There is a new generation of patients to whom is necessary to connect. They are the ones that use Internet, Smartphones and other technologies to get info about their disease or to search for a way to improve their health and wellness.
The emergence of this new role has pose new challenges for everybody involved in healthcare, and this situation involves pharma industry, obviously. Some time ago, pharmas started a change in their strategy towwards the patient. Industry has seen clear that patient is the final goal of all their actions and, in this position, they shoulded integrate him into the center of the system. Digitalization opens a really interesting door for the patient-company relationship. So connect with him and running a succesfull strategy towards patient requires to respond to some questions.
- There is needed to meet patient. First Doctoralia’s Health and Internet report makes an interesting separation about digital patient’s profiles, between ePatient, mPatient and wPatient. As it’s obvious, ePatient is the person who uses Internet to issues related to health (90% of respondents), mPatient is resorting to the use of mobile applications to manage, measure and track health and welfare issues (35%) and wPatient is what has built the wearables to their lives (14% of respondents in the study). But the most interesting of the report, rather than the channel used, is referring to what kind of person is behind each of these categories. So we know that is young people who uses a greater extent and other mobile devices such as wearables, although the latter are more popular among men than among women (women prefer Smartphones). Also, the employment rate Internet for search health information increases with increasing age of the user and also his affections, as the ePatient is characterized by worse health than the other two profiles.
- Put yourself in his skin, ask you what kind of information and services he is demanding and provide him an answer. A recent study held by the Spanish Diabetics Federation (FEDE) and Sanofi, puts on the table a fundamental question: the main support claimed by diabetic patients is instructions to prevent future problems related to their disease, as well as more information on changing eating habits, strategies to assume the disease and instructions to adequate and calculate insulin dosage. So responding to this information gap is one of the areas with more potential for laboratories in its engagement whit the patient strategy.
- Take advantage of tools that technology brings to you to see and to hear what your client is saying in every channel available for it. According to the II Patient Associations in 2.0 web’s survey, made by Pfizer, 94% of patient organisations have a presence on the Internet and 79% have social media profiles. We know patients and carers use social media to become visible, so are you aware of what they say?
- It is imperative to count on patients and their relatives. Yes, we can talk to them and use all digital media that you want to help them, but you won’t achieve a real engagement while you don’t actually involve patient when planning your strategies. Patient organisations are a good channel to this and they also have been claiming for a while this main role.
*This article has been published first in September- October PM Farma Magazine’s number.