Want to know what's happening next in healthcare?

MedCityNews is the leading online news source for the business of innovation in healthcare.

“I find MedCity News a great resource for taking the pulse of the market and sourcing potential investment opportunities.”

Bernie Rudnick, Angel investor and advisor, CapGenic Advisors, LLC

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Topic: Health Data

Published in partnership with the Health Data Consortium. The Health Data Consortium is a collaboration among government, non-profit, and private sector organizations working to foster the availability and use of health data to drive innovations that improve health and health care.

Hey pharma marketers, want to reach nurses and docs on social media? Data startup with the secret gets backing

February 21, 2013 6:13 pm by | 1 Comments

venkat_g_lrgOncology nurses have one of the most vibrant online communities. After a conference, their social media traffic jumps for up two weeks to talk about the data presented. Did you know that? No? It’s just one of the things one technology startup has learned since it set up its software-as-a-service platform to help pharmaceutical marketers find target physician and nursing audiences online and gauge their attitudes.

The founder and CEO of Medikly, Dr. Venkat Gullapalli, doesn’t view what his company is doing as anything more radical than bringing consumer marketing techniques to the medical industry, which is pretty disruptive. Gullapalli had set out to develop a platform to help healthcare marketers engage providers with relevant information on digital channels in real time and concluded he had something much bigger. He was also aided by the fact that digital marketing in the healthcare industry has languished years behind consumer marketing.

The company takes a three-pronged approach to marketing:

1. An engine that helps marketers identify and understand nurse and physician behavior patterns, relationships across multiple touchpoints;


2. A personalization component that leverages insights from the engine to get targeted and relevant information to physicians using their preferred channels when and where they want.

3. An analytics component that helps marketers make better business decisions, identify gaps and opportunities and predict campaign attrition, according to a statement from the company.

Medikly’s decision to go down the venture capital investment route was made reluctantly, says Gullapalli, but once the decision was made it took a short amount of time. It was only four months ago that the group graduated from Blueprint Health’s class and presented at demo day. Gullapalli recalled: “We got the term sheet in December and I accepted in late January and here we are.” The company just raised $1.2 million, closing a Series A round led by Easton Capital Investment Group, according to a company statement

In a phone interview with MedCity News, Gullapalli said its platform is the top investment priority. The rest of the capital will go towards building strategic and corporate relationships. “We’re looking for relationships with holding companies and with large organizations with subsidiaries. We want to be able to partner on that level.” Those that are curious to know what companies will form these relationships with Medikly won’t have long to wait. It plans to announce the first one in a couple of weeks.

Emphasizing the uniqueness of its approach, Gullapalli describes the opportunity as “an untapped goldmine. It’s such an open and new space.” Different physicians in different specialties and practices all have their own way of using social media and connecting with each other and, for the most part, there’s no correlation between them. Some doctors favor SoundCloud and Slideshare, but oncology nurses groove on YouTube and Oncology TV.

Among the analytic information the company can gather, it can assess the sentiment of conversations about a pharmaceutical company’s campaign between physicians and nurses, whether they like the pharmaceutical company’s marketing information, its relevance to them, how many are talking about it, to what degree and how often. It can also use predictive analytics to determine predict how doctors and physicians will respond to marketing campaigns based on their habits.

Although its service will be provided through an annual subscription it’s still working out the pricing structure. “It is so new people say we are creating marketing space that hasn’t existed before.”

Copyright 2014 MedCity News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for MedCityNews.com. She enjoys covering healthcare startups across health IT, drug development and medical devices and innovations deployed to improve medical care. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has worked across radio, print and video. She's written for The Christian Science Monitor, Dow Jones & Co. and United Business Media.
Visit website | More posts by Author



  Thank you for the great article! We're very excited here at Medikly and look forward to a great 2013. 


Health Data Consortium

Published in partnership with the Health Data Consortium. The Health Data Consortium is a collaboration among government, non-profit, and private sector organizations working to foster the availability and use of health data to drive innovations that improve health and health care. More information on the Health Data Consortium can be found at HealthDataConsortium.org.

Latest From HDC Blog


Recommended Links

Health Data Consortium

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter


Website | Facebook | Twitter

Health Data Initiative Forum



Todd Park

United States Chief Technology Officer

Todd Park is the United States Chief Technology Officer and in this role serves as an Assistant to the President. Todd joined the Administration in August 2009 as Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this role, he served as a change agent and “entrepreneur-in-residence,” helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of the nation.

Bryan Sivak

Chief Technology Officer, Department of Health and Human Services

Bryan Sivak joined HHS as the Chief Technology Officer in July 2011. In this role, he is responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation.

Steven Randazzo

Communications Lead for Innovations Team, Department of Health and Human Services

Steven works with the HHS's Chief Technology Officer to promote the formation and adoption of innovative processes and products in government. Steven is the manager of three open data and innovation blogs and his primary duties focus on external communication of the initiatives and priorities undertaken by HHS and outlined in the Open Government Plan.

Jim Cashel

Chairman of Forum One Communications

Forum One Communications is a digital communications firm which works at the nexus of technology, public policy, and online community. With offices in Washington DC, Seattle and San Francisco, Forum One has completed 1000 projects for 300 clients, including foundations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and commercial groups. Prior to Forum One Jim co-founded the Eurasia Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based grant-making organization.