Patients Want Pharma on Their Side

July 06, 2015

Megatrend #7: In the New Era of Quantified Self, Patients Want Pharma on Their Side

The business case for keeping “the healthy” healthy is undeniable. Consumers can now leverage technology and big data to monitor the state of their health and practice preventive measures. Yet a majority of healthcare resources are still devoted to treating the sick. With the fastest growing global age segment now 85+, “sickcare” is unsustainable.1, 2 There remain many misconceptions among patients over what health conditions individuals can fully control.1 Opportunities to educate and influence the public align with the desire to proactively manage health.

Patients are looking to pharma to provide select patient services, but have been severely underserved. However, those who receive such services place great value on them, and are willing to provide personal health information in order to receive free information and/or services.3 In addition, nearly three-quarters of patients in a recent focus group agreed that social media resources sponsored by, or created by, pharma would motivate them to talk with their doctors about specific pharma products.4

The “5 E’s” hold the key to understanding the dynamics and opportunities of digital engagement with patients5: the Internet is the ENABLER; ECONOMICS are the trigger; patients are EMPOWERED; patients ENGAGE; and patient EXPERIENCE drives the choice.

Consumers expect pharma to engage them in ways in which they are already accustomed. Pharma has tended to try a “one-size-fits-nobody” approach that runs counter to a patient-centric model that supports providers, retailers, payers, and, ultimately, patients.3, 6 Focusing on the individual patient experience – and the subsequent data resulting from this experience – serves the dual purpose of engaging patients and providing the analytics to support product benefit claims.

Making customers “smarter” during the purchase experience builds loyalty and provides differentiation in a crowded marketplace.7 Patient empowerment has replaced “Ask your doctor,” and data-based benefits provide a direct link between pharma and the end user.

Big data and digital health already provide meaningful insights for every stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem, from linking cost and quality of care to health outcomes, to helping patients more actively manage their own health. The current lack of standardized formats presents a barrier to true, seamless implementation (interoperability), but there is no doubt that patients are more in charge than ever before.8, 9

The trend is a product of an evidence-based research study undertaken by the Healthcare Division in Valtech to map the pharmaceutical landscape of digital mega trends. The research study provides essential insights on how Pharma companies could utilize digital engagement to break down stakeholder barriers, impact stakeholder behaviour and demonstrate more cost-effective outcomes. The research study is based on information from 100+ trusted sources and has resulted in the identification of 14 mega trends.

Reach out to gain an understanding of how to execute on the underused digital opportunities

The Healthcare Division in Valtech has developed an analytical framework that can identify the engagement potential of your brand.

Please contact Healthcare Director Conny Carlzon for further advice or to set up an informal meeting.

1. Havas. (2012) My Body, Myself, Our Problem: Health and Wellness in Modern Times.
2. Vertic healthcare. Mads Krogh Petersen (2014). Are You Pre-disease or Healthy?
3. Accenture. Shawn D. Roman et. al. (2014). Great Expectations: Why Pharma Companies Can’t Ignore Patient Services.
4. Medical Marketing and Media. Ross Fetterolf et. al. (December 2013). Should pharma abandon social media?
5. UCB. Lode Dewulf. (2014). The era of patient-centricity: Fashion or future?
6. Booz and Co. Ken Favaro et. al. (2014). Biopharma in 2014: Growth Is Back on the Agenda.
7. Merck. Tyrone Edwards. (2014).Understand the direct link between client satisfaction and business performance- do we have the right sales model to deliver value in pharma?
8. IBM.Heather Fraser et. al. (September 2013). Analytics across the ecosystem. A prescription for optimizing healthcare outcomes.
9. Juice pharma. Ben Putman. (2014). Top 5 Health 2.0 Trends for Pharma 2014.

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