Taking a patient-centered approach is nothing new to the pharmaceutical industry. For years, pharmaceutical organizations have made great efforts to forge strong relationships with their patient populations by taking account of things that matter to them including their preferences, needs and values.
But are surveys and market research efforts enough to truly engage with today’s patients? After all, that is and should be your ultimate goal.
Patients who are engaged are brand loyal. They are your best brand advocates. Their loyalty is built on a foundation of repetitive positive experiences and trust which translate into greater support towards your brand.
These days, “engage” is a word that is thrown out there often but only partially understood. So, when we take the time to really break it down, what does it really mean?
By definition, engage means to occupy, attract or involve someone’s interest or intention. It also, and almost more importantly, means to participate or to become involved in.
When you think about your patient engagement strategy, reach is just part of the approach. Direct-to-consumer pharma ads, that according to Kantar Media cost $6.4 billion in 2016, may drive interest, but they lack active, real-time patient participation with your brand.
In fact, a recent Inspire survey reported that “despite regular medication usage, the majority of respondents had limited, if any, knowledge of the manufacturer of their treatment(s). At most, 14 percent of responding patients and caregivers reported having a ‘relationship’ with these companies, characterized by utilizing such resources as educational materials or financial assistance or communicating with them directly. Of these individuals, less than half reported that they would consider it to be a good ‘relationship’.”
What Modern Patients Want
Today’s digitally savvy patients want to interact with brands. With mindsets influenced by on-demand technology like Netflix, Amazon’s Alexa devices and Uber, patients not only want a personalized experience with your brand, but they also want it immediately and on their channel of choice.
So how can pharmaceutical companies do a better job to truly engage modern patients in their healthcare management experience?
Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) also known as chatbots are the key to patient engagement. Designed to make healthcare management easier, the solution leverages artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing and natural language understanding, to understand patients in their own words and provide assistance or answer questions, anytime and anywhere while constantly learning and improving.
Millions of people are interacting with brands this way, and it’s because conversational AI technology makes these interactions informative, useful and sticky. Smart life science organizations are already utilizing the technology as a part of their patient program services to engage and support patients in their healthcare management experience. They’re also leveraging data to future-proof strategies, boosting brand loyalty and gaining a highly-coveted competitive advantage.
To learn more about our proven IVAs in the life science industry and how the technology is boosting brand loyalty and engagement, read our new white paper, Let’s Chat: Intelligent Virtual Assistants and Chatbots for Pharma.