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Enhance Mobile Engagement & Compliance with ZING

Mobile Engagement Compliance

by Brian Fitzgerald | Last Updated: June 3, 2024 | 1 min read

Mobile engagement requires the strategic use of mobile technologies for communication. It involves communication between Pharma Sales reps, healthcare professionals, patients, and other key players in the life science industry. It uses different communication channels including text messaging, voice calls, video conferencing, and mobile apps. The goal is to enhance communication, information exchange, and collaboration while adhering to regulatory guidelines.

Importance of Balancing Technological Convenience with Regulatory Compliance

While the benefits of mobile engagement are significant, it is essential to balance technological convenience with stringent regulatory compliance. Stringent regulations govern the life sciences industry to safeguard patient safety, maintain data privacy, and uphold ethical standards.

Mobile engagement strategies must stick to regulations such as:

  1. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States
  2. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe
  3. Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada

Ensuring compliance involves implementing robust security measures, obtaining proper consent, and maintaining transparent communication with users about data usage and privacy.

Recent Government Actions Affecting Mobile Engagement Strategies

Recent government actions have significantly influenced mobile engagement strategies in the life sciences sector. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines. These guidelines are for mobile health apps. Mobile health apps help people manage their health related information such as Heart Rate, Workout records, and other critical information.

The FDA wants these apps to be safe and effective. The new rules highlight safety and efficacy standards. Safety means the apps do not cause harm. Efficacy means the apps actually work as intended.

App makers must follow the new FDA guidelines. Failure to comply can lead to penalties. The guidelines protect public health and safety.

Additionally, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been proactive in developing frameworks that support the integration of digital health solutions while safeguarding public health. These regulatory updates require life sciences companies to constantly adapt their mobile engagement approaches to remain compliant and effective.

Mobile Engagement with Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)

Engaging HCPs through mobile technologies offers numerous advantages. Mobile engagement tools such as medical apps, secure messaging platforms, and digital resource libraries. Mobile engagement tools allow HCPs to access up-to-date information, work together with colleagues. Mobile engagement tools allow HCPs to stay informed about the latest medical advancements.

Mobile engagement tools help HCPs access patient records, treatment guidelines, and educational resources, improving patient care. These tools provide quick access to essential information, including patient records, treatment guidelines, and continuing education resources.

For Compliance what should Life Sciences companies do

Mobile Engagement with Patients

For patients, mobile engagement means receiving timely and personalized health information directly to their devices. Mobile health apps, wearable devices, and telehealth services enable patients to monitor their health. It helps schedule appointments and communicate with their healthcare providers (HCPs) smoothly.

This continuous engagement helps in managing chronic conditions, adhering to treatment plans, and improving overall health outcomes. Additionally, push notifications and SMS reminders for medication adherence, follow-up appointments, and preventive care contribute significantly to patient engagement and satisfaction.

Goals and Benefits of Mobile Engagement

The primary goals of mobile engagement are to increase user retention, boost customer satisfaction, and drive higher conversion rates. By utilizing effective mobile engagement strategies, businesses can keep users engaged with their brand, encourage repeat usage, and ultimately foster customer loyalty.

Here are some of the key benefits of mobile engagement:

  1. Enhanced User Experience: Mobile engagement empowers businesses to customize content and promotions, delivering them directly to users' devices. This personalized approach ensures that interactions are not only more relevant but also more enjoyable for users. By contributing to a higher overall satisfaction with the mobile experience.
  2. Real-Time Interaction: With the help of mobile engagement, companies can communicate with users in real time. This provides instant updates, support, and information.
  3. Increased Retention Rates: Regular engagement through mobile channels helps users to be active and reduces churn rates.
  4. Data Collection and Insights: Mobile engagement provides valuable data on user behaviors and preferences, enabling businesses to tailor their strategies and improve their services.
  5. Higher Conversion Rates: Effective mobile engagement can lead to increased sales and conversions. As users are more likely to respond to targeted offers and promotions.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTD) made new updates. These updates impact mobile engagement strategies across many industries. Mobile engagement means how companies interact with customers on mobile devices.

The updates affect mobile apps, websites, and other mobile services. Companies need to review their mobile strategies carefully. They must ensure they follow the new rules and guidelines. Failure to comply can result in penalties and legal issues.

The updates aim to protect consumer privacy and fair competition. These updates focus on enhancing consumer privacy, ensuring fair competition, and regulating digital practices to protect users.

As life sciences companies adopt innovative mobile technologies to enhance engagement with healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. It becomes difficult for company leaders to be aware of latest government actions. The intersection of technological convenience and regulatory compliance represents a critical crossroads where things can sometimes go sideways.

This ignorance can lead to fines, penalties, lawsuits, and, worst of all, prosecution. That’s why life sciences companies must take this technological frontier cautiously. In light of recent policy updates from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Two of the most recent are:

  • The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) updates to the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (ECCP)
  • Updated language within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and DOJ’s standard preservation letters and specifications

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What are the latest Updates on ECCP?

In March of 2023, the DOJ’s Criminal Division released important updates to the ECCP. The first major revision involves using personal devices, communications platforms, and messaging applications, including ephemeral messaging applications.

This is highly relevant to sales teams in life sciences. Reps frequently use personal devices to communicate with healthcare professionals (HCPs). Sometimes patients also use personal devices which is randomly blurring the lines between professional and personal data exchanges.

The ECCP now underscores the need for companies to implement strict policies and procedures for retaining business-related communications. This condition includes a review to ensure that employees are not using unapproved applications and devices to conduct business.

The other change to the ECCP involves compensation strategies. The guidance says using financial penalties can help encourage good conduct. For example, taking back (clawing back) an employee's compensation if they misbehave.

The goal is to motivate companies to link compliance with benefits strongly. Companies should reward employees who follow the rules and punish those who break the rules. Their compensation plans need to promote ethical and compliant behavior.

What are the Updates to the FTC and DOJ Standard Preservation Letters and Specifications?

On the heels of the ECCP updates, on January 26, FTC and DOJ made changes recently. They updated their standard letters and specifications. These letters relate to second requests, voluntary access, and legal processes. Legal processes include grand jury subpoenas.

The updates aim to cover modern communication tools. Ephemeral messaging platforms are a key focus. Ephemeral messaging means messages that disappear after viewing.

The agencies want to ensure they can access relevant data. Companies must preserve all communications, including ephemeral messages. Failure to comply could result in penalties. The updates help the agencies investigate potential violations.

Collaboration tools are changing workplace communication. These tools allow employees to chat and share information. The government agencies updated their rules recently. The updates clarify what companies must do.

Mobile Engagement

Companies have a duty to maintain certain documentation. This duty applies during government investigations. This duty also applies during potential lawsuits.

Companies must keep records of workplace communications. This includes chat messages, files, and other collaboration data. Failure to preserve records can lead to penalties. The new rules ensure evidence is available. Investigations or legal cases may use the evidence.

In a news release announcing the effort, Manish Kumar is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General. He works in the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. Kumar explained the reason for the updates.

He said the updates ensure companies cannot claim ignorance. Companies sometimes use messages that disappear quickly. People call these messages short-lived or ephemeral.
The updates prevent companies from feigning ignorance. Companies must preserve all business communications.

This includes short-lived messages used for business purposes. Failure to preserve messages is not an excuse. Companies must follow the updated rules carefully.

The Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission have expectations. Opposing counsel refers to lawyers representing companies under investigation. These agencies expect opposing counsel to follow certain rules.

Opposing counsel must preserve all relevant documents. This includes data from messaging apps that delete messages automatically. Designers create some messaging apps to hide evidence. But companies cannot use these apps to avoid preserving evidence.

Companies must produce or provide all responsive documents when requested. Responsive documents are documents relevant to the investigation. Failure to preserve and produce requested documents can result in penalties.

The agencies aim to ensure companies cannot hide potential evidence. Failure to produce such documents may result in obstruction of justice charges.”

What does this mean for life sciences companies?

As companies use new technologies to make work easier and better, they need to be aware of certain risks. For example, the increased use of collaboration tools and temporary messaging applications, such as Slack or Signal. It allows users to immediately and destroy communications and documents, can put a company in problem.

Documents produced by these technologies have always been subject to document requests from the FTC and DOJ. However, companies have not always properly retained documents and business-related communication during government investigations and litigation. According to the FTC and DOJ update, companies can no longer protect themselves. By pleading ignorance of the mandate or an individual employee’s behavior.

Unfortunately, the consequences for noncompliance can be steep. Failure to secure documents and business-related communications covered by an FTC or DOJ investigation or enforcement action. The government can move for civil spoliation sanctions and, in some circumstances, may even refer cases to criminal prosecutors.

Companies use technologies that retain all company-related communications. It enables legal and compliance teams to retrieve them when needed.

What Should Life Sciences Companies Do?

For life sciences companies seeking to capitalize on the benefits of mobile engagement while steering clear of potential litigation. The path forward involves preemptive action and strategic technological investments. Key measures include:

  • Evaluating Communication Tools: Rigorously assess the capabilities and compliance features of all mobile and digital communication platforms before integration into business workflows.
  • Implementing Preservation Tactics: Develop and enforce policies that mandate the retention and archiving of communications. Align these policies with the updated guidelines from the DOJ and FTC to ensure comprehensive compliance.
  • Risk Management: Create a team or work with outside experts to regularly check for risks and ensure compliance. Staying aligned with the evolving legal landscape is essential for proactive compliance management.
  • Employee Training: Regularly guide all employees on best practices for digital communication. Emphasize the legal complications of non-compliance and the importance of adhering to company policies.
  • Technological Solutions: Invest in advanced compliance technology capable of creating flexible records for digital communications. These solutions should support the retention and retrieval of communications across all platforms used by the company.

Additionally, regarding technology solutions, collaboration tools and short-lived messaging platforms like Slack and Signal. Messaging platforms has transformed into popular channels for rapid communications within companies.

However, their fundamental design, which involves the immediate deletion of data. It can pose challenges in adhering to document preservation requirements during investigations or legal actions. And that’s why some of the industry’s leading names have turned to the ZING Engagement Suite.

What does the ZING Engagement Suite entail?

ZING's solutions address complex compliance issues. Compliance means following rules and regulations set by authorities. The solutions consider mandates from government bodies. These include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ).

Every message transmitted via ZING can undergo preapproval, retention, and auditing to ensure transparency and compliance.

The platform also comes with modifying templates that help ensure HCPs and patients don’t receive content they shouldn’t. All messages, digital assets, and responses can be swiftly pre-approved by compliance officers and uploaded into the system in advance.

As an added layer of protection. ZING’s built-in, AI-powered content moderation tools help ensure that HCPs and patients never get the wrong message. With ZING, reps are less likely to send off-script messages that put the company at risk.

When requested, authorized personnel can properly store and retrieve ZING's data for legal or compliance purposes. This includes messages sent by reps and HCPs, Date, Time, location, browser, operating system, device used, etc.

ZING Features for HCP Engagement

Two-Way Text Messaging:

  • Exchange logical and promotional messages with HCPs using MLR-approved templates and content.
  • ZING ensures compliance by retaining and auditing messages

Two-Way Voice Calling:

  • Enable 1:1 calling with HCPs from the same platform as messaging.
  • Personalized phone numbers with local area codes enhance engagement.

Instant Video Calling:

  • No installations required; invitees and hosts can engage instantly.
  • Full video conferencing capabilities for seamless communication.

Intelligent Bot:

  • Automate inbound requests and provide necessary resources to HCP offices instantly.
  • Seamlessly transition to human attendants.

Signature Capture:

  • Instantly capture signatures within the SMS channel.
  • Maintain compliance and streamline processes

QR Code Pull Requests:

  • Provide HCP offices with QR codes for instant text, call, or video interactions.
  • Personalize QR codes for each brand or territory.

Co-Browse:

  • Enable text, call, or video interactions via QR codes.
  • Reuse QR codes in marketing campaigns.

Forms:

  • Accelerate enterprise information management by collecting, validating, and processing information instantly.
  • Trigger existing workflows and extract data with AI-powered engines.

Scheduling:

  • Integrate smart scheduling engines for multi-party appointments.
  • Seamless transfer between reps and medical science liaisons (MSLs)

Conclusion

The convergence of technology and compliance presents opportunities and challenges for life sciences companies delving into mobile engagement. However, it is crucial that team not only recognize but also correctly prepare for legal suggestions. It comes with modern communication methods.

By integrating comprehensive compliance measures into their mobile engagement strategies. Life sciences companies can mitigate risks, prevent legal complications and maintain the trust of HCPs, patients and regulators.

Companies can ensure that their pursuit of innovative communication fosters growth and enhances engagement without compromising their legal standing.

ZING plays a pivotal role in this by equipping legal and compliance teams. With the necessary tools to preserve company-related communications without hindering the progress enabled by modern engagement technology.

ZING caters precisely to the life sciences industry. It offers an ideal balance between innovative mobile engagement and adherence to compliance mandates. We invite you to look at our informative eBook to learn how ZING can make you a compliance hero.