Digital Tools in Pharma: An Interview with Panos Papakonstantinou

May 1, 2014
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digital health in pharma

 

Papos Papakonstantinou of Novartis Europe, digital specialist, will be speaking at Doctors 2.0 & You on June 5 in Paris in a session covering three facets of digital pharma. Before you meet him in person, Doctors 2.0 & You asked him a few questions about digital devices and the pharma industry.

digital health in pharma

 

Papos Papakonstantinou of Novartis Europe, digital specialist, will be speaking at Doctors 2.0 & You on June 5 in Paris in a session covering three facets of digital pharma. Before you meet him in person, Doctors 2.0 & You asked him a few questions about digital devices and the pharma industry.

Disclaimer: The views presented are the views of the author, not necessarily those of Novartis. The content is intended for educational purposes only and for the personal use of the audience. It is not intended for wider distribution outside the intended purpose without author’s approval. The following content is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge at the time of production.

Denise Silber:  How much has the Pharma industry in Europe evolved in the use of digital in the past two years? 

Panos Papakonstantinou: There is a high degree of change in Europe.  Digital is affecting all  industries’ customer relationships. Pharma is one of the fastest changing industries in terms of digital adoption. Technologies that have proven to add value for other industries are now being quickly adopted. We will also observe this innovation  in the larger health sector.

DS : What are the digital initiatives for pharma?

PP: Websites, smartphone apps and remote detailing of course, but also new fields such as telehealth, paving the way for more digital health activities in the future. The focus is primarily at the moment on healthcare professionals, but there is also a wide range of web tools, applications and social media activities offering patients the possibility to be more interested and informed.

DS : How do you explain the rapid adoption of smartphone tablets for field forces in Europe?  Do you see this as a lasting trend?

PP: A Pharma Rep needs to be able to detail based on scientific data; this can be easily performed with a smartphone or tablet. Smartphones and tablets are extremely useful tools  in supporting the daily activities of a pharma rep and contributing to up-to-date customized information. Information flow has never been as big,  and the smart use of technology can help answer the changing pharma rep needs.

Differentiated patient profiles  are becoming the basis for detailing.  Specific skills and training are required for the rep. Leveraging the technical capabilities of a  camera, for example, is something to explore. We might also be experiencing a shift in the field force approach which will make the tablet’s adoption a lasting trend. Tablets are continuously increasing in adoption and this  will not fade away  soon; they are an established need and provide the mobility support that the modern Pharma Rep needs.

DS :  How does the diversity of Europe impact Pharma in digital (different languages, different habits, different KOL, …)?

PP : You could argue that Europe is a highly diversified region where cultural characteristics, languages and habits play a significant role in the digital pharma model. But the power of digital is personalization of content and services provided. While  any digital activity follows the same principle across countries, it is never adopted in a single way. Digital activities can be more value adding, as they are adapted across a diversified region and fulfill physicians and patient needs.

DS What have been the biggest learnings for Pharma in digital in Europe?

PP : Digital has done wonders for other industries, and pharma is adopting the best practices, taking them a step forward. The biggest learning for pharma in digital in Europe would be that a traditionally conservative industry is able to take big steps forward and even re-invent itself in the process. Digital is relevant for pharma, and the industry can benefit from digital adoption as much as the other industries.

Find Panos Papakonstantinou biography here.

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