Detailing has always formed a very important communication channel between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. It was the best way to deliver the product information to doctors and educate them about the features and benefits. With the advent of technology and innovation, the pharmaceutical industry has embraced e-detailing to reach out to doctors. E-detailing has become one of the most important components in the marketing strategy for pharmaceutical companies.
However, to leverage the benefits of e-detailing, pharmaceutical companies need to be aware of the few challenges that come along. Finding a way to tackle and overcome these challenges will prove to be a vital cog in their success.
We’ve listed down the top 9 challenges when it comes to doctors using the e-detailing information:
1. Legal restrictions
There are various legal requirements and codes of conduct for pharmaceutical companies that restrict the number of opportunities they have for compensating doctors for the use of e-detailing information. Following these restrictions, pharmaceutical companies are forced to find other ways to provide information to doctors, which might not always be an ideal case. Especially when it comes to regulatorily sensitive information, the right information has to reach the right people – and absolutely no one else. Any mechanism used to share legally sensitive information needs to be water-tight in terms of the sharing and forwarding permissions it allows. A good system needs to allow only the people who were given the information to access it, with no provision for sharing, copying or forwarding such information with others.
2. Security risks
There is always a huge risk of digital information being stolen or manipulated that will negatively impact the brand name. The major concern for pharmaceutical companies and also doctors are the security of e-detailing information from unauthorized access and manipulation. A strong, DRM-protected platform that hosts authentic content and requires doctors and HSPs to authenticate themselves before using the content assigned to them will help improve perceptions about data- and content-security risks.
3. Lack of accessibility
The e-detailing information should be accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device. When it comes to e-detailing information, most pharmaceutical companies are restricted to a few content formats that can be accessed only on particular devices. This only means that not all doctors will be able to access the e-detailing information all the time. All too often, when the medical rep leaves, the beautiful animation and high quality content also leaves with him! The doctors are left with flat physical brochures and other information sent to them via email, YouTube links etc. These are then spread out everywhere and it is up to the doctors to hunt for what they need at a later time.
4. Fragmented availability of information
Yes, information is ubiquitous, but is also “all over the place”. Some information is lying around the doctor’s desk as physical brochures, something else is in one of the many PDF attachments that the doctor never opened in his emails. Yet other information is in the doctor’s WhatsApp messages. Lots of information is available on YouTube, Vimeo, Spotify etc. And of course, research papers are in research databases. The question is, as much as information is available, is it findable? Is relevant information grouped together to make a cohesive whole? Is there one place where all the latest information relative to a topic is coherently placed – irrespective of the type of content each of them is? Is there one unified place to view videos, listen to audio and read PDFs and research papers from? Having such a system would be helpful in drastically reducing search time for the doctor – and indeed, such a system will make the adoption and use of e-detailing information a lot easier.
5. Lack of awareness
Pharmaceutical companies have introduced e-detailing as a communication channel to promote their products to doctors. However, there is a worrying lack of awareness regarding this communication channel. Most pharmaceutical sales reps and doctors still stick to the traditional in-person meetings. If e-detailing delivery modes are accessible from anywhere, anytime, this problem can be largely mitigated, as it is available from the regular internet. Web-based and cloud-based systems have a huge advantage over special apps that doctors need to download for this explicit purpose.
6. Mistrust of information
Since there is a large concern blooming around the security of e-detailing, doctors find it difficult to trust the information. There needs to be a way to authenticate the information to ensure no illegal access or manipulation has impacted the quality of information. Further, all too many medical representatives are now seen as ‘sales people’ as opposed to quality information providers who can help HSPs be up to date with the latest research and developments. This can be mitigated by providing information created and curated by deep experts, even if the last mile delivery persons are not as proficient.
7. Lack of communication channels
E-detailing requires other communication channels beyond personal meetings with medical representatives to make the transfer of information more effective. After sharing the e-detailing information, pharmaceutical companies need to establish a communication channel (video conferences or audio calls) to follow up on any difficulty faced while accessing the information.
8. Lack of rich content elements
E-detailing communication shared with doctors often lacks interactive multimedia elements. Lack of technology and visual graphics to make the content interesting and deliver an immersive content experience to doctors often leads to a very mundane way of communication. Doctors often try to stay away from such boring e-detailing information.
9. Resistance to new options
This is one of the major challenges why doctors are not being able to use the e-detailing information properly. The belief that e-detailing might not be as effective in sharing information as traditional face-to-face meetings has made it difficult to break through the rigid mindset, further impacting the acceptance and use of e-detailing as an effective form of communication. Part of the problem here is that the current delivery mechanism of e-detailing information is clunky and fragmented. A friendly delivery platform can help here. Doctors simply don’t have the time to learn to use new systems that have steep or long learning curves. An easy-to-use self-explanatory channel where all the information is presented in one place is ideal here. This will help doctors focus on finding and consuming the information as opposed to spending time figuring out how to use a new platform!
Pharmaceutical companies need to leverage technology and content-sharing platforms to tackle the aforementioned challenges. There is a stronger need for a content-sharing platforms that supports multiple formats and offers a secure content distribution channel. Kytes helps you with just that! Having Kytes as your e-detailing partner will not only help you deliver a great content experience to doctors but also ensure the high-end security of the content.