Optimizing digital support for patients Life Sciences & Healthcare patient information and treatment decision support
The past years have brought massive changes to the way in which patients obtain information and make decisions. Patients are better informed than they have ever been. These new habits offer significant opportunities to life sciences and healthcare companies that can develop and implement a patient-oriented customer journey.
Information-gathering: The patient researches their condition using information that is publicly available or provided to them by specialists. While the previous phase focused primarily on obtaining general insights and narrowing down options, the second phase brings about a desire for specific information about the patient’s preferred therapy options. Besides experience reports, digital seminars and public lectures can be helpful. The latter, in particular, offers genuine value to both the patient and their relatives.
Assessment and decision-making: The patient selects a treatment method that will have the best possible impact on their health in their and their physician’s view, having considered all risks involved. In most cases, this decision is still made in close consultation with the treating physician. Patients should be given an effortless way to contact relevant experts during the information-gathering phase, so that they can be consulted for a second opinion during the decision-making phase.
Usage: The patient completes the selected course of treatment, and it becomes clear whether or not it has been successful. During this stage, companies can remain in contact with the patient and collect data about the success of the treatment. Useful tools include mobile applications that allow the patient to record current information and changes about the state of their health and share them with their physician or the manufacturer. This stage also brings opportunities to deepen customer loyalty. The manufacturer can express empathy with the patient’s condition, send congratulations for successes and important milestones, or involve the patient in the development of experience reports.
Making digital package inserts available to patients is another option. Besides conventional success stories in a written format, industry players could set up a video platform to show other affected patients and their relatives how to live a fulfilling life despite their condition. These videos could contain recommendations or ‘insider tips’ from real-life patients on improving one’s well-being. Any such measure requires a detailed analysis of and compliance with national regulations.
Once you have identified the digital habits of your target groups and the needs they seek to address online, you can determine relevant digital touchpoints. As a next step, define measurable goals for these touchpoints.
This important measure allows you to assess the usefulness of the digital measures and optimize them accordingly. To carry out an assessment, relevant indicators must be determined in advance. This provides an insight into the degree to which the corresponding goals have been achieved. The following example illustrates this more accessibly: A patient reaches a website that describes a specific health condition. This website could have the specific goal of persuading 5 per cent of visitors to book a consultation with a specialist. In this case, the number of website visitors compared to the number of inquiries sent to a specialist would be a suitable indicator.
Companies in the life sciences and healthcare industry have no choice but to regard patients as a relevant target group if they want to reach general business targets, such as increased customer loyalty, conveyance of brand values and higher revenue. ARCONDIS has long-standing industry experience and the necessary digital expertise to help you develop an needs-based customer journey for patients or other target groups.
Do not hesitate to get in touch!
■ Patrick Stallmach
- Life Sciences Trend Radar 2018
- Digital Foundation — Efficiently Developing Digital Business Models
- Digital Transformation and Digitalization in Life Sciences & Healthcare — Learn what ARCONDIS can do for you
- Healthcare Consulting — combining expertise in life sciences and healthcare