December 3, 2018

As with technological and scientific progress, communication is constantly evolving and undergoing changes to which enterprises must adapt.

In the pharmaceutical and health care fields, the combination of HCPs who adopt a digital-first communication preference and decreased access to these professionals makes it imperative for Life Sciences companies to have the flexibility to adapt to changing communications methods.

Currently, an astonishing 64% of workers fall into either the Generation X or Millennial age cohorts; that is, they are in their mid-50s or younger. These professionals have radically different communication preferences than generations before them, and they have options ranging from email, to SMS, to messaging apps, literally at their fingertips.

This dynamic creates a terrific opportunity to maximize touch points with HCPs, but it also presents an engagement challenge that Life Science companies would do well to approach with a strategic plan.

Consider the following: In clinical and academic settings, text messaging workflows, progressive web apps, and mobile health applications, as well as telemedicine, are being increasingly deployed to facilitate and enhance patient engagement in order to improve care coordination and ensure an unbroken continuum of care. In fact, more than 75% of health systems now include some form of virtual care or telemedicine.

And for the many professionals who remember when PCs first came into office, it’s important to keep in mind that email is no longer the cutting edge it once was. Although email usage is still growing on an annualized basis, younger generations are far more likely to use other digital tools to communicate, such as text messaging and social media. Americans in the 25-34 age bracket, send and receive an astonishing 75 texts per day, and the generation behind them is an even more ravenous user of SMS technology.

What’s more, text messages have an immediacy that is virtually unmatched: They have a 99% overall open rate, and 95% are opened within three minutes of receipt — a remarkable feat of engagement, when you stop to consider that many of us probably have emails in our inboxes that have been languishing, unread, for days if not weeks.

This is not to say, of course, that texting is a silver bullet for facilitating the kind of HCP engagement older Life Sciences professionals remember in the “good old days.” But it should serve as a compelling point of reference, especially because HCPs today are most likely working with patients, who also exhibit a preference for these tech-based communication methods.

As such, Life Science companies need to think in terms of communication strategy as a multi-layered effort that continues to connect with HCPs in ways that are relevant to them by incorporating cutting-edge communication tools and consistently staying on the lookout for what’s next.  

Contributed by:

Matthew Gallo, Director, Global Sales Excellence, IQVIA

With nearly 20 years’ experience in the Life Sciences industry, Matt joined IQVIA with the AHM merger. Matt currently leads the Development and Solution Engineering team with a focus on expanding compliance offerings, tailored to emerging market needs. Prior to his solutions engineering role, Matt led AHM’s Technology Support organization, where he built a product-driven support team, meeting a broad scope of client needs—including mobile app support, Salesforce platform support, aggregate spend reporting, and more. Matt’s expertise in the Life Sciences industry spans analytics to account management, giving him a broad range of insight into solutions and support needs across organizations. Matt previously served as a Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force for seven years.

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