Why the iPad Means Big Things for Pharma and Life Sciences Reps

June 04, 2013 | Brendan Cournoyer
Why the iPad Means Big Things for Pharma and Life Sciences Reps

ipad-for-pharma-life-sciences-repsWhile financial and professional services still lead the way in overall tablet adoptions, life sciences is one industry that appears primed to gain more ground in 2013. Good Technology listed it among the most active industries for iPad activations in Q4 2012, and while it has yet to break the top 10, many folks expect tablets to play a larger role in the world of life sciences and pharmaceuticals going forward. (And of course you can’t forget about BYOD).

One reason is that that today’s pharma and medical device reps now see increased value in using the iPad for sales and customer engagement. One of the key factors? TIME. A while back, Andrew Tolve wrote for eyeonpharma that “reps in the med device industry used to represent two to three products; now it’s often seven to eight. Meanwhile, reps used to enjoy seven to 10 minutes with physicians; now they average two to four.”

The iPad’s ease-of-use and instant-on capabilities have already made it a preferred device for salespeople across multiple industries. With time playing such a critical role for life sciences reps in particular, it’s easy to see why they’d be high among that group. 

Training and compliance are also a factor. A report last year by BioInformatics noted that many physicians complain about “inadequate product knowledge” and the inability to understand their needs as common issues with pharma and life sciences reps. The iPad allows those reps to access product details and company updates anytime, anywhere, and tools like SlideShark make it easy for businesses to ensure field reps only have access to the most up-to-date and compliant resources.

You could also argue that the iPad is simply a more impressive selling tool at this point when compared to laptops (and especially the printed materials and catalogs of old). Many physicians prefer tablet devices themselves these days (tablet ownership among doctors has more than doubled since 2011), and visually-engaging presentations from the iPad can immediately make reps appear more credible and authoritative.

In the video below, Matt Lowe of Creston Health and Dominic Marchant of DJM Digital Solutions take a deeper look at why tablets (and the iPad in particular) have become so important to those in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. As Dominic explains:

 “The iPad provides a rich media platform that allows multimedia to add color and interaction to the sales call, making marketing messages more memorable – and often preferable to those presentations using older print materials. It’s scalable and content can be edited quickly and inexpensively. This has huge implications for pharma. It means companies can instantly ensure reps have 100% compliant material if any changes need to be made, and have a real-time audit off this process.”

For more on the iPad for pharma, check out the full video from Matt and Dominic, and visit SlideShark.com to learn more about how organizations can arm their reps with secure, company-approved PowerPoint content to present straight from their iPads, with fonts, colors, animations and more intact.

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