Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of the very innovative Walt Disney company says, “The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.”
Creativity and innovation are clearly a marketer’s best friends. Trying something new and innovative certainly takes a lot of heart—it can be risky, no doubt, but can also lead to great success. It also takes a lot of soul: The ability to step into the customers’ shoes and feel what they’re feeling. Insights are uncovered here, giving marketers the ability to solve problems and anticipate needs now and in the future. These abilities may well be the kindling of innovation—the spark that ignites creativity, the fire in the belly that burns away the old revealing something utterly new.
In our second Innovations in Pharma Marketing special issue we highlight these types of risk-takers and problem-solvers in the following categories: Companies, Divisions, People, Products and Services. We received an overwhelming response to our call for innovation, proving what we already knew: This industry has no shortage of new ideas, and trailblazers are everywhere. On the following pages, we present 60 offerings we feel are making an impact on the industry and on the lives of patients, while making the lives of brand marketers a little easier.
Journalist Walter Lippman says, “When we all think alike, then no one is thinking.” This is a glimpse of the people and companies who do think differently, who are leading pharma into places it has never been before.
Here are our picks for products. Cutting-edge software, apps, programs and anything else designed to help advance the healthcare industry or help marketers become more successful.
COUPON DISTRIBUTION TOOL: Alpha 1C and PSKW
Optimal Distribution Model
Alpha 1C and PSKW
Al Kenney, Founder, Alpha 1C
Chris Dowd, Sr. Vice President Market and Product Development, PSKW
Patient co-pay assistance programs are part of most brand marketing plans. But oftentimes, once a program is developed, little focus is given to how the cards/coupons should be distributed for maximum impact. Many organizations simply divide their coupons evenly among their sales team regardless of market level differences, or they adopt simple distribution approaches that contribute to suboptimal coupon distribution—essentially driving waste in the program. The challenge facing brand teams is how to assimilate, map and analyze all the available data points to arrive at the optimal card/coupon distribution plan.
Recognizing this challenge, Alpha 1C partnered with PSKW, a leader in co-pay assistance programming, to develop a turn-key solution for determining optimal distribution. The solution is an analytical model that incorporates, maps and analyzes a myriad of data points, including each targeted physician’s prescribing habits, historical coupon usage, income levels in the surrounding area, managed care data, brand-specific call plan data and other custom measures. The model calculates the financial impact of various distribution scenarios through “what if” analysis and delivers turn-key distribution plans. It reports at various levels, from national and regional views all the way down to specific territories and even individual physicians. The embedded Google Maps functionality also enhances the value of the tool, enabling the user to access standard mapping features such as obtaining directions, etc.
HEALTH MONITORING BUNDLE: Ambio Health
Ambio Remote Health Monitoring System
Kevin Jones, CEO
The Ambio Remote Health Monitoring System is an FDA 510(k) class II cleared and HIPAA-compliant device that employs novel remote health monitoring technologies to enable breakthrough affordability and ease of use. The affordability of the system makes it feasible, for the first time, for pharmaceutical companies to bundle blood pressure, blood glucose and/or weight monitoring as tools that can be offered in conjunction with the product, and thereby differentiate their product to payers, providers and patients. At the same time, Ambio enables providers to more efficiently get the health readings they need to monitor patients and adjust medications. The plug-and-play setup is a significant improvement compared to Bluetooth-based systems that require patients to pair devices, follow a process to send readings and make sure the meter is in the same room as the gateway. Innovative features include:
- Medications and reading reminders that can be delivered by telephone, text message or email.
- Reading log and graph-based analysis tools.
- Patient-specific alert levels with notifications if readings are outside of specified levels.
- Automated patient survey tool.
- Points-based goals and rewards system for taking readings and staying within target ranges.
- Any number of caregivers in the patient’s “care circle” to access the system remotely.
- Clinical management and coordination tools.
- APIs to send readings to external systems.
DIGITAL PRINT: Americhip
Video in Print and Video Slates
Andrea Cruz, Associate Product Manager
Presentation is everything. Grabbing attention and delivering critical information is mandatory in today’s healthcare marketplace. In our connected world, patients, physicians, HCPs and KOLs, all expect leading pharma brands to be able to communicate in an innovative way that allows them to engage and learn when and how they want. Americhip’s Video in Print and Video Slates have taken healthcare communication to an entirely new level. Our Video in Print Books and Brochures provide an entirely new distribution channel for key digital content including training, educational and product information. No longer relegated to online communication, Video in Print gives leading pharma brands a streamlined, easy to access portal for their digital and video content, placing it directly into the hands of HCPs and patients.
With Video in Print, you can program up to 45 minutes of video content across five chapter buttons, choose from a variety of screen sizes and allow users to recharge the units up to 500 times. For in-office, point-of-care solutions, Americhip developed Video Slates (pictured above), which sit in self-charging docking stations in the waiting or exam rooms. Now, pharma brands can deliver their message to patients when they are most open to receiving critical product information—in their doctors’ offices. For ultimate flexibility, the Video Slates can be updated in the field on an ongoing basis.
SALES FORCE EFFECTIVENESS: Group DCA
PD One App
Rachel Abramson, Project Manager
Extend the Sales Call
Rep Share App for iPad
The Rep Share app is provided to all field reps as a method to easily share approved information during a live sales call—or extend the call beyond the office visit. The rep target list is matched with the centralized PD One HCP profile and seamlessly integrates with sales force automation, allowing communication to only the HCPs who are designated to the rep’s territory. In a recent physician market research study, over 60% of HCPs were interested in interacting with reps via the app to:
1. Receive information directly from a sales rep.
2. Request drug samples.
3. Request and receive patient education materials.
4. Request and receive clinical information.
5. Receive alerts regarding new data/information.
AN INNOVATIVE TRAINING EXPERIENCE: Inhance Digital
Seprafilm Virtual Training Tool
Shannon Arnold, Marketing Specialist
In 2012, the global brand team at Sanofi Biosurgery decided to innovate. Their game plan was to create an experience using Microsoft’s Kinect that would educate surgeons about how to properly apply their product Seprafilm in an engaging and unique way.
Sanofi partnered with Inhance Digital to create the Seprafilm Virtual Training Tool (VTT), a serious game with a surgical setting that demonstrates the correct placement of the product. It features a full-body tracking avatar to guide the user through Kinect gestures, a first for Inhance. “We knew how to use Kinect, but not at this level of complexity,” says Drew Albenze, Senior Producer at Inhance. “This was done by a two-person programming team who used every feature the Kinect device is currently able to do.”
The serious game debuted at ACS 2013 in October, and there was nothing else like it on the tradeshow floor. The VTT is appealing to surgeons because there is no time pressure, allowing them to focus on the application. Seprafilm requires minimal training, and the game optimizes the time it usually takes to learn proper usage.
Surgeons told Sanofi booth representatives they felt confident about using the product correctly after playing the serious game. Laurent Flouret, Sr. Project Manager of Digital & Multichannel Marketing for Sanofi said, “Getting that result was really amazing; beyond our expectations. It is a real game changer in surgeon training and compliance.”
FEWER ISI APPROVALS REQUIRED: Klick Health
Peter Flaschner, VP Strategy
Updates to Important Safety Information (ISI) and Prescribing Information (PI) are expensive, time consuming and a drain on resources. It’s a necessary evil that we as an industry have long accepted. Now there is a better way. We call it Dynamic ISI, and it saves our clients time, money and ISI frustration.
This product is able to save time and money by reducing the frequency and places ISI needs to be updated and approved. It greatly reduces agency fees by slashing approval time, and is delivered in a package that MRL (medical, regulatory, legal) loves.
The key is in Klick Health’s patent-pending technology. We worked with MRL departments to develop ways to reduce the number of approvals required in ISI and PI updates from somewhere between 20 and 40 to just four. Marketing is happy, and MRL is even happier! By separating ISI and PI from creative, and by standardizing ISI display in a highly controlled way, editorial and production are massively accelerated, so MRL approvals take only a fraction of the time. Updates that once took seven weeks are now pushed live in less than one week.
At its core, Dynamic ISI is technology that allows ISI and PI to be delivered to ads, banners and mobile and tablet apps remotely from secure servers. Triple redundancy and failsafe technology ensure fair balance is continuously maintained.
OPTIMAL CO-PAY PROGRAM: MediMedia Health
iSales CoPay Card App
Jesica Freeman, Customer Innovation
Co-pay assistance involves providing all patient types in the healthcare environment the ability to afford branded pharmaceutical medications and lessen their out-of-pocket expense. Co-pay card programs are a cost-effective way of ensuring patient adherence to medication therapies. The program structure is critical to a pharmaceutical manufacturer’s long-term revenue goals, patient compliance and manufacturer-payer relationships.
With the iSales CoPay Card App, sales reps can target physicians with higher populations of patients in need of co-pay assistance. The app provides GPS-style location and directions to a physician or pharmacy. It also features interactive dynamic views with charts, graphs and maps, as well as enhanced co-pay card messaging to physicians. iSales CoPay App delivers immediate co-pay redemption results to sales reps anytime, anywhere on an iPad.
The app also increases adoption of patient access and affordability messaging by HCPs. Additionally, iSales analytics allows users to create the optimal co-pay card program for each patient, and the optimal patient savings messaging to physicians. The app is optimized to work both offline and online without Wi-Fi and its navigation operates similar to the user interface on an Apple iPhone. An elite pharmaceutical manufacturer has already adopted the iSales app for their sales force and the client feels that the MediMedia Health iSales CoPay Card App is a game changer.
CLINICAL SEARCH ENGINE: MediScripts
Joan Arata, MediScripts Chief Qologist
Since 1981, MediScripts has helped life science partners build meaningful relationships with its network of physicians through its PhRMA-Code compliant Secure Rx prescription service. Recognizing the evolving need for new opportunities to reach physicians at the point-of-care, MediScripts developed Qology, a robust clinical search engine layered with a social network to help practitioners improve the quality and value of patient care. Qology expands MediScripts’ suite of clinical management solutions, which deliver meaningful impact to help its practitioners work smart. The online platform allows physicians to build secure peer communities, find answers to clinical questions from trusted sources, and exchange and leverage knowledge in real time.
Recent data shows that 78% of all clinical searches and 90% of all social discussions on Qology are taking place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.—meeting the needs of busy physicians while they are interacting with patients. In addition, Qology has built a widget that allows these services to be delivered through any cloud-based EMR. Recently launched at the 2013 American Academy of Family Physicians Scientific Assembly, Qology will soon be available to MediScripts’ partners, allowing them to deliver indexed content to practitioners at the relevant time and place. Targeting by specialty, therapeutic area and topic guarantees connections with the right practitioners at the right time. Advertising messages will also be delivered based on a relevant keyword search so partners receive the greatest impact.
DIGITAL SUPPORT NETWORK: Palio+Ignite
Lori Goodale, Corporate Relations Director
Carebox was created out of a desire to lend voices to the support network of anyone going through a hard time. From a patient sitting in an infusion chair to a bed-ridden teenager with a broken leg, Carebox creates a wave of well wishes, warm greetings and joy between friends, family and those who need a reminder of their strength. Each “box” created is a digital playlist of messages that is gifted to the recipient.
Users sign-in through Facebook and record their messages, which include well wishes and positive thoughts. The person creating the box is then able to invite their friends and family members to participate in the healing. Each box is private, and only those who have been invited can call the box or have the box call them. The emphasis is on the personal connection between one person and the receiver in need. When creating the box, the user also selects the exact day and time the box will be sent to the person in need of support. When that gifting date arrives, the patient is presented with a playlist of best wishes, hope and encouragement that will help him or her through the healing process. The idea showcases how innovative solutions are developed by integrating different technologies, social media and audio file sharing to deliver value to the patient.
KEEPING REPs CONNECTED: Rosetta
Karl Tiedemann, Partner, Healthcare
HC Pulse is a proprietary app that connects sales representatives to critical information while on the go. In their day-to-day activities, reps are bombarded with updates from industry, corporate, brand and regulation—a lot of information they need in order to communicate more effectively and in a compliant manner with HCPs. Instead of pushing these updates through endless emails or directing reps to access an intranet hub that requires connectivity and searching, HC Pulse provides critical news alerts, events, documents, training videos, image libraries and more—right on their mobile devices.
Whether for one team or an entire sales force, the app allows specific information—tailored based on a user’s role, level, geography, etc.—to be pushed immediately or as scheduled. The app addresses a multitude of needs with integrated calendar functionality, survey feedback functionality, text-to-speech functionality, action items and completed status functionality. By combining all elements through a “mobile-first” approach, it enables seamless prioritization of information and resources, quick adoption and use, and ease of internal administration and management.
HC Pulse also provides comprehensive analytics. With dashboard-based user permissions, content authors can view analytics for consumption of information, completion of tasks, user ratings of content, etc. This enables a deeper understanding of what the field force is engaging with, what they value, what they need, and how to provide meaningful updates for future updates to the application.
THE WORLD’S ONLY TALKING EPINEPHRINE AUTO-INJECTOR: Sanofi US
Bryan Downey, Vice President
Auvi-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) is an emergency treatment for severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Sanofi is proud to offer Auvi-Q, the world’s only compact Epinephrine Auto-Injector with audio and visual cues that guide users step by step through the injection process. It is the size and shape of a credit card, the thickness of a cell phone and fits in a pocket or small purse.
Auvi-Q also provides a five-second injection countdown and an alert light to signal when the injection is complete, as well as an automatic retractable needle mechanism to help prevent accidental needle sticks. Auvi-Q was developed using a comprehensive human factors engineering process that incorporated patients’, caregivers’ and HCPs’ real-world experiences and feedback to optimize the user interface, overall design and labeling. The availability of Auvi-Q, with its ease of use, compact design and unique features is good news for millions of Americans at risk for anaphylaxis and their caregivers.
VIRTUAL SALES REPS: Strategic Edge Communications
Strategic Edge Communications, a division of MD On-Line, Inc.
Jeff Meehan, Chief Commercial Officer
A top pharmaceutical sales representative meets face to face with a high-prescribing physician in Maine in the morning, and then with three top-prescribing doctors in California early that afternoon. Can’t be done? Not only is it possible, but MD On-Line, Inc. (MDOL) works out similar scenarios with the help of its vRep program each and every day.
vRep is an award winning “virtual sales” program that eliminates geographical boundaries. Through this innovative system, sales reps and HCPs meet face to face with the help of technology. These “virtual reps” provide physicians with the same value and product information, patient resources, insurance data and samples typically distributed by traditional reps. And it allows a rep to meet with HCPs on their time without disturbing their busy medical office.
The vRep program has proven results. It is a complement to the traditional existing sales team to address common challenges such as “white space” providers, “no-see” providers, hospitals and systems with no-rep policies and vacant territories. With vRep, companies can expand their personal reach without the cost and hassle of field realignments. MDOL’s vRep team offers an easy on and off switch to rapidly expand reach in proven, results driven, cost-effective ways.