Riding with the telehealth cowboys into healthcare’s new frontier

Everyone is online. Yet healthcare has been among the last to adapt. The main excuses are always healthcare is highly regulated and complex.  

But a big shift is underway, one that promises to unlock immense improvements and benefits for patients, doctors and healthcare companies.

Almost every healthcare interaction before the pandemic was one-on-one in person. This changed overnight. Consumers moved online and show no signs of returning.   

Pharma has been forced to embrace new ways and approaches to communicate with its key audiences – prescribers and patients.

As healthcare marketers hunt for new ways to cope with the new normal, traditional models of marketing are being replaced by innovative digital technologies.  

Just as they have in retail and banking, digital technologies are radically changing the way we interact with healthcare.

Central to this change is telehealth, which continues to gain traction with consumers.  

While pharma and life science companies play within a tightly confined legal and regulatory space, telehealth operators have few such limitations.

There is almost no restriction on direct contact with patients and collecting information about their habits and preferences and how medications work in the real world. 

Consumers, especially younger people, are willing to share medical and personal data with telehealth providers beyond anything pharma would be comfortable with.

From this perspective, telehealth providers are invaluable arms-length partners for pharma to provide essential medical information to patients they could not normally reach.

Pharma and life science companies must carefully consider how they can work with such non-traditional care models and navigate this highly dynamic market while honouring their non-negotiable regulatory and ethical commitments.

Challenges and traps

Most telehealth players are still experimenting with different business models and are yet to turn a profit. They are also pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in terms of collecting patient data and communicating the potential benefits of different treatments. 

It is crucial for pharma to carry out solid due diligence on any potential partner either directly or through a trusted partner. 

As the regulation of telehealth services and its interpretation are still evolving in many local markets and countries, it’s essential pharma companies avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest between different healthcare stakeholders.

Success in digital marketing

Poor consumer engagement, caused by poor consumer experience, is one of the biggest problems in healthcare. Many poor health outcomes are caused by diseases we know how to prevent or cure. 

What’s needed is not more science and technology but people who can build better experiences to engage patients in their health journey. 

As consumers no longer follow the traditional patient journey, pharma marketers have to re-create their customer journey maps and build more effective touch points. 

From awareness to consideration to scheduling, each step requires thinking through what patients need and how they feel during that stage.

For a telehealth strategy to make the right impact, it must address the unique challenge within each care journey as well as meet the specific needs of the company’s brand. 

Chronic and high prevalence diseases will present different opportunities compared to rare, difficult to diagnose conditions.

Proprietary platform
Not only are marketers rethinking the patient’s journey, they also have to rethink the provider’s experience. 

By considering the experiences of the patient and provider, marketers can ensure both have an educated discussion at the point of care.

RoseRx does this for life science and pharma clients via a fully compliant proprietary platform, made up of a large array of experience and modules. 

The company built this platform over several years from extensive experience as a leading online telehealth player and an online pharmaceutical dispensary player. It is proven software that offers a proven solution.

It was built with compliance in mind to minimise regulatory risks and safeguard data and intellectual property.

Essentially the platform allows for lead generation patient engagement connectors and connection with healthcare professionals to produce data insights.  

RoseRx’s platform does lead generation through disease education, traditional CRM for pharma companies funnel optimisation calls, patient engagement, with all sorts of clinical forms, follow-up in person and follow-up engagement with health coaches. 

Pre-built features and integrations bring users the care and support they need all within specific branding guidelines.   
It offers an effective way for pharma to market directly to their future customers. And help in getting those customers in front of informed healthcare professionals. Consumers get a better outcome much faster. 

Increases sales & saves on R&D

It is clear to everyone in pharma that telehealth has emerged as one of the fastest ways to grow awareness and expedite the rapid commercialisation of new therapeutics. The explosive and unprecedented uptake of new GLP-1 therapies is the clearest demonstration of this.

Pharmaceutical marketers are constantly exploring strategies to elevate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. 

Pharma's hesitancy to engage with telehealth often stems from regulatory uncertainties, concerns about data privacy and security, and the risk of non-compliance with strict regulations like HIPAA in the US and the Privacy Act in Australia. 

Additionally, companies may feel a lack of control over the patient experience and messaging, and the shift to digital technologies may require a significant mindset change. 

While there are potential benefits, including improved access to patients and enhanced patient engagement, pharma companies must carefully evaluate the risks and challenges associated with collaborating with telehealth providers before fully embracing these partnerships.

As The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported in an article headed: “‘Pill mills’ or the future of medicine?” telehealth was one of the big winners in Australian business from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A new wave of start-ups offering access to treatments and medications raised more than $100 million collectively from venture capital firms and other investors who see a potential gold rush for start-ups to capture a slice of the $200 billion Australians spend on health each year. 

But with aggressive advertising on television, social media and public transport, these have sounded warning bells to regulators and experts in the industry. Pharmacy Guild president Trent Twomey said there are “cowboys” operating in telehealth.

Twomey accuses these operators of “reducing the provision of healthcare to an algorithm” under a doctor’s supervision. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Dr Nicole Higgins said the healthcare industry was pursuing “a business opportunity versus a health care opportunity.” 


Pharma and Life Science Solutions in the US reported in 2022 in an article: ‘How Telemedicine is changing pharma marketing’, that at first many HCPs viewed telehealth as a necessary evil in the face of the pandemic. But remote technology was already available, COVID-19 just rapidly increased its usage and availability. https://www.elsmediakits.com/blogs/how-telemedicine-changing-pharma-marketing

Despite the criticisms, healthcare’s digital transformation shows no signs of slowing as reforms encourage consumers to play a far more active decision-making role. 

Unlike successful B2C companies in other industries—which offer mobile solutions, provide personalised product recommendations, and empower customer-service agents with a 360-degree view of the customer—many healthcare providers and payors are lagging, as are pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers.  

RoseRx understands these needs and is helping global pharmaceutical and life science companies navigate and leverage the opportunities presented by telehealth to create value for their brand and patients. 

This includes identifying opportunities for their portfolio, where to start and how to execute by building successful engagement strategies. Campaigns can be localised and consumers and practitioners are engaged in a compliant and ethical manner.

Partners to pave a path to digital ROI

Digital health platforms that create engaging and lasting connections with patients will continue to shape the future of the healthcare system.  

RoseRx’s proprietary platform gives life sciences companies the capabilities they need to deliver next-generation digital health solutions that differentiate their therapies and better engage patients. 

With robust data security, high-level compliance, pre-built features and multiple integrations, it is empowering pharma to innovate at scale and deliver standout digital experiences that generate immediate impact and return on investment.  

There are multiple initiatives underway between pharma and life science companies and telehealth players. These range from co-promotion of over-the-counter medicines to direct-to-consumer channels that offer patients on-demand consultations.

RoseRx has identified six basic guide points for pharma and life science players to mitigate potential threats while enabling engagement models that increase access to therapies and improve patient outcomes.

To collaborate ethically and compliantly with telehealth, consider:

  • Establish transparent relationships through proven software vendors like RoseRx.

  • Integrate patient experience design data for better awareness and consultation completion rates

  • Ensure compliant and de-identified analytics for insights.

  • Effectively engage and educate HCPs while following regulatory guidelines like HIPAA and the TGA.

  • Engage in non-promotional communication to provide patient information and support while increasing treatment adherence.

  • Implement continuous monitoring and evaluation for optimisation and measurement.

Online promotion and telehealth have become a vital trend, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 76% of patients preferring its use. The pandemic saw a massive increase in digital adoption across all demographics.

RoseRx is a new breed of digital service provider solving these problems using the insights and technologies honed building a hugely successful national digital direct to consumer businesses. 

Its proprietary platform maps online behaviour to clinical outcomes, thereby helping life science companies measure the success of their campaign efforts. RoseRx Patient Activation Platform helps users locate, educate and navigate high intent and engaged patients to the right care.

Success in digital marketing for pharma requires building relationships and educating patients. Integrated patient/Health Care Professional (HCP) activation is crucial, utilising digital front doors for benefits like increased access and improved satisfaction.

A key feature of telehealth is it allows pharma to understand how their medications are being used on a daily basis in patients’ everyday lives without the inherent conflicts of direct contact.

End-to-end personalised healthcare journeys, 
ready to be deployed

End-to-end personalised healthcare journeys, 
ready to be deployed