Why Digital Therapeutics Needs Ad Tech

July 22, 2021

In 2020, the healthcare industry witnessed a steep rise in all things digital as COVID-19 hit the gas on an existing trend. That acceleration is expected to continue this year, presenting a major growth opportunity for one particular aspect of tech-driven healthcare: Digital Therapeutics (DTx).

DTx is a category of direct medical interventions that use “evidenced based, clinically evaluated software to treat, manage, and prevent” a range of diseases and disorders or improve overall health. These products work in a variety of ways, from calculating insulin doses to delivering cognitive behavioral therapy and can help track and manage symptoms as well as improve medication adherence. They are often accessed through a smartphone or tablet and can be used independently or in concert with other treatments. DTx can improve access for traditionally hard-to-reach populations, whether they live in a rural area, want added privacy, or struggle to find time while trying to balance work and family.

While the concept of DTx technologies aren’t exactly new, social distancing really highlighted the need for this type of approach, and sparked an interest in patients seeking personalized medicine delivered more conveniently. What’s more, the pandemic landscape shifted regulations in ways that will make DTx even more accessible.

Innovative and focused targeting for DTx companies

A key piece of any company’s efforts to expand the reach of its product is finding the right audience, and that’s no different for DTx. But, selling health-related treatments and prevention tools can be complex. What’s more, the advertising itself is subject to a variety of regulations that other industries don’t face. Thus, healthcare marketers have always had to get creative when it comes to reaching and engaging their target audiences, and the coming demise of third-party cookies is driving even more innovation.

In particular, approaches that incorporate both provider targeting and direct-to-consumer contextual advertising are key ways to ensure information about novel products reaches those to whom it is most relevant. PulsePoint’s HCP Direct Match uses opt-in consent to gather first party data on more than 1.3 million healthcare providers in the US and is able to target according to specialty and practice location, even delivering messaging into the EHR. When it comes to reaching potential patients, health-oriented contextual targeting ensures ads are paired with content and websites that make sense—finding users who are interested in content about specific conditions, treatments, and more. 

Native advertising for therapeutics

Another useful digital advertising tool for the growing DTx industry is native advertising, which uses relevant content to drive interested audiences directly to a brand website or special microsite. Where display ads directly sell a product, native articles promise to educate readers about symptoms or treatment options associated with a particular health concern. The goal of native advertising is to build a trusted relationship between brand and consumer. This is accomplished by providing relevant and useful information without a sales angle.

When the potential consumer clicks through to read, they are brought directly to the brand site, microsite, or landing page where they will find both the information they were seeking and, if they want, supplemental specifics on the product itself. Not only do native ads provide a welcome service to consumers, they are more effective than traditional display ads. Studies show that people are more likely to click, share, and trust them.

Selecting the right ad tech partner is critical

Just as the DTx industry is changing as it grows, healthcare marketing is having to adapt to a shifting digital landscape. Yes, this means new regulations, but also new opportunities. An established, experienced ad tech partner will already be poised to meet the latest standards while ensuring both granularity and scale. PulsePoint has an established reputation as a leader in health-specific marketing that promises expertise in navigating and adapting to both complex legal environments and making the most of new and evolving technologies. 

Programmatic and targeted advertising can help grow the DTx market

Having an opportunity for growth provided by ad tech doesn’t mean widespread adoption of DTx products will happen automatically or immediately. For many doctors and patients, DTx is still a foreign concept, often adopted by younger buyers who have more of a penchant for the latest in technological gadgets. Thus, it falls on health marketers to get the right message to the right audience so that DTx products are seen as beneficial to more than just early adopters. That’s where ad tech comes in. Working with the right digital advertising partner can help DTx companies educate and engage providers and patients about the benefits and application of their products.

If digital therapeutics are to reach their potential—providing highly accessible treatment, wellness, and prevention options—the message needs to get out first. Ad tech can help.

To learn more about PulsePoint, and how our data and technology solutions can support your HCP marketing efforts, request a demo.

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