Category Archives: Healthcare

Augmented Reality in Pharma Marketing

Augmented Reality in Pharmaceuticals Industries

By | Augmented Reality, Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Virtual Reality | No Comments

With the confluence of ground breaking technologies, we are entering into an ultra high-tech era that we call the post digital world. The effect of this transformation is vividly reflected in the pharmaceutical sector while pushing its potential to the edges.

Digital marketing has disrupted the conventional face of the pharma industry. With the introduction of innovative technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), pharma industry is witnessing a revolutionary change in its approach towards marketing. From educating doctors to supplementing surgical manoeuvres to empowering the pharmaceutical sales force, AR applications will provide real value to patients and healthcare professionals alike.

Augmented Reality is a live direct or indirect view of the real world whose elements are augmented or supplementedusing computer simulated inputs such as sound, video, graphics and GPS data. In lay man terms, augmented reality or virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. A few years back, AR was the main content of science fiction movies and games, but with the advent of technologies like Google glass and Oculus VR, it has now become accessible in the real world.

Google Glass: Google Glass is a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It was developed by Google X with the mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smart phone-like hands-free format.

Oculus VR: Oculus VR is an American virtual reality technology company founded by Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe. Their first product, still in development, is the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display for immersive technology virtual reality (VR).

With a considerable portion of the global population now having access to smart phones and tablets equipped with a camera and high speed internet access, these 3D interactive displays are suddenly a viable mass-marketing medium. However, many people find augmented reality to be a clever approach, but few find the technology useful and viable owing to the mass hype associated with it!

Pharmaceutical Industry has always taken a back seat when it comes to pro-active marketing, owing to the numerous regulation in place. However technology always finds its way to accommodate itself within the regulations. Some classic examples of the employment of augmented reality in this avenue would be

  • Enabling patients to see what is going to happen inside their body or how certain drugs work inside one’s body.
  • Helping doctors get a better understanding of each and every step of a procedure or treatment would be another usage of AR.
  • Empowering patients by enabling effective engagement with them through the experiential approach.

When it comes to marketing, today’s consumer no longer believes in static information. They want to interact, visualise and know it for themselves, how a certain thing is going to work, or proceed. And healthcare being a very personalised and sensitive subject, the consumer’s expectation is generally high, thus raising the bar. Today’s consumers want information first hand, and the only way to achieve it, is by making them experience it! The only thing limiting pharma’s use of AR now is our imaginations. The technology has reached the point where the possibilities are endless.

Below is a video where Dr. Suzanna of Genzyme explains potential use of augmented reality. Genzyme has used AR to explain calcification of heart.

Video Source:


Get set Pharma!

By | Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Web Strategy | No Comments

Get set Pharma!

It is the age of Digitized Self, from social media profiles to banking needs, shopping frenzies, grocery needs to Healthcare information, stakeholders across industry value chains are becoming digitized.

The same holds true for the Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals industry as well, the web permeates every single vertical of the industry pillars, with sales force using latest technology, HCPs engaging in digital connects and patients demanding more updated and regular interactions, Pharma has long stayed behind the curve and is now beginning to explore the possibilities that technology has to offer.

The use of gamification has become the newest buzzword in the marketing industry across retail, social and even healthcare. For those not familiar with the concept, gamification is used to tap into consumer behavior using challenging techniques to mold them into a desired behavioral pattern.

Fairly recently Pharma has begun to accept the utilization of gamification in bolstering relationship with its stakeholders, primarily HCPs and patients.  We have seen popularity of activity trackers like FitBit, which track a person’s exercise, calorie intake, and other data. Some of these Apps, even give a virtual trophy, bonus points and rank your performance against your friends.

“Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry lags behind other Industries to fully utilize the opportunities technology has to offer” has probably become an industry image statement.

However some of the Big Pharma are now pushing the boundaries and breaking the barriers to explore newer avenues that technology and the digital outreach has to offer, as is evident from a recent report released titled “Indian Pharma Digital health Report 2015”.

Big Pharma has been taking a stab at gamification for drug development and clinical trials as well. Which is where D Yellow Elephant comes in, a digital firm, focusing on Pharmaceutical and Life-sciences industry offering specialised marketing communications services by integrating technology, medical sciences and communications. D Yellow Elephant offers international level technical and development services like Holograms, virtual reality, gamification platforms, touch less interactions and app developments customised to Indian Pharma requirements

Besides engagement, which is a prime goal for both the retail and clinical spaces, gamification could also play a role in helping pharma diagnose and determine the severity of certain diseases. For example, at the beginning of 2014,Pfizer teamed up with Akili Interactive Labs to conduct a clinical trial using a video game, “Evo Challenge,” to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The game challenges patients to navigate a series of obstacles as researchers determine how well users can pay attention and make decisions when confronted with other distractions. Games have also offered a new way for researchers to explore movement in muscular dystrophy patients.

England Research Institutes/NIH, for example, recently launched a video game called “The Paper Kingdom” for kids ages 8-14. The game was created to confront and eliminate any common misconceptions kids might have about clinical trials.

For pharma, gamification means designing apps that maybe don’t always look like games but operate on game theory, which in its simplest form is how people make interactive decisions.

From a media perspective, when BoehringerIngelheim, launched Syrum with Facebook, it got mixed reviews, both from the users and the media. However fairly recently gamification efforts by global giants like Roche (Aiir virtual world created for child asthma patients in a clinical trial, and Sanofi’s Monster Manor ( aimed at kids with type 1 diabetes, have won awards for innovation. This has directly lend a huge credulity to the corporate brand value, as well as positioning the organizations as thought leaders and first movers in innovations in communicating with its stakeholders.

For Pharma firms, gamification promotes disease education for people playing it, whilst also helping them filter their marketing messages for its ongoing disease awareness campaigns, which is carefully wrapped within the structural design of the game. On the face of it, pharma developed games like Boehringer’sSyrum is about explaining the pharma industry to the public, and the stresses and strains of getting drugs to market. But more specifically for Boehringer is its use as a vehicle to communicate messages about its new disease awareness campaigns to bigger audiences.

Pharma must tread carefully in these areas in India, however, as the industry is not allowed to advertise prescription medicines to the public. This is the whole reason for disease awareness campaigns, which encourage patients to think about their condition, get diagnosed and potentially be prescribed the appropriate medication.

The whole concept of gamification, can lend a positive and negative aspect to the brand, it is important for Pharma to understand the opportunities on offer first and then go all out exploring the same.

In the near future, gamification should be explored and used by the pharma industry more aggressively in the future. Healthcare has been and always be the top most priority for the consumer chain and Pharma can play a more approachable, personable and accessible role.


How Digitally Healthy is Indian Pharmaceutical Industry?

By | Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Web Strategy | No Comments

We are Digitized! And the 4 Es hold the key to understanding the dynamics of this digitalengagement of pharmaceuticals with patients and HCPs.
The web is the Enabler.
Patients and HCPs are Empowered.
They are Engaging and their Experience drives selection of treatment.With the Indian Pharma Digital Health Report 2015 edition, we have strived to provide a bird’seye view of the way Indian Pharmaceuticals are approaching and gauging the digitalplayground. At this juncture in the Indian pharmaceuticals industry, where it is on a growthspree, it is imperative for them to reexamine their strategies for approaching all consumer sets;from sales force, to HCP’s, to patients and beyond.
Out of 40 companies surveyed, only 9 companies managed a score above 50 over a scale of100 points. This shows the reluctance of Indian pharmaceuticals to effectively engage with theirstakeholders on the digital platform.

An interesting pattern emerged from our analysis, which is Presence vs. Engagement. Toexplain it further, a lot of pharmaceutical companies are present on the web across platforms,but the level of engagement is very low. There is also the habit of initiating and abandoning theplatform midway, or selectively utilizing the medium, as and when the need arises.
However if we were to look at the receiver of these communications; patients and HCPs, theyare exhibiting an expectations market now. While conducting our primary research with doctors,patients and caregivers, we were frequently exposed to the issue of non-availability of Indiaspecific information, or even diseases specific trustworthy information online. The mobiledevices are increasingly becoming first source of information search, with Google searchesleading the pack of healthcare information searches in India, the end result of these searchesleads to international websites only.

This is a clear opportunity laid out by the population to the pharmaceutical and healthcareindustry, and Indian companies cannot afford to loose out anymore. Surprisingly, most of theirglobal counterparts are showcasing some really great work in both B2B and B2Ccommunications.

With the Indian Pharma Digital Health report, we have aimed to identify the gaps and helppharmaceutical companies map out a roadmap for their digital journey. While some companieshave showcased good acceleration on the digital highway, a significant chunk is still sitting inthe learner’s seat.
The web permeates every aspect of people’s lives now, from life to work, digital is transformingthe way people deal with information. The consolidation of the World Wide Web, social mediaand omnipresent mobile device access has inalterably redrawn the contours of consumer empowerment. This tectonic shift has impacted the interaction style of Healthcare professionalsand pharmaceutical companies in a big way. The pressure to digitize is building up everyminute, with more and more people accessing the digital playfield, and the time for pharma to go Digital is NOW!
The complete Indian Pharma Digital Health report 2015 can be downloaded at


Why The Indian Pharma Digital Health Report 2015?

By | Brand development, Business advice, Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, HCP Engagement, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical | No Comments

The Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals industry in India is on an 8 word high!

Yes even as you read this report, more informed Patients, technology savvy HCP’s and digitally empowered Medical Representatives are Evolving!

In the age of quantified self, Indian patients and HCPs are exhibiting an expectations market, and with the advent of digital health, big data and dialogue exchange; Indian pharmaceuticals cannot afford to stay behind the curve.

India has recently evolved as one of the biggest and fastest digital consumer base in the world, and healthcare is one of the top search topics across geographies.

With The Indian Pharma Digital Health Report 2015, we have strived to map out the ‘Digital Health’ of Pharmaceuticals Industry, help them identify the loopholes, design a roadmap and help them incorporate digital medium in part of the decision making process.

We have surveyed performance over a period of 2 weeks (22nd May-5th June2015) across 10 key parameter of:

  • Website
  • Apps


Social Media platforms

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • SlideShare
  • Blogger
  • Vine


Basis the ranking the companies have been segregated in key buckets of Digital Primes, Aspirants and Onlookers.

We have found 9 Digital Primes, 18 Aspirants and 13 Onlookers.
What has emerged as a pattern in the report findings is; “Presence Vs Engagement”, i.e while pharmaceutical companies in India are present or registered on most social media platforms, they are holding back on actively engaging with stakeholders.

While the consumer market of patients and HCPs is ready for embracing an inflow of information from the healthcare and pharmaceutical players, the companies are still reluctant to use the digital platforms proactively.

Unlike other industries, pharma has been a late entrant to reap the benefits of the digital space but over the past few years, some of the pharma companies are making conscious effort to work towards comprehensive patient care and are up on the ladder to become a patient centric entity rather than a molecule promoting arm.

Pharmaceutical companies are now actively participating in building engaging relationship with the brand or spreading product/disease awareness communication and we strongly believe that a well crafted and a smart communication strategy aimed at engaging consumers and other healthcare stakeholders, within the regulatory framework ultimately enhances brand and company reputation.

As responsible pharma communicators, it is our duty to drive the industries digital engagements and that’s why here we come with a succinct summary of our learning about digital media in the pharmaceutical sector. These are the key takeaways that can serve as a guide to pharma companies going digital!


Indian Pharma in need of a Digital Pill

By | Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Pill, Uncategorized | No Comments

First-of-its-kind study ranks 40 pharma companies in India on their digital health

New Delhi, July 22: Most pharmaceutical companies in India – both multi-nationals as well as domestic – are still shying away from leveraging the huge opportunities that exist on the digital platforms, a new study released by D Yellow Elephant ( on Wednesday revealed.


  • Only 9 out of 40 companies managed a score above 50 out of 100
  • LinkedIn is most popular social media platform, but only 14 companies are active
  • Google+ has a high presence of 87%, but only 1 out of 40 companies is active
  • Only 8 companies have an India specific Facebook page
  • – Twitter showcases 52% active engagements (India and Global handles)
  • Only 12 companies have a Blogger presence
  • Platforms like Slideshare, Instagram and Vine are used by less than 20% rate lower than 20%

Titled ‘Indian Pharma Digital Health Report 2015’, this first-of-its-kind report analyzed as many as 40 pharmaceutical companies in India across 10 key digital parameters, ranging across websites, apps and 10 social media platforms, namely Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Slideshare and Blogger.

The report has segregated all firms in key buckets of Digital Primes, Aspirants and Onlookers basis analyzes of presence, engagement, response, and consumer followership among few key parameters.

According to Mr. Aman Gupta, Managing Director of D Yellow Elephant, “The Pharmaceutical sector in India, whether Indian companies or global players, they are atleast 5-7 years lagging behing there global counterparts and if compared to other sectors, the time lag could go upto 10 years and above. Ironically, some of these same companies abroad are seen to be proactively using digital platforms to engage with health care professionals (HCPs) and patients,” he said, explaining that this report is an attempt to help the pharmaceutical sector entities in India catch up on the time gap, identify the loopholes and help them incorporate digital medium in part of the decision making process.

Highlighting the key findings of the report, Ms. Chandni Dalal, Lead, Digital Strategy at D Yellow Elephant said, “Out of 40 companies surveyed, only 9 companies managed a score above 50 over a scale of 100 points. This shows the reluctance to effectively engage with their stakeholders on the digital platform.”

“The report is an attempt to underline the opportunities that exist and draw a roadmap for these pharmaceutical companies in India to engage better with the HCPs, and the patient community,” she said, that with the advent of smartphones across geographies, it is high time that the potential is realized. “What better way than effectively use these platforms to bridge the gap to healthcare access in a country like ours,” she explained.

According to Ms. Dalal, “Some of the results have been predictive with LinkedIn emerging as the most popular social media platform, with 95% presence; but only about 14 companies showing an active engagement. For their part, pharmaceutical companies in India are venturing on the digital highway, but basic building blocks like having an India specific website is still amiss.” Only 30% companies have an India specific website.

In the age of quantified self, Indian patients and HCPs are exhibiting an expectations market, with the advent of digital health, big data and dialogue exchange; Indian pharma has long stayed behind the curve on social media.

The full report can be downloaded from

About D Yellow Elephant:

D Yellow Elephant is a digital firm, focusing on the Pharmaceutical and Life-sciences industry offering specialized marketing communications services by integrating technology, medical sciences and communications. With a global footprint in key locations of Delhi, Mumbai, Singapore, London and New York, the firm comes with a deep understanding of the Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare market, offering specialized services in HCP engagements, consumer communications and sales force empowerment. D Yellow Elephant offers cutting-edge technical and development services like Holograms, virtual reality, gamification platforms, touch less interactions and app developments.

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Pharma thinking beyond the pill

By | Biopharmaceutical, BoehringerIngelheim, Digital Pharma, Gilotrif, Healthcare, Leo pharma, Pharmaceutical, Pill | No Comments

Pharma thinking beyond the pill

Times are changing; Pharma companies are becoming more humane in their approach. They are now really working towards connecting and engaging with their consumers at a much deeper level. Technology has truly enabled pharma to take one step further and engage with patients in a much better and consistent manner. I have three great examples of how Pharma is truly focusing on patient centricity by the use of technology and beautifully integrating it with their overall marketing strategies.

The first example is of a famous Biopharmaceutical company investing in the launch of a rare disease website:

Shire biopharmaceutical has launched an awareness website for hereditary angioedema (HAE) as part of its Me, Not HAE campaign. The site allows patients with HAE to share inspirational stories and messages. shire A rare and life-threatening genetic condition, HAE affects about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people, with symptoms including unpredictable swelling in various parts of the body including the extremities, face, abdomen and upper airways.

The second example is of BoehringerIngelheim which has launched iPhone app for patients on Gilotrif (BI’s cancer drug)

Gilotrif The app offers treatment guide for those taking its cancer drug, it also includes branded information about Gilotrif and on what to expect during treatment with the drug. The app, which doesn\’t yet appear to be available in an Android version, also provides \’discussion topics\’ for a patient\’s visits to their doctor and links to patient support sites. Launched in the US in 2013, Gilotrif was Boehringer\’s first cancer drug to reach the market following FDA approval for its use in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with common epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations.

The third example is of Leo pharma. It is one of the pharma companies which has become a very socially-active.

In a short time LEO Pharma has the most active Social Media profiles, whether those be its blog, or accounts on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin or Pinterest – it is also the first Spain pharma company to have an Instagram profile. leo-pharma They had recently won the Premios ASPID award for their #DescubreLaPsoriasis (#DiscoverThePsoriasis) social media campaign. The objective behind this campaign was to increase the awareness of Psoriasis so that people who suffer from this disease could feel better understood by society. The three key highlights of their messaging were: psoriasis is not contagious; psoriasis affects 2 out of every 100 people; and psoriasis is a chronical disease, but it can be controlled. As a result of their efforts, the campaign became viral on various social media networks and reached 11 million people, had more than 6,000 photos and videos published, had 60,000 user interactions and received 30,000 video views.


Three possible avenues of Social Media for Pharma Marketers!

By | Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, HCP Engagement, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical | No Comments

Through my past few client interactions one thing which clearly came out was Pharma marketers apprehensiveness in embracing social media and that was certainly because of the strict regulations that govern these outlets. Hence the challenge lies in finding a mid-way and the safest avenues to maneuver these platforms.

So listed below are three empirical ways through which pharmaceutical companies can leverage social media sites while adhering to government regulations.

  1. Focus on content and aim to become an industry leader

    It has been observed that patients prefer to stay away from pharmaceutical companies who posts medical jargon on their social media sites. What sounds them more assuring and logical is reading other patient stories online hence, recognizing that consumers rely on the experience of others when making decision, pharma companies should use social profiles to share interesting and relevant articles that customers can use and appreciate. Therefore, arobust content marketing strategy can help pharmaceutical manufacturers become industry leaders, which in turn results in greater brand awareness and loyalty because online patient stories are more relatable and accessible to more people. These stories act as virtual word-of-mouth!

  1. Get more creative: use pictures and videos to communicate

    A study found thatPeople remember 80% of what they see and do, 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.Hence, Pharma marketers should include varied content formats to communicate with their stakeholders. Interesting videos and the use of eye-catching photographs on Twitter and Facebook would definitely lead to high engagement and readability amongst patient communities, support groups etc. These videos could be on patient’s treatment or recovery experience, or it could be Doctors videos on important topics like healthy lifestyle and treatment compliance.

  1. The Power of Online Patient Communities

    Social media enables people to be better health consumers by giving them peers’ views on health products and services.People are increasingly going online to seek patients like themselves, as well as friends and family online, for clinical and emotional support in dealing with their health or a remedy for an everyday health issue. A number of pharmaceutical companies have found success on social media platforms by creating communities focused around medical conditions and holding informational question and answer sessions.



By | Digital Marketing, Digital Pharma, HCP Engagement, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical | No Comments

Decoding Gamification!

Ever wondered why we love playing games??

We play games because we experience emotions that are closely related to the main factors of happiness

Especially because games involve so many entertaining and amusing elements that in many ways ful-fills our very basic motivations

Hence that’s why we tend to enjoy and connect better whenever we are made to perform, learn and understand things in a fun way.

We have seen how gamification of learning has made education more meaningful and engaging. Students feel motivated to learn by using video game design and game elements in learning environments.

But is this kind of strategy a valid marketing option for the pharmaceutical industry?

I say yes, because of the current advancements in technology and, in particular, mobile technology have allowed for the explosion of a variety of gamification initiatives in many contexts. Some of these contexts include mobile and web applications and tools that reward and broadcast healthy eating, drinking, and exercise habits, such as Fitocracy, BACtrack and Fitbit.

Gamification has got a critical role to play in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare sector, especially in compliance, building awareness and encouraging patients to take initiative towards a healthy lifestyle.

It can also play a crucial role in research with sales reps, internal staff training and innovation. We could even involve websites for healthcare professionals (HCPs) and use game design principles to engage, educate and up-sell HCP’s

Few famous Examples of Gamification in Pharma Marketing:

Gamification in Pharma Marketing DTC

One of the good example of gamification in pharma marketing is GoMeals, a set of applications developed used by Sanofi-Aventis U.S. GoMeals is created for people living with diabetes and promotes Sanofi’s diabetes drug Apdira.


GoMeals® Application for Healthy Living

The app, available on the web and for smartphones encourages users to make healthy choices with features for eating healthy, staying active and tracking blood glucose levels. GoMeals allows patients to see how their daily habits impact their diabetes. It also provides HCPs with the ability to see how their patient is actually doing. GoMeals uses game design elements providing users clear reports on “burnt calories”, intake from their meals, and glucose readings.

Gamification for CME

In the field of CME (Continuing Medical Education) gamification is seen as one of the ways to retain interest of the HCPs. One of the examples is Septris a web-based mobile application focused on Sepsis education. Created by Stanford University School of Medicine,  Septris may be used on iOS, Android and from desktop web browser. To achieve its learning objectives it introduces a game in which user is diagnosing and treating virtual “patients” while learning about Sepsis.

Gamification for Medicine training

Astrazeneca developed Go To Jupiter – a Game Based Learning Solution, which was used to teach  500 agents about a new medicine. Astrazeneca’s agents have to earn points to be the first to reach a Stadium (which represents the official launch event of the medicine and where agents, answering questions using a remote control, can earn new points to improve their game ranking). The objective of developing this game based learning solution was to teach 500 agents about a new medicine, keeping costs down hence boosting an effective voluntary e-learning system

In the web game, agents can get points by answering quiz and playing different mini-games focused on the features of a new product.

The success rate could be inferred by Astra Zeneca’s gamified medicine training getting 97% of their large network of agents to participate, with a 99% Completion Rate.

Gamification in Pharma Marketing: Way Forward!

Gamification in pharma marketing goes hand in hand with mHealth, and as mobile healthcare grows there will be more of game design elements in pharma marketing campaigns.

Current focus of pharma marketers is on gamification in direct to consumermarketing. Indeed gamification as a tactic can be very efficient in increasing patient compliance to the prescribed treatment.