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Breaking Pharma’s Web 1.0 Addiction

“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.

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What To Watch For In 2013

“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.

The Zettabyte

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…

Predicting The Future Of Medical Terrorism

WILE E. COYOTE - GENIUSRecently I had the privilege to yet again attend WPP’s technology and innovation conference, STREAM. Held in Marathon, Greece, the setting provides its own magic, but the attendees are an eclectic group that leaves me inspired and always sends me home with all kinds of new ideas. Exactly what you want from a conference such as this.

On the last night there, a bunch of us were fighting it out playing Mindflex, a concentration game where you battle for control of the game piece by wearing a headset that measures your brain activity and concentration. I did not do well. (I blame the cocktails). I was struck about how quickly science fiction level tech is becoming a mainstream reality. We all can probably remember a time when we dreamed up some fascinating gadget or gizmo that was controlled merely by thinking about it, but it always seemed impossible.

Yet here I was, sitting in Greece, trying to focus my way to victory by playing a game with my brain. Welcome to the year 2012. Where mind control devices are now affordable retail hardware.

When I was done with my turn, I left to apply some alcoholic salve to my humiliating loss and struck up a conversation with a few techies that worked at various start-ups. Each was telling a story or two about how they knew someone who tried hacking into this site or that server. Mostly harmless stuff, but it fostered an idea. In the age of seamlessly integrated network technology and data collection software appearing all over the healthcare space, are we asking for trouble? More importantly, could an organization like Al-Qaeda or Anonymous hack into medical technologies and wreak havoc on a large scale?

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What is the Future of Healthcare? [Video Presentation]

For those who follow this blog, you probably know that I’ve talked about where I see healthcare headed in the future. In particular, I’ve talked a lot about how digital technology will change the way healthcare is delivered in the future and will ultimately be what makes us more successful at preventing, treating, and curing diseases. It’s a little counter to the way the current system is set up, which primarily relies on big, new drug discoveries to deliver the biggest advances. I believe in something a bit different. We’ll get more value out of investments in using existing and creating new digital technologies for healthcare than we’ll get from new drug breakthroughs.

Sure, I could get thrown out of the industry for that, but it’s what I believe.

For those who don’t believe me, I invite you to check out the presentation I gave last week at ePharma West. I talked about why the current system isn’t working, what might work, and what we’ll have to do differently to make our healthcare system more effective. You can watch and listen to my presentation below. Try it in HD and full screen to see the details (also try turning scaling off…there’s button you can click in the player after going full screen). If you want a copy of my slides, you can get them here:  What is the Future of Healthcare (817 downloads).

After watching the video, I invite you to leave your comments and let me know your opinion. Am I right on or completely off?