July 28, 2021
Today, the pharmaceutical industry is going through a massive shift. Pharma companies are becoming more and more advanced and put their focus on healthcare professionals (HCPs). Frequently, these organisations use the latest smart and AI-based technologies to achieve their goals, which consist primarily in reaching HCPs effectively and building their loyalty. In this article, we are going to show you some of these cutting-edge solutions (e-learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, gamification), tell you how they can be implemented in your company and what results you can expect in return. It’s time to up your marketing game!
There is no doubt that the pharma industry is evolving before our eyes. Although many people perceive this sector as fossilised and limited by hundreds of regulations and laws (we have to admit, there is some truth to that), pharma companies are managing to push through them and are introducing new solutions and products. In general, there is one ultimate goal – to build long-lasting relations with healthcare professionals. After all, they are the major target group for every pharma company.
Our role is to help these companies achieve this goal effectively and easily. We use multiple technologies to make this happen. For starters, on a daily basis, we use complex DXP platforms to streamline all the communication and sales-related processes. However, there’s more.
Earlier this year, we conducted a survey on digital innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. It provided us with tons of valuable data concerning the current shape of the pharma industry. One of the questions we asked was this:
As you can see, there are three clear leaders:
Let’s take a closer look at them!
Pharma companies have been using artificial intelligence extensively for some time now. For instance, they use AI-based algorithms to facilitate the drug development process. Here, technologies such as machine and deep learning are critical. They help with the entire process, from research and looking for an adequate chemical compound to clinical tests. But that’s just the beginning. AI and big data can easily be used to reach doctors and build their loyalty. How?
Shortly put, AI offers tools that allow you to reach HCPs exactly when they need assistance. Solutions like chatbots and voice assistants are available 24/7 and are convenient to use, which encourages physicians to use them.
For example, recently, Bayer launched their first AMI (assistant for medical information) voicebot for physicians. Their solution is based on Google Assistant and can be used by HCPs to get information on the specific drug instantly. Currently, AMI provides information on five medicines, but this project will be further developed.
And here’s another example. In June 2021, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services launched a new chatbot for their website HIV.gov. Thanks to this service, users can easily get all the HIV-related information they need. All they have to do is ask specific questions and engage in a conversation.
If you are interested in chatbots and voicebots, take a look at our MatPrat case study. It perfectly shows that developing a bot can be cheaper and more straightforward than you’d think! We believe that a properly designed virtual assistant can be a huge milestone in your marketing and communication efforts. They are quick, convenient to use, accessible and more and more advanced. Today, virtual assistants are capable of answering even complex questions, making them versatile tools for HCPs.
These two examples, although fascinating, barely scratch the surface of AI and big data in healthcare. Healthcare and pharma companies use artificial intelligence and big data to:
The next point on our list is related to digital training. This element is critical, especially in the times of covid-19, when offline meetings are limited to a minimum, and the vast majority of conferences, seminars and workshops happen online.
In our research, over 70% of respondents said they are currently working on a digital training project. Thanks to remote education, you can:
Moreover, AI-fuelled digital training offers a tremendous possibility to individualise the learning process. Advanced digital training platforms can give users (in our case, HCPs) challenges they are ready for, identify their gaps in knowledge, and show them new topics when appropriate. As a result, you can guide the physicians you’re working with through the knowledge you want them to obtain.
Now, combine the e-learning solution with other modern technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and gamification, and you can easily make digital training in pharma engaging and interesting. Let’s talk a bit more about that.
More and more pharmaceutical companies use gamification to improve their sales and marketing efforts. Consider The Detective, a new game made by The Training Arcade company. Pharma companies can use it to enhance their sales reps' judgment, problem-solving, and cognitive processing skills. In this game, sales reps learn how to approach physicians more effectively, primarily by determining the best sales approach:
Games and apps can help your pharma company:
Simple additions like scoreboards, badges and leagues can make your project successful.
You can use augmented reality and virtual reality to help physicians improve their skills. Imagine an app that uses augmented or virtual reality to help HCPs train on virtual patients who need a specific procedure or treatment. Such simulation-based training can be highly effective!
According to Veeva (it’s a cloud-based platform i.a. for content management in the healthcare sector) experts, “HCPs expectations increase for digital engagement. Finding new ways to interact with them can serve as a true differentiator and help foster more personal relationships”.
In their issue from June 2019, Pharma Voice published an article that tackled AR and VR in the healthcare world. Here are some of the crucial findings from this article:
If you want to read more about AR, take a look at another post on our blog.
Touch Surgery is a company developing AR pharma apps that help physicians improve their skills. They boast of developing the very first academically validated mobile surgical training system in the world. Check out their latest creation:
Lastly, we want to talk about content management for a moment. This area of running a pharma company is challenging, to say the least. Everything you write and publish has to be verified and accepted by several departments within your company and frequently by a specific regulatory body, too. That’s why pharma companies use advanced CMS platforms, frequently referred to as DXPs, in order to streamline content production and management.
Circassia, one of our healthcare clients, works with us on their content. The results are more than satisfactory. Circassia reports a 15% increase in new lead generation and a 30% increase in web traffic, and all of that is thanks to a well-thought-out content strategy. If you want to find out more, read our Circassia case study.
In this article, we showed you several technologies and applications that currently transform the pharmaceutical industry. However, without a doubt, they are not just all about looking good and innovative. Our study and many other reports show that pharmaceutical companies simply have to adopt these technologies to reach HCPs because they expect that.
With these new communication channels, doctors have access to all the information they need precisely when they need it. Additionally, smart technologies make the whole process more flexible and accurate. There’s no art for art’s sake here. Everything serves a specific purpose. And speaking of flexibility: For many people, even those acquainted with modern technologies, AI is instantly associated with high costs and complexity. It doesn’t have to look that way! Of course, developing an entirely new digital training platform can be pricey and time-consuming. But there are many ways to achieve similar goals without investing hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros.
If you’re thinking about adopting smart solutions in your healthcare company, just drop us a line and tell us something more about your ideas. We will gladly help you find the best way to achieve your goals without emptying your budget!
Paul is a digital problem solver who supports international customers with design and technology. For the past 8 years, he has helped many companies and organisations with their digital transformation and business growth by leveraging digital channels.
Contact Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org