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How the Digital Front Door is Shifting Pharma Marketing Strategies

May 4, 2023

The shift to digital healthcare has broadly impacted the medical industry. While healthcare institutions are employing technology to improve the patient experience, pharma marketers need to adjust tactics to provide value to providers and patients alike.

This is what you need to know about the digital front door and how it impacts health care delivery as well as tips for creating a strategy to embrace this new trend.

What is the Digital Front Door?

The term “digital front door” (DFD) refers to the use of technology to facilitate engagement between patients and healthcare professionals. The DFD has been replacing traditionally in-person or manual tasks with digital experiences. Some examples include digital patient forms, telehealth, online bill paying and appointment scheduling.

While digital access and telehealth exploded during the pandemic, it continues to grow even as in-person engagements continue to return. Funding for digital front doors was $1.9 billion in 2021, a record high, and the number grew by over 32% by the end of 2022.

Digital front doors provide the healthcare industry with multiple benefits including:

  • Increased access for patients
  • Asynchronous care and patient monitoring
  • Improved patient satisfaction
  • Lower readmission rates
  • Enhanced patient control over care
  • Hyper-convenient experiences

As digital front door strategies expand into other medical arenas, they offer pharmaceutical companies an opportunity to provide greater value and capitalize on this new trend.

How Does Digital Front Door Impacts Pharma?

The digital front door enables pharma marketers to improve awareness and engagement as well as patient/provider experiences by driving broader use of telehealth.

Some ways that marketers can take advantage of the digital front door include:

Connect patients to telehealth consults. Presently, patients are far more proactive in their care than in times past. They can search for their conditions, symptoms and treatments online and ask their providers about specific treatments. Marketing campaigns that connect patients to providers with telehealth consults provide users with a seamless experience.

Use virtual waiting room messaging. Online healthcare appointments continue to be popular, even as patients have the option to meet in person. As a result, pharma companies don’t have the opportunity to reach patients with educational information in waiting rooms. But virtual waiting room messaging enables marketers to provide patients with messages and educational information based on their intake information.

Provide hyper-personal digital content. While pharma organizations are creating more content than ever, many physicians feel overwhelmed with information that is too technical to share with patients. Marketers can stand out by providing more personalized content in a more digestible format that can be shared with patients.

Encourage medication continuity with the DTC model. Many organizations embrace the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model by partnering with home care agencies. Patients can continue accessing the therapies and medication they need without traveling to a clinic or physician's office. Also, organizations can capitalize on this trend by shipping samples directly to telehealth patients who would otherwise get them at in-person appointments in the past.

Leveraging the Digital Front Door

Patients are increasingly seeking healthcare solutions on their own terms, and healthcare providers are improving their services with the digital front door. Pharma marketers need to embrace the digital patient experience by partnering with providers and creating a more accessible digital presence. It not only increases accessibility for patients but affords providers the tools they need to serve their patients. In totality, creating ways to integrate seamlessly with the digital front door experience crafts a more seamless experience for both provider and patient.

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Article Written by Alex Brown 

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