Set Strategies Early to Optimize Mobile Health Opportunities
Mobile health (mHealth) initiatives provide life science companies a wealth of opportunities to connect with patients, physicians, caregivers, pharmacists and other audiences. Access to mobile services is wider than ever — and mobile use is projected to grow significantly.
To leverage that potential, life science companies launch mHealth initiatives that combine thoughtful strategic planning, strong stakeholder support and objectives that align mobile technology with company goals. Successful programs ultimately meet user needs while addressing key issues such as improved patient adherence and increased brand awareness.
This study examines the growing importance of mHealth for companies in both the US and EU. Benchmarks and best practices explore mobile health team structure, initiative planning and performance measurement.
Win Stakeholder Support and Capture a Broader View of Initiative Success
Technology’s accelerated pace can make stakeholders wary of mHealth. Building support often depends on pilot studies and insightful reviews of competitor activity. Teams develop a full picture of initiatives’ value with return on experience (ROE) measures alongside traditional metrics.
Optimize Mobile Centers of Excellence
Mobile health teams and centers of excellence show commitment to mHealth. Build upon teams’ efforts with improved cross-functional communication, and establish accountability by naming a formal leader of mHealth.
Create a Cohesive Mobile Strategy
Segment audiences to develop successful, value-adding apps that embrace nontraditional methods like gamification and rewards. Explore the report’s 10 real-world program profiles to understand how to design and market applications.
Enable Mobile Strategies to Thrive Amid an Evolving Landscape
Compare regulatory and usage challenges across the US and EU markets and across different company sizes – and prepare for greater transparency and broader networking efforts as mHealth evolves.
Chapter 1: Driving Pharma Strategy: The Impact and Prevalence of mHealth
Develop mobile strategies that reflect company goals or perceived user needs.
Encompass multiple platforms and initiative types in a comprehensive mobile strategy that meets target segments’ needs.
Focus on target audience needs through therapeutic area and user-type segmentation:
Employ diverse mobile initiatives that resonate with patient and physician audiences.
2 charts focused on key mobile health initiative planning considerations:
Number of mobile health related search engine queries (2004–2012)
Mobile health initiative development timeline
2 tables detailing targeted therapeutic areas:
Top 10 communicable diseases
Top 10 non-communicable diseases
10 profiles of mobile initiatives containing the following information:
Target audience (physician or patient)
Initiative purpose and summary
Chapter 2: Embracing mHealth Strategy Through Team Structure
Create formal structures to drive effective mobile strategy and implementation.
Appoint a formal head of mobile health efforts to determine accountability.
Show mobile initiatives’ importance by forming mobile centers of excellence.
Optimize mobile centers of excellence and cross-functional teams to drive mobile initiative development.
Demonstrate initiatives’ value to key stakeholders with supported pilot programs.
Follow real-company examples to develop innovative initiatives, rather than following competitor cues.
42 charts focused on pharmaceutical companies’ mobile health structures and mobile centers of excellence. Some data are broken out by company type (Top 20, Top 50, small, device).
Percentage of companies with a corporate or global mobile strategy (by company type)
Percentage of companies with mobile health strategy fully implemented among all relevant affiliates (by company type)
Percentage of companies with a formal head of mobile health (by company type)
Regions involved in companies’ mobile health initiatives (by company type)
Functions involved in pharmaceutical and device companies’ mobile health initiatives (by company type)
Number of dedicated FTEs in mobile center of excellence group
Number of FTEs contributing to mobile center of excellence groups from the following functions:
Chapter 3: Creating and Implementing Mobile Initiatives
Incorporate mobile initiatives that will add value to company objectives and to the lives of end users.
Leverage non-traditional mobile initiative tactics — including gamification — to reach company objectives and encourage patient adherence.
Use “Return on Experience (ROE)” with traditional ROI to establish profitability and user-perceived value of mobile initiatives.
Shift development efforts such as coding in-house to cut initiative development costs and increase control and flexibility in mobile projects.
46 charts focused on the presence and performance of mobile health initiatives. Some data are broken out by company type (Top 20, Top 50, small, device):
Year in which companies launched their first mobile initiative
Number of initiatives planned or in development (by company type)
Likelihood of companies using mobile technologies within the next five years (by company type)
Percentage of companies using gamification in mobile initiatives (by company type)
Distribution of companies’ existing or past mobile initiatives launched in the US or ex-US countries (by company type)
Percentage of mobile initiatives launched in the US/ex-US subsequently adapted for use elsewhere
Percentage of pharmaceutical companies with development capabilities in-house (by company type)
Average perceived ROI of mobile techniques (by company type)
Percentage of pharmaceutical companies measuring lifespan of mobile initiatives (by company type)
Percentage of pharmaceutical companies measuring user uptake of mobile app initiatives (by company type)
Percentage of pharmaceutical companies experiencing drop-off in usage rates of mobile initiatives over time (by company type)
Average lifespan of mobile initiatives
Mobile Health Initiative Profiles
Case studies of 10 real-world mobile health initiatives. Some data are broken out by developmental stage: conceptual, technical, market launch, ongoing operational oversight, data harvesting and analysis.
Company type (Top 20, Top 50, small, device)
Company’s region of operation
Targeted therapeutic area
Percentage of spending by developmental stage
Outsourcing by initiative’s development stage
Developmental timeline in months, by developmental stage
Company’s self-assessment success rating (on a 1–10 scale)
Chapter 4: The Future of Mobile Health: Challenges and Trends
Evolve mobile strategies to meet regulatory challenges and overcome unclear regulations and enforcement from US and EU regulatory agencies.
Leverage pilot programs and use performance metrics to demonstrate value to key internal stakeholders.
Use technology to identify unmet needs and advance patients’ and physicians’ experience.
Understand the importance of transparency in the expanding mobile health environment.
9 charts focused on pharmaceutical company’s key challenges in both the US and EU. The data are broken out by company type (Top 20, Top 50, small, device):
Companies’ views of challenges in the US (by company type)
Companies’ views of challenges in the EU (by company type)
The following is excerpted from the full report's Executive Summary:
Embrace the Opportunities Posed by Digital and Mobile Centers of Health
Widespread company use of mobile and digital centers of excellence captures the global relevance of mobile health. Optimized mobile centers hold vast opportunities for dedicated companies. Digital and mobile centers of excellence enable the development of value-based initiatives that enhance the lives of target audiences. At the global level, centers of excellence allow companies to align their capabilities across multiple brands and markets. Local-level structures hold symbolic value for target audiences by separating companies’ dedicated mobile and digital health efforts from other company goals and objectives. These centers also offer companies the unique opportunity to consolidate their mobile strategy team under one roof while promoting end user engagement.
Dedicated groups whose sole focus is mobile- and digitally-based strategy development secure mobile health campaigns’ success. Centers of excellence facilitate the dedicated development teams. Under mobile and digital specific teams, companies unite employees from various internal functions. Mobile-specific groups are then able to focus on mobile and digital technologies instead of being absorbed in the day-to-day tasks of broader functions.
Companies use mobile-specific teams to draw on the expertise of different functions. Center of excellence teams generate value by incorporating multiple perspectives and capabilities. Figure E.1 [shown in full report] shows the diversity within the types of cross-functional groups that companies with dedicated mobile and digital technology centers promote.
The figure shows that surveyed companies specifically incorporate the efforts of marketing, medical affairs and IT functions within their mobile health teams. Of surveyed companies reporting the number of FTEs involved in their cross-functional mobile groups, seven companies report using FTEs from marketing. Five companies report involving members of medical affairs, and four companies report involving individuals from IT teams.
Centers of excellence’ leveraging cross-functional groups provides a symbolic platform for physicians, other KOLs and patients. Using centers of excellence shows that pharma and device companies are willing to move beyond the traditional scope of individual departments to promote initiative development and drive mobile strategy. These mobile or digital centers of excellence empower companies to develop specific strategies geared toward end user — whether physicians, patients or others — needs and goals