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The Future of Digital Detailing - an Interview with Julie Martell

Intouch Team

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Recently, Intouch conducted a survey of physicians to learn more about their interactions with the iPad®. We received a lot of interest in the study from clients, media, and others interested in iPad and health. We interviewed our own Julie Martell, Senior Manager, Marketing Insights, who led this research project to share what we learned.

What was the goal of Intouch conducting this research?

We have been working in this space for a while, but we wanted to better understand the perspective of the physician around pharma companies beginning to detail on iPad and similar tablet/slate devices. In addition, we were interested in knowing how many physicians have actually received in-person digital detailing and how satisfied they are with the experience.

I thought you guys are focused on digital marketing — what is Intouch’s interest in this specific area?

We are interested in helping our clients communicate the benefits of their products in the best way possible. We also recognize the importance of mobile device usage is growing rapidly, and we are always looking to keep our clients ahead of the curve, in any relevant digital space.

What were the results?

We found that 90% of the physicians surveyed have received in-person digital detailing, and 35% have already been detailed using an iPad. In addition, they are very satisfied with iPad detailing. There were many reasons for their high satisfaction, but ease of use and the ability to display complex graphics and data were mentioned the most.

Were there any surprises?

We were surprised to find that the “green” aspect of digital detailing resounded with so many physicians. Aside from that, we were very pleased to confirm our hunches about what physicians find valuable in digital detailing (viewing clinical data, electronic signature capture on sample orders, sharing patient materials, etc.)!

What’s your background in research?

I became interested in research when I was in college and had a professor that did amazing work in the area of infant cognition and learning. I went on to study under him in graduate school and fell in love with the idea of becoming a lifelong researcher. My market research career at Sprint included managing their user experience studies, but I particularly enjoyed working on new product development research projects. It fascinates me to take an unmet need and turn it into a product that is widely used and enjoyed.

How did you decide how to conduct this survey?

Our clients look to us to tell them what’s next in pharma and to be on the cutting edge of new technologies. This study was just part of the process of ensuring that our strategies are backed up with sound research to support them.

Do you have an iPad?

Yes. I’m currently in the process of switching over from my trusty spiral notebook to using it for note taking. I love the feeling of having one tablet-sized device from which I can get my email, keep my calendar, record notes, and entertain my four-year-old!

What if I want to learn more?

Contact us at Also, take a look at some additional findings from the survey in the infographic below.


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