We are in a new era of healthcare. Patients are now moving from recipients to participants in their healthcare journey. The pharma industry must therefore change with these trends. Realigning strategies to put patients at the center of future business models is the way forward.
While there are some great examples of best practices in the pharma industry, companies are currently not addressing underlying patient needs. Pharma companies don’t engage patients in their research agendas. They don’t ask patients on their experiences in a study or trial and therefore struggle to recruit and retain them. According to a PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report, a staggering 90% of patients want to know the results of their clinical trials. Yet, 93% of patients participating in these trials never receive results from the study sponsors. This gap needs to be addressed not only out of courtesy to patients but also to keep them engaged for future studies.
The healthcare industry also needs to find a way to bridge the disconnect between the R&D space and patient-centricity (i.e. the process of designing services or solutions around the patient). Companies tend to focus marketing and promotion activities on their own brand and create programs to showcase their technology advancements, but these routes sometimes fail to address imminent patient needs. As a result, patients don’t always engage with pharma companies adequately, which creates an imbalance.
So, what can pharma companies do to keep the focus on patients?
- Be transparent
It is important that the pharma industry, as a whole, shares what is working and what isn’t. Sharing results, either positive or negative, will help create a certain bond between organizations and people. The minute pharma companies treat patients as investors in the healthcare process, they will be rewarded with loyalty and patient retention.
- Provide a holistic view of the patient healthcare journey
If we create a ‘one-stop shop’ for medical terminology, context, meaning, perspective, drug options for patients – it will allow them to identify problems and reach out for help well in time. Equipped with this knowledge, patients will feel more positive in their outlook and become advocates of any platform that provides the latest information to them.
Data can be the answer to patient-centricity
Even though we know what patients need to stay engaged, the pharma world still has a long way to go to achieve patient-centricity. Data will be the solution to the patient-centricity puzzle. Pharma companies are sitting on a macrocosm of data that is not being used efficiently to determine patient needs. This is not just factual data, but behavioral data too. Collection, analysis and usage of this data in real-world patient challenges will help us anticipate their future needs. These insights will also help us gain a 360° view of patients and help recruit and retain them for future research studies and clinical trials.
While patient-centricity will be the key for success, pharma companies face a set of challenges along the way. Although the voice of the patient is an essential factor in today’s healthcare, companies would be remiss if they hand over complete control and expect patients to run the show. Patients play a crucial role, but not the sole role. The industry cannot base its strategic healthcare decisions on a single type of stakeholder. There needs to be an interplay of technology and behavioral economics to form long-term, impactful decisions.
OSG can help you on your journey towards patient-centricity
At OSG, we believe that superior experiences can’t be delivered unless we provide you with a 360° understanding of patients, their expectations and integrating them across all channels, whether physical or digital. PatientX, OSG’s groundbreaking solution for companies involved in clinical trials and Real World Evidence/Adherence studies post launch of new drugs can be your partner on the journey towards patient centricity. With applications for Patient Registry or Phase IV Life Cycle Management, PatientX directly improves patient recruitment, engagement and retention. PatientX makes taking part in trials far easier, enabling patients to take part more seamlessly, express interest and consent to a trial. The PatientX app works on patients’ own devices and enables them to easily download their medical records and search for trials worldwide that interest them. Patients can easily synchronize their wearable medical technology or fitness devices with PatientX and record their experiences and outcomes easily.
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