Doceree is disrupting Physician Marketing: Varun Hasija

Pharmaceutical brands had always been hesitant in adopting digital technologies for marketing initiatives, unlike consumer brands which grew remarkably adopting the ways of digital.

Doceree is a Programmatic Physician Engagement Platform, founded in 2019 by acclaimed healthcare and marketing professionals. The Doceree platform seamlessly connects pharmaceutical brands and digital platforms, and allows products and services of the former to be marketed to physicians on the latter’s.

In the space of Physician marketing, Doceree is the only global start-up that has the largest network of physician-only platforms, having offices in the US and India, aims to address the problem of rising cost of healthcare by bringing efficiency and effectiveness to physician engagement by using data and creativity in healthcare marketing.

We recently interviewed Varun Hasija, Vice President, Global Product Development, Doceree about how their platform can help revolutionize the Pharma Industry.



DQ: What was the idea behind the start-up?

Varun : Pharmaceutical brands had always been hesitant in adopting digital technologies for marketing initiatives, unlike consumer brands which grew remarkably adopting the ways of digital. The idea was to replicate the same in the Pharmaceutical sector and make brands benefit from digital means, just like how consumer marketers did.

We were driven all the more when we realized the cost of healthcare could be reduced significantly by introducing ‘efficiency and effectiveness’ in Physician marketing.  Digital marketing can bring down the marketing costs and the same could reflect in the prices of drugs too, helping healthcare become affordable globally.

To be able to achieve the vision, we created the First Global Network of Physician-only Platforms for Programmatic Marketing. On the lines of digital ad networks in the consumer marketing space, our integrated ad exchange enables pharmaceutical brands and digital platforms to connect with each other and enter into valuable propositions via branding and marketing opportunities in the most ‘regulatory compliant and transparent manner’.

DQ: How AI and Machine learning is revolutionizing the Pharma Industry?

Varun : India is in a very early stages of adopting AI and ML technologies and what will define the future for us is how we set the foundations around it. At present, the data we have is huge which is not even recorded properly in our country.

It will take some years for us to move from data to information, to use that information to draw knowledge and gain insights from it. Despite we are growing at good pace, we have so far not been able to utilize it to its full potential.

Sectors that are bound to benefit the most from these technologies belong at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid. When the processing power of humans reach its limits, we can count on machines to get better results than humans. Even in healthcare sector, machines have replaced humans.

Be it in recognition of cancer cells using MRI/CT scan machines or regression models to predict diabetes in patients, health tech is evolving and will continue to do so to stay one step ahead of the limitations of current systems being hit every day.

DQ: How Doceree is using AI and IoT techniques to make its products and services better?

Varun : Doceree is disrupting physician marketing. We have built our own proprietary identity resolution engine, Espyian. It takes into consideration over 150 different data points including but not limiting to the experience of the physicians, organisations they are a part of, practice behaviour along with their digital behaviour, diagnosis written by them, prescriptions written by them, time being spent on different platforms, IPs being used, MAIDs belonging to them, devices belonging to them which help us create a physician graph.

This physician graph helps us track the entire physician journey that in return helps us in optimising the campaigns that are being run in real time.

Another development that we’re currently working on is the attribution models, where marketeers will be able to see the script lifts happening in real time. We’ve started with building classification models based on supervised learning to understand and predict prescribing behaviour of physicians. These models will help us in running exploratory analysis on a test control group which will enable us to create attribution studies.

DQ: What is Doceree’s core technology stack?

Varun : Our current technology stack can be divided in 3 major chunks –

Frontend : Angular8+ (NodeJS), Vanilla JS

Backend : Combination of NodeJS and GoLang

Infrastructure : Our entire stack is deployed on AWS, where we use multiple services like S3 for building a data lake, RedShift for warehousing of millions of data points being processed at a daily basis, PostGres/MongoDB for SQL databases, Kinesis streams for processing real time data and so on

Over and above this, we use Aerospike as an in memory cache and common off the shelf frameworks for creating ML models like Scikit, tensorflow etc. There’s a lot that goes behind using these technologies to create a seamless experience for our users and end users.

DQ: What are the changing trends in pharma/physician marketing landscape, particularly during Covid-19 and technology used to overcome the same?

Varun : Digital adoption among Pharmaceutical sector had been below par, but this changed after COVID-19. Digital mediums now will form an important part of Pharma brands’ marketing efforts. Trends like programmatic marketing, AI & hyper personalization, optichannel marketing and integrated interfaces will define the space going ahead.

The introduction of new solutions to equip pharma marketers with technologies that are compliant with industry regulations across all digital platforms will bolster brands’ engagement level with physicians and provide valuable metrics to devise future initiatives.

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