Thanks to everyone who attended, presented and supported our 2013 Digital Pharma Seminar, held in Sydney yesterday.

Our annual seminar, which we co-host with Princeton Digital, drew a crowd of more than 100 people with an interest in digital health communication.

The seminar – now in its second year – welcomed delegates from various health and pharmaceutical backgrounds, all keen to learn more about how to leverage their messages and reach key audiences through new digital advances, such as apps.

We heard from doctors, specialists, pharmacists, professors and industry experts, all of whom had a shared interest in how to improve patient outcomes with the use of new digital technologies.

Doctors emphasised the rise of the e-patient, in particular how patients are becoming increasingly empowered by the volume of information available to them online and are increasingly more proactive in their own healthcare.

Dr Sally Cockburn aka Dr Feelgood, had a clear message for the attendees, as she urged them to use digital technologies to make life easier rather than on GPs.

Delegates also heard from leading media law professor, Prof Mark Pearson, who spoke about the potential legal pitfalls associated with social media. He also highlighted the value of GPs and specialists’ presence in social media and recommended securing professional advice to ensure all communication is Code compliant.

Princeton Digital presented results from the – 2013 Mobile Medics Survey which revealed interesting stats on the use of smartphones, tablets, apps and social media among HCPs. The survey results revealed that the majority of GPs own a smartphone (80%), half of whom downloaded a smartphone app in the last week (52%). Given GPs interest in apps, it was interesting to learn that 80% of GPs & 76% of specialists were not aware of any pharmaceutical apps.

Specialists and senior researchers emphasised the new opportunities for pharma to learn from other industries on how best to achieve behavioural change. Apps and games where mentioned as new and creative ways to engage with patients. As an example, Dr Stuart Smith explained how video games and apps improve mobility in senior citizens, making them less prone to falls.

While VIVA! Communications has been incorporating digital elements into our PR campaigns for years, yesterday marked the official launch of VIVA! Digital, demonstrating our digital capabilities and resource offering to clientele. 

Medicines Australia set the record straight on Code compliance in the digital space, emphasising how the same rules for traditional media apply to digital media.

The MA Code was officially launched in an app format and can be downloaded here 

Practising pharmacist, Tom Corte from Sydney highlighted the role of the community pharmacist in providing health advice and expanded on the personal contact that occurs within the doctor’s office. Tom stressed the need for extended app functionalities such as medication reminders, compliance features and simple information for patients.

The final panel of the day highlighted the opportunity for every single brand to have a digital presence. Reinforcing how pharma must become part of the online conversation, ensuring patients receive balanced and accurate information online.

Tickets are still available for the 2013 Digital Pharma Seminar in Melbourne, scheduled for Tuesday, March 16.

To follow our digital health conversation online, look for #digipharma & @vivacomms on twitter.

1 Comment

  1. Pablo on April 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Another great event VIVA! I really enjoyed the doctors panel in Melbourne. Very informative and learned a lot about social media in the industry