Digital ePrints and
the Environment

In going digital at key events clients can help the environment by significantly reducing printing, binding, storage and shipping of their key clinical papers. Improvements in technology and hardware are making pdfs more accessible and easier to read than ever before whether that be on tablets, e-readers or mobiles. In embracing this format cliets can reduce their carbon footprint and also increase their imprint on target audiences by improving upon:

Accessibility of content

Data and tracking capabilities and

Opt-ins and follow-up communications

Whether the format of the content is an ePrint or a reprint, the undeniable value of the scientific information remains the same. However, expanding upon the formats purchased ensures greater value is extracted from that content – wherever and whenever required. This flexibility benefits all stakeholders, from the publisher and the Pharma Co. right through to the HCPs and their patients.

HME supports the sharing of ePrints via fully compliant and multichannel digital distribution platforms. Digital content libraries are made accessible compliantly via a number of touchpoints so content can be shared in call, at events, via websites etc. Via this method of sharing key information and raising awareness, the lasting impact made is not on environmental damage but on the end recipient of the key scientific data. They are able to digest the data in a format that suits them best whilst the Pharma Co. can track usage, identify the areas of particular interest and with the end recipient’s consent, follow up and bring added value that is tailored to the specific needs or interests of the individual. The key scientific data is highly accessible to the consumer whether they are in the office, on the road, commuting or at congress – the information is at their fingertips and available on whatever device they have to hand.

Across a two-year period, HME helped some key clients distribute thousands of documents across approximately 10 congresses per year. 200+ clinical papers were purchased across this period for varying quantities but all purchased digitally. At a single event in 2019, one client captured 680 digital engagements on 4 iPads (standalone and handheld) across a 3-day period. In building content libraries for such events, it is possible to manage the individual publication licenses and work with publishers to extract as much ROI as possible by sharing that content at multiple key congresses and meetings whilst also expanding their accessibility in between events via sales apps, websites or as a compelling feature in media conference packages.

For HME, the added value for clients that can be harnessed, both during and post event, is around:

Obtaining consent for future communications

Fuss free DRM, copyright and regulatory compliance

Flexible licensing and flexible channel allocation

Ongoing tracking in real time (e.g. open rates)

Effectively managing and measuring ROI, which in turn reduces waste and protects the environment.

Zero wastage

By investing in the above, clients are able to provide information to HCPs that can build trust, educate, increase audience reach and build disease awareness in the most efficient, desirable manner possible. Flexible channel allocation is important for HCPs who habitually want to access key scientific information in a way that is most convenient to them (e.g. via a mobile, tablet or desktop). For instance, according to EPG Health 2019’s latest research on ‘The Evolving Role of Websites for Healthcare Professionals’, “websites are HCPs’ preferred source of information in clinical practice, with 96% rating them important and half accessing them daily via their smartphones.” In addition to this, independent websites are preferred by HCPs for building disease awareness according to EPG’s research where “72% [of HCPs asked,} visit independent medical website weekly (versus only 23% visiting pharma website weekly)”.

Ultimately, there is a place for many content distribution channels and tackling digital wastage does not mean an elimination of print. The challenge lies in mastering greater efficiencies in terms of flexible pricing models, needs-driven purchasing and seamless real-time tracking, reporting and analysis.

Publishers are also enhancing the content options they provide with certain clinical paper publications having digital add-on functionality such as the ability to embed podcasts and KOL videos alongside the digital content of the clinical publication itself.

With the expansion of ePrint capabilities alongside print solutions, it is heartening to know there are effective, efficient and advanced options for bespoke clinical publication distribution that limits any damage to our environment.

The solution really is a win-win for all; HCPs have total flexibility on how and when they engage with content, Pharma companies have greater transparency which results in increased ROI and buying efficiencies, publishers are able to keep their content secure and track-able, HME can provide a more efficient service, and our world can keep some trees!

Devneet Atherton