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Go Digital From Get-Go: Boosting Patient Communication at Point of Care


Pharmaceutical Executive

In our final Q&A installment previewing next week’s iPharma2014 digital forum.

In our final Q&A installment previewing next week’s iPharma2014 digital forum (May 8-9 in NYC), we spoke with Matthew Fanelli and John Kenyon of Time Inc.’s MNI Targeted Media Group, who will present on Digital, Big Data, and the Point of Care-What You Need to Know to Improve Patient Communication.” Fanelli is senior VP, digital, at MNI and Targeted Media Health. He helped develop MNI’s big data solution, Omnipoint, a proprietary market-collection and media-performance analysis tool. Kenyon is VP, managing director, where he oversees Targeted Media Health’s business functions related to print, digital, custom publishing, and point of care.

More than anything else, during their 40-minute iPharma session, Fanelli and Kenyon hope to explore the idea of how to integrate point of care with patient communication beyond the use of traditional digital and non-digital methods. They’ll talk about ways to reach specific patients in specific markets using historical campaign data and widely syndicated data-an approach, they say, allows for a more holistic view of the individual patient in all aspects of their life.


PE: Amid the rise of digital, how should the notion of point of care be defined today?

Matt Fanelli

Fanelli: It really is about the digital immersion of the user and point of care. What are the strategic ways that we’re going to be able to engage with them and bring them into the fold of the conversation in the healthcare space? It’s no longer about just one touchpoint, but about multiples and what that whole immersion looks like. A lot of that ties into targeting and big data, and ensuring that you’re in front of the right audience and that you’re targeting them with the right messages. It’s always about that fine line between advertising and content. Anything that enriches someone’s life is really considered content. Just because that may come across as an advertising message doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s not something that’s going to immerse the user.

PE: With consumers so much more educated and informed today about their conditions, how important is it to improve patient communication at the point of care?

John Kenyon

Kenyon: If you and I tomorrow developed a drug for acne, and we only had a million dollars to spend on DTC advertising, we would be foolish not to take a significant percentage of that million and put it in point of care. Point-of-care dollars spent are by far the most efficient in the healthcare space, because you’re able to target patients in the moments before they’re going to talk to the physician. You’re also able to target very specific offices.

What’s happened post-patent cliff is that pharmaceutical marketers now need to be that much more efficient with their dollars, because it’s been documented that there’s been millions of dollars wasted in DTC advertising. The CFOs of these pharma companies-both large and small-are now holding their brand teams much more accountable for the return metrics than they ever did in the past. Point of care is much more return-metrics centric than traditional broadcast. It mimics what we have in digital. That’s why it’s so important with this particular iPharma conference, to bring point of care into that discussion, because it really does have a lot of the key performance indicators that digital had.

And it happens in the 25 minutes before you go in to see your physician, to drive a very specific conversation. One of the metrics that our clients point to is the quality of the conversation that health seekers are going to have with their physician is significantly higher than what they would have had in the absence of any kind of point of care. Our point of care is advertising on covers of People magazine that are going into very specialized networks of offices based on prescribing patterns of physicians. Beyond that experience and what you do from a compliance advocacy and information-seeking standpoint, that’s where digital is such an important part of pharma.

PE: Which digital mediums are accomplishing communication at the point of care the best?

Fanelli: It would be great to reach those people that connect onto a Wi-Fi in a physician’s office. The reality of that is I don’t know how many people would actually connect via a Wi-Fi.  That’s where things like grid technology and geo-fencing around a particular doctor’s office-or a grouping of specialty offices- really come into play from a mobile perspective. I think that is the most effective from a targeting and an efficiency perspective, because you’re pinpointing to that specific location-the endocrinologist office or the gastroenterologist office, etc. We’ve also looked quite a bit conceptually at digital [technologies] out of the home, with the screens in the doctor’s office; those are somewhat disjointed.

Kenyon: In my perspective, the digital at point of care is all mobile. The only relevant consumer experiences are going to happen in a mobile environment. Yes, you will have experiences such as a physician might have a conversation or show something to a patient in a very limited framework. But the patient-driven mobile experience-whether it be through a smartphone or tablet device-are really where the most innovation and the most real solutions are going to evolve in the point-of-care space.

That’s because it doesn’t have to limit them to just the point-of-care experience. As the treatment options and the world evolves beyond the single-payer and the patient-physician as the central part of healthcare, that also evolves to a much more interactive experience between the patient and some type of caregiver; a patient and some type of healthcare practitioner; a patient and a pharmacist; and a patient and a payer intermediary organization. Patients need to have things that they can take with them beyond the point of care in an interactive environment. I think in five years, all of us will have a little dashboard on our smart devices that will tell us how we’re doing in this very moment-based on food consumption, exercise-and when your next doctor’s visit is.

We’re going to get there, so the bridge between here and there is going to involve all types of technology. Our stake in the ground is really going to be mobile when it comes to point of care.

PE: What are some ways pharma companies can break down the “big data conundrum” that you hear about and turn it into “smart data” to help better understand their market?

Fanelli: It’s about that real-life, real-time, first-party data, which is KPI (key performance indicator) driven, and layering that on top of a program. That’s an evolution, that’s something that changes pretty frequently based on geography, category, who’s the audience target, what type of specialty does the provider have, and most importantly, what’s the key performance indicator for the campaign. Conceptually, it’s the idea to take this first-party data and layer that on top of a future campaign to somewhat predetermine the existing or futuristic outcome of what’s going to happen.

Kenyon: To provide an example, last year we ran 1,200 digital campaigns across about 8,000 different sites; only a small percentage of those are health sites. If we’re working on a client campaign in a few weeks for an acne series, for example, to reach kids in “x” households and “x” types of neighborhoods, we can now go back and look at all those 1,200 campaigns and pull out specific filters that would be applicably to the campaign we’re looking at running-and then create this predictive model. It’s a predictive model based on historical data.

Another big part of this is syndicated research and all the syndicated data that we pull down from the big data providers. It’s those two things working together to create a tool that helps build the campaigns and optimizes them as they’re running in the digital space. It is our answer to big data.

PE: How can these approaches be applied to healthcare, where brand teams are increasingly challenged to break down all this big data?

Kenyon: At the conference, a couple of our slides will show a depiction of a market. We might take Orlando, Fla., and we’ll show what our big data tells us about that market just from a very overarching macro level. And then we’ll give you specific recommendations on what the best media-mix model needs to look like to reach people that are going to the dermatologist office, for example, that are currently using a Walgreens, and are in “a,” “b,” and “c” counties. It can be as robust as you need it to be. We’ll show how the aggregation of big data into a single resource can make it simple for these clients to understand very local markets.

PE: Why is a comprehensive strategy-one that combines digital and point of care-necessary today when engaging patients and physicians about a brand?

Fanelli: It’s simply what the data is clearly demonstrating-that a mixed-media model is much better in terms of depth of engagement and depth of reach-two key drivers of success-in surrounding any type of consumer group in the U.S. It applies internationally as well.

Kenyon: It’s also because, depending on the type of media, you have such fragmentation across user behavior pattern. If you’re not doing a media mix, you’re missing a very large portion of a potential target audience.

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