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Medical Reference Guides Rule the App Store
O the 26 manuacturers represented in the survey, alittle more than hal (52%) had a mobile application inthe marketplace. None o them were product relatedand only a ew were or related indications (largelyDiabetes).It should come as no surprise that the largestnumbers o mobile apps (24%) are medical reerenceguides. Google estimates that 81% o physiciansnow use a smartphone in their practice and morethan 40% o them use it to go on line during patientvisits.Pharmaceutical manuacturers appear to be payingattention to that trend. Slightly more than 25% o theapps surveyed were either dosing calculators (13.7%)or clinical support apps (12%), including breastcancer treatment protocols and stroke assessmentguidelines.
Manufacturers Focusing More on HCPs
In general, pharmaceutical manuacturers appearto be shiting away rom creating mobile apps orconsumers (Find a Dog Park!) towards applicationsgeared to HCPs such as diagnostic and decision-support tools and medical reerence guides. This shitis most noticeable in the mobile apps ound in ourWiki ( http://www.vitalmhealth.com/wiki ), which arepredominantly consumer-oriented (74% consumervs 53% HCP). The gure fipped almost completelyin the top 50 brand survey (53% consumer vs 44%HCP).That balance could change this year depending onFDA recommendations, which are in the processo being developed. Right now, it looks likely thatthe FDA will regulate applications that diagnoseconditions or oer treatment advice, which may puta damper on the number o dosing calculators andclinical support apps currently beingoered.
Pharma Toys with Gaming
While it’s too early to say or surewhether pharmaceutical marketerswill embrace mobile gaming as a wayo delivering patient education, a ewinteresting examples turned up in thesurvey.One o the more compelling exampleso a mobile healthcare game is ElliLilly’s Health Seeker app. It mines theground between gaming and socialmedia by leveraging users’ socialnetworks to help make them healthyliestyle choices. Other gaming examples rom thesurvey include GSK’s Suck ‘O Meter to help smokersquit and Novartis’ Sickle Cell Iron Invaders.
Challenges With Mobile Adoption
One o the most signicant challenges with mobileadoption is ROI. There are the usual tools – Flurry Analytics, app download counts and at least onein-app research tool ( http://www.vitalmhealth.com/ mobile-market-research-tool ) – but with so manybig blockbuster drugs coming o patent, marketersare putting their money towards tactics that havea known payo. And o course, no one wants torisk running aoul o the FDA so until the agencyclaries its guidelines on mobile, pharmaceuticalmanuacturers are biding their time.Even with these challenges, Pharma marketersacknowledge the importance o the mobile channel.It’s no longer a matter o i, it’s a matter o when.
Currently have aMobile App in the Marketplace
Currently have aNo Mobile App at All
Most Apps Developed and Represented
9Details from the Top 50 PharmaceuticalBrand Mobile Survey
(25 pharmaceutical manufacturers represented)