What This Week’s Announcement from Harvard Medical School Means to Pharma and Device Marketers

BY: John Brownlee, CEO & co-founder, vidscrip

As a veteran of the industry, I’m sympathetic to the challenges medical device and pharmaceutical marketers face today. Between decreasing returns on direct-to-consumer advertising, sales reps being barred from seeing doctors, and the pressures extended to vendors by bundled payment initiatives, it is getting harder for them to tell their story. The industry is asking itself, “how do we thrive in a Value Based Care world?”

The answer clearly isn’t more TV ads, more reps, or adding marginally-differentiated products. Rather, the answer is right there in the question. It’s value. Providers need industry to offer solutions that align with their value-based goals:

  • Measurable improvement in population health outcomes (so they can take on more risk)
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Efficient provider workflows (reduce costs)

Entrepreneurs have responded with a myriad of “beyond the pill” solutions and services – connected inhalers and glucose monitors, predictive analytics, and medication reminder apps, to name just a few. But there’s also a more fundamental problem waiting to be addressed. That is, patients simply don’t feel like they understand what’s going on.

We know that patients forget up to 86% of what their doctor tells them during an appointment. How can we possibly expect improvements in outcomes, patient satisfaction, and efficiency when patients routinely arrive at – and leave – their doctor’s appointment bewildered?

IMG_3866_iphone6_spacegrey_portraitHarvard Medical School announced this week that it’s taking on this challenge by having its faculty record answers to common patient questions using the vidscrip app. This will put the medical knowledge and expertise of Harvard Medical School faculty into brief videos that clinicians using vidscrip can share with their patients on the vidscrip platform.

The vidscrips created by Harvard Medical School faculty will be free for providers and patients to use, and sponsored by our industry partners.

“Providers need industry to offer solutions that align with their value-based goals”

By sponsoring a vidscrip program our industry partners will help their customers deliver on the value-based goals described above, they will also:

  • Improve access to customers by introducing HMS-authored population health programs for the vidscrip platform
  • Engage providers and patients with in-app messaging while they create and view vidscrips
  • Mine data to better understand what providers and patients are talking about

The engagement a vidscrip can deliver prior to an appointment, at the pharmacy counter, or after discharge from the hospital leads to patients who are connected to their care team and engaged in their own health – and we know that engaged patients have better health outcomes and cost less to treat.

It’s getting harder for industry to tell their story. But this week’s announcement by Harvard Medical School provides an opportunity for forward-thinking drug and device marketers to change the conversation by aligning their story with their customer’s value-based goals.

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