Channel Health is launching a news and training service for GPs and healthcare professionals, which will also enable pharmaceutical companies to communicate information about their brands.
The service, CHi Healthcare Professional Services, will be made available via satellite on a closed network direct to GPs, either in their surgeries or via digital TV in their homes. Healthcare professionals are expected use the service – part-funded by a grant from the European Space Agency – to keep up to date with the latest medical knowledge and to comply with professional training requirements.
Channel Health chairman Simon Lynds says: “Pharmaceutical companies can’t market prescription drugs directly to consumers, therefore there has to be controlled access to their information.
“For pharmaceutical marketers, this service represents a unique opportunity to cost-effectively target GPs with an adaptable medium that can deliver professional, consumer and research objectives.”
Brands will be able to sponsor content or supply their own content to the service for a fee.
Channel Health has already signed up more than 6,000 surgeries to its Channel Health Direct Service, which broadcasts pre-recorded programming on a four-hour loop to patients in waiting rooms.
Channel Health’s other services include a TV channel aimed at consumers on the Sky Digital and NTL platforms and a website. It plans to launch an advertiser-funded magazine to be distributed free to consumers through GPs’ surgeries.