2020 is almost certain to usher in more dramatic changes in the healthcare environment. It will be led by the acceleration of a patient-centered approach to assessing, delivering, monitoring, and paying for healthcare. It all begins with understanding the “whole” patient through analysis of all available data.

The amount of individualized health data readily available to all of us means we are more informed consumers who are emboldened to become partners in our own healthcare. Consumers, providers, payers, and pharma companies now have access to genetic information, purchasing habits, and financial histories. The industry can analyze claims, while consuming tweets and message board posts. It can count steps, calories, workouts, fertility cycles, and how often we toss and turn at night!

The customer comes first—but which one?
Most other industries have embraced the “customer comes first” philosophy long ago. Pharma companies, meanwhile, usually prioritized their “customers” as those they directly interacted in a B2B relationship: providers, payers, or employers. These were seen to have the decision making power over drug access and utilization.

Increasing expectations
Today, Pharma needs to reengineer its strategic approach to really start with the patient focus first. To compete in this evolution of patient “consumerism,” all involved in healthcare delivery must understand the heightened consumer expectations of healthcare and how it should lead to better outcomes for them and their families.

Getting better vs staying healthy
There is a stronger focus on prevention and spending time, energy, and even money on staying healthy. Sick patients will demand specific treatments, and are often willing, in part, to pay. More than ever before, they understand they have options in their care. And with access to information and data on themselves as well as their providers, they want to get the best treatment options at a time, place, and cost convenient to them. Consumers are growing louder in their demands for value, for transparency in drug pricing, for affordability, for support services, and for solutions from drug companies

How can Pharma respond?
By focusing on the overall consumer experience with their health condition and how your Brand integrates into the total treatment plan. Using data-driven insights, marketers can better understand their patient’s journey and how-to better partner with patients to help them make informed decisions about their condition and potential treatments. This means ensuring you can help better educate patients on their diagnosis, available and appropriate treatments, psychosocial implications, supportive services, payment options, and potential health outcomes.

The data is out there—use it to understand and develop true partnerships with your patients!

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