Healthcare is an industry defined by change — change in the health and wellness needs of communities; change in technology; and change in consumer preferences. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, served as the biggest catalyst of all, catapulting the digital transformation of healthcare. We saw this in action as the utilization of telehealth services surged by nearly 40 times more than pre-pandemic days. As the landscape shifts, the digitization of healthcare overall remains a preference for many patients, and players within the space have to evolve to capture the attention of patient audiences.
This extends beyond digital technologies for patient engagement to innovations that can improve outcomes. Within pharmaceuticals, there are opportunities for new interventions and new ways of marketing to patients to elevate patient care. To maximize those opportunities, it’s critical to understand what patients are looking for. Today, it’s more important than ever to engage physicians during early innovation development and marketing planning to understand the voice of the patient. And with global pharmaceutical marketing expected to reach over $2 trillion in the next five years, inviting physicians to be part of the process has become a necessity.
Sharing the Patient Perspective
Physicians see patients and prescribe treatments day in and day out, allowing for a deeper understanding of both new health products and their end-users. As a close and trusted touchpoint with patients, physicians’ in-depth discussions allow them to hear firsthand their patient’s personal perspectives, needs and desires for healthcare, helping inform their approach to healthcare – whether that’s prescribing a particular medication over another, or using a particular device. As such, physicians are positioned to be a powerful resource with exclusive insights for pharmaceutical teams to optimize new product development or the presentation of drug-related information to consumers based on their collaboration with patients.
Being deeply ingrained within the industry, physicians can elevate a new development team’s marketing strategy and ensure medical accuracy. They can share ideal ways to scale and talk about a new product in a variety of settings — ranging from patients and their families, to other professionals in healthcare, and even insurance providers. While a marketing team can explain the ins and outs of a product, a physician brings an authentic voice that offers more value and trust to end-users of a new product and an added layer of credibility.
Connecting to Innovate
Today, over half of adults in the United States live with a chronic disease, and pharma companies around the country are working every day to change that — with the help of physician experts. By engaging with a new drug, prescription, or OTC medication, physicians can help companies in the pharmaceutical sector with research, development and marketing to ensure the best treatment for patients with minimal side effects, and maximum effectiveness.
Physicians can leverage their expertise for various non-clinical consulting opportunities, such as scientific advisors, speaker programs, FDA approval processes, requests for proposals, patient journey identification, and more. Bringing real-world data and observations, as well as a critical thinking approach, this collaboration is a win-win: other organizations and industries improve their own concepts and development; patients benefit from physician-consulted products and innovations; and physicians can break up their traditional day-to-day work with non-clinical opportunities, further stimulating and expanding their minds to bring new, fresh ideas to their clinical practice.
Engaging Via New Medical Avenues
Finding the right physician, with the right expertise, for any project can be daunting. Often, it may seem easier to use your personal network or engage with cost-prohibitive recruitment firms. But now, networking has gone digital — and finding the right physician is just a few clicks away.
flipMD is lowering the barrier for physicians and businesses to connect and innovate by applying a gig economy model to pharma. The easy-to-use platform enables pharma companies to post non-clinical jobs with unique parameters to source the right expertise needed from a robust network of specialty physicians ranging from family physicians to medical oncologists. Physicians, in turn, have the control to pursue passions and explore non-clinical work as a new avenue for professional development while receiving additional compensation outside of their full-time careers.
With so many opportunities in pharmaceuticals, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve while remaining relevant and factual. By engaging with practicing physicians, companies and innovators can positively impact the future of healthcare and provide greater solutions.