Amar Urhekar, executive vice president, Asia Pacific at McCann healthcare Worldwide, said that while the objectives of communications in the healthcare industry are to see behaviourial changes towards prescription, better compliance and lifestyle, it also requires the understanding towards medical practitioners and patients.
“The healthcare industry can learn from other industries and apply it. Patients have now become consumers of healthcare. They have a lot of information and they are convinced that they have opportunities in making healthcare decisions, such as getting a second opinion,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
He went on to say that the digitalisation of information in the healthcare industry has helped the industry to create a better customer relationships.
“Digitalisation of information in the industry brings more opportunity for better patient education and it helps doctors to treat patients such as follow-up with the patients.”
Instead of using digital items such as the iPad as a detailing tool alone, Urhekar noted that it can be used as a two-way conversation tool to enable a more efficient communication between doctors as well as doctors and patients.
“(For example), can the use of the iPad be extended to create a social network among medical representatives? At the professional level, can they talk to each other and share data? We need digital to help them and empower them to do a better job,” he said.
Urhekar added that digital education in the healthcare industry can also help doctors get more information in less time. Meanwhile, healthcare content in the digital context can attract patients and caregivers in a more interactive and fun way.