All articles tagged Event Report

26th April 2017, Royal Society of Medicine


Justin Lambert
Head of Procurement, Roche

Malik Akhtar

Daniel Roberts
ex-BMS Procurement

David Hunt
CEO, Havas Lynx

Carwyn Jones
Partner, OPEN Health


Panel discussion:

Chris Edmonds
MD, emotive

Martin Brass
MD, Blue Latitude Health


Carwyn Jones introduced the meeting. This is the first time such a meeting has taken place - procurement and agencies together in an open discussion and hopefully with both sides learning something to improve the procurement-agency relationship in the future.


Justin Lambert – Roche

Global vs Local - Procurement Strategies & Supplier Diversity

Justin Lambert

Justin Lambert, Head of Procurement at Roche was the first speaker. He has worked in pharma for 15 years, 13 of those in a very globalised company and the last 2 years at Roche which is very decentralised. He started by talking about how the current purchasing environment in pharma is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. "What's important is that we include smaller businesses into the supply chain" - in other words he advocates "supplier diversity". "This means you get different sorts of people around the table and therefore different conversations".

Supplier diversity is no longer a “nice to have” – it is a competitive advantage

Justin went on to explain the key things procurement teams look for when assessing suppliers or potential projects:

  1. First is innovation - this is something that's always looked for during a pitch process
  2. Second there is the economic impact or importance to shareholders
  3. Third is the management of risk and the importance of compliance
  4. Fourth is the people, and the need to improve diversity of thought
  5. And fifth is sustainability - for example a new supplier needs to be able to prove they will be around in 5 years’ time.

Inclusive procurement + Diverse supplier pool = Innovation

The great thing about thinking with an open mindset and including diverse suppliers (eg smaller companies) is that you are likely to be offered a more diverse and differentiated set of solutions. For example you could include companies with local knowledge that are quicker to react and ultimately help with innovation.

Justin went on to talk about how everything at Roche is about putting patients first and procurement is no exception. In fact, in his view, it helps in making the right purchasing decisions if you always ask the question 'how will this project or solution help enable the business to make sure drugs reach and benefit patients?'

One of the questions from the floor was about preferred supplier lists - Justin made it clear that he doesn't feel reducing the size of a preferred supplier list is always right for the business. While some companies are trying to "reduce the tail" of high volume/low value supplier spend, he doesn't feel this is always right or necessary. Ultimately, having a diverse portfolio of suppliers, large and small, is what matters and he feels that just relying on large organisations to deliver solutions will ultimately stifle innovation.

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Malik Akhtar - Procurement

2020 Vision of Procurement & What Pharma Procurement Need from Agencies

Malik Akhtar

Malik Akhtar, the second speaker, started by reminding us that there still can be what he called a 'hooligan element' within pharma procurement. It might be stating the obvious, he noted, but buying agency services is not like buying pens and pencils and yet there are still some procurement professionals that try to commoditise marketing services. Malik advocates a "procurement business partner" model. In his experience this has meant that procurement acts more like other functions such as HR, Finance or Legal - where a single procurement professional is wedded to a department or market, gathering detailed business requirements and then bringing in subject matter experts (SMEs) e.g. an expert on media or digital when needed.

Malik had several pieces of advice for agencies; firstly "have confidence in your differentiated product" - you need to show how you are different from your competitors; secondly consider ALL remuneration options when pitching - be creative and consider the "at risk" options; another tip was to remember that in 99% of cases it is not procurement that makes the decision - it's the brand teams. Procurement ensures the team has all the information they need to make the decision but ultimately it's up to them.

Malik presented strong views on when pitching is appropriate. He shared that he doesn't feel that companies should run pitches for what he termed “small projects” as he feels it’s a waste of money on both sides. For smaller projects you should be using your preferred supplier list or incumbent agency and if there are problems with the incumbent, try to sort these out! Pitching should be a last resort.

Malik also suggested that agencies need to "make us (in procurement) look good". He urged agencies to make sure they build relationships with procurement and show procurement what they do. Literally "show us the work" he said, "If we only meet your Finance Director, then we'll only know about your rates".

Controversially Malik urged agencies to "call out bad practice" that they encounter during the procurement process, informing the ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) of any bad procurement behaviour, assuming the client they are dealing with is a member. He then asked the audience if anyone had reported bad procurement practice in the past. Of the 80 agency representatives in the audience, a show of hands revealed that while at least half felt they had issues that they would have liked to address, only 2 people had seriously thought about taking these further, and no one had actually done it. Food for thought!

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Daniel Roberts - ex-BMS Procurement

The Procurement function’s KPIs and the value they bring to the business and Procurement supplier selection process and strategy

Daniel RobertsThe next speaker was Daniel Roberts - ex-BMS and now a freelance procurement contractor. He talked about the transformation that is happening in procurement, from old fashioned, cost-focussed procurement to a more strategic, creative innovation-focussed discipline. In fact he agreed that procurement and marketing as disciplines, are actually getting closer.

When assessing purchasing options it’s all about ‘value’ and Dan shared a useful diagram showing the 7 elements of value - cost reduction, partnership, cost avoidance, risk mitigation, ROI, cash flow, and positive revenue impact.

He explained that there are now 3 types of procurement approach you may encounter:

  1. Technical procurement – this is all about cost reduction.
  2. Traditional procurement – this is cost reduction plus cost avoidance and risk mitigation.
  3. Strategic procurement – this includes the traditional areas of focus plus ROI, Partnership and Revenue impact.


Procurement are looking for value creation - activities that provide a sustainable competitive advantage. While RFPs traditionally set out to make cost savings, now they are more strategic, focussed on business needs rather than saving money.

There was a discussion of the typical RFP process - a 4 month schedule that starts with internal engagement and desk research in month 1, producing a short list of agencies and drafting an RFP in month 2, the pitch in month 3 and then negotiation and awarding a contract in month 4. But RFPs are costly for both sides and the trend is for less of them.

The procurement department helps break down silos across a business and reduce duplication. So if you have good relations with procurement they can put you forward across the company, acting very much like a facilitator or enabler. On the other hand, procurement is responsible for ensuring the supplier can do the job and so they will seek to “get under the skin” of the agency to check that they can really deliver. Do they have capacity? Is this really their area of expertise?

He shared with us how the performance of procurement professionals is measured - it’s not just about saving money or managing supplier relations; in fact 40% of his performance KPIs while at BMS were about driving business performance and 20% about building diversity for long term growth.

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Carwyn Jones (Partner, OPEN Health) and David Hunt (CEO, Havas Lynx)

Carwyn Jones and David Hunt then shared the stage to discuss good and bad examples of procurement-agency relations. Dave shared a very positive story of a client that tried out the agency using a 3 month pilot with clear KPIs, then, when it worked, helped scale the solution across the business. In another example, he explained how a procurement team had coached the agency through a series of unsuccessful pitches so that they learnt from them and eventually won work with the company.

Carwyn talked about one large client where procurement has been instrumental in representing the agency around the entire business and where any issues have always been discussed openly and improvements suggested on both sides. This very “adult” relationship has been positive for the agency team internally and has resulted in everyone wanting to work on that account.

Dave and Carwyn then shared some procurement horror stories – there was a procurement person who ran an RFP process from start to finish with no involvement from marketing, and would not let the agency communicate with the brand team at all. Another procurement department took an agency’s own idea for a project and turned it into an RFP, sending it out to multiple other agencies. Yet another insisted that the acceptance of T&Cs without question was a part of the RFP process. In summary, Carwyn and Dave painted a very mixed picture of pharma procurement, with good stories balanced very much by bad examples.


Panel Discussion

Finally, the meeting concluded with a panel at which David Hunt was joined by Chris Edmonds (MD, emotive) and Martin Brass (MD, Blue Latitude). There was some disagreement about the extent to which the current procurement-agency relationship needs improving. While all agreed that there were many difficult situations and room for improvement, there was also consensus that there were some fantastic procurement departments that really develop and maintain partnerships with their agencies. The final thought was that it comes down to trust and that all agencies need to make sure they have plans for how they build better relationships with pharma procurement.


Tagged: Event Report

“Best in Show” Award won by Ascensia Diabetes Care with CDM London

ViiV Healthcare and Havas Lynx top the category charts

The 31st annual PM Society Awards, announced at the Grosvenor House Hotel on 3rd February to an audience of 950 from industry and agencies, saw a Best in Show award being added to the 18 regular categories. This accolade was won by Ascensia Diabetes Care and CDM London for their Contour Diabetes Solutions campaign. Top of the pharma charts overall was ViiV Healthcare and it was Havas Lynx who stole the show on the agency side. The event was skilfully hosted by Jimmy Carr in combination with everyone’s favourite voice, Alan Dedicoat, the voice of Strictly.

It was the first time for a Best in Show award, following the success of the Winner of Winners award last year which was won by the 2008 Xenical “Butter” ad. The Contour Diabetes Solutions campaign was declared the best of the best this time, as Head Judge Dean Woolley of woolley pau gyro explained. “In selecting this campaign we asked ourselves four questions – Is there a proper idea at the heart of it?, does it answer the brief?, is it beautifully done? and is it something we could all be proud of?. The work by CDM London for this diabetes campaign really hit the mark on all of these”.

Among the main categories, there was a complete change from last year’s results in terms of pharma company winners. ViiV Healthcare scooped 4 Gold Awards and 2 Silvers for their campaign Change the Face of HIV, replacing last year’s highest awarded company Teva. In second place was EUSA Pharma who took home 2 Gold Awards, a Silver and a Bronze for work in support of Caphosol. Other highly awarded companies were Pfizer, Teva, Ascensia Diabetes Care, Sanofi Pasteur and Shield Therapeutics who all received at least one Gold Award plus others in the Silver or Bronze category.

On the agency side, this year’s outright winner was Havas Lynx, who took home 10 awards, matching VCCP Health’s total last year. Havas Lynx was awarded an amazing 5 Golds, for their work in both HIV and Dermatology, as well as 3 Silver and 2 Bronze awards. CDM London and Frontera London took 3 Golds each, with CDM London receiving a total of 7 awards and Frontera 6. Other multiple award winners with at least a Gold included Sudler London (1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze), Bedgebury Communications (1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze) and VCCP Health (1 Gold and 5 Bronze).

The PM Awards recognise creativity, impact and innovation across pharmaceutical and healthcare advertising and communications. They are still unique in including 5 Target Awards that are judged by nationwide online surveys of healthcare professionals or pharmaceutical executives – the “targets” of the work. Other categories are judged by panels of Creative Agency and Industry experts.

Neil Smith, the PM Society Awards Chairman and man behind the event for the past 17 years said “Following the success of our 30th Awards event last year, I was delighted to see a high level of entries again from a larger range of companies than ever before and the interest in the event as high as ever. As well as seeing some of the long-standing agencies and their clients, it was fantastic to see some newcomers to our list of finalists and winners. We have now fully integrated digital and interactive work into all our categories, and we have robust ways of judging print alongside digital.”

Tagged: Event Report

10th November, Royal Society of Medicine

The fourth Digital Works meeting brought together over a hundred delegates from the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare agencies to listen to six experts share their stories on how they are “Proud to be making a difference” within the industry.


Kai Gait
Senior Global Multi-Channel Director, GSK

Ben Blackmore
Be More Creative, on behalf of James Holah, Franchise Lead, Shire UK

Daniel Conacher
Digital Marketing Lead, Novartis UK

Becky Reeve
Head of Professional Relations, Sanofi

Ian Hamilton
Medical Affairs Global IT Account Manager, Eli Lilly

Pamela Penn
Business Development Director, Health Unlocked


Carwyn Jones – Co-chair and Digital Lead, PM Society

Carwyn Jones

Carwyn started the meeting by welcoming our guests, colleagues and peers from agency and pharma industry.

He reinforced the PM Society’s mission, recapped on current initiatives and welcomed new advocates to join the Society to continue to recognise and promote pharmaceutical excellence within the industry.

He set the agenda for the day and also enlightened us to some interesting facts about our speakers, which for legal reasons cannot be posted online!


Kai Gait – GSK

MyAsthma - Supporting patients in understanding their asthma

Kai Gait

Kai opened the first session by presenting GSK’s MyAsthma site which, built over 5 years ago, was designed to support patients via a library of asthma content and tools to score levels of control.

The site had amassed a wealth of content but needed a complete revamp which Kai’s team tackled by analysing how patients were interacting with it and recording their user experience.

From this they set out on an ambitious mission to turn MyAsthma into the most sophisticated and successful mobile health application available, with the platform supporting not just asthma but other GSK therapy areas.

Working in collaboration with physicians from the Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit and The Earthworks, they developed a new framework using the latest mobile technology which allowed patients to input their health data, track and monitor their condition, along with environmental data provided by their phone, which alerted them to potential triggers allowing them to take appropriate precautions. This functionality and clinical support meant the app had to be treated as a Class 1 medical device with all the additional process required for development and approval.

Kai outlined the challenges faced when launching such an ambitious program, given the rapidly growing number of health applications available to smart phone users (currently over 259,000); combining the complexities of the disease area with the continuing development of mobile technology to ensure a quality and trusted app which doesn’t put patients at risk. This is further complicated when building the app on a global level which needs to be approved, deployed and managed at a local market level.

So what was the end result? MyAsthma is GSK’s first Class 1 medical device app and GSK is now the first Pharma company to have created a standalone medical device app. Kai attributes the success to the continual support of a cross-functional team comprising Agile IT, Global Regulatory, IT Risk and Medical & Commercial teams.

Already the data being collected from the MyAsthma app is allowing patients to build a better understanding of what triggers their asthma, helping them to share their data in a simple PDF format with their HCP which has saved up to 20 minutes of consultation time.


Ben Blackmore - BMore Creative on behalf of James Holah, Franchise Lead, Shire UK

Finding a rare patient

Ben Blackmore

Sadly James couldn’t make it on the day but Ben, from bmore Creative, did a fantastic job at the last minute to present Shire’s medical education campaign ‘Bringing Fabry into Focus’.

Ben started by highlighting how challenging it is to identify patients with rare diseases; on average it can take around 16 years of being bounced around the NHS due to confusing signs and symptoms.

Fabry disease (an uncommon inherited metabolic disease) is even rarer and harder to identify and so Shire created an educational tool to help equip their sales force to support HCPs and patients earlier on in the process.

Ben shared the challenges Shire faced due to the usual compliancy regulations, tight budgets and timelines, plus getting access to the KOLs for their input. However they have succeeded in developing a comprehensive app, supported by a website to host a wealth of material which raises awareness of the disease. The interactive tool takes into account a patient’s gender, and then uses different trigger images to launch a relevant version of the Augmented Reality APP that is easy to use and quick to navigate to the different manifestations of Fabry. Built to be displayed in app and replicated online in the website, the content is extremely versatile, allowing it to be tailored to different audiences via different formats.

Ben went on to report that initial user testing has been well received and the tool is already being used at specialist training events for HCPs, 100% sales team engagement and 100% key account engagement. Shire plan to support the app with a marketing campaign using targeted patient emails, increased key AdWords to signpost the tool and potentially launch a social media campaign along with global Shire adoption in 2017.


Daniel Conacher - Novartis UK

Cosentyx Connect Homecare Patient Support Program

Daniel ConacherDaniel gave us a very insightful presentation into the challenges they have faced with their project CosentyxTM Connect and its access to the market using the Homecare drug delivery service.

This is the first time Novartis had worked within the homecare space so they commissioned some research to identify what their core customers (dermatologists and dermatology nurses) liked / disliked about the service. They then reviewed Homecare providers who were open to working with new processes, along with appointing an agency who could manage the program with the necessary stringent technical infrastructure to support the data management requirements.

The team identified many areas where the process could be digitalised and set to work creating simpler registration forms, developing a central hub for patient records to be stored and the ability for both HCPs and Homecare nurses to access and update with evaluation forms and care plans.

The result was the creation of a sophisticated back end database and front end patient portal where users now have a personalised site they can access to view drug delivery times and schedule nurse appointments along with a wealth of relevant content and advice to help cope with their condition. HCPs have more insight into the care their patients are receiving outside of scheduled consultations which has given them greater confidence in the service.

Daniel highlighted some of the challenges faced when taking on a project of this magnitude, mainly around data protection, management and access of patient records between NHS intranet and Homecare CRM systems and ensuring Novartis had no access to confidential data.

Initial results have been positive, although sign-up has been impacted due to the double opt-in patients need to undertake. They have since identified that hospital pharmacists should also be utilising this service, so are looking to improve the systems further. They are enhancing the patient site, allowing greater user personalisation to give patients access to more relevant content and support groups.

Daniel credits the success of this project with choosing the right agency with the right technical infrastructure and a homecare provider who was willing to change their business model to work together with pharma to make improvements for all to benefit from.


Becky Reeve – Head of Professional Relations Diabetes & Cardiovascular - Sanofi

Teaching HCPs about social media: what we’ve learned

Becky ReeveBecky shared with us her very personal journey into teaching HCPs how to embrace social media. She set out in 2011 with the vision of a Sanofi Diabetes Twitter feed; however this is still work in progress! Instead Becky is extremely active on social media under her own personal Twitter account and is on a personal crusade to understand HCPs’ reluctance to engage in this social space.

She spent a lot of time within Diabetes online communities listening to what patients wanted from their HCPs. This gave her a voice to showcase and educate HCPs that patients don’t necessarily want answers but to be listened to. They wanted help in cutting out the jargon and looked to HCPs to share and endorse useful content, apps and support networks. What she has found was HCPs are understandably scared to share content without being certain of its credibility. They have a strong duty of care and don’t want to be personally accountable for advocating information online and exposing themselves to a digital footprint that could hold them accountable and contactable.

This has helped Becky change her mission, no longer does she try and encourage HCPs to take to Twitter and become digital experts, rather she educates them on the growing social media space and helps pinpoint what information patients find valuable, not always scientific but usually more practical advice. Diabetes teams can’t offer patients 24/7 support and the “#doc” is always there, which bridges the gap between appointments.

This still didn’t address the issue of credibility of content, and so was created by a group of professionals and patients to help review all diabetes resources, along with personal opinions and blog commentary which flag safety warnings and signposts back to regulated content for clarity. This one stop shop has enabled HCPs to feel more confident recommending this resource to patients, overcoming previous fears of accountability and joining professionals and patients together in helping improve Type 1 diabetes care.

Becky concluded that social media will continue to grow and that HCPs are slowly starting to become advocates, however it isn’t for pharma or HCPs to provide or curate the content, patients are already doing this just fine by themselves!


Ian Hamilton - Eli Lilly

eMIG (European Medical Information Gateway) – industry collaboration backed by EFPIA

Ian HamiltonIan made us aware of a collaboration which is underway between the Medical Information Leaders in Europe (MILE) with initial funding from EFPIA to create a European Medical Information Gateway (E-MIG).

This informal organisation was brought about due to the increasing need to help physicians and patients who require medical information find the answers via a self-service portal.

Currently medical information support is being channeled via traditional means; telephone, sales reps, email and post and it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage across the industry. The group recognised that by bringing this online as a collaboration between pharmaceutical companies it could solve the problem, share the cost and ultimately allow improved healthcare decision making on a 24/7 basis.

Currently 18 Pharma companies are participating in this European consortium but Ian is keen to broadcast this initiative and get more pharma companies on board. They are looking to launch in early 2017 and Ian was keen to emphasise that success won’t be measured by the volume of customer visits initially; rather it’s important that this becomes a valued and trusted resource in the industry and helps engage other stakeholders to continue to evolve digital services for the future.


Pamela Penn - Health Unlocked

Health Unlocked – the journey to 2020

Pamela joined us from HealthUnlocked to talk about their established website and how digital initiatives will continue to drive change in health for the future.

HealthUnlocked is the largest social media network for health in the UK. Formed 6 years ago, it identified that although patients need professional advice there was also a great hunger for practical and emotional support. They questioned where patients went to “socialise” and flagged that other social media platforms didn’t address this problem.

And so HealthUnlocked was born, a place to allow peer-to-peer support for patients, caregivers and health advocates to connect online using credible support from organisations and institutions.

Currently with over 600 communities covering 160 disease areas, Pam explained that patient organisations helped to set up and moderate communities and super users and expert patients to help ensure information is kept up to date and accurate.

Pamela Penn

They found that although patients find websites and apps useful, they especially needed access to local support and so by investing in the latest advances in artificial intelligence and algorithms the site can quickly identify a user and make recommendations based on their location and health journey to help tailor their experience.

Pamela went on to share powerful data to showcase the site; 18 – 30% of patients said they had used professional services less, due to using the HealthUnlocked site to help answer their questions.

The site is continuing to evolve, working with CCGs to localise services available and make patients aware of different communities close to home which could help them holistically across different areas.

They are looking at ways to get HCPs to endorse “social prescriptions”, where drugs cannot be used but signposting patients to HealthUnlocked could help.

Finally they find that many patients are happy to share their experiences and are keen to receive information about medical research, making the site of further interest and potential within the pharma industry.


Tagged: Event Report

Digital Works III took place before the PM Society Digital Awards 2015.

A collection of amazing speakers from WebMD, BMS, Search Unlimited, GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, Veeva, NHS Choices, & M3. These speakers highlighted programmes and initiatives in digital healthcare that have worked as well as fascinating insight and thinking.

We hope you enjoy the content.

Albert Reyes – WebMD: A Day in the Life of a Doctor



Panel Discussion One: GSK and WebMD



David Brooks – BMS, and Matt Lowe – Search Unlimited: Audience behaviour, SEO and Digital PR From insights to insights



Josh Lurie – Symplur: The Launch of Symplur Signals



Panel Discussion Two: Search Unlimited and Symplur Singals



Christian Hansen – Boehringer Ingelheim UK, and Chris Wade – Veeva Systems: Taking the next step how mobile technology remains key to customer success



Martin Moth – NHS Choices: NHS endorsement of Apps - what the future holds



Dr James Quekett – M3 (EU): The value of social learning for doctors



Panel Discussion Three: Veeva, NHS Choices and M3

Tagged: Search, Mobile, Pharma, NHS, Rob Huxford, GSK, Albert Reyes, WebMD, David Brooks, BMS, Matt Lowe, Search Unlimited, Chris Wade, Veeva Systems, Christian Hansen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Josh Lurie, Symplur, Martin Moth, NHS Choices, Dr. James Quekett, M3, Smartphones, Event Report

April 27th, The Brewery, London

Reporter – Anjani Patel, Account Manager, emotive


The third Digital Works Meeting brought together nine experts from industry and the NHS who had something to say about “how digital works”. While their perspectives differed, they all agreed that keeping patients and customer experience at the centre is the key to creating programmes and tools that add maximum value.



Rob Huxford, Global Commercial Head (PAH)
Rare Diseases – GSK
Albert Reyes, VP, Client Solutions
Consumer and Professional Portals – WebMD
David Brooks, Associate Director
Multichannel Management Partner – BMS
Matt Lowe
Director – Search Unlimited
Chris Wade, Director of Multichannel Strategy
Veeva Systems
Christian Hansen, CRM + Platform Lead
Boehringer Ingelheim UK
Josh Lurie
Martin Moth, Tools Lead
NHS Choices
Dr. James Quekett, GP and
Director for Primary Care at M3 (EU)


Rob Huxford – GSK

“The key to success is onboarding the patient associations, which is critical for rare diseases”

The workshop kicked off with Rob Huxford describing how GSK has developed an effective mobile health solution for the rare disease, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). The GSK team recognised from the start that a collaboration with healthcare professionals and other industry organisations was key in rare disease management and therefore started by conducting an analysis of the current situation with the help and support of the relevant patient associations and Manchester University. This research showed that the traditional forms of patient support were being catered for very well but highlighted a disconnect between the patient and HCP through the management of the condition away from the clinic.

To fill the gap, GSK developed MyPAH, an app aiming to put the control back in patients’ hands, allowing them to track their everyday experiences and facilitate discussions with their HCPs. This app was developed to empower patients to confidently manage their condition away from the clinical setting. Although it’s still in the pilot phase, it is the first step in meeting the needs of patients in this rare disease.


Albert Reyes – WebMD

Albert Reyes from WebMD flew in from the U.S. to provide an insight into how third party platforms such as WebMD allow us to better understand the online behaviour of the physician. With 91% of all physicians using smart phones for professional use, it is now even more important that we understand who, where, why, when and what they want. The key is to ensure that the content is in the right context for meaningful engagement.

Reyes shared some useful data such as only 32% of European doctors allowing reps access and 46% using search engines to assist with prescribing decisions. Reyes then shared with us how a global cardiologist uses platforms such as Medscape to catch up on articles tailored to his or her interest and gave details of Medscape’s highly rated apps. The articles featured are representative of the actual audience insights over the previous 90 days, therefore the content is both relevant and up to date.

“Content is king. Context is queen”


David Brooks – BMS, and Matt Lowe – Search Unlimited

David Brooks (BMS) and Matt Lowe (Search Unlimited) provided an overview of audience behaviour, SEO and digital PR in healthcare. Mobile health enquiries account for 18% of all search traffic and therefore search engine optimization is crucial in ensuring the visibility of all your online communication. “Customer experience” should always be the starting point therefore David and his team carried out a digital landscaping exercise that helped them gain insight into the behaviour of their specific UK audience to scope out a set of end goals. It was fundamental to interrogate HCP behaviour online with a focus on what they want – not what BMS wants to tell them.

This landscaping exercise helped to define a keyword strategy and ensured the most efficient architecture. The highly targeted approach also used the data found to continually improve the customer experience. The team has changed the way they approach online communication in healthcare for the better.

“Our biggest opportunity is the smallest moments”

Josh Lurie – Symplur

Josh Lurie told the audience about Symplur Signals, a platform that tracks over a billion tweets to tell you exactly what doctors and patients are thinking. Symplur analyses Twitter feeds in real time to locate and identify the conversations that are happening by therapy area topic, making the voices of all healthcare stakeholders heard by the industry.

Tracking over a billion Tweets, to tell you exactly what doctors and patients are thinking”
The system maps influencers, shows who is talking about what, from patients to companies and reveals those pharma companies that are truly engaging with their many audiences via social media. This latter information was used to select the finalists and winner of the Social Media Pharma Company of the Year Award, presented at the PM Society Digital Awards on the same day.


Christian Hansen – Boehringer Ingelheim UK, and Chris Wade – Veeva Systems

Following the break, Christian Hansen (B.I.) and Chris Wade (Veeva) shared with us their experience of how mobile technology is key to customer success. With mobile tech embedded in healthcare (over 96% of doctors use their mobiles to assist in their clinical work) it is critical to the delivery of better care. At B.I. the digital journey has gained momentum quickly with the field force moving to digital detailing, an iRep system and other technology solutions for engaging with customers.

The key is bridging the gap between face to face engagements and other digital interactions. Across the industry, 80% of reps now have iPads in comparison to 35% in 2011 so it is important to help the field force adopt and integrate these new platforms into their relationships with their customer base.

Customers care about what matters to them – mobile tech is there to help bridge the gap between their needs and your goals“


Martin Moth – NHS Choices

Continuing the theme of apps and what the future holds, Martin Moth, Tools Lead for NHS Choices firstly confirmed that NHS.UK is a hugely popular website, boasting 2 million visits per day. 68% of those are from mobile so it’s no surprise that they are developing apps as well as web-based tools for users. The website’s BMI calculator was the most used with 3.5m users last year. The ‘depression and anxiety’ self-assessment tool had 1.6m uses in the same period, and the weight loss guide 1.9m. Some interesting data on the difference between mobile users and those using a desktop was given.

Moth also talked about the lessons learned from the Health Apps Library which was decommissioned in October 2015, re-emphasizing the need to promote apps in context to people in relevant places. Current activity centres on the National Information Board’s work to assess and approve healthcare apps, so that HCPs will be confident in recommending their use and patients will be confident to use them. It’s still a work in progress but it’s happening fast …to help the apps you develop reach the maximum audience.

Uptake of apps doesn’t happen if you put them on a website and expect people to use them”


Dr James Quekett – M3 (EU)

Finally we heard from Dr James Quekett who helped us understand the value of social learning for doctors. He quoted the statistic that 93.9% of doctors think the internet has had a significant impact on clinical practice. Although different people use the same platform for different things, they all understand the value of online discussions.

Doctors may not use ‘open’ networks for patient based discussions but will still use them to stay up to date within their fields. They also have many other social media networks, therefore he suggested we look “outside the box” and into these professional networks for engagement opportunities. In all forms of communication the key learning is to listen…

Don’t shout at me, listen to me”


Tagged: Search, Mobile, Pharma, NHS, Rob Huxford, GSK, Albert Reyes, WebMD, David Brooks, BMS, Matt Lowe, Search Unlimited, Chris Wade, Veeva Systems, Christian Hansen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Josh Lurie, Symplur, Martin Moth, NHS Choices, Dr. James Quekett, M3, Smartphones, Event Report
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