It’s that time of year – the time for giving, for over-indulging, the time for making lists of things! Lucky for me, it’s time for us to use words like “scry” and “prognosticate,” because those are really fun words and I love using them.
So. The Calcium Prognostication Squad has taken a thorough scry at the omens and portents, and we’re going to share them with you, exclusively here! Our 2014 predictions were uncannily accurate — we got more hits than the entire Philadelphia Phillies roster! Can we repeat the feat for 2015? Our coven of savvy prognosticators says yes. Read on!

Alison Hoskinson, VP Client Services

As the electronic health records (EHR) landscape continues to evolve in 2015, savvy marketers must evaluate how to best leverage them for instant access to healthcare providers. While some believe EHRs blur the line between marketing and provider assistance, there is no denying the potential reach and targeting capabilities within platforms like Athena, Allscripts, and Practice Fusion—especial for reaching primary care physicians. In addition, many brands are already taking advantage of opportunities that go beyond advertising. In 2014, Merck partnered with web–based electronic health record provider Practice Fusion to help doctors track the percentage of their adult patients who are up to date on their vaccines.

Dave Arico, AVP Paid Search

It’s all about the video…ad?
2015 may be the year that Pharma companies spend more on video ads than paid search. Video is everywhere, which means video ads will be everywhere too. Just this week, in fact, YouTube launched a revamped version of their software for Apple TV, and guess what…it now contains ads!

Timmy Garde, Managing Partner

Last year, I offered up a prediction on the Affordable Care Act, and many of the points I raised came up during 2014. Yes, the initiative was rolled out to the public in 2014… we all know this. Since the launch, we’ve seen lots of twists, turns, website revamping, reshuffling of the projected and actual data to date, etc. Now there is talk about consumers paying more than anticipated, payers taking second looks at services, and access remaining an issue for many. Hard to make any firm judgment until we see a full year’s worth of data but I would venture to say that ACA 2.0 will have changes from payers affecting consumer financial outlays.

Kelsey Malone, SEM Analyst

My prediction is that Facebook is going to take over the world. This mission will not reach completion in 2015, but Facebook will continue creating buzz and the first ripples will start tickling current taking-over-the-world champion Google. For instance, Facebook’s new graph search for mobile and personalized keyword search for feed posts. Or Facebook’s recent acquisition of Atlas, which expands display ad reach, solves the cookie problem with cross-device reporting, and tracks “real” people. “Real” people means “real” targeting; that means more advertising spend, more money for Facebook and eventually, world domination?

Josh Spiegel, AVP Search

Healthcare marketers will see the value of content that isn’t “just” text as they use more video, images, and graphics on their sites. As more of these non-text assets are used successfully, pharma will become more comfortable with the idea of sharing them on the sites that are tailored to their structure (YouTube for video, Pinterest for images, etc.). I’m not ready to say that pharma will go social this year (like I did last year), but I am ready to say they won’t flinch anymore upon hearing the words “social media”.

Monty Moeller, Director of Clinical Operations, Theracoustic

Stress will be better understood as a key component in instigating or exacerbating the severity of initial disease conditions across the health spectrum from heart disease to mental illnesses.

Mental fitness and emotional ‘exercise’ will grow in importance as we focus more on whole health and prevention.

Altay Akgun, VP, Creative Director

Two-way video will continue to grow in importance. No longer the exclusive province of shouted conversations between toddlers and the tops of their adoring grandparents’ heads, two-way video uptake will accelerate in telemedicine (primary care, intensive care, and specialty) and less urgent helpline environments.

Donald J. M. Phillips, PharmD

You get what you pay for, especially when taking peoples predictions. As in this case where you pay nothing!

On Politics:

The executive and legislative branches both in Harrisburg and Washington are confronted with the same situation; a different party controlling each branch. The bodies in each capital will try to make a show of bipartisanship… they will fail in both cities and we will have to await the ’16 elections for any hope of breaking the current grid-lock. So don’t expect any major legislative changes on healthcare, taxes, defense, education and foreign policy. There may be hope for collaboration on fixing the infrastructure and immigration but don’t hold your breath.

On Healthcare:

The ACA is here to stay. It may sustain some minor tweaking but the legislation’s life span will extend at least until a presidential change. Costs will continue to grow unabated with more of that burden being borne by citizens in the form of higher premiums and deductibles.
Physicians will continue to migrate to positions as employees, further eroding their influence over their own and their patients’ destinies. At the same time institutional entities like hospital-based systems will grow in influence and power.
Technology will facilitate more and better point-of-care and remote medicine. While electronic medical records will become the norm, difficulty accessing data from different legacy systems will still be a big problem.
Biomarkers and genetic guidance will be the sweet spots for technological investment while “big pharma” will become “smaller pharma”. Putative life span enhancing interventions will become more and more common… however many of these will be bogus.
People will continue to die from smoking, non-adherence and eating too much… go figure.

On Abundance:

Science will continue to grow our ability to access energy, grow food, extract minerals and and utilize information… making this planet more sustainable. Yet many people will fight the changes needed to benefit. This not a prediction… this is history.

On Natural Catastrophes, Manmade Conspiracies, The End of Time:

California will have mud slides, earthquakes and brush fires but the big one will not happen. Yellowstone will stay calm while a hurricane or two will menace the east coast. But that’s it… no asteroids, alien visitors or nano-swarm.
People will blame the next infectious out-break on the government while the Democrats will blame it on “W”.
If we all focus on our collective needs and help fellow humans and animals thrive then things will be OK. Have a great 2015!

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