A new Ernst & Young study says pharmaceutical companies increased investments in smartphone apps, educational websites, social media, and wireless devices in 2010 by 78%.
One goal for drugmakers involved in mobile and social media initiatives is to improve patient health, including drug adherence, while Bloomberg notes that new media platforms can help companies develop tailored marketing materials and keep clinical trials cost-effective.
The study also says pharma companies, many of which are facing patent expirations and government cost-cutting, are beginning to shift their strategy to focus on improving health outcomes by offering tools that can aid disease management and coordinated care, according to Daily Finance.
Notably, the reports state that non-pharmaceutical companies have spent at least $20 billion in the space, suggesting the industry has two choices: increase investment or see its relevance drop.
An October 2010 feature in PRWeek looked at several ways healthcare companies are using mobile, including Medtronic's use of iPads in its sales strategy; diabetes app programs launched by Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk; and Text4Baby's innovative use of SMS to reach underserved pregnant women.
It will be interesting to see how pharmaceutical companies invest in mobile communications programs over the next year, especially as the FDA has delayed the release of its first social media guidance.