The challenges, opportunities of implementing voice in pharma

Yesterday at the Voice of Healthcare Summit at Harvard Medical School, panelists discussed the lure of voice technology, its opportunities and the importance of keeping privacy front and center. Increasingly, Amazon Alexa and Siri are no longer just a tool for ordering pizza. Voice technology has found its way into healthcare, and now one of the most established industries in the medical world is starting to explore the possibilities of voice: pharma.

“I think voice should be part of a robust ecosystem in which pharma provides treatment information … and things like that,” Kay Bayne, senior manager of consumer and HCP marketing at AstraZeneca, said during the Voice of Healthcare Summit at Harvard Medical School yesterday.

While the technology has a myriad of potential use cases, there are still a lot of unknowns.

“I think right now there is a lot of experimenting going on trying to figure out how to use this as a platform,” Shwen Gwee, cofounder of Novartis Biome and global head of Open Innovations at Novartis, said during the event. “We are heavily regulated. While that prevents us from doing things that are overly creative, it also gives us an opportunity because with things like pre-approved content … you have the opportunity to really leverage these medias and drive some of the things that have been done by traditional channels in the past. So really looking at things like patient support programs, medical information or even marketing to clinical. I’ve seen voice for collecting patient-reported outcomes for clinical trials.”

However, like many other new gadgets on the market today, there is a danger of adopting voice for the just for the sake of it.


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