Archive for June, 2013

Empathy: Why Good Physicians Will Always Matter

In the comments section of a recent blog post, a reader commented:

The idea of using a computer to aid in making a diagnosis is not new. When hand held PDAs came out in the 90′s, I was one of the first to download Epocrates to mine to aid me in making the most informed diagnosis if a particular patient’s symptoms or problems were complex, or hadn’t responded to my treatment. It is an expected outcome that as more and more data and information has become available in the ‘cloud’ that we as physicians will utilize it more often… But will a computer or cloud computing ever replace the value of face-to-face contact with a real physician or mid-level care provider. Patients are all so different and 90% of the art of medicine is taking an accurate history, which frequently requires getting patients to open up or share that one last symptom that they either forgot or were afraid to share for a variety of reasons. It can actually make the difference between life and death in some cases. I fully embrace the future of what cloud sharing offers all of us in any business or occupation. But there will still be no way to improve on the Marcus Welby, MD “model of medical practice.”

Despite my belief in the value of technology to support better patient care (The Avatar Will See You Now), I agree wholeheartedly with the central role of the internist. When I talk to physicians and inquire about their methods, I’m always fascinated by their intake process and the central role of patient history. As the writer says, “90% of the art of medicine is taking an accurate history.”

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Change Management: The Key to Multi-Channel Pharma Marketing

This recent blog post Pharma is willing, but is it able? is an insightful read on multi-channel marketing, with many good references to published analyst reports. It notes that pharma is finally at a place where its marketers understand the value of multi-channel marketing, a realization that wasn’t true even two years ago. For years, marketing executives were satisfied just using a portfolio of individual, stand-alone tactics to build awareness that would lead to intent to prescribe.

Now everybody seems to appreciate the idea of coordinated, cascading messaging through multiple channels. The problem is that there are barriers, principally within pharma, to actually implementing this new world of marketing. According to a recent report from Accenture, pharma recognizes that it doesn’t have the in-house capabilities to pull off multi-channel marketing and is reaching out to experienced agencies for help.

This should be good news. However, the biggest barriers aren’t actually lack of capabilities. The biggest challenge is that when agencies step in to implement these techniques, they often run into pushback from internal vested interests or legal and regulatory departments not willing to make the necessary allowances to implement multi-channel strategies.

It’s a cultural issue. Read Full Article Now »