It is the age of 'Digital Patient', says Quintiles

In a recently released report, Quintiles has suggested that aligning activities such as patient recruitment, collection of medical data with the digital environment will streamline product development, prove product value and accelerate product adoption

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A new report by Quintiles has indicated that sponsor companies that can successfully engage with the digital patient will distinguish themselves and increase their probability of success. The report titled, 'Harnessing the Power of the Digital Patient' explores a more modern approach to patient engagement to streamline product development, prove product value and accelerate product adoption and adherence.It suggests that harnessing the power of the digitally connected patient can not only help produce enormous amounts of savings in the health care system, but also improve patient outcomes. In the report, Quintiles tracks the evolution of patient engagement models over time and argues that the patient is at the center of today's model-a change from the more company-centric models of the past.

Declaring this, "The Age of the Digital Patient," the report dismisses the value of "old-school" patient databases to find patients, and declares the 2.4 billion people with an internet connection as "today's database".

"It's not a question of ‘when' these capabilities will be available," says co-author Mr David Coman, senior vice president Quintiles communications, "it's a question of when the industry will give itself permission to make these approaches standard. We have been preparing for ‘The Age of the Digital Patient' since 2007, and have the capabilities and experience to provide transformational change today."

Core to the Quintiles Digital Patient model is the building of trusted relationships via patient communities, and the creation of opportunities for patients to engage in managing their own health. These programs range from introductions to clinical trials, enrollment in adherence programs, to virtual studies that include collection of patient reported outcomes, medical records, lab data and device diagnostics to prove a product's value or safety-all collected directly from patients without introducing site burden.

Quintiles digital patient experience extends back to its creation of Mediguard.org in 2007 and ClinicalResearch.com in 2009, and its completion of more than 350 custom patient programs on behalf of sponsors in its Digital Patient Unit. To date, it manages relationships with more than three million clinically profiled patients across nearly every therapeutic area. An example of the promise the digital patient holds can be found in an observational research study in which Quintiles recruited 425 patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from its online patient community. The first digital patient was enrolled in the study in a mere six minutes with the last patient confirmed in only nine calendar days.

A second example can be found in a 1,255-patient women's health study in which it developed a custom communication plan for each patient in order to reduce the number of patients that become lost to follow up or drop out of the study entirely. The customized communication program kept patient engagement high and resulted in a 59 percent increase in the retention rate for the duration of the study.

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