All Posts By

Alfred O'Neill

Surprise! EHR’s are hurting not helping the doctor /patient relationship.

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Summary: A healthy Patient-Doctor relationship is the core of all healthcare.  This reports on a JAMA* study as well as one brilliant doctors’ personal view on the impact of EHR’s on that hallowed relationship. When JAMA publishes a study, everyone pays attention. But this was not a clinical study; this was research into the impact of EHR’s (Electronic Health Records) on the patient-doctor relationship. They videotaped numerous consults and them interviewed the patient afterward. Guess what, the news is not good. (Especially for those Biopharma marketers looking at EHR’s as a new promotion channel: do you really want to annoy the doctor more by interrupting their work with a savings card?) With the healthcare system was heading towards the abyss of being…

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Will price wars destroy the possibility of a Patient Sales Force & Patient-centricity?

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Summary: after a decade or more of having the Biopharma industry wrestle to embrace Patient-centricity, and with it the opportunity to create patient demand and loyalty for more expensive, branded treatments, a chasm is growing which could derail it all. As always, a true issue for marketers can often be the culmination of many discussions, news, interviews, charts and stats. This week an issue that has always been part of the negative dynamic between Biopharma manufacturers, Payers and patients has risen from what seemed like an endless family squabble to a seismic shift in reality that impacts everything we as marketers do — yet is out of our control. Price.  And if price is ALL that matters, then what a…

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Part 2: HCP Marketing: The enemy is Time

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Summary: On Part 1 I posted last week, I stated a number of factors that focused on why HCP’s are so hard to impact and engage these days. Yes there is plethora of means to do so, but there are also many barriers. The main one is they have no time! This post focuses on the App-mania…the challenges HCP’s face as they try to work with their patients, satisfaction ratings and Outcomes. Let’s look at mHealth App-Mania as I like to call it. Reports say upwards of 50% of doctors recommend Apps…yet only a slightly lower % also report they get bombarded by their patients FitBit etc, data. The mHealth App world is a train wreck, only now starting to…

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Part 1: HCP Marketing: The real enemy is Time & poor Customer Experience

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Summary: My last Linkedin entry spoke to the Omni-channel doctor. How did they become Omni-channel customers? What market forces have made them information-grazers? What can we do about it? There are many reasons – several of which I lay out here for discussion. This topic is complex and thus I am breaking it into several parts. This is Part 1. Healthcare Professional marketing today? We’re in the age of No See, No Time, No idea what will work. If you are thinking of embracing Customer Experience as a holistic, grand and somewhat empathetic strategy, we need to understand that HCP’s are facing more difficult demands and challenges than ever before. What kinds? What does it mean? This past few weeks,…

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Chicken Little and Customer Experience

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Summary: this post discusses the collision between expectations based on our customer-centric world and the failure of many business to address the need for an almost obsessive focus on Customer Experience (and measurement!) The CMO Council issued a stunning report on the need for better Customer Experiences but also the utter lack of alignment to make it happen. I am including all industries not just healthcare. Ok the sky is not falling, but the healthcare industry seems to be failing in the Customer Experience arena. Stepping back and looking at “Customer” as all consumers, we all know that because of consumerization, policy, technology, formulary, no-see policies and a highly conservative regulatory environment, you have a perfect storm of a demanding…

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H2H Marketing in Biopharma: A Utopian ideal, naivete or the inevitable and needed conclusion.

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So what happens when Biopharma deploys all the digital/multi-channel technology it is investing in? A vessel without a mission is one adrift. You won’t just be crunching data, blasting emails and refining Segments, you will be speaking with people, on their terms and with their own specific emotions and motivations. Time to talk about H2H. H2H, in simplest terms, is approaching marketing from a profoundly human, empathetic, authenticity-based common sense approach. It is the wrapper around the technology. Why is H2H important to know about? Because to ignore it is to court failure of the greatest magnitude and to embrace it is to pave the path to a future where healthcare is truly patient-centric and our industry reputation goes from…

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Inspiration-time! Great sites for UX, Story-telling (and not Pharma! one’s either!

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Navel-gazing, they call it.This used to be the expression for folks who were too self-engrossed to see beyond their belly button. All too frequently, all of us suffer from it. With content creation, technology and media evolution happening faster than Moore’s Law, it is very easy to become myopic in how we view Digital/MCM. To get past this, we should search, crave, embrace sources of inspiration to make ourselves smarter, better marketers. Case in point: I was working with some great folks at AppWapp in Montreal (http://www.appwapp.com/en/index.php), and the project/design lead, Sabrina, and I were struggling a bit to take my Brand Exercise output and craft the new Web site experience for Pleio, the patient adherence company. I suspect I…

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mHealth Apps: Brands missing both ends of the Patient Journey

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mHealth Apps. As the saying goes, so much sound and fury signifying nothing. The stats are abysmal: 26% of health apps used only once 75% of all Apps get deleted within 3 months due to people not want to spend the time learning how to use them* 90% abandonment after 6 months** 57% of apps brought in fewer than 500 downloads** Just look at what IMS uncovered in an incredibly thorough mHealth App analysis last fall. Over 46,000 health-related Apps reviewed. Even with the rush-to-App that has occurred, there is a chasm between the good intentions of the Brand/Company and the needs of the patient. This chasm can be overcome. Frankly, to avoid irrelevance, it must be overcome. As with…

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I hate predictions, so here goes!

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Don’t you feel it? Everything seems to be moving faster. Have we sped up? No, we are being led by the Speed of Digital. When the Unilever head of marketing, worldwide, declared “Digital is dying,” he made it clear it was dead as a  separate “thing” or media or channel: it is ubiquitous. That it true. My old boss, Charlie Tarzian once told me, in the year 2000: the Internet is elastic, you make of it what you want. For all of you who study and read our industry, sometimes a moment occurs when the lens comes into focus. I would say that the paths and predictions I see emerging are: A 5-screen world (the 5th being your car…scary, I…

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