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MX Magazine reports "Device Marketing Today - One exemplary use of new media for the device world is live surgical Webcasting."

by Rachelle Grabowski

New Media

An examination of trends and current practices in device marketing wouldn't be complete without a look at device marketers' use of so-called new media. According to Forrester Research, 87% of all doctors go online at least monthly. "Younger physicians are leading the charge with many more PDAs [personal digital assistants] than their older peers and are availing themselves of the Internet as a tool for general research and a source of specific drug and medical device information."2

Tausend says that device companies' experience with the Web and online media is too recent and too limited in nature. "We haven't used it thoroughly enough to understand what it can do for us," he says. "And neither have our physician customers. It is also difficult to keep up with the technology changes that drive the marketing potential of new media, and we are often at the mercy of our IT departments on that front." But Tausend does see more device marketers treating new media as an integral part of their overall marketing mix rather than the esoteric specialty of a corporate interactive marketing department. "That integrated approach will make it a more effective medium for us," he says.

One exemplary use of new media for the device world is live surgical Webcasting. Internet healthcare broadcaster slp3d Inc. (West Hartford, CT) creates surgical Webcasts that function as tutorials for surgeons in remote areas. Now the Webcasts are gaining popularity among potential patients, who constitute about 70% of the viewers. This technology with its audience of sophisticated patients can serve as a marketing tool for device manufacturers, particularly those with appealing minimally invasive procedures.

Alex Fraser, director of marketing for slp3d, says that the technology can be implemented in a controlled environment or be available to the general public. He adds that physicians and highly educated consumers are asking which devices will be used for an upcoming surgery after the top-line information is publicized.

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