Lathian Systems: My Drug Rep Online

IPhysicianNet Video Detailing

Eduneering Online Training

Newton Interactive Testing & Content Managers

Health Answers Online Testing

Ann Heckel and Co. Materials Delivery

Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the May 22, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Helping Pharmas Exploit The Power of the Internet

Don’t look to big pharmaceutical companies for the

latest and greatest in Web-based technology. The pharmas have just

begun to tap the power of the Web.

"Let’s face it," says Debra Newton of Pennington-based Newton

Interactive, "Website development is not the core business of

pharmaceutical companies. They manufacture and market drugs in a very

regulated environment. By the nature of the industry, they are


conservative. They wait for the `cutting edge initiatives’ to become

stable and proven before implementing, and they take a pragmatic,

functional approach to using the technology to help them do what they


Nevertheless, Princeton’s pharmaceutical service companies —


by big pharma’s internal politics and fueled by entrepreneurial


— are setting the pace to get the clients up to speed on the Web.

Take detailers, for example. Detailers are drug company sales people

that make personal calls on a doctor’s office to dispense free samples

and tell the doctor about the latest therapies. The detailers spend

lots of time and money — sales calls cost $5 billion last year

– in the hope of getting three minutes of a doctor’s time. Now many

companies are trying to reach those same doctors less expensively

online. By next year, predicts the Gartner Group, 60 percent of the

top companies will underwrite videoconferencing applications and


in doctor’s offices.

Translating $300 personal sales visits to $100 online visits is just

one way that Princeton-based firms are helping the healthcare industry

leverage the power of the World Wide Web. Training and testing that

takes place online is particularly important in a highly regulated

area such as pharmaceuticals.

Princeton companies are also focusing on content management, taking

advantage of the Web’s 24 x 7 availability for lecture material that

can be downloaded for presentations — and for databases that can

provide resources about a particular health problem.

Having quick access to sales and educational updates won’t help if

the drug company’s message is not on target, and Princeton has some

of the leaders in Web-based healthcare market research.

Just announced, new Web-based systems to manage collaboration. One

is pharmaceutical specific, for helping clinical research


and pharmaceutical companies get a drug through the clinical trial

process. The other, to manage accelerated development of new


products, can apply to any industry.

If big pharmas have been slow to implement Web-based solutions —

that leaves all the more opportunity for web savvy companies in


New Jersey. Here’s what a dozen companies are doing to help healthcare

firms get on the Internet train, followed by a potpourri of digital

solutions in other industries. Next week: Part II of Technology on

the Move.

Top Of Page
Lathian Systems: My Drug Rep Online

Using the Internet to educate physicians and sell more

drugs is the focus for Lathian Systems, formerly known as

Offering technology-based sales and marketing for the life science

industry, Lathian Systems, at 821 Alexander Road, packages a sales

message for doctors to watch on their own computers. Drug companies

provide the messages and their list of target physicians, and


does all the rest. It also gives the drug companies some online


tools to help develop the messages in a speedy fashion.

"No other company offers technical infrastructure, content


physician recruiting, and account management wrapped together into

one offering," says Mike Wells, vice president of sales and


"We have the organizational memory to keep these systems running

efficiently. We take on all the risk and are confident of our ability

to perform. We charge the customer a per physician interaction fee,

so they have nothing to lose."

Lathian Systems was founded two years ago as by Quan

X. Pham, a former Marine helicopter pilot. Pham raised $14 million

in venture capital financing and recruited Mike Wells from Merck,

and Wells opened the Princeton office in July, 2001 as a sublet from

Intertrust. With 14 employees in Princeton (including V. Brewster

Jones, the new CEO) and 25 in Newport Beach, California, this


company has investments from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Sprout

Group, and Siebel.

The firm recently changed its name to the old English word for


so it could "invite" a broad array of businesses to increase

their sales and marketing programs. Current clients include 12


and 20 brand teams including Janssen Pharmaceutica, Novo Nordisk,

Pharmacia, and Wyeth.

On April 29 Lathian Systems released the latest edition of the


product that lets companies tailor the sales message to the individual

doctor’s prescribing habits. "Our segmentation tool allows


to cut their target list into finer segments and offer messages to

the individual segments," says Wells. Also, product demonstrations

can now be displayed using 3-D imagery. "If they have a very


molecule, 3-D display offers a much more realistic image of



As before, doctors can call up customer service representatives in

real time or watch archived video lectures from experts. "The

sales presentations we develop use several content format options

— flash animation, HTML, archive video, and live chat. Customers

can mix and match or use just one to develop their sales


That makes us unique. And all our sales presentations are integrated

with the traditional sales force," says Wells.

A Los Angeles native, Wells graduated from the University of


in 1990 and earned his master’s degree there. At Merck he designed

national advertising campaigns for four major franchises and put


a world-class customer service center. He also went for his executive

MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wells says his chief competition is an Illinois-based firm, Physician

Interactive, that was recently acquired by the large public company,

Allscripts. "But they are doing only HTML, not flash animation,

archive video, and live chat."

Lathian Systems, 821 Alexander Road, Suite 115,

Princeton 08540. V. Brewster Jones, CEO. 609-514-1030; fax,


Home page:

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IPhysicianNet Video Detailing

Carnegie Center-based IPhysicianNet is a connectivity

healthcare firm with high quality interactive video detailing for

selected physicians. The six-year-old company, based in Scottsdale,

Arizona, claims to have staked out the real-time video interaction

territory for pharmas and physicians. It has given PC-based


systems to more than 7,500 primary care physicians nationwide so that

the physicians have easy access to drug company salespeople.

Whereas MyDrugRep’s training is web-based and available 24 x 7,


has live interactive detailing in regular business hours.

Physicians who meet a particular client’s criteria receive a free

modified PC under the iPhysicianNet plan. They can meet with


representatives, the detailers, in "real time" interactively,

replicating the person to person live interaction through video


The salesperson and the doctor can watch each other as they talk


a sequence of graphs and illustrations. "Other companies pigeon

hole themselves in the E-detailing slot, but we offer real time


interactive," says Robert Maio, vice president.


is an efficient way to get a message to a physician. Physicians call

them when they are ready to talk."

The firm opened a 3,000 square foot office at 103 Carnegie Center

two years ago (U.S. 1, November 1, 2000). Earlier this year it raised

$11 million in fourth-round financing and hired a new president and

COO, Myron Z. Holubiak, the former president of Hoffman LaRoche


who works in the Carnegie Center office. Clients include AstraZeneca,

Aventis, Eli Lilly, Glaxo SmithKline, Ortho-McNeil, Janssen, J&J*Merck

Consumer, Merck, Novartis, Pharmacia, and Wyeth.

Based on projections he made two years ago, IPhysicianNet is not


as fast as Maio expected. But soon the firm will double its space

by moving its 18 employees to 6,000 feet at 214 Carnegie Center, and

it has about 140 workers at its headquarters in Arizona.

iPhysicianNet Inc., 103 Carnegie Center, Suite

115, Princeton 08540. Myron Z. Holubiak, president and COO.


fax, 609-275-8819.

Top Of Page
Eduneering Online Training

The costs of training may have risen, but the costs

of "not training" have risen even more substantially. In 2000,

for instance, one government agency alone levied fines totaling more

than $86 million on companies that failed to conduct the required

compliance training.

Eduneering, a pioneer in the design of web-based training systems,

has worked with more than 250 clients in the pharmaceutical, chemical,

energy and general manufacturing industries to develop, implement

and document effective learning programs.

Founded by Robert Delamontagne, this business started in Princeton,

moved to Pennsylvania, then moved into University Square, on Campus

Drive opposite the Hyatt. Though it started as an educational


company, EduNeering wrote the first computer training programs for

the energy industry. Then it entered the pharma arena and now also

has vertical markets in food, healthcare/managed care, and


The 22-year-old firm has 40 employees on Campus Drive plus 60 more

in Houston, Texas, and Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

EduNeering works with organizations in both the public and private

sector to develop targeted learning solutions that employ a


learning" approach, combing various techniques into a cohesive

system that changes the behavior of the workforce and documents their

learning activities — all over the Internet.

For example, one company might reserve classroom instruction for


skills training while providing training in the fundamentals through

E-learning methods. Another company might use the instructor-led


to provide general instruction to all employees, with E-learning being

used to deliver detailed and specific instruction.

In its 300-course library are modules for the Occupational Health

and Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and

the Department of Transportation. But the best known public sector

client is "ORA U," otherwise known as the United States Food

and Drug Administration’s "Office of Regulatory Affairs


Designed to provide consistent, documented training for ORA’s hundreds

of inspectors and investigators, is also available by subscription

to corporations — in effect, providing the regulated community

with the same training tools that are used by the regulating agency.

Under development for two years, the ORA program gained visibility

after September 11 and has been a critical part of the FDA’s ability

to meet new demands. "Because of this technology the training

for FDA investigators that do inspections has been shortened from

12 months to three to six months," says Janice McFarland,


vice president, LifeScience division. She points out that, to protect

the nation’s drug and food supply, the FDA is training 4,000 workers

now and has just hired 600 new employees. "A total of 65,000 FDA

investigators and state and local regulators will be taking this


she says. "We are creating more advanced courses for the



EduNeering Inc., 100 Campus Drive, Princeton 08540.

Don Deieso, president & CEO. 609-627-5300; fax, 609-627-5330. Home


Top Of Page
Newton Interactive Testing & Content Managers

Billing itself as a provider of digital solutions for

the healthcare industry, Newton Interactive is a nine-year-old company

with 42 employees. In one of its prime areas, online learning systems,

it offers a custom training and learning portal that combines a


system with web-based course content.

Assessor, Newton’s test maker/test taker delivery and management tool,

has the ability to reduce the time it takes for teachers to grade

tests. Teachers can create and administer the tests on the web and

then report the results. Because it is web-based, teachers and


can access it anywhere, and teachers can tap archives of "tried

and true" test questions.

In another area, content management, Newton works with clients to

select and customize one of the leading systems — OpenMarket,

Interwoven, or Documentum. Web-based access to content can decrease

costs and increase effectiveness. "Marketing teams that typically

work in a silo are standardizing their Web development process to

maximize efficiencies and centralize their valuable assets," says

Debra Newton.

Newton Interactive, 2425 Pennington Road,


08534. Debra Newton, president & CEO. 609-818-0025; fax, 609-818-0045.

Home page:

Top Of Page
Health Answers Online Testing

When it was known as Hastings Healthcare Group, Health

Answers owned Eduneering, the online training organization at Campus

Drive. Hastings was bought out and Eduneering separated from the


firm. While the headquarters for Health Answers is now in North Wales,

Pennsylvania, the Titus Mill Road office of Health Answers Inc. has

65 people in the marketing communications and the health management


Online education remains an important part of the Health Answers


As a service to medical associations, Health Answers offers an


continuing education service for online test taking, instant scoring,

and certificate generation. Through a continuing education institute

it serves doctors, pharmacists, and nurses. It also has an interactive

technology platform that with such features as downloadable slides,

case studies, virtual ground rounds, web casting, and speaker training


Health Answers Inc., 112 Titus Mill Road, Building

B, Pennington Office Park, Pennington 08534-4399. Tom Dougherty, vice

president finance. 609-730-0100; fax, 609-730-0330. Home page:

Top Of Page
Ann Heckel and Co. Materials Delivery

Seven is a good number for Ann Heckel. Her medical


company has been laboring over a materials delivery system for ad

agencies and pharmaceutical firms, and it has finally come to


"This is what we have been preparing for for about seven


says Heckel.

Her new materials delivery system sponges up all the materials that

an ad agency can provide and delivers it to anyone — physician,

researcher or salesperson — who needs images and information for

a presentation. They can go online and download the images that they

want. Or they can get preformatted presentations. Or they can update

the images that they already use. The time required to accomplish

these tasks is hours, not days or weeks.

"The old way was to produce slides for these talks and distribute

print materials at the meetings," says Heckel. "The `new’

way is to organize the materials online and download the information

in the form of images, forms, articles, etc." Instead of midnight

calls for a slide that a doctor needs for a meeting, the doctor can

go to the site at midnight and download the image or materials.


haven’t become obsolete yet," says Heckel, "but a simple


and a computer projector are what we see about 80 percent of the


Heckel’s system is valuable because of its compression abilities (so

a 200k image can compress to 30k). The downloaded images are


Unlike PowerPoint images, they are protected from change. Also


are the extensive online databases. One has all the images on which

you can search.

"You can search on adverse events for a particular drug, get all

the data, images, and publications, and even a presentation if you

are a doctor talking on that," says Heckel. "Working in


with timing and feedback, we can tell who is on the page and what

they are interested in. We might see that we need more information

on a particular category."

Heckel has a customer service phone center that is managed by a


and a fulfillment center where materials, such as slides, can be


online and shipped.

Doctors can participate in online continuing medical education, which

gives them the credits they need for their specialty. For those who

can’t attend a talk, or for those who want to review it, a streaming

video version of the presentation — including the images shown

— is available online. The complete version can be downloaded

by those with a cable modem or DSL, but those with a 56k modem are

not left out. They can listen to the audio and view the still images.

"We’ve got it all figured out," says Heckel.

"This lecture materials delivery system is catching on because

our clients are seeing how much time and money (enormous amounts of

money) it saves them," says Heckel. "It identifies who wants

the materials and creates one solution for consultants, speakers,

medical affairs, scientific operations, brand teams, and participating

sales representatives."

"These are not small projects," says Heckel. "We connect

thousands of physicians online and alert them to breaking news or

important announcements. Throw in multiple types of sales forces


in bringing a product to market and you are talking significant



"The power of this is when a new drug comes out," says Heckel.

"For a recently launched diabetes drug, doctors needed the images

to go out and talk about the new therapy. We opened a website with

only 68 images, but in nine months we had 52,000 downloads or pieces

of information ordered or downloaded."

It takes a long time to sell one of these contracts. "You have

to go through all the IT people in the pharma industry," says

Heckel, "and they all say `We wish we had thought of that.’"

And the rash of mergers does not make it easier. "But we’re


in to see the vice presidents of companies," says Heckel.

Nevertheless, the projects are labor intensive, and Heckel is


to meet demand. "There is a whole lot of management that goes

into this, because managing four products can occupy eight people

nonstop," says Heckel. An alumna of Arizona State, Class of 1973,

she has a master’s degree in health sciences and worked for the Bureau

of Indian Affairs, Harper & Row, and Manhattan-based medical


firms before moving to Princeton. After a stint at Excerpta Medica

she founded her firm in 1987 to do events planning. Now she has a

staff of 15 plus consultants, including a technical partner, Tim


of Nextwave Productions. She is hiring "good sharp account and

product management people who want to do something unique."

Ann Heckel and Company Inc., 312 Wall Street,


Park, Princeton 08540. Ann Heckel, president. 609-921-0209; fax,


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