Innovators 2014: Services

Feature Articles by on December 13th, 2014

The Harvard Business Review recently interviewed 58 CEOs in the healthcare sector, and the words they most used to describe the keys to their organizations’ futures: Change and innovation. What else could it be? As the healthcare system continues evolving and becomes more focused on delivering value, companies need to find new ways to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. Innovation may be more important to this industry’s success than ever before—and marketers are not exempt from this challenge. Not only should they help find ways to provide more value to customers, but they must also continue to adapt to the ever-changing means by which people communicate. This requires new solutions, offerings and thinking that can solve the problems life science companies currently face—as well as problems they are sure to face right
around the corner.

We highlight these forward-thinkers in our third annual Innovations in Pharma Marketing special issue and provide a guide to the Companies, Divisions, Products, People, Services and Strategies that can help create success in the New Year. Once again, our call for innovation did not go unheard. We were bombarded with remarkable submissions from across the industry. The following represent a select collection of today’s best industry innovations and innovators. These range from exciting new ways to speed up drug discovery and development to a platform that can revolutionize rare disease marketing. That’s just a taste! Between the 62 innovations/innovators in this issue and the directory of some of today’s most innovative companies, we believe you’ll find plenty of ideas to help make 2015
a great year.

Here are our picks for services. The most compelling offerings from companies that meet the current needs of life science marketers.

THE KNOWledge PATH: Cello Health Communications


How do you get HCPs or patients to “do something different” that benefits both them and your brand? The classic “reason to believe” communications scenario is no longer powerful enough to get people to decide to change their behavior.

The KNOWledge Path process helps companies understand the components of their customers’ decisions and behavior (the “why” and the “what”), which helps inform specifically how to impact these in a way that effectively changes behavior while also addressing visible and invisible barriers.

The KNOWledge Path maps the patient/consumer journey to make evident what they are doing now—for the undiagnosed, where they go; and for the diagnosed, what they think, feel and do at this point in their condition. The path then leads to what happens when patients go to the HCP—eliciting the factors that would be influencing the treatment choices of HCPs, thus highlighting the drivers of that behavior, how they have the formed their opinions, and what levers need to be pulled to influence them to “do something different.”

The KNOWledge Path ensures there is clear understanding of the consumer/patient pathway as well as the drivers of HCP behavior. This facilitates development of a strategy and tactical programming that will activate all those levels and provide for straightforward metrics of success.



Cegedim’s Customer Engagement Hub will revolutionize the lives of life sciences marketers. By seamlessly converging HCP data from traditional, digital and social engagements and activity, life sciences enterprises can draw deeper, more meaningful and predictive insights. In a world of data overload, the Customer Engagement Hub empowers companies to better capitalize on historically siloed interactions systems via a centralized, easy-to-access, scalable hub.

The hub illustrates an optimal and a personalized information journey for each HCP—recommending the path for a greater connection between the needs of a customer and the content that’s presented to them. This is accomplished because the Customer Engagement Hub reveals unseen customer behavior with highly configurable algorithms to analyze and score customers’ behaviors. By employing cross-channel intelligence to deeply know and profile customers/prospects in this multi-dimensional multichannel era, the hub enables better engagement and more effective dialogue with HCPs. As a result, the solution “closes the marketing loop” by uncovering which mix of marketing channels are the most successful and leverage the respective insights for subsequent campaigns.

This represents the first step in Big Data analytics for marketers at leading life sciences companies by moving from purely descriptive tools to more predictive through “Machine Learning”—enabling companies to make truly data-powered decisions. Finally, these insights will be a key ingredient in successful companies’ multichannel marketing strategies.

AOD HEALTH: Publicis Health Media and VivaKi


Programmatic buying and addressable media provide highly effective and efficient solutions to digital advertisers, while providing relevant experiences to intended target audiences. Until recently the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry has been hesitant to embrace this space, due to nuanced category-specific regulations and the reluctance to intrude upon consumer privacy. The ability to leverage programmatic workflow efficiencies, addressable media and “Big Data” provides advertisers refined approaches to hyper-targeting audiences across digital channels, while achieving critical reach and scalability. For healthcare and pharma advertisers to participate in this space the industry just needed to address these nuances. Publicis Health Media and VivaKi have done just that, by developing AOD Health.

AOD Health is a health-centric, first-in-class programmatic service-centered approach that combines VivaKi’s addressable media capability with Publicis Health Media’s healthcare-specific digital media planning and buying expertise. This exclusive product provides clients access to premium inventory, data and technology partnerships, while addressing brand safety and medical regulatory compliance requirements. AOD Health offers consolidated management, verified technology and data, premium inventory access, dedicated service and transparent optimization. This product also allows clients to maintain control of how they reach consumers and where, offering visibility into the strategies and tactics that drive audience engagement and ROI. AOD Health is poised to leverage the power of health-centric data, while never breaching the sensitivities of consumer privacy.



Concentric Health Experience expanded their innovative service, Concentric Health Intelligence, which provides clients such as Otsuka/Lundbeck and Medtronic a service that moves beyond traditional research to provide actionable insights for their brands.

Concentric Health Intelligence offers a 360° immersion process that leverages a mix of traditional and non-traditional methodologies to mine for insights across key stakeholders—patient, payer and physician. Those insights are then used to create an integrated channel strategy that considers how customers think, as well as how they feel, to understand how best to engage.

According to Antoinette Bobbitt, EVP, Director of Strategy and Head of Concentric Health Intelligence, this new service represents a critical step forward for the industry. “Exploration of insights at the intersection of the clinical, emotional and practical improves the industry by acknowledging change and fearlessly moving with it,” she says.

The primary challenge to leveraging this unique data, Bobbitt adds, is influencing pace of change within the industry. While innovators all appreciate the benefits of transformational breakthroughs, few want to be the first to take the risk. Concentric strives not only to show clients the benefits of being an early adopter, but is willing to go on the journey with them.

Many brands are already taking note. As of October 2014, 40% of Concentric’s clients leverage Concentric Health Intelligence to create more informed and innovative strategies.

INTUNE MCM: Intouch Solutions


Since 1999, Intouch Solutions has been digital at its core, providing the pharmaceutical industry with innovative brand-building solutions and strategic services. Among their newest offerings is INTUNE MCM, the agency’s proprietary, multichannel planning methodology.

INTUNE MCM methodology works differently. It fuses brand planning, CRM planning and analytics, and multiple strategies including multichannel, creative, content, digital, user experience, global and medical. Intouch collaborates seamlessly to create a strategic and tactical plan that balances effective customer engagement with cost efficiencies derived from careful planning, targeting and ongoing program optimization.

The first step is defining the brand strategy. That involves mining for trends and insights that reveal the barriers and drivers to achieving objectives. This is translated into a practical marketing strategy, fine-tuned for each segment.

Intouch then designs a multichannel marketing blueprint—an ecosystem that encompasses the customer experience and an engagement plan across all channels for each audience.

The third step delivers an actionable, practical, multichannel go-to-market plan that articulates integrated tactical recommendations.

To build meaningful relationships, your brand and its marketing mix must be in tune with customers and their world. INTUNE MCM surrounds the customer journey with a comprehensive and connected ecosystem with touch points that are carefully chosen and timed based on customer needs and preferences, market insights and brand objectives.



As pharmaceutical companies begin to implement Risk-Based Monitoring (RBM) of clinical studies, many are confronting a significant uncertainty: How can sponsors adopt RBM in a way that does not increase risks in regulatory approval?

inVentiv Health Clinical’s innovation addresses that uncertainty by improving the rigor in the first step of Risk-Based Management—risk assessment. Using regulator-endorsed Quality Risk Management methods (QRM), inVentiv creates a body of evidence linking each individual risk that could harm data integrity or human subject safety to a specific risk minimization action and specific key risk indicators.

inVentiv calls this service Systematic Risk Assessment—a giant step forward from the typical ad hoc approach to RBM.

Clients report three significant benefits from Systematic Risk Assessment. 1) Combining it with QRM provides breakthrough insights into how to direct resources to improve specific study quality. 2) The process can be applied more generally to support a broader Quality by Design effort to improve the quality and efficiency of any clinical study. 3) This process builds a body of evidence that is defensible with regulators to avoid problems and delays later on, thus regulatory risk is mitigated.

Next year many more pharma companies will be integrating this risk management approach into clinical development programs and the governance of those programs as they become familiar with the enormous benefits achieved by early adapters.



The point of care discussion between doctors and patients has grown increasingly strained in recent years. Doctors are frustrated that they do not have adequate time to spend with patients, and 60% of patients report feeling rushed through their doctor’s appointments.*

To address this growing point of care discussion gap, Lifescript has partnered with leading physicians in key specialties to create the Interactive Physician Consult. This doctor-narrated consultation helps patients prepare for their doctor’s appointments, maximizing satisfaction at, and beyond, the point of care.

Each consultation begins with a credible specialist providing an overview of important facts and issues. The consultation continues by taking patients through an in-depth, guided questionnaire. As the patient is answering questions, the physician narrator is walking the patient through the assessment, explaining the importance of each question being answered. The user is then provided with a personalized report to discuss with his/her doctor. This report merges the patient’s answers with key points for the doctor discussion.

The Interactive Physician Consult is live on for type 2 diabetes and COPD. To-date, 40% of users who have engaged with it have completed the assessment, and 10% have emailed or printed their results.

In 2015, Lifescript will launch the Interactive Physician Consult for multiple sclerosis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cholesterol, ADHD, menopause and more.

*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration; MMIC Group: Dealing With That Frustrating Patient; NPR, Harvard Medical School: What’s It Like To Be Sick in America, 2012.



This year, Sticky released Autogazer, a first-of-its-kind, self-serve online eye-tracking research tool that will allow pharmaceutical advertisers and their publishing partners alike to see what online ads and videos actually get SEENTM. Autogazer employs the same platform as Sticky’s managed solution—using a computer’s built-in camera instead of third-party technology or focus groups—but cuts out intermediaries, allowing users to receive direct feedback from consumers. While traditional eye-tracking studies can cost upwards of $50,000 for just a handful of stimuli, Sticky’s Autogazer costs a fraction of that amount and can be used for an unlimited number of tests.

Autogazer subscribers have instant access to reporting after every study, so that they can see immediately what ads were effective and what ads were not. For publishers, this means the ability to tweak ad placement as well as gaining a deeper understanding of whom to sell ads to. For advertisers, it’s the ability to see what publishers were the most effective for their product and what ads work best. Considering that pharmaceutical ads must, by law, contain a large amount of information in a very short period of time, pharma brands and their agencies will finally get learn how best to convey it.



SERMO’s Social Hubs are like ongoing social learning centers. They are the only peer-to-peer forums for a disease area, which combine all the social content of SERMO—like social comments, posts and polls—with live crowd-sourced patient cases, SERMO KOL contributors’ columns, as well as breaking news and social content from external platforms like Twitter.

Traditionally, therapeutic area microsites were focused on educating physicians in specific specialties, so for example psychiatry hubs were for psychiatrists. SERMO recognizes that diseases are multidimensional and require the input of various doctors with different perspectives. This is also the case with how the pharmaceutical industry traditionally promotes brands to physicians. In contrast, Therapeutic Social Hubs are opened to any doctor who might treat a patient within that disease class. For instance, cardiovascular disease can lead to comorbidities such as depression, so the Depression Social Hubs would cover and serve up the latest discussions and news in managing depression for its impact on a cardiologist’s patient. As a result, the cardiologist and psychiatrist would be connected to collaborate on these links between diseases.

Continuing with the same example, all members’ comments and conversations on depression are aggregated into one place, so doctors can see everything that everyone is saying as well as all patient cases posted on depression, from a variety of perspectives. Coupled with breaking news from around the web, Social Hubs are the most up-to-date conversation and education centers for a disease area.

CONTACT CENTER: Publicis Touchpoint Solutions


The Publicis Touchpoint Solutions Contact Center provides healthcare companies a service specifically tailored to their needs. This Contact Center focuses exclusively on healthcare and offers inbound and outbound sales, service and clinical health information engagement services via phone, live video, chat and web integrated services (click-to-chat, click-to-email, click-to-call) across more than 78 healthcare brands and 120,000 interactions per month.

Contact Center staffing profiles are customized for every execution and range from professional sales representatives (many of whom worked in field pharmaceutical sales before joining Touchpoint) to customer service representatives and credentialed clinical teams staffed by RNs, PharmDs, PhDs, etc.

In the past five years, the center has experienced a compound annual growth rate of over 20%, and grew 45% in 2013 alone. It was also recently named runner-up for “Best Outsourced Provider” at the 2014 Contact Center Excellence Awards, which honors the most innovative contact centers and executives across the entire call center industry.

Even better, Touchpoint’s Contact Center programs include performance metrics that tie to program success and impact clients’ promotional goals or clinical education objectives. The center’s key performance indicators (KPIs) are customized for each client to identify “what success looks like” for each program.

Meanwhile, the center’s unified, multichannel approach integrates seamlessly with in-person interactions such as field sales teams, field customer service teams and/or field clinical teams. This type of multichannel integration occurs with either teams staffed by Touchpoint or the client’s own field teams.

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