AccentHealth expands beyond point of care, scoops up programmatic ad buying firm

AccentHealth CEO Dan Stone

Point of care marketing meets digital advertising in AccentHealth’s announced acquisition of PageScience. It’s a natural fit for the waiting room marketing giant and the programmatic specialist as technology digitizes doctors’ offices, the CEOs of the two companies said.

“The point of care business is increasingly becoming a digital business in all ways in terms of addressability, targeting and products, and increasingly, digital agencies are moving into the point of care space,” said Dan Stone, CEO of AccentHealth. “There’s a merging going on of the point of care ecosystem and the digital advertising ecosystem outside of this. This acquisition reflects the overall trend in the space we play in.”

PageScience will become a division of AccentHealth, with PageScience CEO Bill Jennings becoming president of that division. Both companies will continue to serve pharma clients separately in point of care applications and programmatic ad buying, but the opportunity is in the merging of the two disciplines to track the patient journey.

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As they explained, people turn to digital and mobile for information when they have health issues, which is where PageScience can deliver targeted marketing. Those searches can lead to a physician’s office visit, where AccentHealth can reach them with messaging. Patients then tend to go back to digital for post-diagnosis information, which is where PageScience can reach them again. The two companies can target patients by condition, geographic location or both together.

That ability to reach patients at multiple touchpoints along their healthcare journey is the ambition for many pharma marketers.

“That’s the way the world is going. This (acquisition) doesn’t solve it 100%, but it’s directionally where the healthcare media world is going,” Stone said.

PageScience’s ad buying technology is particularly appealing to pharma companies because it bypasses privacy issues by using page-level targeting. Its automated buying system does not use cookies but rather analyzes and scores specific pages, instead of people, and places programmatic ad buys on those pages according to contextual relevancy.

“Pharma has been using PageScience to reach new audiences – we have a vast reach across major conditions – and programmatically, we’re using hundreds of sites … so it expands their reach beyond just the top portals,” Jennings said.

Stone left the door open for future acquisitions that might complement this pairing saying, “We will continue to look for other building blocks toward the broader vision of hitting multiple touchpoints on the patient journey.”

- see the press release

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