Trends in Digital Patient Engagement

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Publication Date:
March 2020
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Embedding digital patient engagement throughout the patient journey

Pharma companies have made good progress with digital delivery within innovative patient support programs—but there is still significant scope to go much further. The progress already made in digital patient engagement is paving the way for new ways to diagnose, monitor and treat patients and achieve greater patient interaction and involvement. What are the latest developments, trends and opportunities for pharma? Get up-to-speed straightaway with this new report.

A hand-picked group of 8 leading digital patient engagement experts were interviewed at length by FirstWord researchers. They explored the current issues and opportunities and gained multiple detailed insights, including:

  • Widening the remit: Discover how digital patient engagement is making an impact across the entire patient lifecycle including trials, diagnosis, monitoring, evidence gathering and more.
  • Driving forces: Delve into the key trends driving progress, including personalised care, patient empowerment, smart mobile tools, gamification, and audio and visual engagement solutions.
  • Optimising your organisation: Which skills and partners should pharma bring together for the best digital patient engagement results? What strategies should be adopted to take advantage of talent from outside the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors?
  • Looking ahead: Which new technologies and future trends are most likely to have the biggest impact? What ethical frameworks need to be in place to protect pharma and patients as the technology evolves?

What to expect from this report

Gain timely and informative insight into how pharma can leverage a multitude of digital patient engagement advances and bridge the gap between drug manufacturers, healthcare providers and the patient. Extensive research and in-depth interviews provide insight into how this technology-driven shift can be used to enhance pharma performance, boost patient engagement and improve outcomes. Use Trends in Digital Patient Engagement to better understand the current landscape and build evidence to support further investment in your digital infrastructure

What did we do?

  • We identified 8 current issues regarding digital patient engagement
  • We explored these via secondary research to develop 15 targeted questions that we put to patient engagement experts with up-to-date experience
  • We used all of this to identify 55 unique new insights
  • Insights are supported by 103 directly quoted comments and 156 source references

Example insight included in Trends in Digital Patient Engagement

"With digital patient engagement becoming the norm, there is a need for ethical frameworks. For example, mobile-based engagement has led to ethical dilemmas around passive sensing and the collection of data from patients without their direct input. Strong ethical frameworks and regulatory guidelines are needed to protect patients when using such devices; and technology needs to be leveraged to ensure data privacy through means such as blockchain and smart contracts. There is a necessity for pharma to further establish and utilise quality assessment measures to guide the development and procedural use of certain digital healthcare tools to ensure they meet quality and ethical standards for use."

Example quote included in Trends in Digital Patient Engagement

"Digital patient engagement offers opportunities to create more meaningful and more patient-centric trials, including in areas such as clinical trial protocol design, clinical trial simulation, support with recruitment strategy, real-world evidence collection, usability studies, patient preferences and new product planning/target product profile optimisation."
Digital Strategy Leader, multi-national pharmaceutical company

The expert panel for Trends in Digital Patient Engagement

  • Merat Bagha, former Director of Marketing for Digital Health & Patient Care Business with the Merck Group, Switzerland, currently independent advisor and investor in digital health.
  • Manu Field, Social Media Strategy Leader at Roche Pharmaceuticals, Switzerland, who oversees all social media and digital communications strategy.
  • Oliver Gassner, Head G4A Digital Health Intelligence EMEA at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Germany, the global in-house competence centre for integrated business solutions at Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
  • Uri Goren, Associate Director of Digital Customer Engagement across International Markets & Europe at Teva Pharmaceuticals.
  • Paul Murasko, Senior Director, Head of Digital Customer Interaction (DCI) for NA at Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals. Paul was named 2018 Patient Centricity Trendsetter by the Patient World Congress.
  • Yannis Pandis, Senior Manager – Business Technology Leader in Data Science and Digital Health at Johnson & Johnson, UK.
  • Daniel De Schryver, Patient Engagement and Advocacy Lead, EMEA at Janssen, Germany; previously serving as Janssen's Global Communication Leader for Infectious Diseases & Vaccines.
  • Gergely Vértes, Solution Accelerator Lead at UCB, Belgium, with a wealth of experience of solutions which bridge the gap between science and technology to enhance patient's lives.

Why buy now?

Put simply, digital patient engagement is becoming the norm. This is no longer a stand-alone project designed to boost competitive advantage—it requires leadership commitment and strategic vision as well as resources, support and fresh talent. The pharma and health tech frontrunners are developing patient support programs which fit with how patients are engaging digitally in other areas of their lives. This is a natural progression which, if avoided, has the potential to hold back pharma performance. It's time to move away from the paternalistic approach; now pharma must provide better ways to work with today's patients to achieve better outcomes for all.

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