ELITE Digital Crusader Jay Appel of Amgen

Jay Appel

Lead, Global Digital Engagement and Data Sciences (Amgen Digital Health)




Pushing the Limits of Digital

Jason (Jay) Appel has been leading a digital movement in the pharma industry for the past 20 years, from his time driving the adoption of digital efforts across multiple life science companies (from within and as consultant to Sanofi, Genentech, Allergan, and Biogen, to name a few) to more recently when he helped start up Amgen Digital Health in late 2014. Jay has always recognized the need for pharma to place digital more central to commercial strategy, and he has demonstrated this point through several highly innovative projects with measurable top- and bottom-line impact.

His long list of accomplishments includes leading the launch of Amgen’s first patient-facing branded app in the U.S. This optional digital companion supports patients (and their caregivers) using Amgen’s unique on-body injector. This app helps patients through time-based notifications, patient education tutorials and videos, and one-touch support to connect to Amgen’s support line. All-in-all this was designed to improve the patient and caregiver experience and complement the innovative delivery option.

Want more examples of his digital acumen? His team is demonstrating the power of Big Data and predictive analytics to significantly improve online customer engagement. He is also testing machine-learning algorithms to adjust digital marketing approaches in real time based on physician online behavior. And his team leveraged sophisticated online media tools and techniques (such as curated landing pages) to help customers get more timely and relevant answers to their most pertinent questions. These efforts helped to more than double click-through rates and patient engagement in several instances while driving more efficient marketing spend across the portfolio.

Currently, Jay is looking to expand his digital movement both globally and further upstream into research and development. On the global front, Jay would like to accelerate digital adoption in other countries—using more than a decade of learnings in the U.S. to help them avoid common pitfalls. One pilot looks to use digital tools to improve opinion leader engagement across multiple countries and regions. Additionally, he wants to find ways to leverage the learnings of digital engagement from the commercial setting so development partners have digital options at their disposal to foster faster trial recruitment and improved trial retention.


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