DHC East Coast Summit held May 22, 2018 at Sanofi
Key Themes and Takeaways

The focus of the May 22nd DHC Summit at Sanofi was on practical applications of digital innovations available to healthcare marketers available today. We have captured a snapshot of those insights and key takeaways for you here, and encourage you to make sure you are able to join us at a DHC Summit later this year.

The first part of the afternoon focused on ensuring that, as an industry, we understand the atmosphere in which our messages are delivered today.

Dr. Amit Phull, Medical Director and VP of Doximity and practicing ER Doctor, spoke on the physician landscape today or, as he put it “How We Teach that Doctors are People, Too”! “I don’t know how physicians today keep up. They have to worry about a changing technological landscape, a changing compensation landscape, the amount of information they are required to know, and the burden to see more patients in less time – the situation is untenable.” said Dr. Phull.

He believes it is essential for those designing campaigns targeting physicians to understand the current landscape in which physicians exist, as well as understanding their preferences and behaviors towards data consumption.

To help DHC members understand how to operate effectively in this environment, we heard from Hudson Plumb, SVP of Heartbeat, who shared on the changing paradigm around what he dubbed the “Burning Platform in Healthcare” – an extension of what Dr. Phull relayed with regard to physician overload. The Burning Platform assumes four key truths: the ballooning patient burden stresses the value-based care model; highly personalized care is in demand, but hard to actually deliver; “no outcomes, no income” now controls a health system’s purse strings; and HCPS are moving to health systems and losing decision-making autonomy.

Hudson offered hope to attendees – this burning platform is an opportunity to use technology and innovation to offer enhanced brand value by ensuring better outcomes – specifically by leveraging the EHR in order to deliver value-based programs within the workflow. He suggested three steps to get you started:

1. Understand you customer’s workflow in your category.
2. Identify where your brand consideration currently sits and where it could sit
3. Open a dialogue with your HCP/Health System customers on where you could help them achieve their goals.

Ingrid Eberly, VP of Healthline, expanded the discussion when she shared highlights from the recent “State of Care” research on American behaviors and attitudes towards the patient care landscape. Her slides are available here.

One interesting data point: “Boomers” are actually MORE likely to use a patient portal to ask a question or get advice from a doctor – the takeaway, Ingrid explained, is that contrary to popular opinion that Boomers are anti-tech, they are actually more likely to engage digitally than Millennials or Gen-Xers INSIDE the framework of a digital healthcare system recommended by a doctor.

Crossix’s SVP Dan Stein addressed the importance of accurate measurement of physician-targeted campaigns, educating attendees on how advances in analytics are having an impact, including how you can now tie campaigns to a patient level to determine the quality of the doctors targeted/reached.

Dan Stein joined DHC founder Mark Bard, Joanne Biscardi, SVP of ConnectiveRX, Damon Basch, VP of Practice Fusion, and David Ruppel, VP of Insights for Underscore on a physician messaging wrap up panel. These experts touched on the role of the EHR, the need for better physician data, and how to blend the use of “traditional” targeting tactics with the use of third party targeting data.

Joanne Biscardi clarified the landscape, explaining “we’re still at a point where the EMR environment has been a little less targeted than other areas such as Google. And that’s in the interest of both the EMR companies themselves and the doctors that use that software. Increasing targeting capabilities, continuing to expand the data fields that we have access to as an industry. Whether you’re a physician who’s prescribing a patient with a certain type history medication profile. Whether they are current therapy or new to therapy. So a lot of the patient data that’s coming and going through different areas of the EMR journey as well. So that you’re engaging the doctor early in the workflow or further downstream when they’re e-prescribing during the patient consult.”

Damon Basch encouraged marketers to consider that “the only limitations in terms of the targeting is set by the user license agreement that we have with our partners – our users – because with the enormous volume of structured data that we have played with related to the patient – the patient-centric opportunities for targeting – we can get extremely granular” and reminded that “there are all these steps along that journey where life sciences companies do not just influence health — but can help. Some of that requires a paradigm shift with regard to … what does good look like? It’s not necessarily ROI. It’s connected to outcomes as we talk about the transition to value and risk based contracting. It’s related to pharma teams being able to show behavioral change as an ROI as opposed to prescriptions. There is an awful lot of change going on right now.”

Dan Stein echoed the idea, saying: “this is a very exciting time for physician targeting because I think that a lot of the infrastructure that has been built to support consumer targeting can be leveraged for reaching physicians. Physicians are consumers and you can treat them as people. So what’s very easy to do with targeting right now is to take an NPI list and to work with an onboarding partner and to load that information into some sort of DMP

[data management platform]

or a DSP

[demand side platform]

and reach or find them.”

David Ruppel summarized for marketers with “Once you have your target, you have your engagement data, and you have your Rx data from other sources. Put that together and draw some real conclusions and say … oh, when they see this mix of tactics they might prescribe more. Then you can use that in your refinement of your target list and refinement of who you want to target. Segment it and say … these are the people who are really engaging and put them over here and focus on these guys more with different tactics. In the end it comes down to the media mix and of which tactics do you engage with and which doctors and when?”

The second half of the afternoon zeroed in on digital innovations that are ready for application today, starting with a conversation between Kristy Whelan, VP of Healthcare Strategy at imre health and Kristin Cardullo, Consumer Marketing Manager of Respiratory Biologics at AstraZeneca. Slides available here. They responded to recent data from AARP on the behaviors of cord cutting or cord shaving by baby boomers, looking at the impact on how pharma approaches digital strategies. Kristin shared her experiences on a rare disease brand at AstraZeneca, commenting on their digital-first strategy, “we are on TV, but we didn’t wait for our TV to launch to get out there from a digital perspective. We know that patients are researching, going out there on their own. We decided to start with digital right away.”

Strategies recommended by Kirsty and Kristin include:

• Use social analysis to better understand awareness created by TV (Facebook, YouTube Brand Lift studies).
• Make sure to implement a pixel strategy, so you can connect the dots for the patients you interact with online.
• Use thumb-stopping creative to keep your audience’s attention online.

Two other social media experts of the day were Brad Einarsen, Senior Director of Social Media for Klick Health and Siva Nadarajah, GM, Big Data and AI for IQVIA. Siva focused on the latest learnings in adverse event social listening – his slides are available here. He demonstrated that technology advances in social listening have made it possible for brands to be aware of the ripples of impact from social media trends before the impact is felt.

Brad Einarsen presented the latest data from the Klick Health & DHC joint Social Media Landscape Research, featuring the new contributions of the unmetric platform. The POV is available for download here. Brad highlighted the timeline of the Cambridge Analytica Story and how it has impacted the ways in which Facebook targeting is done today. He encouraged marketers that having a Facebook comments-on branded page does not have to be overwhelming – comment volumes are manageable (60 per week on average) and posting frequency averages only 2.2 posts per week.

Joe Shields, Senior Director of Global Strategy and Innovation at AstraZeneca gave fellow DHC members an encouraging and practical roadmap to getting serious about focusing internal efforts on “Designing Patient Services that Scale”. His slides are available here. He challenged listeners to truly consider an important problem worth solving for the patient versus pursuing the next shiny object solution. “We need to manage the tension between standardization and innovation. At AstraZeneca we have used many agencies, including a world-class service design firm with which we had a 3-year partnership. They came up with some really innovative solutions, but they built on their own proprietary software so we had to deconstruct them and rebuild on our company platforms. In light of recent data breaches and misuse, an IT department’s number one priority is data security – so with new-to-the-world solutions you need to think about the trade-offs.” He elaborated that “as biopharma transitions to more sophisticated digital services and digital therapeutics, companies need digital product managers who understand software development and ongoing support and improvement. They need internal IT professionals or outsourced partners that really understand what it means to run a service business in addition to a product business. The industry is extremely good at scaling R&D, manufacturing and sales, for example. We also need to get extremely good at scaling digital therapeutics and digital support programs.”

We had the opportunity to hear what it looked like for Tricia Brown, Executive Director of US Marketing at Merck to work with Sean Moloney, Founder of Dramatic Health as she has worked to scale their use and expertise of digital video. Highlights of her comments include:

“I think you have to talk through that something worth doing is worth doing well and it takes a long time to do it. So trying to educate your brand teams and say … it’s going to take a long time. You have to plan for this and the sooner you can plan for this the better – even prelaunch for a product. Working with your clinical development team to identify the right patients – who are not just the right patient type but who are going to be good spokespeople and able to share their story eloquently. That’s an advantage if you can do it earlier.”

“I think we have to think very strategically about video. It’s a powerful – powerful medium. We’ve done some good things – we need to do a lot more. We need guidance on how to do it well. We need to be on the top of cutting edge things like interactive video. We need to bring education into the organization. We need to help brand marketers understand it and do it well. We need to not have it be a tactic but have it be a really incremental part of your communication strategy.”

“So, what I did learn in this journey was that patients don’t care that we’re pharma. They don’t care. They don’t care that we have regulations they don’t care that we’re ultra conservative. They want to be spoken to authentically – they want us to be answering their questions in a real and authentic way and we have to find ways to do that.”

We wrapped the day with a unique look back in order to keep moving forward, presented by Fard Johnmar, the Founder of Enspektos. His slides are available here. He focused on helping marketers who are considering new technologies and solutions to develop a trend evaluation strategy that will help that they stay productive, focused and successful. Evaluation criteria includes technology maturity and adoption, institutional support, and evidence. He cautioned that evaluation and impact prediction success requires access to the appropriate market signals and analytics resources.

The DHC would like to once again thank the many thought leaders who participated, the attendees who dialogued together, and Sanofi for hosting this outstanding afternoon.