Mobile Technology and the Healthcare Industry

I've recently been involved with a new company aptly named Cellepathic, founded and led by Greg Muffler. Greg is one of a group of pioneers leading the way designing and developing mobile technology platforms that are going to play a huge role in redefining how our "new economy" works. In the case of healthcare, the Cellepathic mobile platform is changing the way the various groups in medical industry can interact. Applications are even being developed to improve the testing of new drugs in clinical trials.

The Cellepathic solution leverages client information (in this example patient, pharmacy, physician et al), geography (where the patient is located and where they are 'buying' ... the pharmacy or outlet such as CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens or Wal-Mart) and past buying patterns. This all occurs dynamically in a real-time mobile environment using standard SMS cell phone technology. This mode of communication is much more effective and less costly than traditional print marketing and all other forms of media have ever been.

If you are a Procurement category manager looking to bring new innovation to your company, you'll want to learn more about this. This technology is not just for the healthcare industry, but applicable to any company selling a product or delivering a service -- this means it can dramatically increase sales versus traditional marketing techniques.

In the case of a Pharmaceutical company, picture this scenario (I'll use GlaxoSmithKline products to illustrate the example):

Your physician has diagnosed your recurring chest aliment as chronic bronchitis and prescribes GlaxoSmithKline's blockbuster ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50 inhaler (for adults with COPD, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma). Your physician then electronically submits the prescription to your pharmacy of record. On your way to pick up the script you receive an SMS text offering you a 15% discount on Aquafresh toothpaste, Breath Right strips, Ecotrin analgesic tablets, Lucozade sports drink and Piriton for allergies (all over the counter products made by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare). The next morning you receive another text reminding you to "take one puff" from your ADVAIR DISKUS inhaler and another text every time you should take another "puff."

You can see how this technology immediately helps the pharmaceutical company (more sales), the pharmacy (more sales) and most importantly the patient (save money, better compliance to treatment recommendation = better health outcome).

Non-compliance is a major obstacle to the effective delivery of healthcare. Estimates from the World Health Organization indicate that only about 50% of patients with chronic diseases living in developed countries follow treatment recommendations. In particular, low rates of adherence to therapies for asthma, diabetes, and hypertension are thought to contribute substantially to the human and economic burden of those conditions. Compliance rates may be overestimated in the medical literature, as compliance is often high in the setting of a formal clinical trial but drops off in a "real-world" setting.

Major barriers to compliance are thought to include the complexity of modern medication regimens, poor "health literacy" and lack of comprehension of treatment benefits, the occurrence of un-discussed side effects, the cost of prescription medicine, and poor communication or lack of trust between the patient and his or her health-care provider. Past efforts to improve compliance have been aimed at simplifying medication packaging, providing effective medication reminders, improving patient education, and limiting the number of medications prescribed simultaneously.

OK Procurement folks ... here's a great opportunity to bring the latest mobile technology to help your company increase sales, provide better customer service and create a better overall customer experience! Remember it's applicable to anyone selling a product or service. If you are intrigued by this, you can contact me at greggbrandyberry (@) wildfirecommece (dot) com and I'll put you in contact with Greg Muffler. You owe it to your company to check this one out.

- Greg Brandyberry

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