PharmExec Blog

Live from ePharma Summit 2008: Is Doc Tech Coming of Age?

Robert Nauman, principal, Biopharma Advisors“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 activities—such as answering patient e-mails—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.

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