Pharma Sales Forces Jumping on the iBandwagon – How the iPad is Altering Interaction in Pharma Industry & Why You Should Join the iRevolution


The integration of the iPad into the biotech and pharmaceutical industry has had  substantial impact on businesses’ daily operations. The growth of tablet technology is rapidly transforming how field sales forces in the pharma industry communicate with physicians and payers.

While the implementation of the iPad has been rapid and exponential, effectively integrating iPads into the field requires significant planning, resources, and training to make the investment a success. While the success of the iPad is hard to deny, is it possible for one to fully measure the effectiveness of the iPad as an inventive sales tool?

It is hard to deny that the invention of the iPad and its integration into various industries has been groundbreaking. Despite the rapid popularity of the device, today’s corporate usage of iPads or Android-based tablets is still limited to merely supporting, not fully replacing, other technologies. Most companies still use their iPad in conjunction with both laptops and smart phones. This may be due to the lack of customized training across regions or various therapeutic areas of responsibility. The most common complaints regarding iPad use involves using the generic Excel, Word, and PowerPoint substitutes that come installed on the device.

Although there may be some resistance and hesitation to increase reliance on tablets, there are many benefits that could arise from the switch in technologies. The iPad can not only serve as a collaborative effort between Sales and Training & Development, but also may be easier to use than previous tablet or laptop programs. The countless features available and  the perceived benefits that are associated with  iPads have convinced the majority of companies surveyed in a recent Best Practices study to deploy the iPad to Sales Force members in coming years.

“To iPad or Not To iPad,” a recent article featured in MedAdNews restates the critical need for accurate training of this new technology in order to increase effectiveness and usability. “What companies should not be doing with iPads is just handing them over to reps, with all the sales programs installed, and then expecting reps to be able to use the devices intuitively, especially the sales reps who have never encountered the iPod Touch or the iPhone,” explains author Christiane Truelove. Clearly lack of appropriate training can lead to confusion and frustration amongst employees and managers.

Ultimately integration of the iPad into the daily work environment is on the rise. Despite this, it is uncertain whether the iPad and other tablets will have as significant of an impact in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries as in other industries. Integrating the iPad into your company is a challenge that requires substantial planning. With accurate training, assignment of critical tools, and time comfort levels with these devices can and will significantly increase.

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