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Cloud Computing and e-Detailing on the iPad

Pharmaceutical companies’ use of mobile sales tools to increase sales effectiveness

The wild success of Apple’s fifth generation tablet device - the iPad Mini – seems predictable, even inevitable. Easy to forget that less than a few years ago, tablet computing was untested and sometimes controversial, in the wider marketplace as much as in the sphere of sales and marketing. Naysayers included the then Google CEO Eric Schmidt who asked reporters to “tell me the difference between a tablet and a large phone”.

Released in April 2010, close to 100 million iPads have now been sold, with a similar number of apps available in the App Store. Apple’s fastidious approach to design and interface has made the iPad profoundly attractive to consumers. But an equally significant impact, albeit less visible, has been in the world of e-detailing. With hundreds of thousands of apps available in the sales and marketing category, every sector - from financial services and retail, to tech and pharma – has found a way to incorporate the tablet computer into their sales strategy.

Communicating value in pharma

At the same time, the rise of cloud computing has enabled mobile sales reps to access and share large amounts of data while avoiding the issues and costs associated with software installation. Sales reps and key account managers can increase effectiveness by accessing shared data stored remotely, harvesting analytics information and generating reports indicating the kinds of economic message gaining the most traction with clients. In this way, working in the cloud allows a pharmaceutical sales force to make use of mobile e-detailing tools without compromising on the quanitity or quality of sales data that are available to them.

The pharmaceutical and medical device industries have a particular interest in increasing commercial effectiveness at a time of great market uncertainty. Physicians and hospital budget holders are more concerned than ever about the budgetary impact of new drugs, and pharma companies are having to respond by adjusting their message to include economic arguments.

The use of a mobile sales strategy is increasingly common. When the internet became an indispensable tool for enterprise, a plethora of traditional and cloud-based software packages came online to service the growth in e-detailing. Likewise, as the adoption of tablets and other mobile devices increases, the number of apps for industry grows, fuelling a move towards mobile-centric methods of marketing pharmaceutical products and gaining market access.

Of course, pharmaceutical and medical device companies have a range of business needs and challenges, and mobile sales tools that are effective for prescriber marketing are not well suited to payer marketing, which takes place at a higher level in the industry and is based on HEOR evidence rather then drug samples or more localized economic arguments.

BaseCase facilitates senior-level payer marketing, offering a cloud-based platform that assists key account managers, market access managers and medical science liaisons in their high-level discussions with payers and budget holders. In the below example of a BaseCase app, the economic impact of diabetes complications is displayed. For more examples, see the gallery.