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Why is it Important for Research Companies to Know Patient’s Journey?

August 24, 2019

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From the moment a patient steps into the healthcare facility to seek medical care for an illness, an injury, or assessment of symptoms, the patient is considered to have begun a journey, during which multiple stakeholders  are involved along the way. These stakeholders include hospitals/healthcare facilities, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare personnel, insurance companies, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies, which, at some point, get involved in this patient journey.

In today’s customer-centric world, finding out the needs of the customers and projecting their behaviour based on those needs are crucial factors of marketing in any domain or business. In the pharmaceutical industry, these efforts, taken through the assessment of patient’s journey, are more critical than ever. And it’s not simply enough for pharmaceutical companies to just carry out the research, as they must integrate all strategies in order to assess patient’s journey to create true competitive advantage for themselves.

Emphasising on the patient’s perspective has been a pioneering trend in the life sciences and pharmaceutical research sector. For instance, research studies are increasingly focusing on being more patient-centric; whereas, the healthcare system as a whole is moving towards value-based care. To add to this, the real world evidence (RWE) from patients in the real world setting is now becoming a more appropriate and preferred tool in such a competitive marketplace.

As a result, data gathered from a patient’s journey not only enables these companies to improve their engagement with patients to understand their individual needs and challenges, but it can also help encourage much of the decision making pertaining to a particular treatment or an aspect of patient’s life. For example, perceptions gathered from patient’s journey analyses can facilitate companies to incorporate new projects pertaining to the drug discovery, enabling patients to meet their own health goals, while creating more value for themselves. This is because, the patient’s journey can help research companies to come up with better medicines and help in clinical development of not only new drugs, but also preventive measures using tools like predictive analytics for better healthcare outcomes.

Information about patient’s journey can be gathered from various sources, viz. electronic health records (EHRs), social media platforms, wearables and mobile devices or apps. In addition, the RWE (from actual real world or RWE-specific studies) in today’s era is certainly helping in the development of patient journeys that can be used to identify actionable understandings.

Patient journey is, in fact, the foundation on which many other analytics, interventions, implementations and decisions can be built. However, it may not be helpful to look at it through the ‘be-all and end-all’ approach. Research companies must be disciplined in the way they approach these analyses to make sure they address the specific questions they’d like the patient journey to answer, which should ultimately focus on patient well-being and improved patient outcomes.