease super super rare a couple hundred people in the United States with it. [15:42] the treatment cures blindness [15:45] like and so it’s a big deal to cure blindness so [15:48] We built all these rules in to make sure that hey it’s really important to reach these people but we also don’t want to. [15:55] Expose them or target them or you know expose their data in u.s. Necessary way which is why we create that 1 million to minimum rule where it just makes it? [16:04] Really big haystack even if it’s a small group, but is in your unable to identify people as a result of what we build because of how big what we build is. [16:15] So you know in in marketing? There’s the concept of the right consumer GTC marketing which of course is like mass market mass media types of [16:23] Media buys across TV radio it’s getting more [16:26] targeted with CTV of course streaming video and then streaming audio. [16:32] But then there’s the concept of direct direct to patient dtp where. [16:36] As I understand you kind of know who your audience is. It’s like a rare disease condition therapeutic area like you you gave the example of where it’s a couple hundred people. [16:44] And the you know targeting is as much more obviously specific there. Maybe more specific calls to action there. [16:51] But you’re saying even if we know who the patient population is we still have to keep it. [16:57] Compliance by keeping to that 51 million rule. [17:01] Yeah, so the 1 million rule is a as a swoop rule, you won’t find that in any legislation anywhere I think the the nigh. [17:09] Has Healthcare guidance out there that says 100% is the minimum we bumped it up to? [17:14] A full order of magnitude larger from million because we want to be you know well beyond what any of their requirements are. [17:21] But it is really important to reach these people but it is equally if not more important to like keep their privacy and their data safe right. We need to be good stewards of the even the identified data that we have. [17:35] fas [17:36] any other commonly asked questions amongst marketers that you work with [17:41] I guess you know trying to reach that the doctors as well as the patients in sort of that. [17:47] Surround sound manner. I think is something that people are really starting to to go across especially and b. [17:52] the post covid world right really kind of screwed with a lot of [17:56] sales reps going in and talking to doctors have a lot of very specifically inflations. They need to follow in terms of [18:02] you know gift accepting and things like that, but you still want to get the messaging out to them what? [18:08] let doctors [18:09] ask the very specific questions that they’re going to ask and you want to present them with information. That is helpful to them around like hey we’re seeing a patient. [18:19] That we think could be a good goal. You know go for a clinical trial or something we can use the [18:24] Data we have to kind of inform doctors of things they might not have otherwise thought of a special especially if they’re like not a specialist but just a PCP and it’s like oh no like. [18:33] Oh, I’m recognising these things in these patients that I’m seeing that could lead towards. [18:38] A rare disease or a clinical trial or percentage of care being given or developed so you can do that you can calibrate your messaging so it’s complementary between the physician and the patient and the physician is. [18:49] Getting a message. Hey encouraging them this patients that you’re seeing may be candidates for this clinical trial. [18:54] And on the patient side how you may be interested in. [18:57] You know taking part in a research trial. It’s just an example. [19:01] Yeah, the consumer aspect obviously not being one to one but with hcp’s you can target specific doctors with specific message now. I see right Tailoring those messages to those doctors. [19:11] Is great and super important? [19:12] But as you said you’re okay as long as you. [19:15] target hcps based on their professional behavior so like script behaviour [19:19] for instance [19:20] yeah, if doctor has a disease then, they become a consumer right or a patient and that manner but in terms of what they’re doing how they’re writing how they’re treating folks you can target them based on that behavior and I think that’s [19:33] super helpful important because different doctors are going to have. [19:36] Different one patient sets but two issues that our sales reps are uniquely their to help them with consent folks in to have them talk about. [19:44] how to better [19:46] To submit insurance paperwork for Medicare recipients so that your patients can get their drugs covered. [19:52] Doctors spend a lot of time in school and they don’t teach you at all about how to ensure like input Insurance claims. [19:59] And it’s a huge part of the job, so you know pharmaceutical companies can help out with that and make sure that. [20:04] Doctors are doing the right things and then the patients get the medication. They need at a [20:09] price that they can actually afford it. [20:10] alright [20:11] and [20:12] one last question on the sort of targeting doctors based on their behaviour what if it’s you know targeting doctors based on their Media [20:18] consumption you know they’re preferred. [20:20] Times of the day that they like to read or research. Yeah that kind of thing we do a little bit around that and just in terms of what kind of messages are the responding to I think there’s a lot of different times you can target doctors ehr advertising is a big thing right now where you’re actually can. [20:36] Quick messages into the electronic health record system, I think that’s good. I think you need to be careful with it in terms. You don’t want to over-saturate people while they’re trying to do their work, but at the same time if you have the right message for that kind of that area it can be the difference of them seeing it and like knowing. [20:54] What to do or having that? [20:56] Eureka moment of how I can make things better for my patient in the immediate. [21:00] But also hitting them all their doing their their. [21:04] fantasy sports team [21:05] right and and our thinking about the patients at the end of the day alright heading. [21:10] Heading them in all those different areas can have a lot of different use. [21:13] alright, we just did a round table on this yesterday actually one of the topics was ehr marketing and [21:18] one of the Farmer marketers was saying we do like considering atrium marketing it just easier when it’s a disease awareness type of a message. [21:25] when it gets into a brand message and gets a little bit dicey in terms of [21:29] getting a little too close to inducing or influencing the prescribing behavior of the doctor for instance or something like that so yeah. [21:37] Okay speaking of that I wanted to ask you. What are the risks of not complying with these privacy standards and how should marketers. [21:44] Go about evolving their overall. [21:46] Advertising tech Stack and vendor selection to ensure compliance. [21:49] There’s real risks kind of for the first time. [21:52] Write it used to be be hipaa, nothing and hipaa. [21:56] Is a very good law but deals with data warehousing not with activating upon that data for digital advertising means right. So it was we can say easy to comply with but it just didn’t cover everything that we’re seeing these new state laws cover. [22:12] And I think it’s just it’s very important. No one wants to be the first company sued by this right and and no one wants to violate any of these laws, but [22:20] as a result I think you want to. [22:22] Make sure you’re asking the right questions to the vendors. You’re working with you know. How are you processing the data? What is [22:29] how are you building the data based on or not based on health data? And how are you protecting consumers privacy while we’re trying to to reach them with the right message. [22:39] It’s kind of really more important than ever. [22:42] Won, there’s a lot. [22:43] From the legal standpoint obviously you don’t. [22:45] want to get a fine or anything else but [22:48] there’s also a lot of [22:50] of press & eyeballs on this right now, so you just want to make sure that you’re [22:54] doing things the right way and know. [22:57] How it’s being done so that if someone comes and talks? [23:00] To you or asks a question. You should be able to describe that. [23:04] pretty easily [23:05] Sure so make. [23:06] privacy and Compliance and how they protect [23:09] the consumers privacy while they’re trying to raise their awareness of at a disease or treatment. [23:14] One of the questions that you asked them you know when you’re vetting vendors. [23:18] Yep, there’s nobody wants to wind up on the front page and then York Times obviously yeah, that’s [23:24] okay [23:26] what lessons can other organization’s learn? [23:29] From swoopes approach to ensuring privacy and Compliance and what are some best practices that should be applied? [23:35] Despite evolving regulations Kevin and mobile finish up with that one. [23:38] Yeah, so I think not even just advertising and data segments but any data that you have around it. You should really be looking at it. [23:47] privacy first [23:48] Write what data do I have? How do I ensure that it is? [23:52] De-identified to the absolute best that I’m collecting as little information as I need to to get done what needs to be done. [23:59] and then once you’ve [24:01] Structured everything there then you can start to look at okay now that I have what I have is. [24:07] Safe and as minimal as possible. [24:10] What can I do with it? [24:11] Right, and I don’t think you should get caught in the trap of. [24:15] When there’s been a lot of these segments in a lot of companies doing this for a really long time. [24:20] But don’t get in the trap of doing things how they’ve been done before. [24:24] AI models and things have introduced a suite of new capabilities that are [24:29] often very very privacy safe because the machine can do it and does it and sort of a [24:34] Non-human way, that is more privacy safe and you want to take advantage of those new capabilities and not just fall back on. [24:42] the standard way of having done things before because they [24:46] come from an era where privacy wasn’t as important unfortunately. [24:50] alright and if you take this into spirit of [24:52] How things are evolving and the new tools that are available to us to do these things? [24:57] You’re going to end up with some great insights still well also just protecting consumers privacy collecting as a little data as possible– about them. [25:05] But still giving people the messages that they need to to see in here, so that they best know how to approach their own health. [25:11] Sure to take advantage of new tools good advice is kind of like. [25:14] You know buying a car you know whenever I the subject of getting a car comes up like I’m a big fan of getting used cars. You know. [25:21] My thing is just to get it something like three years old coming off a lease you’re not paying premium for the my wife is always like well, then we’re not going to get the latest safety features you know so there’s always a trade-off there. [25:31] exactly say she won so [25:33] There you go, thank you. Kevin for that deeper. Look at the evolving area of privacy and best practices for Healthcare marketers. [25:39] It was really great to get your take and here. What’s on your radar. [25:42] And your advice for folks those who have any questions can email Kevin with their privacy questions. [25:48] or contact them through mmm, but your email is a [25:51] Kevin at right that’s correct. It’s a great one. [25:54] simple easy to remember [25:56] well, thanks again for joining us Kevin really. It’s great to have you. [25:58] Yeah, thanks for having me appreciate it. [26:00] absolutely [26:01] to that end. Hope we can have another conversation as this area of all’s further. [26:05] That was Kevin elwell. [26:07] Head of health Analytics at swoop it was a terrific conversation. [26:10] Many thanks for listening come back soon for another one. [26:13] This is Marcus with the M&M podcast take care.