The Mobile State of Pharma’s Top 50


Pharma Lags Behind Key Customers in Mobile Channel
A recent survey of the top 50 best-selling pharmaceutical products by Vital mHealth, a Philadelphia based mobile consulting agency, shows that the industry is lagging behind its key customers in embracing the mobile channel. The survey reviewed the top 50 best-selling products from 20101 (the most recent data available) and matched that list against mobile applications found in the iTunes and Android stores. Mobile applications that related to either the product or the specific indication were included as well as all other mobile applications created by the product manufacturer. In addition, a mobile site search was done for each brand. Only two of the top brands (Plavix and Lantus) have a mobile-optimized website - despite evidence that healthcare professionals and consumers are frequently using their mobile devices to access disease management information.2 Add that to Gartner’s prediction that by 2013, more people will conduct searches via their mobile device than by desktop and the industry is poised to play catch up, once again.3

Copyright ©2010-2011 Vital mHealth.

Medical Reference Guides Rule the App Store Of the 26 manufacturers represented in the survey, a little more than half (52%) had a mobile application in the marketplace. None of them were product related and only a few were for related indications (largely Diabetes). It should come as no surprise that the largest numbers of mobile apps (24%) are medical reference guides. Google estimates that 81% of physicians

vs 53% HCP). The figure flipped almost completely in the top 50 brand survey (53% consumer vs 44% HCP). That balance could change this year depending on FDA recommendations, which are in the process of being developed. Right now, it looks likely that the FDA will regulate applications that diagnose conditions or offer treatment advice, which may put a damper on the number of dosing calculators and clinical support apps currently being offered. Pharma Toys with Gaming While it’s too early to say for sure whether pharmaceutical marketers will embrace mobile gaming as a way of delivering patient education, a few interesting examples turned up in the survey.

Details from the Top 50 Pharmaceutical Brand Mobile Survey (25 pharmaceutical manufacturers represented)

52% 48%
Merck Novartis Pfizer

Currently have a Mobile App in the Marketplace Currently have a No Mobile App at All

Most Apps Developed and Represented 15 9

22

now use a smartphone in their practice and more than 40% of them use it to go on line during patient visits. Pharmaceutical manufacturers appear to be paying attention to that trend. Slightly more than 25% of the apps surveyed were either dosing calculators (13.7%) or clinical support apps (12%), including breast cancer treatment protocols and stroke assessment guidelines. Manufacturers Focusing More on HCPs In general, pharmaceutical manufacturers appear to be shifting away from creating mobile apps for consumers (Find a Dog Park!) towards applications geared to HCPs such as diagnostic and decisionsupport tools and medical reference guides. This shift is most noticeable in the mobile apps found in our Wiki (http://www.vitalmhealth.com/wiki), which are predominantly consumer-oriented (74% consumer

One of the more compelling examples of a mobile healthcare game is Elli Lilly’s Health Seeker app. It mines the ground between gaming and social media by leveraging users’ social networks to help make them healthy lifestyle choices. Other gaming examples from the survey include GSK’s Suck ‘O Meter to help smokers quit and Novartis’ Sickle Cell Iron Invaders. Challenges With Mobile Adoption One of the most significant challenges with mobile adoption is ROI. There are the usual tools – Flurry Analytics, app download counts and at least one in-app research tool (http://www.vitalmhealth.com/ mobile-market-research-tool) – but with so many big blockbuster drugs coming off patent, marketers are putting their money towards tactics that have a known payoff. And of course, no one wants to risk running afoul of the FDA so until the agency clarifies its guidelines on mobile, pharmaceutical manufacturers are biding their time. Even with these challenges, Pharma marketers acknowledge the importance of the mobile channel. It’s no longer a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

Copyright ©2010-2011 Vital mHealth.

Current Pharmaceutical Company Apps by Category
59 iPhone/iPad/iPod Apps 16 Android Apps

Education/Reference ...............24.0% Tracker ...................................15.5% Games ...................................13.7% Dosing Calculators...................13.7% Clinical....................................12.0% Finder.......................................8.6% Diaries ......................................3.4% Alerts........................................3.4% Other........................................5.7%

Reference...............................20.0% Calculators..............................20.0% Clinical....................................13.0% Tracker ...................................13.0% Search ...................................13.0% Alerts......................................13.0% Games .....................................6.6% Other........................................1.4%

About Vital mHealth Karen Warth tel: (215) 840-5868 www.vitalmhealth.com Vital mHealth is a mobile-first digital agency specializing in market-driven solutions for healthcare. We use our 20+ years of experience in interactive marketing to develop mobile strategies that deliver valuable customer connections, extends brand conversations and provides important behavioral insights. We offer a full-range of mobile solutions including website development, applications and campaigns.

References:
1 2

http://www.drugs.com/top200.html Google, ThinkMobile 2012 3 Gartner’s 2011 PC Installed Forecast

Copyright ©2010-2011 Vital mHealth.

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