Salesforce Health Cloud adds tools for pharmaceutical, medical device companies

The new features for the pharmaceutical industry will help companies establish more direct relationships with patients.

Salesforce on Tuesday rolled out new features for its Health Cloud, targeting specific segments of the life sciences sector -- the pharmaceutical industry and medical device companies. The buildup of Salesforce's Health Cloud is part of the CRM giant's larger effort to compete with the likes of SAP and Oracle with industry-specific software. 

For pharmaceutical industry, the Health Cloud now offers tools to help companies directly engage with patients. This includes the new Guided Program Enrollment feature, which helps a life sciences company work with health care providers to easily create therapeutic support programs. 

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For instance, a pharmaceutical company could use the feature to set up a drug treatment program for patients. Using Guided Program Enrollment, the company could easily arrange patient onboarding, insurance verification, copay programs and other elements to set up the treatment program and ensure that patients are adhering to the program. 

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"We've been hearing a lot more from our life sciences customers," Dr. Ashwini Zenooz, Salesforce's SVP and GM for Healthcare and Life Sciences, said to ZDNet. "They feel they want to be more engaged with patients."  

At the same time, it appears that patients want to be more engaged with life sciences companies, she said. Salesforce customers already have call center workers engaging with patients to give them more information about pharmaceutical products. 

Salesforce on Tuesday also published new survey data that lines up with this notion. According to the report, 62 percent of healthcare consumers say it's very important for pharmaceutical companies to educate them on how to get the most from their medication. The report, which surveyed nearly 6,000 global healthcare consumers about their expectations and experiences, also found that only 40 percent of consumers say the communications they receive from the healthcare and life sciences industries feel relevant to them. 

"With the shift in conversation toward personalized medicine, these companies have been engaging or want to engage," Zenooz said. 

The Guided Program Enrollment feature aims to facilitate the more data-driven, personal conversations that patients are looking for from pharmaceutical companies. 

To complement Guided Program Enrollment, Salesforce is also introducing a Patient Services Consent Management feature. This enables pharmaceutical and medical device companies to easily view consent forms and capture patient consent with an eSignature.

For the medical device sector, Salesforce is bringing to the Health Cloud new sales agreements capabilities, as well as account-based forecasting. The Sales Agreements capabilities help medical device companies manage device sales, volume, price and revenue commitments, allowing sales and operations teams to jointly track whether customers are meeting their commitments. 

With Account-Based Forecasting, medical device companies can create a baseline forecast using market and account growth factors relative to the last year's figures. Teams can edit forecasts to reflect an increase or decrease in their market share of the total device sales at a provider organization.