Keys to Successful Patient Engagement
Brad Pruitt
Brad Pruitt
Chief Medical Officer Parallel6, a PRA Health Sciences company

Watch a joint webinar with Brad Pruitt and Sanofi Pasteur “Patient-Centric Engagement: The Patient’s Perspective."

Every year, it’s the same thing: The first week of January, insurance agents send clients a kitten calendar. Later, dentists send clients a birthday card signed by the entire staff.

These are attempts at engagement, and yet, we find ourselves asking, “Why are they wasting money on things that immediately go into the recycle bin?” Neither of these engagement tactics promote the desired “warm and fuzzy” feeling – in fact, they may even create the opposite sentiment.

Yet, often clinical trial sponsors want to send digital birthday cards or have their apps change colors or display fireworks for holidays. That’s because they recognize the need for engagement – but the reality is those methods are not the path to successful engagement.

In order for life science and healthcare companies to engage patients in a mobile world, they must be 100 percent patient-centric. So how should healthcare, pharma, or device providers engage their patients in a meaningful way?

Watch a joint webinar with Brad Pruitt and Sanofi Pasteur “Patient-Centric Engagement: The Patient’s Perspective.”

What is patient engagement?

There are two key components to patient engagement. First, patients themselves must take an active role in their health through action, self-management and positive behaviors. This leads to improved adherence, compliance, and persistence that ultimately drives better health outcomes and quality of care.

Second, there must be active collaboration with patients to design, manage, and achieve positive outcomes.

How to engage

In order for healthcare, pharma or device providers to engage their patients, they must:

  • Understand the patient journey and their life impact from the disease. Showing awareness, compassion, empathy, and comprehension of exactly what’s at stake for the patient him/herself is critical to engagement.
  • Use patient’s existing technology. Ideally, the chosen tool would be the patient’s own phone, since this offers convenience and increases the likelihood it will be used consistently. It’s even more beneficial if connected devices can be tied in to further offer synchrony and convenience.
  • Be bidirectional; include the patient as part of a greater community. Providing a support system of peers, family, and resources increases relevance, connection, and sense of comfort.
  • Deliver their own data in a meaningful way, for example, tying in aggregate data from other patients like them, and providing data that is actionable or understandable in a real-world setting.
  • Incorporate meaningful patient motivators to trigger behavioral change.

Working together with patients benefits everyone involved and helps create a global network of patient engagement and success for all.