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Sema the Ozempic Assistant

by Novo Nordisk with support from Syneos Health Communications

Summary of work

Sema is a virtual assistant to support people with type 2 diabetes throughout the initial dose-adjustment period for Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic (semaglutide). Currently available in five languages across North America and Europe, and with Asia and South America in scope for 2019, sema is the first chatbot/conversational interface to be launched as a patient support programme for a branded pharmaceutical product.

Rather than being developed just as a simple, first generation chatbot on a third-party platform such as Facebook, sema’s motivating, multimedia interactions are powered by an innovative content curation tool. This sits on top of Novo Nordisk’s enterprise CMS and analytics platforms, supporting speed of localisation as well as flexibility and scale for future use cases and other brands.

Most innovative of all however is sema’s tone of voice. Developed alongside nurses, primary care physicians and patients, content is delivered in an informal and encouraging tone, making full use of gifs and emoji – an integral part of today’s language for friendly, motivational and relatable support. How relatable? Well, in its first 12 months, sema was downloaded and engaged with by 14% of eligible patients, 90% of whom set up personalised reminders, and more 40% of whom continue to use it after three months.

Judges' comments

The Sema the Ozempic Assistant entry was clearly innovative. There was a lasting impact, with 40% retention rates after three months. The tone of voice of the app is familiar, friendly and supportive, with an informal way to motivate and drive adherence. There was evidence of significant research and a good chance of improving patient outcomes.


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DermDialogue: Bringing Innovation to MSL‐led Education - by AbbVie with support from Lucid Group

Sema the Ozempic Assistant - by Novo Nordisk with support from Syneos Health Communications

Talking Papers - by Syneos Health Communications

Key dates

Entry deadline 25 August 2023
Extended entry deadline 1 September 2023*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 10 October 2023
Company/Team of the Year Interviews 3 November 2023
PMEA Event 22 November 2023