There’s little doubt that the 21st century patient is very different to the 20th century patient of my era. Much has changed and technology has been the key driver for change.
So what does the modern, tech-savvy, self-caring, all-knowing patient look like? What part will they play in shaping the industry in the future, and how should pharma utilise these patients?
Today’s patient is more informed. The Internet provides access to a wealth of information enabling patients to better understand their condition. It has empowered them. They talk with like-minded patients in online communities, and engage with others across social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. They are honest and open about their physical and emotional symptoms, sharing information and supporting each other.
Responsive websites that adapt to the device used, mobile ready websites, and faster 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity now provide quick and easy access to health content at any time from virtually anywhere, with millions of pages only a search-string away.
As for the future?
Research has shown that informed patients are more proactive in decisions about their health often leading to improved adherence and better health outcomes. Therefore, patients should be at the centre of what happens next. Pharma need to engage with, and listen to patients so they can provide them with what they want and need.
There’s much talk about patient centricity. Now is the time for healthcare and pharma to become truly patient centric by involving the patient at the very start and the very heart of everything they do.