A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend TedMed 2013 in Washington DC. One of the highlights of the conference was a technology showcase area, staffed by a number of start-ups and healthcare innovators looking to show off their wares. One booth, sponsored by Steelcase and Medgadget, offered to provide a ‘smartphone physical’ utilizing 10 of the latest generation medical diagnostic devices built to work with the iPhone. The experience left me wanting.
As you may have seen, Google Glass started rolling out to early adopters last week. I’m not normally one to suggest that brands jump on the latest fad du jour, but to me this seems like a golden opportunity to solve a a long standing problem. Therefore I suggest that every sales rep in pharma be supplied with a pair of Google Glass. (Editors note: Is it pair? Unit? The singularity of the name suggests that the AP Style Guide may want to get working on this).
When a pharma rep walks into a sales call with a doctor they can hand them their Google Glass to wear. Then, upon a gesture or spoken command, the Glass will project a continuous and repeating presentation of fair balance during the entire length of the conversation, leaving the Rep’s iPad or other sales assets with more real estate for data, charts, and graphs. And, think of the how much more time the HCPs will spend with the Rep since they’ll be so interested to play with this fancy new toy.
It’s a marketers dream come true!
And yes, I am kidding. Sort of.
“We can break the cycle of blandness. We can jam up the assembly line that spits out one dull, lookalike piece of crap after another. We can say, ‘Why not do something with artistic integrity and ideological courage?’”
– Tibor Kalman
“Click here to learn more.”
As I am often want to do, last week I spent the better part of a day poking around the internet looking at the general scale, scope, and style of what’s being deployed online for the industry. Part of this was research for gathering up content to be included in the social and mobile wiki, and part of it was because I’m curious as to what the ‘State of Pharma Web Design’ is for 2013. Needless to say, the picture is pretty bleak.
To say I’m baffled by this is an understatement. The industry as a whole seems entirely focused on innovation. This is good. I ‘listened’ into the #ePharma stream on Twitter, and there was an enormous appetite for social, mobile, gaming and other emerging trends. This is also good. But when does innovation become about adopting latest generation thinking across the entirety of the digital medium, rather than just being relegated to the exploration of new platforms and channels?
Which brings me back to my web searches. The state of design in the industry today is abysmal. A-BIZ-MAL. It’s not just the design and user experience, which is bad enough, but the structure, layout, and production values. All of which are state of the art – if you were reading this post in 1999.
Just take a look at the websites of the top selling brands in pharma right now.
“The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson
2013 is already shaping up to be a groundbreaking year for health technology. In just the past few weeks we’ve seen stunning technology announced, including LCD contact lenses, iPhone enabled EKG monitors, and brain controlled artificial limbs. I’m pretty sure we’re just at the beginning of a tidal wave of advances that push the human experience forward dramatically.
What follows are a few things I think will reshape our expectations and experiences in healthcare, some for better, some for worse.
For a sense of scale, the size of the data we’re talking about is as follows:
1,000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte. 1,000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte. 1,000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte. 1,000 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte. 1,000 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte. By 2015, global IP traffic is expected to pass 1.3 Zettabytes per year, with 39-45% of all that traffic happening wirelessly. 51% of that traffic will be video based, with HD video compromising 79% of that. For all of the talk about big data and how healthcare marketers can use it, the fact remains the industry is woefully under-resourced to create or leverage the kind of sophisticated algorithms needed to analyze and predict trends in order to stay relevant with customers. And, given the scale of the data involved, the problem is only going to get worse. Read More…