Digital Communications & Technology in Healthcare Blog DMD Intelligence

44% of HCPs Look for Ways Around Registration Walls on Medical Content

Third-party cookies are on a path to extinction. In the very near future, healthcare marketers will no longer be able to rely on third-party cookies to track customers and calculate the success of the marketing campaigns they run.

Both lawmakers and private sector companies are influencing the data privacy movement across the U.S.:


  • Numerous states, led by California, are beefing up their data privacy laws to ensure greater transparency and control of consumer data.
  • Apple’s iOS 14.5 update brought forward a significant change: prompting users to actively opt-in to sharing their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) at the app level and requiring apps to request and receive that permission.
  • Because Google is deprecating third-party cookies from its Chrome browser, many publishers have implemented on-site registrations to collect first-party data.
HCPs are Noticing All Those Registration Forms

One expected outcome of these changes is more frequent use of registration walls, both paid and free. About 45% of publishers indicated they have a strategy to increase the use of logins as a response to third-party cookie deprecation, although most say only half of their audiences use logins.

However, healthcare professionals (HCPs) may be noticing more of these required sign-ups. In a recent poll of our True IdentitySM database of first-party sourced and opted-in HCPs, we uncovered a few key insights about how HCPs perceive their ability to access content:


  • Nearly half (44%) of the HCPs we polled said that they are encountering a growing number of sign-ups, paywall notifications and registration forms when attempting to access medical content, and that they find these hurdles so bothersome they either find a way around them or view other content that's more accessible.
  • 80% of HCPs expect the changes taking place to impact how they engage with websites and content online, whether related to their profession or general interest.
  • 54% of HCPs are concerned to very concerned about how their online browsing and research will be affected by registration walls.

These poll results show that if healthcare marketers do not develop a trusted relationship with HCPs, it may be difficult to obtain consent to contact them. HCPs are making it known that they will maneuver around increasing number of registration and sign-up forms.

But…first-party data – and first-party relationships – are the key to reaching and engaging HCPs. How can we bridge the gap between the HCP experience and healthcare marketers’ need for HCP identity data?

A Consent-Based Framework

One approach is to adopt a robust permission-based framework to support effective digital engagement with HCPs. Our Consent At Scale strategy is such a framework, and ensures that marketers have the ability to reach the majority of their audience across all channels – with consent. Reaching HCPs with permissions that cover all marketing channels and are compliant with privacy regulations is critically important.

Further, our Consent At Scale framework is uniquely structured in that HCP consent is collected under a single privacy policy but from many sources through the proprietary Healthcare Communications NetworkSM. The HCN is a consortium of healthcare organizations serving the information needs of U.S.-based healthcare professionals since 2009.

Because of this unique strategy, Consent At Scale offers many advantages, including:


  • Reaching enough of a target audience in a manner that achieves business goals
  • Meeting the unique need of healthcare marketer for individual level engagement reporting
  • Providing a single source of identity data that optimizes marketing activities and data-driven insights
  • Ensuring organizations prosper in an evolving legal and technological environment
Is your organization ready for a world without cookies? Can your HCP marketing scale to overcome the wave of technology – and legal – changes being driven by the data privacy movement? Now is the time to learn how consented, first-party data can support your omnichannel marketing goals. We’re ready to start the conversation – are you?

About DMD

DMD, an IQVIA business, offers the only authenticated database available that can reach, report, and respond to the dynamic digital behavior of fully opted-in physicians and NP/PA prescribers. Through this database, pharmaceutical marketers, hospitals and health systems, medical societies, publishers, medical marketing agencies, and others have digital access to more than 90% of physicians with email addresses and real-time web activity data that unlocks precision targeting and engagement capabilities across the most influential healthcare audiences.