“The labs realize that doctors and patients are escaping them”

by bold-lichterman

The start of the year is usually the time to take stock and announce trends for the coming year. I am no exception to the rule and share with you the observation that, for me, 2015 is – among other things – the year when labs clicked on digital. Some strong announcements: participatory research program using Big Data at Roche, partnership with Google on diabetes at Novartis, health hackathon for Sanofi, Medtronic, which joins forces with IBM … At the conference of Cham where I had the pleasure of leading a round table, the forward-looking vision around e-health made you dizzy. Was it the threat of uberization that suddenly created the emergency in pharma? Will this be enough to bring them on the path to digitalization?

If the phenomenon is particularly striking, it must be said that it is also by contrast. The labs have indeed masterfully ignored the two previous digital revolutions. I am used to using the classification of web revolutions in three phases to measure the maturity of organizations in relation to digital. Let us recall the pitfalls that awaited the protagonists of the first two digital revolutions:

  • The Web 1.0, the Web of search engines which pitted “showcase sites” on one side against “user-centric” sites on the other. It is the latter who have won the battle for visibility on Google.

  • Web 2.0, the web of social networks that pitted businesses using these tools as a communication channel against organizations that understood they could enter into direct conversation with their audiences. It is the latter who have consolidated their reputation and have drawn key customer knowledge to build the products and services of tomorrow.

At least, the drug manufacturers have not experienced a bad buzz since they have not tried much on digital: their websites have remained stuck with the 2000 version of the brochure sites in due form. Neither referents for information on the pathologies on which they work, nor animators of patient communities, nor activators of influence networks to defend themselves from the attacks of which they are sometimes victims, nor even actors of their own notoriety through advertising investments, the pharmaceutical industry was conspicuous by its absence.

Obviously, they have a few reasons for this: paralyzed by regulatory constraints (advertising of prescription products, pharmacovigilance requiring the declaration of side effects, etc.) and players in a health system that is itself archaic, we can understand their caution. So what makes them look at the web’s third wave, that of data, differently?

In my opinion, they realize that their two main targets, doctors and patients, are eluding them:

  • On the one hand, the relationship with the doctor has become more complicated: since 2008, any pen offered to a healthcare professional must be declared and, moreover, doctors receive fewer and fewer medical representatives and are 96% on the other hand to get information on Google.

  • On the other hand, the patient takes his health in hand: if since web 1.0 he has access to information on Google, with web 2.0 he has been able to interact with other patients, web 3.0 finally provides him with connected objects which give it back the power to manage its own “monitoring”.

Laboratories are therefore entering the digital world through the main door of the “business model” and the total transformation of their activity, moving from sellers of drugs to sellers of “medical devices” to support their patients. But I ask myself the following question: can we take such a structuring step without having been confronted with previous digital challenges? In other words, can you play properly at level 3 of the web without having passed the first two? Your opinion is welcome. I, who am not a gamer, will meet you at the beginning of 2017 to give you my impressions …

SEE : [NOUVEAU] “Healthcare Connect”: the e-health show

caroline-failletHEC training, Caroline Faillet, passionate about propagation phenomena specific to the Web, took an interest in the ancestors of social media in 2003. She introduced the expression “conversation marketing” and decided, in 2004, to co-found her second company, Bolero, whose vocation is to decipher the opinions and behaviors of the public to guide the strategies of organizations. As a “netnologist”, Caroline Faillet has the ability to decode the impact of digital on today’s world and uses her expertise to contribute to the debate in the academic world (HEC, Celsa-La Sorbonne) and in many events.

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