Peter Hopper, Sr Dir, Integrated Client Services, Palio

Couldn’t sleep last night, so I ended up reading an article on my iPad that asked the question: mobile Web site or mobile app? I know. I had options, but it popped up in my RSS feed.

The article (published in RAIN, the Radio and Internet Newsletter) was a brief review of a column written by Jakob Nielsen, a Web usability expert, for AlertBox. Nielsen is predicting a strategic shift, based on his research on how end-users use their mobile devices. He claims that, hands down, the mobile app currently beats the mobile Web site from a user-performance perspective. But, in time, that will change.

The driving factor is the user-experience environment. It’s not news that the desktop and laptop real estate, computing power and user-interactivity (keystroking, mouse and track pad precision and functionality, etc) currently overwhelm the smart phone and tablet. And that is the point: the mobile device requires the smarter optimization gained by creating an app, while Web site optimization for the mobile device is currently limited. This smarter optimization makes the mobile app a better user experience. “An app can target the specific limitations and abilities of each individual device much better than a Web site can while running inside a browser,” states Nielsen.

But we are approaching a crossroads. The app benefit may indeed be short-lived. One factor: the expense of developing mobile apps will likely increase. Currently, the primary mobile app platforms are Android, iOS and Windows Phone. But these platforms are sub-dividing, iOS for iPhone and iPad, Android for smartphones and the Kindle Fire, for example: separate apps required for unique user experiences per mobile environment. Development technology, again, will likely step up to help alleviate some of this cost burden. But there are other factors, as well, including e-commerce and richer content that favor the mobile Web site, down the road.

What’s at risk? Letting your audience down.

Turning the corner, new Web technologies like HTML5 will drive better mobile site capabilities and user experiences. Add the benefit of a richer integration with the Web via a mobile site than within a mobile app.

When will this predicted strategic shift take place? Great question. No clear answer on the immediate horizon according to Nielsen. We know HTML5 and other Web technologies are advancing rapidly. However, the take-away from this discussion is recognizing the balance and the compromise when building your digital recommendations for your clients in the mobile environment, helping them understand that there is indeed a shift on the horizon, the unique implications of what and why you consider development options, and helping them evaluate the best road to take.

I hope this didn’t put you to sleep, but I did rest better last night after becoming a little more enlightened.

Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.

Viva la Video!

Joe Arcuri, Director of Studio Services, Palio

Every minute, 24 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube – the second most popular search platform after Google. Last year we wrote about the growing influence of video on Pixels and Pills. At Palio, we’re creating more digital content than ever before – especially as iPad popularity continues to grow.

Online video is a great way to create engaging, exciting, informational, promotional and educational messages. With attention spans shorter and evolving expectations of patients, physicians and consumers, video is the way of the future.

Read more

Are all Calls Created Equal?

Rob Kempton, VP, Brand Planning Director, Palio

Anyone who has spent a day in pharmaceutical – or any other type – of sales, will tell you the answer is an unequivocal “no.”

There are cold calls to warm leads and warm calls on glacial leads. There are follow-up calls on established accounts and first-time calls to what may be your next strategic account. There are calls where you get the hand-off, the brush-off or even the flip off, as well as those where you close the deal, make the sale and bring home the cheddar.

Against that backdrop, why would you use the same digital tools for every sales call? The answer is: You wouldn’t.

Read more

Forgoing Face Time? Get Tethered!

Todd LaRoche, EVP, Managing Director of Creative, Palio

There is no slow season in health care. Whether seeing patients in between personal and professional appointments or a spike in patient visits during cold and flu season, doctors are always busy. For sales reps, this results in a greater challenge getting face time with doctors.

Sales reps may not be used to communicating in a two-minute window, but doctors, nurses and office staff are conditioned to interact that way. Last year on Pixels and Pills, I wrote about being brief and getting to the point when communicating with doctors. That still holds true, but with more doctors tethered to their smartphones and iPads, we need to use technology to change how we communicate with doctors.

Read more

Are Your Social Media Eggs All In One Basket?

Andy Smith, EVP, General Manager, Director of Global Operations, Palio

The only constant is change, and that couldn’t be truer for how business gets done. Last year, on Pixels and Pills, I discussed the value of a multifaceted strategy. Reduced travel budgets, fewer in-person meetings and less spending on traditional media is giving way to the social media boon where marketers are increasingly replacing traditional marketing activities with social initiatives.

Social media is undoubtedly an increasingly important part of a coordinated and integrated marketing campaign, but participation should not forsake other marketing initiatives. Ignoring social media is as much a mistake as putting all your eggs into the social basket. The trick is to find the right blend that enables you to reach the buying audience across a multitude of traditional and social platforms.

While social media meets the goal of increased frequency of message, having a strategy that complements online activity with offline tactics allows you to share more details than allowed by a 140-character tweet or Facebook status. In addition to driving traffic to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and Twitter account, consider the following:

Get personal:  eMarketer notes that 95 percent of Americans use email and 83 percent check it at least once per day. Email is a great conversation starter (or extender!) and makes it easy to present information without interruption. For pharmaceutical sales reps, in-person office calls are getting harder to secure. Inviting doctors to speak at dinner programs and other out-of-office gatherings provide educational value and remain popular to strengthen connections.

Show your stuff at industry conferences:  Whether you speak or exhibit, the conference circuit is a great vehicle for connecting with customers and prospects to create deeper connections and put personality behind your brand. Participating in speaking opportunities can help establish credibility in your field, put you in front of a “warm” audience and get some recognition for your company.

Create a customized app:  With more people toting iPads and other tablet devices, consider presentation apps to highlight new drug developments or treatment therapies. Combining the power of the written word with interactive, visually stimulating content enables you to deliver consistent and compliant messages while enabling the viewer to learn more at their own convenience.

Go beyond the name brands:  Facebook, Twitter and Google+ aren’t the only places for online socializing. Brand sponsored communities, patient portals and other interest-specific groups can be useful to develop clinical trial awareness, find patients for enrollment or help people connect with others who share similar concerns. Also, many health care organizations serve to bring communities together, either by offering educational courses or networking events at their facilities. Use social media to raise awareness of these offline events to keep people informed and engaged with happenings at your organization.

There’s no denying the online and offline worlds are converging. To succeed, understand your business goals and create an integrated campaign with consistent messaging across all platforms.

Opportunities to build relationships, brand equity, and customer loyalty are everywhere. While social media may be the hottest thing since the dawn of the Internet age, an integrated, multifaceted strategy yields the best results.


Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.


Expanding the Potential of e-Detailing

[slideshare id=9817825&doc=docsipadv4-111021145226-phpapp02]

Jon Fisher, Technology Manager, Palio

According to recent Manhattan Research findings, 38% of ePharma Physicians have seen sales reps with iPads or other tablets during face-to-face meetings – However the study suggests marketers are not leveraging these devices to their full potential.

- A new ePharma Physician® v11.0 study explores the evolving pharma service model and digital opportunities for marketers – Webinar August 11th 11am ET

It’s not surprising that there are studies in the pharma industry pointing to a lukewarm reception rate among physicians who are being detailed from an iPad. The introduction of the iPad as a platform for e-detailing is no longer just about selling a drug. It’s about the doctor relating to the iPad itself as a world of interactivity and connectivity that can bring medicine to life. For many docs who do not own iPads, being detailed on this device could seem like a well orchestrated show on a beefed up e-reader, especially if the functionally of the e-detail application involves little more than squinting at oceans of tiny text, watching a basic gant chart’s graph rising and falling, or suffering through poorly composed footage of talking heads describing efficacy through a video player window. The question isn’t how much will it cost me to get a print detail aid reformatted for an iPad with some videos thrown in? The question should be how could my content be experienced in a fresh way on touchpad technology for full user engagement. The real time metrics collection, the CRM modules that plug into robust marketing software packages, even the ability to get an e-signature, will not come into play within the first critical 60 seconds the rep has to capture a physician’s attention with valuable information they can use.

Technology, like all successful physical product attributes, eventually becomes copied and commoditized. And while we might see significant gains from the initial excitement and buzz of the “wow effect,” it eventually wears off and what remains is the content and how it is experienced. So many companies cut and paste traditional media solutions into new media platforms creating “brochure-ware” that fails to take advantage of the technology. Unfortunately, what is happening is that print materials are being delivered in a digital medium. It takes more than adding a video to make something “digital.” The question isn’t “How much will it cost me to get a print detail aid reformatted for an iPad?” The question should be “How could my content be experienced in a fresh way on this new tool for user engagement?”

The iPad is not going away. It’s here to stay. Although its growth may have not taken off as initially anticipated within the health industry, as more reps and doctors understand the technology and its extensive ability to produce a dynamic learning environment with real time information – clickable charts, images, video and extensive interactive usability – we will see more and more companies in the marketplace competing to provide the best functionality in their e-detailing apps. When the technology is not being used to its full capability, it can be seen as being little more than an old school “push” selling tactic as opposed to fully exploiting the technology to bring the physician into the story of the brand. The iPad is more than an interactive e-reader or a seductive technology gimmick. It is a portable library that can connect instantly to new data and, if used as it was designed, it can become a synergistic connection that can truly create the multi-dimensional dynamic experience used not only for detailing but also for teaching and interacting with patients.

To hear more of Palio’s point of view on ways to better maximize this medium, view our SlideShare: Palio 360° solutions, The Seven Tips to IVA Development. 


Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.

The Year Tablets Took Off

Bob Mason, EVP, Managing Director of Insight and Brand Strategy, Palio

The pharmaceutical industry isn’t known for its rapid embrace of technology, but the iPad has shattered that myth. Pharmaceutical companies such as Boehringer, Novartis and Abbott are using the devices to generate sales, provide information to investors and deliver medical information to health care professionals.

There’s no doubt that tablets are the pharmaceutical industry’s hottest trend. iPads and Android-based alternatives are an ideal fit for the pharma sales force as well as a range of health care and industry professionals. Pharma’s interest in mobile apps also delivers a range of previously impossible options. For example, with more people toting iPads, interactive competitions at industry conferences, games for patients to improve health outcomes or detailing and CRM applications for the sales force are all possible.

iPads are positioned to be game changers for the industry. And, they have yet to deliver on their true potential. Because iPads and other rival tablets enable users to consume media in new and exciting ways, pharma companies and their vendors should begin investigating and investing in new apps to power their business.

Pharma marketers have more opportunities to reach the target audience with robust, relevant Web, mobile and email experiences and interactions, well beyond the limitations of earlier mobile devices.  For the sales force, as the amount of time a physician spends with reps decreases, smartphone and tablet apps provide a more efficient and attractive way to present information to medical professionals.

Pharmaceutical companies are investing heavily in arming the sales force with iPads to better engage doctors during sales visits. If you’re considering using a tablet for a sales presentation, keep these two rules in mind:

Don’t use it just because you have one, or because you want to wow the customer. Whether used as a conversation starter or in place of a one-on-one meeting, your presentation can impact prescribing behavior. While whiz-bang graphics may be aesthetically appealing, it’s the content that matters. Include demos, reports, graphs, interactive medical calculators and decision support tools that illustrate clinical benefits or efficiencies at the point of care.

Do use it to simplify the sales call, and to show information you don’t want to leave in hard-copy form. A tablet lets you walk in the door with less “business baggage” – the note pads, the briefcase, etc. And having key  information on a tablet lets you show the data in an attractive manner without leaving behind information can occasionally find its way into the hands of a competitive sales rep.

How physicians receive information is constantly changing, but based on current trends, it’s obvious they like information in digital form. Using mobile devices for sales presentations can enable reps to differentiate themselves and deliver clear, concise and compliant messages.

Adoption of iPads is bringing new changes to the industry and will continue to serve as catalyst for future changes. Whether it’s medical education, patient communication, physician offices or pharmaceutical sales, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. While 2011 was the year of the tablet, “there’s an app for that” will continue to influence pharma in how they deliver messages on the medium.

Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.

Palio Tech Watch | 10.10.11

Palio Tech Watch: The Hot 5

Marty Hardin, SVP Director of Emerging Media and Technology

01. Amazing printer concept

in prototype phase
Periperals, concept, user experience

What it is:

A concept for a printer from Artefact that behaves the way you wish your own printer did.

Why it Matters:

Devices are not becoming smarter, our observations of human behavior should be getting better to help in our refinement of what will appeal to consumers. Or, as the old saying goes, “the bait should suit the fish, not the angler.” In order for us, as an industry, to be able to achieve uptake in the marketplace, the first place we should start is through the eyes of the consumer. What do they want? What do they need? What frustrates them and how can we make it better? Customer centric design will make all the difference. Lose focus on the customer’s needs and desires, and your product, website or app will fail.

02. Nicholas Felton’s design of Facebook’s timeline

in limited pre-release

Information graphics, user experience, information graphics

What it is:

The big news rolling out of the F8 conference

Why it Matters:

This is a robust demonstration of how deeply information graphics have penetrated the marketplace. While, like any change on Facebook, there will be people who will not like it, this will have a major impact on how people will want to receive information dense materials. As we develop materials that are heavy in facts, figures and data points, we should all take note, and steal… er, borrow a page from Facebook.


03. Wisconsin library now lending iPads


Tablet devices, iPad, iOS, education

What it is:

A clear indicator of how far tablet technology has come and how far it will be going

Why it Matters:

The public library is the last place you’d expect to be able to check out an electronic device. But, when you think about it, it makes sense. In the pilot program, each of the 32 iPads in the library’s inventory is loaded with 1,000 classic titles and 10 audio books. That represents a virtual inventory of 32,000 books and 320 audio books that the library can have on hand at any time.It should also be noted some 11,000 libraries (out of a total of 122,101 across the nation) last month began lending books for Amazon’s Kindle ebook platform according to is also clear, that while the pharma industry has taken note of the value of tablet technology from a costs savings perspective, the true insight is that in the very near future, cost savings or not, this will be our targets preferred choice of interface.


04. Monitoring patients using an intelligent t-shirt

in the prototype phase

Smart garments, telemetrics, biometrics

What it is:

A wearable patient monitoring device

Why it Matters:

In the near future, patients and doctors will have access to realtime, data. This could also be a boon to the pharma industry. Imagine being able to track and interact with a patient based on actual data. AE’s could be avoided, better refinement of dosage could be calibrated and a closer correlation between physical conditions, lifestyle choices and the patients disease state could be tracked, monitored and recorded. Essentially, we would have a realtime image of our patients and their lives. Real world data that could shed light on discoveries that lab studies would never be able to observe.


05. Dreamworks bypasses HBO to stream to Netflix

Entertainment, streaming media

What it is:

The first major movie studio to opt to stream directly to consumers via a web-based distribution service

Why it Matters:

This follows closely to Discovery Network’s recent announcement that they would stream full episodes of past season’s shows. What’s more important is that this is a very strong indicator that web based video services have moved from being a novel way to watch videos to a viable, profitable way to distribute content.We are starting to see a shift from device oriented perceptions (internet video, mobile video, cable television, etc.), to an innate understanding that a screen is a a video portal, regardless of device. With that shift in perception, the credibility of the content is no longer being diminished by the device or delivery method. The video device enabled consumer will be more likely to judge the quality of the content above the delivery method. This means that a message from a corporation will be as valid online as it is in broadcast, without the added cost of delivery that traditional television brings with it.


 Other stories of note


How to use the new Facebook Timeline feature to see who has unfriended you

You may have been unfriended, but not know it. This simple tip shows how. Hey, since they aren’t your friends anymore, they won’t see it if you post this on Facebook…


Lifty brings classic literature to your iPad, mobile device or desktop

Related to the iPad library story above, Lifty is new service that accesses Project Gutenberg‘s 20,000 open source e-reader based literary classics, without having to use the clunky Project Gutenberg interface. Lifty is free, accesa and doesn’t require you to join, but if you do, you get the added benefit of being able to book mark your selections and return to them later.


Web Sensation: “What set the mood the day you were conceived”

GE, along with  The Barbarian Group, has created another informative and entertaining data visualization, but this time it’s about the day you were conceived. Be sure to look in the lower right corner to enter your birth date. The stats are cool. Unfortunately the mental image of my folks… well, thankfully, GE hasn’t figured out how to visualize everything.


 Happy exploring.

Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.

Palio Tech Watch | 10.03.11


Palio Tech Watch: The Hot 5

By: Marty Hardin, SVP Director of Emerging Media and Technology

01. Brain scans to go

in alpha development
Mobile, medical devices, medical imaging

What it is:

A fully functional smartphone brain scanner consisting of a low-cost 14-channel EEG headset with a wireless connection to a smartphone (Nokia N900), enabling minimally invasive EEG monitoring in naturalistic settings. The smartphone provides a touch-based interface with real-time brain state decoding and 3D reconstruction.

Why it Matters:

For healthcare, as smartphones get truly smarter, the possibilities available to physicians become exponentially more rubust and useful. This will allow doctors to become more agile and more accurate in their ability to treat and diagnose patients. For research and diagnostic investigation, this demonstrates the capabilities of very complex functionality in the field. Now the diagnostic equipment will be able to travel to where the patient is. Real world observations may yield new, unexpected results.

02. Food Allergen Detector

in concept phase
Food Allergen Detector from Erik Borg on Vimeo.
Medical devices, assistive technologies, prototype

What it is:

A concept for a device that detects the presence of allergens in food.

Why it Matters:

With newer technologies, the burden of everyday tasks should in theory become less and less difficult. And, while this is a student design concept, it was done in conjunction with Philips. This is a strong indicator that more devices with a strong, singular focus will be developed by companies.


03. Sickweather

in βeta

Sickweather website image
Categories list goes here

What it is:

Sickweather combines social networking with real-time intelligence reporting that actually forecasts the movement of illness. Just as Doppler radar scans the skies for indicators of bad weather, Sickweather scans social networks for indicators of illness, allowing its users to check for the chance of sickness as easily as they can check for the chance of rain.

Why it Matters:

By combining social media and illness reporting, users will be able to track what illnesses are out there, how fast they are moving, and plan on taking the necessary steps to take prophylactic measures. I think it’s safe to assume that whatever illness is looming on the horizon, there will be product placement that aligns to the immediate crisis. The result? A highly engaged, highly motivated audience that is primed and ready for the advertisers product. Smart move.


04. A “lamp” turns your desktop into an iPad

in the prototype phase

Augmented reality, liquid interface, prototype

What it is:

A computer interface that does away with with physical interaction with the device itself

Why it Matters:

As technology evolves and matures, the need for physical human to machine interaction should become more transparent, until the technology driving the interaction disappears. Imagine a doctor and a patient being able to interface without the device getting in the way. Or, a sales rep being able to take a healthcare provider though a detail without a device.


05. Best selling iPad app created with Flash

Adobe Flash, iOS, devices, iPad, gaming, apps 

What it is:

A game that became the top selling game for the iPad despite the continuing myth that you can’t develop in Flash for the iPad

Why it Matters:

This is a definitive answer to the widely held assumption that you can’t develop in Flash for iOS devices. There are many companies and individuals who have devoted countless hours and years to honing and refining their flash skills. This signals a positive step forward for people who do remarkable things in this stalwart program. It also means that established development cycles can be easily modified to bring Flash to the millions who have adopted the iOS tablet device platform.


 Other stories of note


Google Buys 1,023 U.S. Patents From IBM; No Terms Disclosed

This is on top of the 1,030 patients they acquired in July. There are fewer companies than Google that are as deeply immersed in technology. Remember, the concept for the mouse driven computer came from IBM’s PARC Center in the 70′s. That technology became the Mac computer. Imagine what goodies Google may have purchased and what impact that coud have on the future web.


1 Million Android and iOS apps have now been published

As the smartphone market continues to boom and device owners download an increasing number of applications, app discovery platform AppsFire announced that there have now been more than 1 million apps published to the Apple App Store and Android Market combined.


Web Sensation: “What I Wore Today”

Poppy Disney’s blog is now a social media sensation that has tapped in to the inner-”Fashonista” of people in UK and has also spun off into an iPhone app. It’s important, because the amount of work required of the user is pretty intense: join, take a picture, upload the picture, describe the picture, vote, etc. If consumers are engaged on a deeply emotional level, they will take as many steps as they need to participate. The trick is getting them that deeply engaged.


 Happy exploring.

Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.

Tech Watch: Tuesday, April 12 – The Hot 5

From Marty Hardin, SVP, Director of Emerging Media and Technology, Palio

Hacking Kinect for Teleconferencing
– prototype

Categories: Social Media, Broadcast, Web Cam, Hacking, Twitter, Augmented Reality

What it is: A new way of conducting video conferences that shifts focus and tracks attendees

Why it matters: As we move further and further away from face-to-face interactions, this application helps create a sense of focus. It also allows participants to track who is in the room and where they are sitting.

Imagine: A doctor consults with a patient in a remote location. The doctor can maintain eye contact with the patient, while also having access to all of the patient’s medial information in real time. Imagine if vital statistics were also present. This could be a huge boon to rural areas where doctors are scarce, or in a crisis situation triggered by a natural disaster.

2. Store Data in Your Body – in the lab

Categories: Data Storage, Data Transfer, Fluid Interface, Perceptual Interface

What it is: It’s a way to transfer data that relies on our perception to make data transfer as simple as possible

Why it matters: As devices become further embedded in our daily lives, the human to machine interface will become less and less daunting. Instead of modifying our behavior around devices, the devices will be built to behave according to our expectations.

Imagine: A patient answering a patient questionnaire at home and simply going to the doctor’s office and transferring to his/her device. No printing, no emailing, no worries of HIPPA compliance issues.

3. Mouseless/Invisible Computer Mouse – prototype

Categories: Technology, User Experience, Fluid Interface

What it is: A hands-free application that allows users to interact with a computer while using standard mouse “gestures” (click, double-click, right-click, etc.).

Why it matters: With non-contact driven gestural interfaces coming into their own (Kinect), this is another example of how we are starting to make computers “fade into the background.”

Imagine: A physician comes to a tradeshow booth. A representative from the pharma company strikes up a conversation, and, without being dependent on a device, is able to launce into a sales presentation anywhere in the booth area. No computer to carry or walk to. The device is secondary to the one on one conversation between the rep and the doc.

4. GOAB – prototype

Categories: Web Television, Interactive Television

What it is: An interactive television experience that works via your television and a content-aware app on a mobile device. It also assists you in finding shows based on your mood or interest-not listings.

Why it matters: While most interactive television projects have tried to meld all of the interactions into one interface, this one allows two devices to work in tandem. So you can watch a movie or television show and respond to ads, browse stats during a game, or tweet with your friends during your favorite television show.

Imagine: Watching your favorite show, and an ad appears for a drug in a category that affects a friend of yours. You can call up the product’s information, share it and continue talking about the show you were watching. A seamless integration of entertainment, social media, and marketing.

5. Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK – pre-release

Categories: Technology, Mobile, Fluid Interface

What it is: An app lets you extend your computer workspace on to your mobile device. Not just an extra screen, but a shared interface.

Why it matters: Up until now, due to lower processing power, mobile devices have had “Lite” version of apps. This app allows the mobile device to take on lighter processing tasks and share those with the more robust desktop version. For all you Photoshop users, think mobile plug-ins.

Stories worth noting:

Mood Mapping Twitter
By using positive/negative words in English, a computer scientist maps the emotional state of the nation on Twitter.

Placebook: Visualizing your Friend‘s by Geolocation
Designed to give users a better idea of how their friends are distributed around the world.

Bot shows signs of conciousness
A SOFTWARE bot inspired by a popular theory of human consciousness takes the same time as humans to complete simple awareness tasks.



Palio is a full-spectrum global pharmaceutical and consumer advertising, marketing, and communications agency that excels in brand creation and specializes in brand strategy, product launches, global marketing, and digital and integrated media.

© 2011