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Embracing the digital revolution

Digital technology has transformed the way we communicate with each other, putting the ability to call, message and share thoughts at our fingertips 24/7. For medical communications agencies, the global success of digital technology has heralded a major shift away from tried and tested traditional media and methods, and a leap towards constantly evolving online platforms, where only those that adapt and innovate will survive.

Embracing-the-digital-revolution

Digital technology has transformed the way we communicate with each other, putting the ability to call, message and share thoughts at our fingertips 24/7. For medical communications agencies, the global success of digital technology has heralded a major shift away from tried and tested traditional media and methods, and a leap towards constantly evolving online platforms, where only those that adapt and innovate will survive.

Digital communications platforms are not just passing trends, they are the future and must be embraced if medical communications professionals are to stay connected to HCP and patient audiences. Those companies and professionals that understand it and continue investing more in learning about their digital customers’ behaviours, attitudes and expectations will carry an increased competitive advantage over those that figure it out later.

A good place to begin our understanding of the changing communications landscape is a white paper by Havas Lynx, released earlier this year, about Millennials – the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The Millennial generation is defined as those born in the 1980s and coming of age at the turn of the century, with the oldest now in their mid-30s. These digital natives are comfortable with technology and open to change; they are ambitious and entrepreneurial yet socially conscious; they are collaborative and iterative.

The report highlights the impact these forward thinking professionals are having and the opportunity they present to challenge convention and revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered across the world through technology, new ways of working and collaborating.


The information revolution
Millennials are unlike those that have walked the path before them. For them, the digital age is the environment they have grown up in and where they are most comfortable.

Educational institutions have been quick to adapt to the changing needs of Millennials, evolving teaching practices to better reflect the way that the next generation consumes information. Understanding how quickly the fields of medical research, clinical trials and new drug development move, libraries of papers and text books are being replaced with online academic databases, so the most up to date information is always just a click away.

Millennials are driven by digital in a way that we have never experienced before in the healthcare industry – so what does the future of HCP engagement look like for med-comms professionals?

 

Educating the Millennial
Healthcare is a profession which needs to deliver continuous education to those in the industry and information hungry Millennials want to have access to the latest updates on drug development.

However, physical face-to-face meetings and conferences are less valued and traditional printed media is also in decline, so medical communications agencies need to get creative with alternatives, such as exploring online video content and news feeds and virtual conferencing technologies, to communicate to the next generation of physicians and healthcare professionals.

 

The enlightened patient
Developing a digital communications strategy to engage Millennials doesn’t stop with HCPs, as patients too are part of the connected generation.

Millennial patients are clued up, and use the internet to diagnose themselves and ensure they are informed about multiple treatment options and choices. This is putting pressure on HCPs and pharma companies to find patient-centric treatments which can be tailored to individual lifestyles and needs, rather than relying on a ‘one solution fits all’ approach.

Millennials make empowered patients but they are also much more brand loyal than generations before them, which is an attribute medical communications agencies can really work with in their engagement strategies. In essence, their biggest challenge can be turned into their biggest asset.

 

Getting connected
Pharma companies have a real opportunity to work with Millennial HCPs and patients to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in healthcare, improving outcomes for all. To do this successfully, med-comms needs to take a giant step into the digital age alongside their Millennial audience, and transform their strategies to conquer the rapid evolution of the digital world. Those that adapt quickly will lead the industry from the front, leaving those that are slow to respond left in their wake.

Digital communications platforms are not just passing trends, they are the future and must be embraced if medical communications professionals are to stay connected to HCP and patient audiences. Those companies and professionals that understand it and continue investing more in learning about their digital customers’ behaviours, attitudes and expectations will carry an increased competitive advantage over those that figure it out later.

A good place to begin our understanding of the changing communications landscape is a white paper by Havas Lynx, released earlier this year, about Millennials – the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The Millennial generation is defined as those born in the 1980s and coming of age at the turn of the century, with the oldest now in their mid-30s. These digital natives are comfortable with technology and open to change; they are ambitious and entrepreneurial yet socially conscious; they are collaborative and iterative.

The report highlights the impact these forward thinking professionals are having and the opportunity they present to challenge convention and revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered across the world through technology, new ways of working and collaborating.

 

The information revolution

Millennials are unlike those that have walked the path before them. For them, the digital age is the environment they have grown up in and where they are most comfortable.

Educational institutions have been quick to adapt to the changing needs of Millennials, evolving teaching practices to better reflect the way that the next generation consumes information. Understanding how quickly the fields of medical research, clinical trials and new drug development move, libraries of papers and text books are being replaced with online academic databases, so the most up to date information is always just a click away.

Millennials are driven by digital in a way that we have never experienced before in the healthcare industry – so what does the future of HCP engagement look like for med-comms professionals?

 

Educating the Millennial
Healthcare is a profession which needs to deliver continuous education to those in the industry and information hungry Millennials want to have access to the latest updates on drug development.

However, physical face-to-face meetings and conferences are less valued and traditional printed media is also in decline, so medical communications agencies need to get creative with alternatives, such as exploring online video content and news feeds and virtual conferencing technologies, to communicate to the next generation of physicians and healthcare professionals.

 

The enlightened patient
Developing a digital communications strategy to engage Millennials doesn’t stop with HCPs, as patients too are part of the connected generation.

Millennial patients are clued up, and use the internet to diagnose themselves and ensure they are informed about multiple treatment options and choices. This is putting pressure on HCPs and pharma companies to find patient-centric treatments which can be tailored to individual lifestyles and needs, rather than relying on a ‘one solution fits all’ approach.

Millennials make empowered patients but they are also much more brand loyal than generations before them, which is an attribute medical communications agencies can really work with in their engagement strategies. In essence, their biggest challenge can be turned into their biggest asset.

 

Getting connected
Pharma companies have a real opportunity to work with Millennial HCPs and patients to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in healthcare, improving outcomes for all. To do this successfully, med-comms needs to take a giant step into the digital age alongside their Millennial audience, and transform their strategies to conquer the rapid evolution of the digital world. Those that adapt quickly will lead the industry from the front, leaving those that are slow to respond left in their wake.

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