Recent Deloitte Review on patient services paints a clear picture on patient services by Pharmas: 70% of surveyed life science executives indicated that their organizations were moderately/somewhat ready to implement effective patient engagement strategies, and more than half (55%) felt they needed to be “extremely ready” in the next two years.
And indeed, some initial efforts by pharma companies have emerged around it: Biogen’s Above MS, Genzyme’s MS One to One, AstraZeneca’s AZ & Me clinical education and prescription savings programs and Abbvie’s Humira Complete support program for all of Humira’s autoimmune indications.
Such patient services span many different aspects of the patient’s life, but Deloitte highlights the following key needs to address in patient services: Financial, Clinical, Engagement, Therapy, and Education. That said, in conversations with our pharma partners at HelpAround, we often see good ideas running into unnecessary user-experience pitfalls.
So we set to summarize these conversations into 6 patient support rules of thumb, regardless of therapeutic area.
And here it goes:
- Frequent – securing recurring slots in your patients’ attention is one of the most challenging tasks nowadays. However, marketing a therapy for a chronic condition has the “benefit” that the patient has already allotted a mental slot to squeeze into. The more frequent your services are used, the stronger the connection you would build with the patient. The task for frequent usage medication is easier than for bi-weekly injections for instance, but the latter has a greenfield of opportunity in between.
- Timely – just like an effective push notifications on your smartphone, patient services need to be timely. Does taking your therapy require travel? call them an Uber; does it require fasting? find them a breakfast spot for the morning.
- Personalized – consumers have zero tolerance to copy-paste offerings. The personalization bar is incredibly high and requires an effort to personalize service offerings. Age, sex, behavioral profile: all these are available today by companies like HelpAround, Neura, Medisafe, HelloHeart and more; don’t ignore them.
- Actionable – a patient service that is not actionable leaves the patient in passive mode. Ask the patient to claim the offered service. They’d appreciate it more if they “worked” for it.
- Bold – patient services is where brand teams can go really wild. Look at the patient journey that you have developed, and find friction points to alleviate. Is it prescription refills? a free Uber ride to the clinic? what else?
- Consistent with your message – living life to the fullest, sense of security, etc. – you have already positioned your therapy in your DtC communication. If it has worked well, then your patient service offering should be consistent with your message. If it’s about lifestyle, then offer lifestyle services; if simplicity – find ways to make their life easier, etc.
What are some of the effective (or ineffective) patient support strategies you have seen out there?
When we launched the Alert app back in July, we wanted give our loved ones a way to reach us easily. Our children, parents and grandparents needed a better way to reach us when in distress. The existing, antiquated panic buttons we gave our aging family members screamed, ‘I might need help!’. As a result, many forgot or refused to wear them due to the stigma associated with them, not wanting to come off as dependent and helpless.
Today, we are super excited to introduce Alert for the Apple Watch, offering our aging population a convenient, accessible, and elegant way to reach us in times of need. Alert for Apple Watch gives them back their independence and allows them to go around freely with peace of mind, and while looking as elegant as ever with a beautiful Apple Watch!
Alert for Apple Watch is available on the App Store, which can be found on the Apple Watch app on iPhone under the Featured tab. The users’ alert contacts don’t need to use a smartphone to receive alerts. The basic app is available for free and includes the text message service and three conference calls. An upgraded subscription is available for $9.95 a month and includes unlimited calls.
“It’s not just for me, it’s for HER”, Bethany pointed at her 6-year-old daughter who was having lunch with us outside HelpAround’s offices last week. “If my sugars ever go too low and I pass out, I would want her to press ONE big button on the iPad in order to alert my husband, my mom, and our neighbor”.
Since we developed Diabetes Helpers, we’ve seen thousands of strangers stepping up to help each other, but we also learned how much fear our users have to cope with. We came to realize how imperative it is for anyone to get a hold of the people they trust the most, in times of distress. This is why we built Alert.
The app is very simple: pressing a big red button or shaking the phone allows anyone to alert and conference-in the people they trust. And we designed it not only for the diabetes community, but for anyone living or caring for someone at risk of experiencing physical or emotional distress: Asthma attacks, severe allergic reactions, addiction relapses, panic attacks, dementia-related confusions, Crohn’s flare ups, and the list goes on and on. In all of these moments, our fine motor skills deteriorate and our thinking can become muddled, which makes it difficult to properly navigate a smartphone. So we made it as easy as a shake of the phone to send an alert.
We hope you like it, and we hope it makes you feel safer and closer to the most trusted people in your lives.
— Yishai & Team HelpAround
Alert is available for download on iOS, and Android mobile phones.
At the end of June 2015, HelpAround had the pleasure of participating in the Israeli digital health mission to the UK, visiting London and Manchester in two packed days, including meetings with the NHS, AstraZeneca, and more.
The mission was organized by Startup Nation Central in collaboration with the UK Israel Tech Hub. We had the pleasure of attending alongside companies Zebra Medical Vision, Healthy.io, Telesofia Medical, MedAware, Veritas Venture Partners, and Tel Aviv Venture Partners.
It was designed to facilitate the discovery and matching of people who can help each other but otherwise wouldn’t be able to. No, we’re not talking about HelpAround – we’re talking about SOSA, where the app was created and is expanding every day!
You have diabetes.
It’s a diagnosis that brings feelings of denial, anger, and fear – not only to the new patients but also to their friends and family. People want to help, but they often do not know what to do when faced with such a life-changing event.
Below, we have compiled the best information and resources for people who want to know how to help friends and loved ones who suffer from diabetes.
One of MIT’s graduate student dorms is a 28-story building at the east most part of MIT. It is called Eastgate.
Not unlike other graduate housing complexes, Eastgate boasts mostly foreign families, and understandably for immigrant students in a new country, they would always have each other’s backs.
So we had several “mafias” in the building: Latin, Chinese, Israeli, Indian, etc. And when a poll would go out to pick the next movie for the communal DVD library, the Israeli mafia would call up its members to make sure their desired genre is selected…