The rise of patient-centered care and digital health are transforming healthcare and technology companies alike. Better patient engagement in their treatment, a focus on continued wellness, and better data monitoring are all allowing patients to take more control in their healthcare and for doctors to approach chronic conditions more horizontally.
The pharmaceutical industry, in particular, is showing clear signs of transformation – even disruption – as it has much to gain and even deliver within the patient-centered care movement. In fact, we’re seeing pharma companies innovate to embrace a more direct relationship with consumers.
Especially in relation to problems like adherence, both the patient and pharmaceutical companies have a great deal to gain. The advantages are both financial and practical, but the focus on the relationship is truly the source of the solution that will reap long term benefits for all. New technologies like digital assistants finally offer the capability to scale relationships on a personal level. Case in point, look at what UCB Pharmaceuticals is doing to support Parkinson’s patients with PD Coach.
While early adopters like UCB are getting a jump start, these AI-powered technologies will play a key role in providing better data, building stronger relationships and helping to enhance patient privacy and trust.
Patient-Centered Care and Adherence as Opportunity
Patient-centered care focuses on improving the outcomes of individuals, namely by improving communication and coordination between patients, providers, and payers. Improving outcomes disproportionately depends on solving the acute and seemingly intractable adherence problem.
Medication non-adherence is a known national epidemic. A study by the New England Healthcare Institute reveals that medication non-adherence, sub-optimal prescribing, and improper drug administration costs the US over $300 billion annually. Additionally, over 20% of an employer’s healthcare costs are caused by non-adherence, and 50% of patients never take the medication as prescribed.
The patient-physician relationship is generally recognized as the single most important factor for improving adherence. However, trying to solve the adherence problem solely through physicians, is difficult on multiple levels. There simply isn’t enough opportunity for physicians to influence a patient’s daily behavior.
It makes sense to consider adherence tools could be a key feature of the drugs patients are prescribed, for which there are usually multiple touch points a day. Pharmaceutical companies, like UCB, are embracing the opportunity to influence patient behavior and positively impact adherence.
Customer Experience Must be the Heart of the Solution
Most companies today understand that direct relationships with consumers deliver thick, rich data and direct, real-time feedback that can drive business strategy and product decisions better than ever before. Furthermore, by successfully iterating on services, they could, over time, build even more enduring meaningful relationships with customers. Not to mention that these points of contact will improve actual adherence and patient outcomes.
Verint Next IT digital assistants and bots offer proven technology and procedures for implementing these AI-powered technologies that companies can take advantage of now, and already have success in helping foster health adherence and wellness. Even in the healthcare industry as a whole, bots have become a valuable technology of customer engagement, from insurance companies using chatbots to process claims and answer questions to clinic software that is starting to leverage AI and conversational interfaces.
Pharmaceutical companies that are getting into the game, understand that to reach consumers where they are, you have to deliver an omni-channel experience. For example, check out how Novo Nordisk is expanding services with Digital Sophia on Amazon Alexa. Our experience and numbers show that to build a direct relationship, you need to do more than send SMS reminders - you should aspire to deliver conversational experiences that listen just as much as they inform.
As our culture becomes more comfortable with digital assistants and conversational technologies like Amazon’s Alexa or Siri or Google’s Assistant, pharmaceutical companies have the opportunity to build the health system’s most robust direct relationships with consumers. More importantly, they can start now. The mature technology exists and has been proven by use case after use case in a wide variety of industries.
Rarely have elevating the customer experience and driving efficient outcomes been so clearly aligned.