Enrique Culebro
Founder and General Director
Central Media
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Medical Professionals Must Be Ready to Adopt Healthtech

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 08/18/2022 - 16:01

Q: How much did the pandemic change consumer behavior regarding the consumption of health-related products?

A: There have been many changes. First, Mexicans increased their use of social networks to discuss healthy eating, exercise and motivation. Many medical professionals gained a social media following and used their platform to provide information regarding health issues, using trending formats to reach a larger audience. Second, many more people are requesting consultations through video calls, with recent studies showing that about 40 percent of patients have had at least one virtual consultation. This trend is here to stay. A recent study by the Latin American Institute of Responsible Self-Care states that 95 percent of Mexicans are satisfied with virtual consultations and 88 percent of them would use this format again.

Third, having easy access to information has become the new normal. In Mexico, all health monitoring sites grew their traffic by 86 percent in 2021 when compared to 2020. Finally, the growth of e-commerce also reached electronic health devices, which grew in demand much more than any of us could have anticipated. While online sales of these devices are still limited, they are growing rapidly.

Q: How is the industry adapting to e-commerce and what challenges and opportunities have emerged from this practice?

A: E-commerce helps prevent some longstanding problems in the Mexican healthcare system, such as the lack of traceability, which is particularly common with prescription medicines. E-commerce helps to ensure that the patient buys what is prescribed, nothing more and nothing less. It also facilitates the search for highly specialized drugs, which can be difficult to find. This sales mode also provides the usual benefits of e-commerce: the ability to order 24/7 and without leaving home. It can also make recommendations based on historical purchases.

It is estimated that approximately one-third of Mexicans in the last year purchased medicines through e-commerce, either at an online pharmacy, supermarket, marketplace or using a delivery app.

Q: How is Central Media supporting clients’ active participation in e-commerce?

A: We provide doctors with quality information regarding good practices and information about treatments besides medications so they can provide an integral service to their patients. We also offer doctors websites with verified information that will help the patient.

With patients, we focus on fighting the misinformation that exists in digital spaces by providing evidence-based data. Patients can use these resources as a guide for prevention or to manage their disease after a diagnosis.

Q: What role should health professionals play in the shaping of marketing strategies?

A: Health professionals should be central to the process because they have the credentials to speak with authority about specific topics. They also know how to explain health issues in the simplest terms possible. Health professionals also need to change their communication channels with patients and colleagues to keep informed about all aspects of public health policies. These professionals are willing to use social networks, websites and other gadgets not linked to the professional equipment used in hospitals and clinics.

Q: How have Mexican regulations adapted to the online sale of medicines and medical supplies?

A: The law is not clear regarding certain practices, including telemedicine, electronic medical records and the use of social networks to promote health services despite the growing popularity of these trends. These gray areas generate uncertainty among developers, which are taking a risk when introducing these technologies.

When consumers start to adopt trends, public policies also start to move, albeit with a small delay. Even if these changes occur slowly, the changes in public health policies are taking place.  

Q: How is Central Media using education to improve medical practices and sell medical supplies?

A: Our Central Academy program compiles all our experiences obtained over the years and uses them to provide training programs for commercial and marketing teams. We teach them to use technology to optimize their work, allowing them to use the search engines of social networks and platforms to target their promotional messages. This helps them change the traditional marketing model for a more direct-to-consumer model. This platform also helps health professionals to digitize their practice.

Q: Central Media has been certified as a Great Place to Work. What contributed to this recognition?

A: We provide competitive salaries and benefits, which are essential but not a common denominator within the Mexican labor market. We aim to be a sustainable company that follows good practices and optimizes the use of resources. Finally, our employees are essential to us. We monitor social networks, forums or industry vlogs to measure their satisfaction. The agency’s reputation is congruent with its certifications, allowing us to know that we are doing a good job. These achievements make us feel proud but they represent a responsibility to keep improving.

 

Central Media is a Mexican digital agency specialized in healthcare, wellness and life sciences with years of experience in the digital marketing industry. 

Photo by:   Central Media
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst