We realized that there is a huge scope for digital transformation in the pharma industry therefore, we started providing digital solutions to Pharma companies for engaging the HCPs remotely, without losing the essence of physical interactions – Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna, DAP, Full Interview

Dr Sampreeth Shivanna

Dr Sampreeth Shivanna

DAP (Digital A Plus) delivers World-Class Solutions in Medical Communications, Healthcare Digital Excellence & Strategic Consultancy. The organization has a highly qualified team with expertise in a wide range of therapeutic areas, established relationships with key opinion leaders, we help our clients achieve their communication needs, whether they are global, regional or local. Below is a transcript from a recent interaction between team IT-Voice and Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna, Senior Director, Business, DAP:

Prateek: How the pandemic acted as a catalyst for the digital transformation of the pharma industry?

Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna: The pandemic has brought a digital technology revolution in the pharma industry, especially for communicating with Healthcare Professionals (HCPs). Due to COVID-19 protocols, these frontline workers were avoiding face-to-face interaction with the medical representatives from pharmaceutical companies. The virtual meeting via apps made the job of pharma companies’ representatives easier, as they were able to communicate with  the assistance of tools such as virtual CRMs. For the smooth and safe flow of communications, all those pre Covid-19 interactions now adopted the virtual meeting platforms as this emerged to be the need of the hour. At DAP, we realized that there is a huge scope for digital transformation in the industry. And this is the reason why we started providing digital solutions to Pharma companies for engaging the HCPs remotely, without losing the essence of physical interactions.

Prateek: What is DAP’s strategy to increase the digital touchpoints and understanding of doctors’ persona through omnichannel marketing?

Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna: Digital solutions and innovations need continuous research and development to analyze and achieve digital transformation. In order to ensure successful interaction with HCPs, the engagement platforms shoul be curated that would integrate relevant, and tailored scientific information. At DAP, we understand the doctor’s persona and know what fits best for each doctor according to their preferences towards any particular digital channel or specific scientific content. We feel that closing the physical-digital gaps in the healthcare domain and improving the user experiences are essential. This is why we perform surveys on our platforms and include user’s feedback, which will aid us in developing proper multichannel marketing strategies with specific focus on relevant content as well as the preference of consumers towards specific channels for communication.

Prateek: What are the best  trends to engage healthcare professionals? 

Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna: Person to person and specialty to specialty, the tool for virtual connection with healthcare experts via digital medium varies. Simple emailers are sufficient for some doctors. However, some experts and specialists consider virtual webinars and congresses to be the only authentic source for updated scientific information. It thus becomes important to have webinars and congresses to give out important information about new findings in such a situation. Scientific webinars, informative videos, remote detailing, Scientific email campaigns, and online scientific communities are all used in effective integrated Multi-Channel Marketing (SI-MAKM)  for successful interaction of HCPs with pharma companies. Alongside, online CMEs and learnings affiliated with Internationally Recognized Medical Universities are other effective route that facilitate smooth communication. 

Prateek: How are technologies like AR/VR/AI transforming the Med-Comm industry?

Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna: In the present digital-driven world, patients and the general public are educated about diseases and new medical advancements using emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These solutions are currently popular in medical communication. They are being used to communicate with medical experts and educate them on new medications as well as medical breakthroughs. AR is demonstrating the mechanism of action of a newer medicine, providing new life to some old scientific information, and generating excitement among HCPs for further information that could be obtained utilising these technologies. AI is also gaining traction in recognising illness risk factors well before any symptoms occur that is preventive healthcare, as well as diagnosis and therapy simulations. VR whereas, on the other hand, aids surgeons in comprehending and practising difficult operations, as well as providing a positive post-surgery outcome. On the whole, every technology is contributing in its distinct way to transform the med-comm industry. 

Prateek: What will be the roadmap for growth in the coming years? 

Dr. Sampreeth Shivanna: Digital initiatives for HCP engagement and communication are ramping up, with pharma firm representatives using digital channels to communicate with healthcare professionals. In the near future, we will see increased technological penetration in the medical communication space. The primary focal area that needs to be concentrated on is providing relevant, on-demand scientific knowledge to HCPs, rather than just marketing product information. The need for investment in R&D space for tailored HCP interaction will also see a surge. Hence, it would be appropriate to say that the future of the med-comm industry seems to be progressive!

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