Blog post 1VIVA! Communications teamed with Princeton Digital to host the third annual Digital Pharma seminar series, entitled ‘What Does Digital Excellence Look Like?’ in Sydney on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Chaired by Gavin Walsh, General Manager, Princeton Digital, the full-day seminar, which will also be taking place in Melbourne on April 3, 2014, provided Australian pharmaceutical marketers with an opportunity to learn how the pharmaceutical industry can capitalise on digital channels to extend their communication to clinicians.

More than 100 delegates heard from GPs, specialists, pharmacists and digital marketers, who shared strategies for practice across all digital channels, including how to improve patient engagement.

Mark Bain, Senior Manager Marketing and External Affairs at IMS Health Australia, spoke about the roles that consumer apps and Wikipedia play in healthcare, particularly for patients.

“With the rise of the internet and all its healthcare content, patients are better informed and enabled to participate in the healthcare decision making process.

“Wikipedia is the leading single source of healthcare information for patients and healthcare professionals,” Mark Bain said.

Brett Nelson-Bond, Digital Business Unit Manager at Princeton Digital, released findings from the 2014 Mobile Medics Survey, for which data is still being collected. This survey aims to establish ‘when’, ‘how often’ and ‘for what purpose’ Australian clinicians, GPs and specialists would use healthcare apps.

“Based on 212 Australian clinicians to date, 54 per cent of GPs are using an app at least once a week while 70 per cent of GPs are using apps during their consultations.

“Pharma has a huge opportunity here. With banking online, there’s a common expectation that they should be able to access a transaction on their phone,” Brett said.

Blog post 2“Pharma can piggy-back on that and get people expecting to access healthcare information on their phone as well.”

Andrew Moore, Multi-Channel Marketing Manager at Sanofi, highlighted the importance of marketing a newly designed and developed app.

“App discovery is a struggle only if marketers have the ‘build an app and they will come’ mentality,” Andrew said.

Wednesday’s seminar created an opportunity to hear about the recently announced TGA and FDA reviews of current healthcare apps and for Australian pharmaceutical marketers to learn about new Australian research around clinicians’ use of smartphones, tablets and medical apps. It also served as a great platform for VIVA! Communications and Princeton Digital to network with pharma industry colleagues.

To join the dialogue, tune in on Twitter using the hashtag #digipharma or contact Josie Schwarzer, Account Manager at VIVA! Communications, for social media transcripts.