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Virtually Speaking

Pharma: Making the Shift from Volume to Value

Posted by Nick Genatone on Jun 27, 2013 11:54:40 AM


Healthcare reform and mounting industry trends mean pharma companies face a changing landscape. The near future holds a performance-based payment model that will require companies to provide a more granular view of drug/therapy outcomes while reducing health costs – all without compromising quality and safety.

But proving and improving outcomes is awfully hard to do when patients don’t take their meds.

Even in clinical trials, where patients receive an above-average amount of attention, adherence rates range between 43% and 78%[1].

The reasons for non-adherence are many: lack of understanding of the benefits of therapy, confusion about complex treatment regimens, difficult side effects, unanswered questions about dosing, and temporary symptom relief all contribute to a varying degree.

So what can be done?

Involve – and revolve around – the patient:

  • Educate patients on the benefits of therapy adherence.
  • Increase consumer engagement in their healthcare management by leveraging technology that grants access to information – whenever they need it.
  • Pay special attention to your mobile patient engagement strategy. Smart devices are the perfect vehicle for delivering timely information and interventions in a highly scalable way.

With 78% of Americans expressing interest in mobile health solutions, it is clear that having a mobile patient engagement strategy is no longer optional – it’s a necessity.   See the full infographic, “Pharma Gone Mobile”,  here.

Virtual health assistants (VHAs) deliver highly personalized, patient-centric care – on any channel. Able to interact with patients using simple conversation, VHAs present a low barrier to use thanks to their simple, conversational interface.  When programmed in alignment with your company’s objectives, VHAs can answer questions, remind patients to take their meds, record the patient’s subjective experience, and build a therapeutic relationship that can influence behavior and increase adherence.

If you’re interested in learning more about VHAs as a patient engagement solution, check out the Next IT whitepaper: “Intelligent Virtual Assistants and Chatbots for Pharma”.

[1] Lars Osterberg, M.D., and Terrence Blaschke, M.D., Drug Therapy: Adherence to Medication, N Engl J Med 2005;353:487

Topics: Healthcare, Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), Natural Language Understanding, Patient Engagement, User Experience