June 1st, 2009
Need to Check Your Cholesterol? There Will Be an App for That
By Rich Thomaselli
For Pharma Marketers, the IPhone Is a Perfect Conduit to the Consumer
Forget checking the weather or finding the nearest pizza joint; very soon you’ll be keeping tabs on your glucose level and blood pressure with your iPhone. That’s right, Apple’s skyrocketing cellphone is set to become an important, and potentially huge, marketing battleground for Big Pharma.
“This is a seminal moment for the pharmaceutical industry,” said Tim Gee, principle of Beaverton, Ore.-based Medical Connectivity Consulting. “The trend to incorporate more medical devices into consumer electronics is going to explode.” Added Dr. Michael Ostrovsky, an editor for MedGadget.com: “If you look at what the iPhone can offer both patients and clinicians, it’s truly an untapped market.”
It’s also fertile ground for marketers of medical products and prescription drugs aimed at medical professionals and consumers. “The app is the new ‘let’s build a website’ when we’re presenting tactical plans,” said the head of one pharmaceutical ad agency. “That’s absolutely true,” said Michael Guarini, the president of New York-based health-care agency Flaum Communications. “I talk to clients all the time about mobile technology. We use the term ‘smartphone,’ but the iPhone is ahead of everybody else.”