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.

Pharma DTC At The Crossroads? 2011 Prevention DTC Study Results

Here are six thought starters I see coming out of Prevention Magazine’s 14th Annual Pharmaceutical Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising Study.*

1. Generic growth continues to put downward pressure on DTC ROI’s.

2. DTC continues to positively impact conversations with the doctor, but there is a general decline in patients receiving the prescription drug–a significant drain on ROI.

3. Consumers value Pharma websites, but opportunity exists to improve their value with less focus on ‘benefits-only’ messaging.

4. Consumers are consistently looking for Pharma to provide more information about the safety and risks of prescription medicines.

5. Social Media and Mobile Health are still in their infancy in helping consumers to gather information about prescription medicines and to manage their healthcare.

6. Consumers are interested in new health IT and advanced treatment solutions to help improve their health.

1.      Generic use continues to rise with 36% reporting that they’ve switched to a generic prescription or OTC medicine in the past 12 months to reduce healthcare costs.  With Generic medications now accounting for 78% of all retail prescriptions dispensed (IMS Health), this has sizable potential implications for any brand’s DTC Adverting ROI.  Continue reading

Patients Beware: 1 out of 3 Subject To Hospital Error

Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury—the famed 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study, To Err Is Human, estimated that avoidable medical errors contributed to 44,000–98,000 deaths at US hospitals annually.  Using the lower estimate,this suggests that more people die from medical errors than from fatal car crashes, breast or pancreatic cancer, or HIV/AIDS.

In November 2010, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General found that in  1 in 7 (13.5%) Medicare admissions experienced adverse events during their hospital stays. Further, for 1 in 70 Medicare admissions, the patient experienced an event that contributed to their deaths, which projects to 15,000 patients a month.  And that’s just Medicare!  (Sadly, Physician reviewers determined that over 40% were preventable. )

Also in November, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine NEJM reported on the first large study in a decade to analyze harm from medical care and to track it over time.  The study, conducted from 2002-2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and the number of incidents did not decrease over time.  The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections.  The Harvard Medical School authors focused on North Carolina because its hospitals, compared with those in most states, have been more involved in programs to improve patient safety. [NYT Article]

So despite JAMA’s 2008 protest article suggesting that the medical error numbers were exaggerated, it appears that the situation is much worse than To Err is Human suggested. [Alternatively, an investigation by the Hearst media corporation, estimated preventable medical mistakes and infections to be responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.]

The bottom line, patients have a basic expectation when they receive health care… that they will not be ‘harmed’ in the process…BUT hospitals can be dangerous.  Even good, hardworking people can (and do) make mistakes.  E-patients must be aware and engaged in everything that happens in the hospital. .. Your second set of eyes can make quite a difference. Continue reading

TV Isn’t Dead. Social Media Is Over-Hyped. Highlights From DTCN2011

Here are six themes that I took away from this year’s DTC National Conference, which took place in Boston April 6-8, 2011.  You can also read the tweets from #DTCN2011, Wendy Blackburn’s recap of Day 1, or take in the video interviews  by Pixels & Pills.

1.       Everybody has a story…Major life ‘events’ are what catapult a person, patient or caregiver to step into an active e-patient and patient advocate role. Myrtle Potter’s near tragic medical event is leading her down the patient advocate path and focusing her efforts behind improving patient literacy and engagement.

At WEGO Health , they say that each health activist has a unique story.  However, they become a health activist when they are talking about health every day and offering support and advice to others online—to the tune of  an average online audience of more than 15,000 every month. Continue reading

Keep Your Brand Healthy And Thriving: Complimentary eBook

With 2011 galloping along and 2012 planning just around the corner, we’re excited to share our Brand Champion Health Check  — a complimentary eBook designed to help marketers and business leads assess their company and brand’s health, and to consider what actions will power successful growth.

While the eBook centers on the Pharma and healthcare industry, it is also highly relevant to any consumer brand.

Champions know that staying in top health is critical and that early detection is key to avoiding costly down time and poor performance – can even mean the difference for survival. However, unlike the many patient health screens available or the ease by which consumers can go for their annual physical, marketers do not have ready access to a thoughtful, comprehensive health check-up.

The Brand Champion Health Check screens three parameters

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Data Visualization And Why All Healthcare Marketers Should Care

In a world where we are bombarded by information, targeted by mass media and social networks, what can we do to make our message heard? How can healthcare, DTC and consumer marketers dimensionalize communications in a way that draws attention and focuses learning to important information and messaging?

Data visualization provides an increasingly powerful means to not only communicate information clearly and effectively, but the wise will consider it critical to help position their companies and brands in digital marketing today.

As outlined by FFunction in it’s report ‘Data Visualization: How To Position Your Company in Digital Marketing’, “The power of visualizations comes from the fact that they stimulate the brain in a different way, by focusing attention on the sensorial and rational sides simultaneously. They act as a discovery game that incites one to focus on the displayed information that might otherwise be left unnoticed.” Continue reading

How To Improve Your Mobile Health Strategy: Five Imperatives

With the exponential growth in mobile adoption, technology and new apps, mobile is on everyone’s list for 2011 and beyond, and rightfully so. The mobile “product” and “channel” offers numerous opportunities for all marketers, healthcare and pharma included.

Consider some of the facts:

  • Mobile will be the primary digital connection for both existing and new customers. [Forester]
  • Today there are well over 400M phones in the US, over 350M applications available for the iPhone and counting with more than 10B downloads. [Forester]
  • Mobile users will surpass desktop users in 5 years.  Mobile growth is the fastest in communications history. [Mary Meeker, KPCB]
  • Physician adoption of mobile devices is astounding. Chilmark  Research estimates 100% of physicians will have a smart phone and use content apps by 12/31/2013–with touchscreen tablet saturation by 2015. Smartphone Apps now focus on communication, alerts and decision support. Clinical reference content is currently leading mHealth apps, but will evolve with the growth of iPad and other touchscreen tablets to provide more flexibility, personalization, patient education…
  • Of the 85% of American adults who use a cell phone, 17% of cell owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information and 29% of cell owners ages 18-29 have done such searches. [Pew Internet Mobile Health 2010]

Continue reading

Diabetes Alert Day: Secrets from a Health Coach and Competitive Power Lifter!

March 22 kicks off ADA’s Diabetes Alert Day, a one-day “wake-up” call asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Alert Day kicks off ADA’s “Join the Million Challenge,” which runs through April 22 with the goal of rallying ONE MILLION people to take the Diabetes Risk Test.  

 In honor of Diabetes Alert Day, and my Dad who lived with Type 2 diabetes, I want to introduce Ginger Vieira, a health coach, writer, and diabetes expert at  www.Living-in-progress.com and author of her new book “Your Diabetes Science Experiment.” She’s lived with Type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease for 12 years. As an avid athlete, Ginger has set 15 records in drug-tested powerlifting with her best lifts being a 190 lb bench press, 265 lb squat, and a 308 lb deadlift.

I was introduced to Ginger by Loretta Jamar [@nurseloretta] because Ginger acted as a health coach to her teenage son struggling with his new diagnosis of diabetes.  He found Ginger’s YouTube videos much more interesting and helpful than the typical doctor or mommy “speak”!

Continue reading

Pharma Marketers: 6 Key Skills Every Brand Champion Will Possess

In our ever-changing media landscape, coupled with increasingly powerful ePatient communities, a demand for new standards has arisen.  As a result, Pharma [and in reality all marketers] must accelerate their skills in six key areas to separate their marketing communications, and become brand champions. 

Read the full article in DTC Perspectives March 2011: Tough Demands to Galvanize Marketing Communications: 2011 Brand Champions Will Possess Six Key Skills.

Every marketer knows that spurring brand and patient success requires building on wisdom from the past, while honing new abilities to educate, motivate and converse with patients and their families.  Savvy marketers know that the 4P’s – also renamed SIVA [Solution, Information, Value, Access] to provide greater customer focus- have never been more critical.  In addition, 2011 brand champions are challenged to create Michael Porter’s “shared value”, accelerating skills in six areas:

  1. Dynamic listening and action, real-time. Astute marketers take dynamic listening seriously- they know who to listen to, where to listen, what’s most important to take note of, and are eminently geared to take action by responding nimbly to new learning.  Champion marketers know that listening without action is as dangerous as acting without listening. Continue reading