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George Vlahakis
University Communications

George Telthorst
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

Kelli Conder
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

Last modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011-12 Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference series opens with focus on product marketing

Among topics to be discussed will be how social media is being used to reach consumers

Sept. 7, 2011

EDITORS: A complete program schedule, links to the participants' biographies and directions are available at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Even as healthcare policy reform debates continue, seismic shifts in how life sciences companies interact with consumers have begun occurring.

Patients are more involved in their own care path than ever before, relying on direct-to-consumer advertising, the Internet and social media for answers long before they ever see a physician.

The successful Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series will begin its sixth year in Indianapolis on Sept. 23 with an extensive program on the "consumerization" of medical product marketing.

Several marketing professionals and researchers -- including Meredith Ressi, president of the Manhattan Research LLC -- will be among the participants at the conference, which will take place 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Indiana University School of Medicine's Walther Hall, 980 W. Walnut St.

The conference series is presented by the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and its Center for the Business of Life Sciences, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and BioCrossroads.

George Telthorst, director of the Center for the Business of Life Sciences (CBLS), noted that traditional medical technology and life science products seem to be converging with consumer electronics and communications devices and information technology.

"A whole series of interactions and networking connections between medical products companies, providers and patients/consumers is undergoing significant change," Telthorst said. "Companies are still trying to sort through how to optimize that -- it's still fairly early in the process.

George Telthorst

George Telthorst

Print-Quality Photo

"Consumers and patients have a lot more information at their fingertips than they've ever had before, including through social media, and medical products companies are trying to figure out how to interact differently with them, such as letting them know about their products and how they are to be used properly."

For example, medical devices now are expected to connect to smartphones and home wireless hubs, while drug companies provide smartphone apps and intelligent pill bottles to their patients to help improve patient medication adherence.

Consumer advertising of pharmaceutical products has been customary for several years now, but recently even medical devices such as artificial joints and coronary stents are being so marketed.

The conference will examine how medical products are being marketed more interactively, the role of regulation and whether patients are able to make risk-informed decisions based on this kind of information.

The Sept. 23 event is the first in a series of four conferences. The cost is $125 or $400 for the entire series. Other events in the series will take place Nov. 18 in Warsaw, Ind., Feb. 24 in Indianapolis and May 11 at Cook Medical's world headquarters in Bloomington.

Registration and additional information is available online at or by contacting Kelli Conder at the Kelley School at 812-856-0915 or

Following registration and networking from 8-8:45 a.m., Dane Stout, executive director, Connected Health, at The Anson Group LLC, will offer introductory comments.

Stout will be followed by the first keynote presentation, "Helping Consumers Understand the Risks and Benefits of Medical Treatments," which will be delivered by Dena and Anthony D. Cox, who are both professors of marketing and faculty fellows at the IU Kelley School of Business-Indianapolis.

After a brief break, there will be the first panel discussion, "Tales from the Front -- Latest Industry Experiences in Medical Marketing," moderated by Neal Roach, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He will be joined by panelists Andi Heslin-Smiley, president of VMS: A BioMarketing Co.; Charlie Young, chief marketing officer of Zimmer; Jeff Donnell, president of; and Doug Wilson, senior director of Cymbalta consumer marketing at Eli Lilly & Co.

Lyndsay Younce, a consultant in global customer engagement at Eli Lilly and Co., will introduce the lunch speaker, Ressi, who will speak on the topic "Understanding Today's E-Empowered Consumer."

Manhattan Research LLC is a pharmaceutical and healthcare market research and services firm that helps health care and life sciences organizations adapt, prosper and explore opportunities in the networked economy. It specializes in the intersection of digital technology and health care business trends.

A second panel discussion will follow lunch, "Consumer Participatory Medicine and Its Impact on Life Sciences Marketing." It will be moderated by Colleen Hittle, chief executive officer of The Anson Group LLC. Panelists will be David S. Williams III, chief marketing officer of Patients Like Me; Anthony Delli Colli, vice president of marketing at Elbrys Networks and the Continua Alliance Market Adoption Working Group chair; Dr. Todd Rowland, member of the Technology Advisory Group of the American Medical Association and executive director of HealthLINC; and Dorothy E. Kelly Gemmell, senior vice president, pharmaceutical and medical device markets, at WebMD.

At about 3 p.m., Telthorst will wrap up the day's discussions.

Other financial sponsors are Anson Group; Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Beckman Coulter, Inc.; Biomet, Inc.; Commissioning Agents Inc.; Cook Medical; Commissioning Agents Inc.; Eli Lilly and Co.; Hill-Rom; Ice Miller LLP; the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute; Indiana Health Information Exchange; the IU School of Medicine; Krieg DeVault; LLP; OrthoWorx; Purdue University; Symmetry Medical; Taft Stettinius; WellPoint, Inc.; and Zimmer.

Brochure sponsors are Cabello Associates, Inc.; and Miles Printing on Plastics. Marketing sponsors are BioConvergence LLC; Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership; Covance Inc.; Covidien Imaging Solutions; Harlan Laboratories; Healthcare Businesswoman's Association, Indiana Chapter; IU College of Arts and Sciences; IU Kelley Evening MBA Program; IU Kelley School of Business Alumni Association; IU Office for the Vice President for Engagement; IU Research & Technology Corp.; Novus Biologicals; Purdue University Regulatory and Quality Compliance Graduate Program; and VMS: A BioMarketing Company.

More information about the Center for the Business of Life Sciences is available online at