On Friday 15th March 2013 I lead this mHealth masterclass for the SMIGroup in London on the topic of the mHealth Future of Pharma. Here’s my slide deck:
My take aways:
> Behaving like a media company is a completely foreign concept for most pharmaceutical brands.
It amazes me how little effort pharma brands are committing to reshaping themselves to fit the reality of today’s hyper connected world. I think everyone should read about the fantastic data debate that was generated by a NY Times reporter testing the latest electric car and the brand value this will have contributed to Elon Musk and his Teslsa brand.
During the discussion that followed the talk I was clicking to links/videos that feature on this blog and one of the delegates asked how can we sign up to access the “mHealth Insight resource”. The delegate was amazed to learn that we’ve made nearly 2000 posts totally free to access because we regard these conversations as critical to helping customers to appreciate the value of 3G Doctor and the future opportunities for care services we will be able to serve.
To me it’s abundantly clear that as mHealth opens access to bio data that will indicate the effectiveness of any medical intervention any brand that wants to operate in this field will have to intimately understand that Communities Dominate Brands and that we’ve reached the end of Straight Line Thinking.
> The biggest challenge for Pharma: who’s going to lead this for us?
From the discussion with delegates it’s clear mHealth’s biggest challenge for pharma is not that it’s something that they don’t want to do but it’s the hottest area for growth and within these large companies they now have a problem because EVERYONE wants to be leading it.
It always surprised me when I talk to brands like Pfizer that they have agencies in one market making iPhone Apps or paying companies to do activities that they should be doing as part of their core service to ensure they are creating these skills within their business. In some cases you can even see instances where agencies are doing work that is directly competing with companies that the Pharma brand already owns (eg. ManMOT/MDVIP).
> Do we just let an agency do this for us?
It always amazes me that so many people in the healthcare industry think it’s a good idea to outsource information and customer touch points. The NHS makes a classic example of this when it outsources the provision of patient information so it doesn’t have to pay for leaflets but at the same time hands this patient touch point over to a company that provides no win no fee claims.
> The advice I would give a Pharma brand that wants to lead the mHealth market of tomorrow
i) Accept that the world has radically changed because we’ve reached the Mobile Moment and it’s now time for your company to go mobile first. From this day forward you are prioritising leveraging the newest mass media first and foremost. Every single touch point will be built out from a mobile product first. Your best people will be from now on working on mHealth.
ii) Create a vision and share a video with staff/investors/partners making it all clear to employees. Kaiser have done a great job of this and watching their video should give you lots of ideas. If you need inspiration get your team to a big mHealth Conference for a deep dive experience (I would recommend the mHealth Symposium that’s held in Dublin in May or mHealth Summit that’s held in Washington DC in December)
iii) Ask staff to give you feedback on your vision video and what they would do differently. Let them have every Friday off for a month to do this self directed work (eg with their self selected colleagues, on their own at home, etc)
iv) Create a mHealth team. Eating your own food is critical so get them to start using mHealth tech and services and ensure they are working to mobilise all staff healthcare services. Together with a Mobile Industry expert let them pick the disruptive talent that will join them from the projects that have been submitted.
v) Assign a team to research and register some key mHealth assets eg. if your brand is Pfizer work out how you can get global ownership of the 734937 short code, etc.
vi) Revise and finalise your vision video and then share it publicly at a leading industry event like the mHealth Symposium. This video will help employees and investors understand the direction the company they are working for is going, it will encourage other market participants to approach you as a potential partner or want to work with you, it will help your staff understand if they are thinking of having leaflets made up they are expected to produce a mobile approach first, etc.