European E-Health Landscape


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European E-Health Landscape

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European E-Health Landscape

  1. 1. In countries across Europe, pharmaceutical marketers are trying to keep pacewith physicians’ and patients’ increased reliance on technology for health. Bothgroups have used the Internet to research medical and prescription druginformation for years, but never before have eHealth activities been so engrainedin their daily lives. A digital health landscape that was once mostly defined bysporadic searches for health or product terms has now evolved to include agrowing group of individuals who rely on digital media throughout theirprofessional workdays and healthcare journeys. Physicians now whip outsmartphones at the point of care to reference drug information and patients use online resources for education andsupport at multiple points along the disease management continuum. But the challenge for pharmaceuticalmarketers is turning these eHealth trends into actionable insights that shape strategies and ultimately impact thebottom line, especially in an environment with stringent regulations around direct-to-consumer advertising. Thefollowing report looks at some of the top trends in the European eHealth market as a preview of the rich data andanalysis available in Manhattan Research’s European physician and consumer market research and advisoryservice products.Social Networking for Health on the Rise Health 2.0 is a rising trend in the European eHealth landscape – over two- thirds of doctors already online are interested in joining physician social networks and a growing number of patients are using social media as an outlet for comparing experiences, lending support, and reviewing opinions on treatments and products. But even though Europeans are consuming and creating user-generated content for medical purposes, it’s far from the most dominant resource in the health resource media mix, as overall both patients and physicians draw from a diverse selection of resources whenmaking health and treatment decisions. While social media undoubtedly has an important place in pharmaceuticalmarketing, marketer enthusiasm for the channel sometimes outweighs the benefits that brands have yet to be ableto gain from this area. Brands shouldn’t dive headfirst into the social media pool before they have a solidunderstanding of how their target patient and/or physician audiences use and are influenced by social media.Manhattan Research’s studies show that social media is more influential for some specialist and disease groupsthan others, so the level of priority this channel is given should vary by brand. t: • e: •
  2. 2. Wikipedia Remains a Top Health ResourceNot surprisingly, language is a major factor in determining the websites Europeans visit most often and top onlinehealth destinations vary greatly across the continent. There was one common thread, though, throughout thecountries surveyed in Manhattan Research’s Cybercitizen Health® Europe and Taking the Pulse® Europe studies –Wikipedia. This collaboratively edited resource contains up-to-date, local content which is ultimately being used bypatients and physicians alike for medical information. In fact, about three-fourths of physicians online use Wikipediaas a medical resource monthly or more often – and they’re even recommending it to patients. The site plays anespecially critical role in the many countries lacking comprehensive, accredited health portals. Additionally, themajority of consumers on Wikipedia for health expect pharmaceutical companies to monitor their product entries.Brand and product information should be accurate throughout entries, but marketers should only go so far asverifying accuracy and completeness – the removal of true, even if negative, content has caused backlash for somecompanies.Rich Media a Growing Source of Health InformationOver the past few years, some forms of rich media, such as online video, have evolved from “new” media formats tobecome mainstream information resources. Increased broadband access, improved content quality, and advancedmobile technology have all contributed to the growing consumption of rich media by the general population. Forexample, the majority of online European consumers watch streaming video on the Internet and there’s a healthyinterest for condition management videos, while nearly half of online European physicians use online videos forprofessional purposes. It will be interesting to see how rich media can help pharmaceutical companies betterengage with physicians and patients and if even more advanced types of media, like online gaming, can be brandenhancers in the future.Physicians and Patients Discuss Online Health ResourcesThough the physician remains the ultimate voice in the physician-patientrelationship, online health content is helping the traditional one-way lectureevolve into an educated conversation. About half of online Europeanphysicians recommend health websites to their patients. Online content is away for marketers to provide physicians and patients with extended resourcesthat may not fit within the time and space constraints of traditional media.Brands can become part of the treatment discussion if they make diseaseeducation tools and resources readily available to the patients and physicians seeking them. t: • e: •
  3. 3. Manhattan Research European StudiesManhattan Research offers two in-depth studies of the European eHealth landscape:Taking the Pulse® Europe is Manhattan Research’s market research and advisory service focused on howphysicians across Western Europe use the Internet and technology for clinical purposes and for engaging withpharmaceutical companies. The study was fielded online in Q4 2009 among 1,125 practicing physicians inGermany, Spain, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Key topics include physician adoption, Internet use andbehavior, email communication, smartphone ownership/mobile activities, online journals, virtual conferences, socialnetworking, health and medical website visitation, search engines, online video, patient education, pharma websitevisitation, videoconferencing with reps, electronic detailing, and much more.Cybercitizen Health® Europe is Manhattan Research’s market research and advisory service focused on howconsumers across Western Europe use digital media and technology for health and treatment information. Thestudy was fielded online in Q3 2009 among 3,007 consumers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, andFrance. Key topics include overall media profile, use and relative influence of health information sources, health andpharma websites, mobile, search engines, online video, email, social media, online health tools,condition/prescription medication profile, physician-patient relationship, and much more.Client deliverables for each product include a reference slide deck, executive management summary deck, strategicbriefing/webinar, physician market trends report, Strategic Insights®, analyst inquiry service, methodology andsummary data tables, client portal, and access to the data in a variety of formats. Also, In addition to acomprehensive view of the European physician and consumer markets, clients can also segment the data byspecific countries, specialist groups, and therapeutic categories. For additional product and pricing information, please contact our team at, call, ext 2., or visit Research, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is a pharmaceutical and healthcare market researchand advisory firm focused on the digital trends shaping the future of consumer and physician marketing. Our studiesare updated annually and include Cybercitizen Health®, Cybercitizen Health® Europe, ePharma Consumer®,Taking the Pulse®, Taking the Pulse® Europe, Taking the Pulse® Asia, Taking the Pulse® Nurses, and ePharmaPhysician®. Broad consumer and physician market research can be segmented for over 125 therapeutic andspecialist groups. For product and subscription information, please visit, or call t: • e: •