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Precision Advisors Digital Trends Study: Pharma's Use of Tablets With Payers Growing in Use But Effectiveness Lags

NEW YORK, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Precision Advisors (, a Precision for Medicine Company, announced the findings from its 2015 Digital Trends study of managed care executives, which concludes that life sciences companies are increasingly using tablets as a channel to deliver effective digital communications to managed care customers.

The study concludes that tablets have truly transformed the pharmaceutical company sales presentation. Nearly a third of managed care decision makers (30%) noted a significant increase in the use of tablet presentations in 2014, compared with 15% in 2013. Managed care executives, commonly referred to as payers in the industry, also were attracted to the devices. Tablet use within payer organizations grew to 24% in 2014 versus 20% in 2013, with nearly half of all organizations offering tablet support.

The Digital Trends Study, the only one of its kind in the industry, is more formally known as Digital and Data Trends in the Payer Marketplace. It was developed by Precision Advisors and Precision for Value, sister companies that support commercial excellence for global pharmaceutical and life sciences clients. The study offers detailed information on use of tablets and smartphones by payers, use and effectiveness of tablet presentations by individual pharmaceutical companies, and use of big data by payers. Interviews were conducted with 145 managed care executives including pharmacy, medical, and quality directors at health plans, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), and Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs). 

"The tablet seems to have found its home in the hands of pharmaceutical account managers giving presentations to payers, rather than payers using tablets to accomplish work-related tasks," said Larry Blandford, executive vice president and managing partner, Precision Advisors. "The presentations, however, have received mixed reviews, ranging from enthusiasm, to ambivalence, to frustration. Feedback from payers suggests there is -- at the very least -- room for improvement."

Of the respondents who said they had received a presentation from pharmaceutical companies, just about half generally rated each presentation as effective, suggesting that payers feel that tablet presentations can be compelling, but that many don't make proper use of the full capabilities of the medium. No specific pharmaceutical company was rated effective by more than 70% of respondents, which presents a leadership opportunity within digital communication. This finding is a modest change from 2013, when payer respondents were less likely to have seen a tablet presentation, but more likely to have rated the ones they did see as effective. 

Oft-cited reasons for suboptimal tablet presentation included poor connectivity, text that was too small to read, and videos not playing. Many of the respondents reported that they felt the best tablet presentations from the past year included content that was concise, interactive, and customizable -- including videos and links. Many respondents said that, because of time constraints, presentations should always address their audience directly. Payers believe this to be a unique benefit of the tablet, as it can provide interactivity and the ability to drill down into a specific topic, while skimming through or skipping others.

"Tablets provide pharmaceutical account executives and payers with some distinct benefits for presentations, many of which are unavailable through other media," continued Blandford. "Now that they are growing in use, pharma must focus on improving these presentations by providing customized and concise delivery that is intelligent and interactive."

About the Survey
A qualitative survey of 145 managed care executives was fielded between August and October 2014. Respondents included decision makers at Managed Care Organizations, Pharmacy Benefit Managers, and Integrated Delivery Systems/Networks. A more extensive summary and analysis of the survey findings can be found in the Digital Trends in the Payer Marketplace final report at

About Precision for Medicine
Precision for Medicine is a specialized company providing services and infrastructure to support life sciences companies as they develop new products in the age of precision medicine. Precision brings expertise, technology, and project execution to support innovative, patient-centric solutions from discovery through commercialization. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Visit for more information.

About Precision Advisors
Precision Advisors combines real-world market experience with thought leadership and industry expertise to provide insight, strategy, and advice to innovative life sciences companies. Our team of experts encompasses all areas of the commercialization spectrum including strategy consulting, managed markets, health economics, clinical research, and analytics. Visit to learn more about how Precision Advisors can inform your success.

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SOURCE Precision Advisors
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