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Indian Pharma and Healthcare companies need a Digital Prescription

Indian Pharma and Healthcare companies need a Digital Prescription

Mumbai: More than half of the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in India – multi-national and domestic – have a placeholder presence on digital platforms, and are failing to actively engage with their stakeholders, the ‘India Digital Health Report 2017’ by D Yellow Elephant, revealed on Wednesday.

The report analyzed 160 India based companies across 4 verticals – pharmaceuticals, medical devices & equipment, diagnostics and hospitals. The companies were studied on 12 key digital and social parameters – websites, apps, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Blogger, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram and Tumblr.

Based on presence, engagement, response, and consumer followership, companies are segregated into three categories – Digital Primes (the torch-bearers), Aspirants (gradually moving up on the digital curve) and Onlookers (silent observers).

Findings reveal that only 14% companies emerged as Digital Primes. 54% companies qualify as Digital Aspirants while the remaining 32% fall under the category of Digital Onlookers.

Of the four industry verticals, pharma accounts for the highest number of Digital Primes (22%). Medical devices & equipment and diagnostics have maximum Digital Aspirants, with 71% of the surveyed companies maintaining digital presence but lagging in engagement.

Apollo Diagnostics takes the overall top spot with a score of 70, followed by GE Healthcare with 65.5 and Pfizer with 65 points. Amongst hospitals, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital leads with 56 points.

Mr. Aman Gupta, Managing Director, D Yellow Elephant, said, “The report indicates that pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in India are affected by ‘Engagement Draught’ – present across most social media platforms but reluctant to engage with stakeholders. With HCPs (Health Care Professionals), patients, caregivers and policymakers consuming bulk of information online, it is imperative for companies to develop a digital ecosystem spread across multiple channels.”

“Launched in 2015, the India Digital Health Report has set benchmarks for digital presence across the sector. The second edition reveals that the digital journey for most companies has started, but restricted to presence. A robust digital engagement strategy should be integral to the corporate strategy, rather than an afterthought,” he added.

 LinkedIn enjoys the maximum presence with 91% players having a dedicated page, but only 11% companies actively engaging on the platform. Facebook is the second most preferred platform with 90% presence rate, followed by Twitter and YouTube.

Ms. Chandni Dalal, Lead, Digital Strategy, D Yellow Elephant said, “Out of the 160 companies surveyed, only 22 companies managed a score above 50 over a scale of 100 points. There is a trend of initiating and abandoning the platform midway, or selectively utilizing the medium, as and when the need arises. Patients now arrive in physicians’ offices armed with information, and their insistence on taking a more active role in their treatment is transforming healthcare from a provider dominated marketplace to a consumer-centred system. More education is needed at every level, and healthcare firms have a huge role to play in listening and informing both physicians and those they treat.”

The long-term aim of this report is to outline the digital integration required at all steps of a patient’s journey, from searching for symptomatic information, HCP interaction, diagnosis, treatment and follow ups.

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