“What do physicians want?” asked Robert Nauman (right), a principle with Biopharma Advisors, at a panel about physicians and technology at the 2008 ePharma Summit. “They want help finding information fast. I think there is interactive technology out there today that will help us get there.”
New technologies don’t get picked up for several reasons:
- The pen and paper are still widely used.
- The tablet PC sucks the energy out of the room.
- There is no IT support and doctors’ offices can’t afford expensive electronic medical records (EMR) systems.
Bottom line: Doctors have enough trouble finding time to interact with patients in the office. They don’t want to take on activitiesâ€”such as answering patient e-mailsâ€”that they can’t monetize.
Areas of adoption On the other hand, there are some interesting areas where physician technology is gaining traction:
- Some physicians are starting to offer appointments online. Physicians can now point patients to information online that pertains to a particular diagnosis.
- There is a 30 percent adoption rate of e-records, e-prescribing, and other online services. Clinicians own the software and the real estate now. “We must figure out the next range of services that allow the manufacturer to offer a value-added service,” said Devin Paullin of Allscripts’ Physicians.
EMR potentially offers pharma marketers an opportunity for patient access in the office. For example, the Phreesia Pad, a Web-enabled tablet, allows pharma to deliver targeted messaging to patients after they fill out their patient information in the waiting room.