Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Patients Get The Digital Treatment

More doctors will use tablets to access their patient records, treatment trackers and links to research on patient conditions and treatmentsIn an increasingly competitive and value-conscious healthcare market, pharmaceutical companies will need to look beyond their labs for their own long-term health. Regardless of the medical merits of their products, big pharma success will depend more than ever how effectively they blend digital services into their product offerings. This is especially true for poducts developed for repeated use over many years in the treatment of conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases. Chronic conditions require changes in lifestyle and medication is just a part of the treatment. Pharma brands who offer physicians and patients a suite of digital services that can help manage conditions and adapt lifestyles, will forge a strong bond. Digital gives pharma brands the scope to provide services that add value without significant cost burdens. These digital services will likely be available in web, tablet and mobile formats so that users can switch between devices and still access the services seamlessly. 
Smartphones would be perfect for capturing on-the-go data, such as brief text, voice or video notes, and sensor-based inputs such as heart rate and motion data. Physicians can use tablets to access patient treatment trackers, set up research alerts related to patient's condition, make notes and share information with patients interactively. For patients, alerts for physician appointments, apps giving an easy ability to keep track of their condition and seamlessly merge with external data on treatments and social media extensions to connect with other patients are all examples of how patient healthcare can be enhanced. Many experts in healthcare believe these dynamic digital service platforms will become the standard and pharma brands will be expected to offer them alongside the product, becoming part of the treatment protocol.

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