The iPad Helps Pharmaceutical Reps Influence Prescribing Practices Among Doctors

The iPad Helps Pharmaceutical Reps Influence Prescribing Practices Among Doctors

Study shows growing number of pharmaceutical reps using iPads.

We talk about the iPad’s role in healthcare pretty regularly. Many physicians and health care practices have found innovative ways to integrate the iPad into daily patient interactions. According to a new study, the pharmaceutical industry has discovered that the iPad is an excellent tool for promoting new medications and that it can influence the prescribing habits of doctors.

The news is part of Manhattan Research’s new ePharma Physician® 2012 study. The healthcare market research firm surveyed 1,819 practicing U.S. doctors to study how they use digital and Internet tools to research drug information.

The firm discovered that in the span of just one year, the percentage of pharmaceutical company representatives using the iPad when meeting with physicians had more than doubled from 30% in 2011 to 65% in 2012.

That’s not a terribly surprising find. Company representatives, marketing professionals, and salespeople across almost every industry have found that the iPad makes a compelling solution when working with potential or existing clients/customers. The iPad makes it simple to present information, research questions quickly, and make any needed calculations on the spot.

The study also discovered that iPad is a pretty effective tool for pharmaceutical reps. Out of the physicians that have had in-person meetings where the iPad was used, 35% said they were more likely to request drug samples following the meeting and 29% said they were more likely to prescribe the medication as a result of the iPad being part of the interaction.

Monique Levy, the firm’s Vice President of Research, noted that the iPad is driving “desired engagement and behavior” on the part of doctors following these meetings.

We’re seeing more positive signs this year that the use of iPads by reps is driving the desired engagement and behavior among physicians. We’re also getting more clarity on the kinds of features and content physicians want on these devices such as demos of apps they can download and KOL videos.

Manhattan Research notes that the iPad findings are just one of the topics of the study. Other topics include how doctors seek information about medications, their use of smartphones and tablets as reference tools, the impact of pharmaceutical online promotion, pharmaceutical digital services (patient education, sampling, and financial assistance), and online journal preferences. The company will present the key findings of the study in a webinar next week.

Via MobiHealthNews

  • karenjs

    (whoops, commented on wrong story)

  • djrobsd

    No shock there, technology engages people and makes them more likely to purchase something. And of course, this is just another way that drug reps can peddle their drugs to doctors and get doctors to prescribe patients a bunch of medication they don’t really need. I wonder if the ipads come pre-loaded with vacation photos showing the doctor the trips they can win if they prescribe a certain amount. LOL

  • BIrwin

    Manhattan Research’s report is further evidence that iPads allow for more meaningful interactions between reps and physicians. In my mind there are three key reasons why reps need an iPad, which I detailed in a recent post: http://trinitypharmasolutions.com/insights/2012/02/10/pharma-embraces-ipad

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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