Archive for April, 2012



Marketing 101 Revived: A New Healthcare Consumer Report

April 25th, 2012
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In my previous post, I discussed the need for healthcare companies to take a more market-focused approach to the healthcare consumer, including a more concentrated effort to segment the market and tailor strategies to different consumer groups.
 
Today, I’d like to explore the growing power of the healthcare consumer.
 
Overall, healthcare costs – both on the societal and the individual level – are increasing. Consumers are required, one way or another, to pay a greater share. So they are starting, albeit slowly, to ask questions about value. And they are interested in the value to themselves, individually, not to the population as a whole. How the consumer perceives healthcare value is an area that needs a lot of further exploration.

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Employee Devices + Mobile Healthcare Information = A Quiet, Perfect Storm

April 19th, 2012
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As the founder of the 10,000+-member Digital Health group on LinkedIn, I can’t help but see that there’s a perfect storm brewing in healthcare, and it’s one with surprisingly little turbulence. As we see more employees in healthcare (whether it’s pharma, a hospital, or device and diagnostics sales) demanding to use their personal devices on the job, we’re also seeing technology and drug developers embracing the use of mobile devices in the field. Now, the big data that traditionally was accessed only from headquarters is being downloaded, wirelessly transmitted, and read by employees across the healthcare spectrum through social networks and the Internet from the clinic, laboratory, office and road.
 
This is the digital revolution in healthcare: not only are Microsoft® products ceasing to become the predominant platform for healthcare employees, providers and consumers, the decisions to adopt certain technologies are being made by employees, providers, and customers (and less often by the corporate IT department). For example:

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Does the Healthcare Industry Need to Revisit ‘Marketing 101’?

April 16th, 2012
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Healthcare practitioners and technology developers alike are experiencing new pressures to either reduce delivery costs or to consider cost-effectiveness when developing new products. As an illustration of this new pressure, nine medical societies recently listed 45 procedures that they believe need to be streamlined, or eliminated, to reduce costs associated with patient care.
 
We at Popper and Company believe that many of these recommendations are fairly obvious, such as not ordering a CT scan or antibiotics for someone with uncomplicated sinus inflammation, or forgoing routine annual electrocardiograms for low-risk, asymptomatic patients.
 
But these medical society recommendations addressing patient care point to an important issue for life science companies in the business of developing new health products—a need to get away from building revenue projections based on a population-based “screening” mode, and an urgency to shift to ensuring desired ROI based on a personalized one.
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Consumer Genomic Testing Challenges Physicians to Stay within the Guidelines

April 12th, 2012
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Practice guidelines help physicians and other health care providers deliver consistent and information-based medical advice to their patients. But health care is changing radically: Genomic testing costs dipping below $2,000, patients and consumers accessing information over the web and even ordering tests for themselves, and the general awareness of genetic information in treatment decisions, are all factors at the base of this sea change. These dynamics are leading to greater consumer demand for this personalized genomic information, and possibly to consideration of health care options based on that information.
 
How do we balance guidelines focused on standardizing physician behavior with individual consumer demands for testing?
 
A new study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the University of Michigan has begun to plumb the depth of this new consumer interest in genomics. The Personal Genomics (PGen) study is one of the first interdisciplinary inquiries to examine why people want genomic testing now. It will survey 1,000 volunteers. Then, physicians, scientists, attorneys, genetic counselors, psychologists and bioethicists – many of whom hope the study will guide public policy and business practices in this area – will analyze the results.
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