8 Must Have Apps for the Pharmaceutical Professionals
Digital Transformation is not limited to the technology sector but healthcare and pharma itself is becoming more about technology – from virtual doctor consultation to ordering medicines, technology is replacing traditional interventions completely.
According to a report by Arthur D. Little, “Industry executives expect that by 2020, Digital Health will enable Pharmaceutical companies to activate new business segments as well as to significantly improve their competitive advantage.”
Global pharmaceutical company Pfizer implemented an innovative mobile learning app ROKET that uses social learning, mobility, analytics, and the cloud to build the sales proficiency of the medical representatives in the Indian market. The key business objectives of this project were to engage geographically dispersed sales reps with ‘anytime, anywhere, and on any-device’ learning.
Given the current global crisis, the pharmaceutical industry is identified as one, that will be least affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But as businesses are driven by their employees, COVID-19 will have some effects on the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Digital transformation is blurring lines between traditional methods and new innovative solutions to do work. Although the rate of technology adoption is slow as compared to other sectors (e.g. Telecom). The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to mobile apps, with Big Pharma companies having an average of 65 mobile apps. Apps are set to become key tools across the industry.
Pharma executives are well aware of the disruptive potential.
According to a report by Mckinsey “Pharma executives are well aware of the disruptive potential. They are experimenting with a wide range of digital initiatives (e.g omnichannel conversations with physicians and patients, data-driven Insights, digital services for tailored 24/7 treatment) to determine what initiatives will help to scale up and grow”
Most of the current applications are customer-facing and B2C. Pharmaceutical companies can also look at enterprise apps to make an impact internally such as increasing productivity and streamlining internal processes.
8 apps you must have if you’re a pharmaceutical professional
1. Sales Support App – A sales support app to help the medical representatives to improve their product knowledge on the go and save them time in client meetings. The medical representatives can save up to 20 minutes a day by having the right knowledge on their devices rather than looking it up before the meeting.
Having access to all relevant sales and drug information, clinical studies, safety information, changing product information, competitor product information, delivered to their fingertips, in real-time will help them to enhance their understanding of the product and sell them better while answering any questions the doctors throw at them.
All the information on their mobile devices will give them better mobility while traveling between meetings so that they can prepare better and smarter, giving them the edge to stand out from their competitors.
2. Pharmaceutical Reference App- Paper-based manuals change daily as new studies are published, which means that they must be updated regularly. Having to consult these reference books for information can be a real pain, especially if you are in the middle of a meeting far away from medical resources.
Consult any medical reference book in digital format anytime, anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. The content can be instantly updated as new information becomes available.
Apps like these can save time and give you the potential to invest it elsewhere, stand out from competitors, and stay at the top of the industry.
3. Training and Assessment App- It is no secret that training is extremely important. Pharma companies pay heavy emphasis on the training of their MR’s so that their conversation with the physicians they meet is at par. Given the fast-paced pharma industry, spending valuable time training new employees is a key part.
With a training and assessment app, you can ensure your employees’ knowledge is up-to-speed without compromising on additional budgets or other employees’ valuable time. Share training material, videos, documents, quizzes, assessments and further empowering the workforce to take ownership of their learning. You can gamify learning, maintain leaderboards, track performance and learning progress, and make learning fun and engaging.
4. Accounting Apps- While the above apps have mainly focused on Employee support, some operational apps for the accounts and finance team can also be used. From capturing bills and uploading to a central database, a billing app to maintain smart reports and make informed decisions, scan barcodes, salts, brand name, etc. Accept payments through multiple modes from multiple customers, send for approvals and avoid the paperwork or the email trails.
5. Drug Inventory Management App- Track drug shipments, inventory, and replacements with a drug inventory management app. Enable high-level tracking of inventory along with eliminating the use of paper and human errors, thus increasing the efficiency of the services. Handle goods received, acknowledge shipments, and request resupply in just a few taps (or clicks). The app can queue a lack of inventory in order to prevent dropping below the predefined threshold and reducing the scope of insufficient drug supply. The app can also assist in the expiry tracking of inventory.
6. Discussion Forums App- In order to interact with doctors, clients, employees of the company, and other people who are into the same profession, Pharmaceutical firms may create discussion forums apps where they can interact and exchange information to help each other. Pharmaceutical Companies can segment users in the discussion forums and can send them updates about new product launches and acquiring reviews on various products and others.
7. Locate Healthcare Facility App- A lot of time of the pharmaceutical individuals is wasted in finding or locating healthcare facilities, clinics, and hospitals. An App dedicated to maintaining a register of all healthcare facilities with their location will help pharma individuals to save time for locating healthcare facilities when going for a meeting with doctors.
8. CSR Activities App- Pharmaceutical companies can build an app to manage CSR activities of the company, where any NGO or other organizations can register for help — to get free medicines, health checkups, or any other contribution. Pharmaceutical companies can also monitor and track their CSR activities over an app to ensure activities are conducted properly. Companies can also display their CSR activities over the app to get governmental benefits and to create a good brand image.
“Companies can capitalize on such micro, task-based pharmaceutical apps, and help streamline workflows, help increase employee knowledge and productivity whether it is pharma manufacturing or sales.”
Why should pharma companies build their own apps?
While the facts remain, a plethora of applications and ready-to-use software are present in the market, they have low user acceptance. The same can be attributed to the following:
1. Most application software is offered by some of the larger pharma companies. They are either exclusive to certain markets, or they support only one language and fail to assist companies in other countries. In short, they do not address unification for cross markets and languages.
2. Off-the-shelf apps have restrictive functionality; a one-size-fits-all philosophy does not apply.
3. No support for cross-platform functionality. Apps built for android run only on android devices, iOS apps run on iOS, and so on.
4. Traditionally developed apps are difficult to maintain and scale. Updates are difficult and time taking to make and roll out.
5. Difficult to keep up and manage with the changing regulatory and compliance needs while managing customer needs and keeping an eye on the bottom line (business objectives)
6. Apps suffer from poor interface design made keeping one segment in mind
Taking the no-code road
Considering the current scenario there is a greater need to adopt rapid app development technologies by pharma companies to stay on-trend, embracing, and benefitting from the advancements in today’s technology.
Modern-age development methodologies like no-code enable users from any walk-of life to build solutions. Line of Business leaders with the best understanding of their business problem can quickly build apps and create highly customized and innovative solutions to their problem.
A hidden plus point with making your own apps is the low cost of developing and running these apps. Along with creating highly unique solutions, pharma companies can save on the resources that otherwise go into the traditional method of application development.
Safeguarding your business information’s security is a primary concern especially if your patient’s personal information is at stake. Popular app no-code platforms offer enterprise-grade security that safeguards confidential information of both the company and its employees.
DronaHQ is a trusted name in the field of rapid app development to support business operations. Support your medical representatives to improve their product knowledge and communicate new updates and research to them with an app. Train your employees virtually with the latest resources keeping the best industry practices in mind. Create an app to maintain a repository and record all your financial transactions. Manage drug inventory, track shipments, and automate ordering processes to eliminate drug shortages with the help of an app.
Check out how global pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Cipla have built solutions over the DronaHQ platform for the learning & development of its employees to better train their employees with the latest industry practices.
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