For decades the relationship between Pharma and physicians was a distant one. There was no collaboration, nor collective thinking. Physicians wanted to use the most appropriate medication for their patient. I doubt that many physicians’ prescribing habits were driven by more than that. Pharma wanted access to the physician to peddle their formulations— the physicians by and large were receptive to the wonderful lunch (and pens) they received. Occasionally a golf game or dinner was organized, and most physicians felt this was a nice opportunity to mix it up with their colleagues in a stress-less environment. I’m sure Pharma has very detailed analytics on this but I’m don’t believe the ROI of these mid-day or after hours endeavors were particularly high.
- Most physicians are smart phone users…. and many people far smarter than me have pointed out that the smart phone will be the device that eventually facilitates useful communication, collaboration, content sharing and information gathering for those of us who function within the health care system.
- It stands to reason that the smartphone will become the device utilized to access timely, useful information… the users of Epocrates will testify to that. But is Epocrates enough?
- First and foremost, in order to meet the criteria I mentioned physicians need a slick, simple (html5) platform that provides us with the ability to rapidly obtain reliable information on the Pharma product we wish to inquire about. What the current applications or platforms do not offer is a means to crowd-source the information or content and allow the physician to share thoughts, evidence or content on a particular subject or patient. I do not look to Pharma to provide the platform… however, Pharma does need to reach out to the developer community and the start-ups out there (iMedExchange) who are developing mobile apps so that the physician has access to representatives of the company to query them about their product.
- In the end… rich, simple, meaningful content— delivered on a mobile platform that enables access to colleagues and Pharma— will effectively and efficiently empower the busy physician to improve the care he/she delivers while avoiding disruptions to their workflow. Everyone wins…after all, We are all patients!