PM360 asked experts in the point of care space what the future of this industry holds and which areas of point of care deliver the biggest impact, more specifically:
- What is the future of point of care marketing? How will technology, regulation, and/or new strategies change what we have seen from point of care marketing in the past?
- What area of point of care marketing have you seen have the biggest impact on a target audience? What types of programs in these various areas resonate most with audiences?
Point of care marketing is advancing at an accelerated pace, as brands are realizing the significant impact that can be made by giving proper attention to the closest parallel in pharma and healthcare to “point of purchase” that exists. The continued rise of consumerism in healthcare has broadened the definition of point of care from the traditional brick and mortar—in-office, in-hospital, in-pharmacy—to anywhere and everywhere that a consumer is receiving care via an interaction with a healthcare professional. Point of care, simply put, is where the patient is.
Virtual health and a multitude of technology enhancements (AI, integrated sensors, and proximity marketing technologies are a few examples) have broadened the landscape of opportunity for marketers to enhance the HCP-patient dialogue and impact critical points in the care continuum. Future point of care marketing strategies will embody principles of shopper marketing.
Omnichannel and content marketing strategies will become more relevant in the context of point of care. Data privacy regulation changes and interpretations will underpin the execution of these strategies. And HCPs will continue to adopt new ways of interacting with empowered technology-grounded patients, as brands are finding innovative mechanisms for seamless clinical workflow integration.
Point of care marketing is undergoing a dramatic evolution as technologies advance and the place in which care is received morphs. The U.S. telemedicine industry is expected to see an 18% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. And while it’s easy to think of a younger generation of tech-savvy consumers at the heart of this growth, they’re just a small piece of this equation. Of course, they’ll expect care delivered when and where they want it, and real-time health monitoring and telemedicine solutions will aid their quest. But the same goes for the tidal wave of aging boomers entering a more sedentary and illness-prone lifestyle.
Regulations are catching up. And the reimbursement model will too. But as marketers, we’re shedding costly and cumbersome “in-office surround” strategies in lieu of personalized digital strategies to reach patients at critical points in their healthcare journey.
This will include geo-fenced expansion of the four walls of a healthcare institution, bringing healthcare solutions to rural communities where “specialists” don’t exist, leveraging wearables and mobile devices while patients are on the go, and even leveraging them while our patients are at home in their recliners receiving care. These are the new points of care.
Patient experience at the point of care is evolving to match the experience provided by consumer-centric industries like retail and banking. Today, patients as consumers bring preferences to healthcare that they’ve come to expect from other sectors, including personalization, convenience, and transparency. Physician offices are responding to this shift by adopting new technologies that engage and activate their patients to improve their overall experience. For maximum effectiveness, PoC marketing must move towards personalization and integration into the office workflow so that patients can access the right data they need to advocate for their well-being.
Traditionally, PoC marketing has been targeted based on geo-location or provider characteristics. In order to improve, PoC tactics must become more patient-centric—targeting content based on specific patient characteristics. As the in-office experience becomes increasingly mediated by technology such as tablets and mobile, marketers must align to patient preferences. We must leverage data privately and safely to deliver impactful content that is dynamic and personalized, and which addresses the complex clinical, behavioral, cultural, and economic needs and motivations of individual patients. Within a patient-centric framework, the programs that resonate will be those that give patients the power to manage the course of their healthcare journeys.
Providing patients with a variety of platforms to consume information (patient education content) creates the biggest impact and greatest effectiveness. Though numerous options are available in point of care, we believe print and digital provide benefits that appeal to different demographics and deliver varying levels of efficiency based on content.
Offering patients both options has proven to deliver maximum exposure during and after the patient/HCP period of engagement. Digital screens reach a wider footprint of the waiting or exam room space. Print provides repeat impressions and longer “stickiness,” as patients often take the guides/magazines home with them after the appointment. Point of care programs featuring both media vehicles bookend the patient engagement experience, deliver greater exposure, increase comprehension (literacy), enhance compliance and persistency—all ultimately resulting in incremental script lift.
Today’s media continues to trend toward greater segmentation and message customization. Leveraging providers that deliver that marketing mix as part of their patient engagement solution showcases an enhanced understanding of effective advertising at the point of care.
Without question, I believe that interactive exam room touchscreens have had the most impact in point of care. Exam room touchscreens offer an element of interactivity to the HCP-patient interaction that just wasn’t there before. By leveraging interactive touchscreens, HCPs and patients can now quickly drill into whatever content is most relevant to them—talk about personalized medicine! Imagine walking back to the exam room to encounter a screen offering custom, physician-recommended content for you based on your unique health history and current symptoms.
The placement of these interactive touchscreens in the exam room—the place where HCP-patient interactions occur, care is delivered, and therapy recommendations are made—is also critical. That is because it is important that we ensure that our POC engagement platforms and content enhance—not interrupt—a provider’s daily practice.
Taking that interactivity and exam room placement together, interactive exam room touchscreens lead to more productive dialogues, a deeper level of patient understanding and, ultimately, a far greater likelihood patients will comply with the therapy recommendations made during the visit.
Multiple target audiences are being exposed to marketing at the point of care in different ways. For HCPs, exam room marketing through the EHR identifies appropriate patients for specific therapies, allowing physicians to provide information to patients at the right time to aid in their medical decision making. The placement of resources pertaining to patient access (enrollment forms, copays) in the platform is a compelling way for HCPs to create awareness and ease of accessibility. For example, a patient with type 2 diabetes and comorbidities will be provided affordability resources when he or she is in the office if that information is presented to the HCP at the right time—the moment the patient is first prescribed the medication. It is also possible to auto-populate forms (e.g., enrollment) within the EHR, helping to create a seamless process for physicians to get patients on therapy efficiently.
Patients are also exposed to marketing at the point of care. In the waiting room, patients and caregivers check in via electronic devices and can receive relevant brand messages based on information from their EHR on these devices. This often leads to pinpointing and educating appropriate patients to ask for the specific medication by name when they enter the exam room.