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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Special Feature: Ad-Ventures in Marketing IX

Written by: | | Dated: Monday, December 5th, 2016



For the ninth year, Med Ad News has chosen new Pharmaceutical Marketing Ventures to Watch that could change the way pharmaceutical products are marketed and sold.



For the ninth time this past October, Med Ad News began once again its search for the future of pharmaceutical marketing. We sought out young companies, spin-offs, offerings, and ventures to profile that are providing the most innovative and interesting products, services, or marketing opportunities to pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare community. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both of this year’s profilees (we had a third which dropped out at the last minute) use interactive technologies to communicate more effectively with patients and physicians, one on the Web and the other in the exam room. Here are Med Ad News’ newest Pharmaceutical Marketing Ventures to Watch.



Digital Exam Room Wallboard


Launched in 2015, ContextMedia:Health’s Digital Exam Room Wallboard offers a first-of-its-kind interactive engagement platform that physicians can use to educate their patients. The wallboard provides physicians with detailed, 3D responsive anatomical diagrams that they can rotate, pinch, zoom, and annotate to illustrate aspects of patient illness, educate on treatment options, and communicate important treatment information to improve patient retention, all at no cost to the physician. For brands, this platform can deliver messaging to patients on the same platform that physicians use to communicate important patient information. The Digital Wallboard also gives brands the capability to create interactive brand brochures with email capabilities, interactive banner advertisements, and the opportunity to repurpose existing advertisements on a digital platform.

The Exam Room Wallboard grew out of user response to two previous Context offerings, the Digital Waiting Room Screen and the Digital Exam Room Tablet. “In speaking to our provider-facing teams about our original platforms – the Digital Waiting Room Screen and the Digital Exam Room Tablet – we found that there was a growing need to have interactive technology that could be integrated into the consultation,” says Ashik Desai, executive VP of business growth and analytics, ContextMedia:Health. “Physicians and practices expressed a lot of frustration with only having brochure racks and print posters, and were looking for something better, especially during consultation.”

Thus, a 32-inch wall-mounted interactive, annotatable digital display board complete with thousands of 3D anatomical diagrams for physicians to explain conditions and treatments to patients – plus brand messaging. “We aggressively gathered feedback, began discussions with the product team, and had the solution built and in the exam room in just over four months. While we initially built this as an off-the-shelf solution, the combination of high demand and our vision for what the product could become led us to begin custom manufacturing the wallboard just a few months after it launched.”

As one might expect given HCPs’ increasing interest in the use of interactive technologies to educate patients, the wallboards have been a big hit so far – Context leaders say that distribution of the Wallboard is scaling at a rate beyond that of any other product the company has ever created. “Response from physicians has been overwhelmingly positive,” Desai says. “The communication of conditions and treatments can be complex, and there is no reason why patients should still be learning this information on the back of a photocopy, or using a plastic model. Demand from physician practices has accelerated at an exceptional rate. The decision to build our own hardware has enabled us to continue investing and iterating on the platform to meet the needs of healthcare providers, consumers, and brands, with a recent uptick in demand from larger health systems.”

And all those new wallboards are having a qualitatively measurable impact on patient consultations – and, even better, on patient outcomes. According to ContextMedia:Health leaders, 1 million anatomy models were used by healthcare providers in the third quarter of 2016, and 65 percent of all consultations with patients involved annotations to the wallboard. For brands, this meant that their messages were shown more than 282 million times. Company leaders also say they are seeing patients living with chronic conditions getting onto treatments sooner, staying on them longer, and in certain categories actually experiencing reduced hospitalization rates. “Together, with the rest of our platform, we are continuing to see improvements across many measures of health outcomes, including new prescriber starts, new prescriptions starts, and new patient starts,” Desai says.

As for the brand messaging side of things, to maximize impact and success, each brand’s Wallboard campaign is tailored to the specific needs of the brands that Context works with. That said, since this is a first-of-its-kind platform, in each partnership, Context executives look at how the wallboard is being used: as a needed part of the consultation. “When the anatomical diagrams aren’t in use, brands are able to get a reach at the point of care like they never have before,” Desai says. “With the size of the device, quality of the intelligence, and ability to rotate messaging, brands can reach more than 90 percent of the exam room population in member offices. The most successful messages deliver actionable information for during the consultation and the time of prescription, from patient savings programs to MOAs to new side effect management guides. When we start to decide on the messaging and creative, we then collaborate with the brand to go through medical regulatory review, a process that we have standardized to minimize the time from kickoff to go-live.”

What’s next for the Wallboard? “For starters, there are considerable improvements in technology in the pipeline,” Desai says. “One piece of feedback we received was, ‘Your diagrams are too perfect,’ which was a clever way to say that we needed more diagrams of condition states. Through a partnership with BioDigital, we very recently started deploying enhanced 3D images and video of even more parts of the anatomy and condition states. In addition, we have enhanced the UI to better serve the needs of all of our healthcare providers, to make it easier for them to use the information and intelligence they need the most. One of our goals is to give providers access to richer intelligence during the consultation to be more effective and efficient in their discussions with patients.

“In terms of functionality for our brand partners, we are continuing to find new and exciting approaches to messaging and our platform that can drive impact and ROI. For example, it would be powerful to use this as a portal to initiate rep activity for samples, or even enable the platform for brand rep use when on site to better explain treatment and disease information. We are anxious to bring this technology to our newly doubled network of offices (please see “ContextMedia becomes largest healthcare decision platform with acquisition of AccentHealth”).


Videum Health


Videum Health is a video platform providing pharma and life sciences companies with an end-to-end solution to reach and engage with their customers online. According to company leaders, Videum’s tagline, “Health in any Language,” speaks to its mission of providing trusted health videos on a global scale, in any language, to empower the digital health age. The company addresses this challenge through the largest curation and indexing of evidence-based health videos online and a technology that matches HCPs and patients with relevant videos in their native language across all devices., the company’s online platform, was initially launched in 2013 with support from Esense Ventures, an accelerator for start-ups, and DotSub, an online subtitling and translating video platform. “The founders met at a conference where one of them was talking language and the other was dreaming about the power of digital video in healthcare,” says Francis Namouk, the company’s CEO. “One had an a-ha moment after hearing a talk about multilingual video, something he had been thinking about for many years.”

According to Namouk, the best analogy for Videum in the non-healthcare world is Netflix. Much like Videum, Netflix started by aggregating content from around the world in multiple languages and streamed videos to its customers on its owned and operated platform.

“This allowed Netflix to analyze and crunch data, to see what formats or genres work best with its customers,” Namouk says. “Once Netflix understood its customers, the company began to produce custom content that it already knew would resonate with them. A prime example is its release of Narcos, a show predominantly produced in Spanish. No other U.S. network dared to produce a show like this, as they did not have data showing that their customers would like and accept a show like this.

“I see Videum as a similar platform, where based on the data we get from, we can report back to our clients what formats work best for their audiences and help them improve the quality of their productions year on year. We provide insight to our clients though our technology platform.”

So far Videum hosts about 15,000 videos, with about 80 percent for patients and 20 percent for HCPs – the HCP videos require HCP opt-in and offer geo-restriction if necessary. By the end of 2017, company leaders are expecting that number to rise to between 75,000 and 100,000, with a 60/40 consumer/HCP split. The library runs the gamut – HCP interviews, patient case studies, conferences, product demos, animations, 3D and VR.

But Videum does far more than simple hosting and aggregation of videos. It has in-house video production, creating content for health care clients – about 5 percent of its hosted content was developed internally, a number Namouk expects to rise. It also has a team of medical translators to caption and subtitle videos into multiple languages, with medical-grade transcripts that are interactive for the viewer. And Videum’s interactive video player is a gateway to supplementary marketing materials that can be delivered through contextual overlays in the form of clickable hotspots and popups that appear at key moments of the video to reinforce and enrich the learning experience. So Videum is able to provide engagement analytics that measure in real time what individual actions viewers took within the interactive player – all interactions are measured in real time.

According to Namouk, Videum has two primary business models.

“First, Videum aggregates and curates the best medical and health video information from around the world,” he says. “The content comes from all stakeholders within the healthcare sector, such as investors, start-ups, conferences, industry, patient and professional organizations, et cetera. is therefore a curated eco-system of health information. Second, Videum offers a turn-key/end-to-end solution for pharma companies that want to reach and engage with their customers using video. Having headed a video production company specializing in the healthcare sector for the past seven years, I’ve seen a real lack in the ability to deliver real return on investment. While video is engaging, it is an expensive medium to produce, and if not strategically executed, gives clients little to no measurable insight. Video to date has been passive in terms of interaction, but this has finally changed.”

So what does the Videum process look like to a pharma client? In 2015, Videum set up public and internal channels on to support Teva Respiratory Europe with the launch of its intuitive inhaler in Europe. The company produced content in support of the 2015 ERS congress and syndicated approved external videos to pulmonologists in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. In total, Videum’s videos reached 13,193 unique pulmonologists generating 2,124 unique video views. The average time spent watching the videos was five minutes, which resulted in an overall engagement rate of 16 percent.

“The purpose of the public channel is to produce, safely archive, host, and stream videos for healthcare professionals and the general public to watch,” Namouk says. “The videos for healthcare professionals are labeled with an HCP stamp and therefore when a user tries to watch those videos, they are informed the videos can only be seen by HCPs, who must register as such on in order to watch them. The private channel was offered to archive, host, and stream videos only approved for internal purposes, on Teva’s intranet.”

Videum does not only work with pharma companies, though. The company has syndication partnerships with a long list of physician and patient associations and channels – including the American Heart Association, Touch Oncology, Doximity, Netdoctor, and the UK’s National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, among others. It also partners with the 3D medical animations company Blausen. And Videum videos are clearly generating traffic on its partner websites; the embedded Videum content on the HCP site, for example, averages more than 20,000 page views per month.

An encounter with NRAS, in fact, was what led Namouk to Videum and its philosophy in the first place. “When I first arrived in the UK to start my video production company, I reached out to NRAS, as my mother suffered from RA and I was a caregiver for most of my childhood,” he says. “I produced a video for them and syndicated it on numerous channels, generating a total of 5 million views! This was a terrific achievement in my eyes, but when I presented the stats to their CEO, she simply replied, ‘Well that’s great, but who watched the video? A nurse? Physician? Patient? Carer?’ This was something I could not answer and was one of the main driving factors for joining Videum.”

Looking to the future, Videum is planning to “turn on the tap” to as an independent landing point of its own in the first quarter of 2017; previously it has only been used selectively for individual B2B projects. Company leaders are projecting between 35,000 and 50,000 HCP registrations and between 150,000 and 300,000 patient registrations per month on the site post-launch. Also, the company has partnered with a specialist artificial intelligence company that’s integrating the highest semantic level of algorithmic technology to scan in real time Videum’s multi-language catalogue of interactive video transcripts and match them in a safe and compliant way to text based articles. “We see a future, a very near one, where one of our business models will be to match our medical/health video catalogue to the best written articles on a global scale,” Namouk says. “ will establish itself as the center of the healthcare video ecosystem – powering video technology enabled solutions for global healthcare stakeholders.”


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