Monday, April 18, 2011

Pharmaceutical Executive features Merck's virtual poster session held in ProtoSphere

Merck's use of ProtoSphere to hold the pharmaceutical industry's first virtual poster session has garnered quite a bit of media interest since the company first permitted us to share details of its project last year. And that interest does not seem to be waning.

It was covered as news in Nature Chemistry and CIO magazine, presented at the ShareFEST Conference, and earned Bio-IT World's Best Practice Award and Microsoft's Life Sciences Innovation Award.

And now, the editors of Pharmaceutical Executive asked me to provide the backstory in a contributed article. It's out now in this month's issue.

You have to ask yourself why the press, which wants to write about what's interesting and innovative to pharmaceutical marketers, continues to be enamored with this story. I think there are two reasons.

One, Merck went public. We have many customers who are doing similarly innovative things with ProtoSphere, but haven't given us permission to tell their story publicly. But by going public, Merck has allowed the press to see what can be accomplished with this technology. It's inarguably exciting and innovative, and not the type of thing your grandfather was doing in the pharmaceutical business.

And two, it's a story with real benefits. It's not cool technology for technology's sake. Rather, there are specific outcomes Merck wanted to achieve and benefits it was able to measure. Put that all together, and you can see why this has been a heck of a story for Merck.

Give my Pharmaceutical Executive article a read online or grab your copy of the magazine (it starts on page 54) to learn about why Merck decided to hold its poster session in ProtoSphere, technical specs of the environment, how the session went, and other metrics the company recorded as a result.

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