The Future of Healthcare: An Interview With Futurist Jeff Bauer

For those of you like me who were unable to attend ExL Pharma’s Digital Pharma West (DP West) Conference June 27-30, 2011 (#digpharm),  you missed a fascinating presentation by Jeff Bauer, Ph.D., a health futurist and medical economist, called Forecasting the Future of Health Care: Challenges & Opportunities.

Fortunately, I had a chance to speak with Jeff and delve into his presentation and insights. Trained as a meteorologist, an economist and a medical professor, he is uniquely qualified to “forecast-not predict” the future of healthcare…

To read the full article and five key takeaways that we’d all be wise to integrate into our thinking, click here to go to ExL’s Digital Pharma blog.

2010 Outlook: 10 Ways to Win With Patients and Improve DTC Efforts

[Full article: 2010 Outlook: Doom and Gloom For DTC? 10 Points for Winning with Patients, published in DTC Perspectives, December 2009]

Despite many gloomy predictions for DTC advertising and the pharma industry overall, there’s never been a better time for marketers to forward their brands and consumers’ lives with new thinking about what constitutes patient marketing in the 21st Century (DTC 21).  Ten prescriptions can help improve focus and strengthen DTC efforts in 2010.  Important media and technology trends are also “musts” to actively consider for those who want to bump impact and value.

  1. Adopt an updated definition for DTC that considers the full picture of how consumers will interpret and interact with a brand TODAY. This calls for attention beyond “big bang” marketing spends, and begs for identifying meaningful levers to drive education and growth. DTC is no longer just an awareness or acquisition vehicle to move “eyeballs” through a linear marketing funnel; it’s every influence and touch needed to bring new information and education, help convert, instill loyalty and inspire advocacy.  Continue reading

Pharma: Do You Know Your Patients’ Views About Healthcare?

A recent white paper by Ipsos Public Affairs outlines the different views that American patients hold about Healthcare depending on their type of condition. While healthcare reform will likely impact all 300 million Americans, the way they will be affected differs based on many characteristics.  Pharma Marketers must also factor in how diverse attitudes and concerns of American patients may reflect the specific type of condition they suffer from.

It has been well documented that American’s attitudes about key issues raised in the healthcare reform debate vary depending on their income level, their political leaning, whether or not they are insured, and whether they suffer from a serious condition or not.  However, a new study by Ipsos Public Affairs has uncovered that attitudes about healthcare and the issues and solutions differ when considering the type of condition that Americans may suffer from.  Continue reading

Why Pharma Needs to Pay Attention to Wikipedia

Guest Post by Eileen O’Brien ( and @EileenOBrien)

Eileen is passionate about using the web and social media to advance healthcare communications. (And she is currently looking for a new interactive job…)  Here’s why she believes that Pharma should pay attention to Wikipedia:

Whether you agree or disagree with the concept of Wikipedia and the accuracy of its information, it’s a huge player in the world of healthcare and deserves attention.

1)    Physicians and consumers use Wikipedia for health info

Nearly 50% of US physicians going online for professional purposes are visiting Wikipedia for medical information according to Manhattan Research. This is a significant increase over the 28% reported in 2008.

And 36% of US consumers searched for health info on Wikipedia according to Rodale’s DTC study.

Manhattan Research found Wikipedia is even more popular in Europe, with two-thirds of physicians online using the site as a medical resource monthly. It’s also a top health destination for European consumers: “And consumers want companies to take a role in making sure that Wikipedia content can be trusted – the majority of online European consumers expect that pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies monitor Wikipedia pages about their products.” Manhattan Research, Cybercitizen Health Europe v8.0  Continue reading

Video Games: Key to the Future of Pharma and Healthcare?

Full Article Published in August 5, 2009. 

Everyday new results suggest that health games and virtual worlds bear the potential to be “game changers” by improving education, provoking greater engagement, and engendering positive behavior to enhance health and wellness.

While more clinical studies are still needed, preliminary results are beginning to demonstrate proof of principle.  In the wake of the 2009 Games For Health conference, the article outlines five factors for why you might start to take health gaming seriously, as well as key lessons consistently described by the speakers, to provide a perspective on what may be involved in bringing Health eGames into 2010 planning and beyond. (For a summary of the two-day event, along with the associated marketing implications of healthgames, see PharmExec guest blogs “The Next Frontier” and “Can Healthcare Games Change the Game of Healthcare?“)  Continue reading

Using Social Media To Improve Pharma Clinical Recruitment and More

Why Dr. Younes Uses Social Media (Bunny Ellerin) offers a great example of the broader potential of social media beyond simply a pharma marketer’s focus on building patient dialogue and retention or to keep current with old and new friends.

The story begins with Dr. Younes from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with his recent blog Medicine and Social Media: Why do I tweet?

“Two years ago, I decided to experiment with social media. I have a strong interest in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare type of human cancer that affects approximately 8,600 patients per year in the United States. With a cure rate of 75%, it was very challenging to get pharmaceutical companies interested in developing new therapies for this small patient population. Furthermore, because of the limited pool of patients who are eligible for experimental therapy, these trials traditionally never enrolled patients in a timely manner.”

Then Dr Younes secured four IRB approved trials, and needed to enroll patients and tried many recruiting methods…  Continue reading

Can Healthcare Games Change The Game Of Healthcare?

Now that the Games for Health Conference is over, I’ve had a little time to reflect on possible implications for Pharma and Healthcare Marketing.

Please read my second guest blog at PharmaExec Blog for the Seven Key Implications I see for Pharma and Healthcare as we move into the “virtual” future of healthcare marketing. Implications range from prevention, diagnosis and awareness to adherence and training.

If you’re new to the concept of health games, based on the conference, health games seem to generally fall into six areas:   Continue reading

Games: The Next Frontier for Pharma

Wow! The Games for Health Conference has been very exciting–

It’s early days in health gaming,  but you can feel the momentum building and its potential to impact consumer health and behavior.

To read about day 1, here’s a guest blog I did today for PharmExec.  Also for tweeters: #G4H09

More to come…blog 2: potential thought starters for Pharma…


Video Games and Healthcare? The Next Frontier in DTC Marketing…

One of my  pharmaceutical clients is thinking about targeting the 18-24 market which got me thinking about video games as a potential way to engage and educate this active segment. And as the Mom of three boys, video games are certainly part of our household, so I find myself learning more and more -despite myself- just to keep up with my children…

A few months ago, I read an interesting blog by Douglas Goldstein (The Health Care Blog) entitled Video games to revolutionaize health and healthcare. The blog coincided with two other events that month:

1. The release of a new book, Changing the GAME: How Video Games are Transforming the Future of Business, underscoring the notion that video games are becoming a valuable tool for mainstream business–used for everything from marketing to training to increasing productivity.

2. The release of a new report by iConecto, a leading digital media solutions firm focused on healthcare, delivering the first comprehensive review of the Health eGames industry.  The report documents a consumer and professional market and outlines 5 major categories for consumer Health eGames including: Exergaming, Brain Fitness, Health Eating, Condition Management and Stress Reduction.  Continue reading