While pharma sales rep access has been shut down, the vast majority of physician offices across specialties in the U.S. remain open to patients in need. Some physicians are suggesting calling ahead or using FaceTime or telemedicine visits for non-urgent issues, with the vast majority of physicians and nurses still coming into their primary practice daily, to service their patient populations in-office or from afar.

“We are not turning anyone away who has a need or desire to be seen at this time,” Dr. Mia Taormina, infectious disease department chair at Illinois-based DuPage Medical Group, which has about 120 locations, told Modern Healthcare.

In rare disease and specialty areas such as Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Cardiology, and Oncology, patients that need care are being treated.

Dr. Sandip P. Patel, a medical oncologist, cancer researcher, and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, says his hospital is still treating people with aggressive cancers without delay in the era of COVID-19.

“Cancer patients have enough to think about, so I think it is important for us to relay that their care will continue, whether it be standard of care or on a clinical trial,” Dr. Patel told Healthline. “For patients who need cancer care now, it is still full steam ahead. Cancer is not going to take a timeout during COVID-19, nor will we.”

Internet use, personal mobile, and tablet use and engagement with pharma targeted messaging is on the rise. During the month of March, the nation has netted a 70% increase in internet usage overall, according to TechRepublic. TI Health has seen a palpable uptick in mobile and digital engagements.

  • Since March 12th, we’ve engaged 1.5 million target list professionals on their laptop and desktop devices, resulting in twice the expected click-thru activity to professional websites and portals vs. pre-COVID ad-serving periods.
  • Since March 12th, we’ve also engaged 245,000 professionals on mobile and tablet devices while they were at their primary practice location, resulting in twice the click-thru activity normally seen when targeting professionals on personal devices while at their point of care.

In April, with the majority of the U.S. still on varying degrees of lockdown, TI Health non-personal solutions saw a dramatic increase in mobile and handheld screen time and mobile device usage, up 80%. Specialty physicians in the most critical disease states such as Oncology were engaged in both community and academic settings and were more available and active than in pre-COVID periods, with 2x the level of exposure and engagement.

To download TI Health’s full report on April Non Personal Insights and Metrics, click here.

What Kind of Messaging is Resonating?

  • Banner messaging and educational or instructional videos to providers about adherence, efficacy, and dosing.
  • Banners educating providers about on-demand services such as “click to call” or an offer to speak to their medical liaison.
  • Clinical newsletters: Physicians are in research mode, eager to gather clinical data in their field that would have been provided at an annual congress or meeting that has been cancelled or postponed.
  • Newsletters that aggregate the “best of” virtual medical meeting presentations and assays.
  • Cost assistance and access support information for providers to share with patients, who may have formulary hurdles or a gap in coverage.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers seeking to inform, educate, and support the provider as they navigate a new virtual treatment regime will come out on top.

While pharma sales reps remain benched or restricted, the need for providers to absorb information that would otherwise have been shared face to face is the perfect prescription for educational videos, first administration instructions, label changes, new indication announcements, clinical trial recruitment—via banners, videos, clinical emails—and other highly targeted non-personal solutions.

Whether we’re engaging providers on personal devices in the practice setting or messaging on laptops or tablets, we expect to see physicians and nurses continue to seek out information and consume content at much higher rates than previous (pre-COVID) periods now and in the months to come.

This is a sponsored post from TI Health, an intelligent data-driven marketing company, serving leading pharmaceutical and healthcare marketers in the United States. TI Health deploys targeted ad messaging to healthcare professionals and patients with a focus on mobile and tablet device engagement and non-personal promotion. TI Health can deploy advertisements specifically to the handheld devices of healthcare professionals or patients when they are in the vicinity of their practice or point of care location, in response to highly targeted and timely data feeds such as diagnostics, labs, claims, and formulary access data. TI Health is headquartered in New York City and has additional offices in Santa Monica, California. Get in touch with Erin DeRuggiero at erin@tihealth.com.

  • Erin DeRuggiero

    Erin DeRuggiero is a fast-rising healthcare entrepreneur and company executive, leading change in healthcare innovation, female-led startups, and gender equity. As TI Health’s CEO, Erin brings more than 20 years of digital advertising and healthcare experience to the data-driven marketing company where she works extensively with leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical devices, and their respective advertising agencies to create palpable, positive impact across hundreds of therapeutics, devices, and brands.


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