Posted: 06 Oct. 2020 4 min.

The pandemic should be a catalyst to take patient engagement to the next level

Topics: Life Sciences & Health Care

Would you be willing to wear a sensor the size of a paper clip in one of your arteries that would warn you when you are at risk of a heart attack or a stroke? 44% of Danes would, if they had a family history of heart disease!

The pandemic has, despite the societal trauma it has inflicted, accelerated a modern digital patient engagement which I think on a longer term will be a huge benefit to our society. Our healthcare system can expect a significant streamlining and improvement, if we raise our level of ambition and accelerate the development.

Even though I would rather skip the dance entirely, unfortunately we can probably expect to be on the dancefloor with COVID-19 for quite some time. While the pandemic has already pushed life science companies and our healthcare system to use new capabilities and technologies to reimagine the patient experience, I believe we need to advance the development further for the tango to be endurable.

Denmark’s healthcare system is well-developed and our digital infrastructure with medical cards, e-Boks and various online platforms, just to name a few, provides the digital foundation prerequisite to accelerating the patient engagement development even further.

We have already seen examples of digital coaching with patients receiving interactive care via mobile apps, notifications on doctors’ appointments via text messaging and virtual consultations that give patients quicker and easier interaction with doctors. The development is definitely heading in the right direction, but I believe, we should raise the bar even further. Our ambition should be to utilize modern technology to give life science companies and healthcare professionals/doctors a more complete picture of a patient’s symptoms and health condition on a real-time basis. 

Wearables, image recognition technologies and a secure exchange of health data can be true game changers.

Accelerate the development
A recent Deloitte survey shows that many Danes are willing to use emerging technologies such as robotics, AI, drones and sensors to manage health conditions. 44% say, they would be willing to wear a sensor the size of a paper clip in one of their arteries that would warn them when they are at risk of a heart attack or a stroke if they had a family history of heart disease, another 44% are willing to get medications delivered by a drone from a pharmacy, and one in every fourth is willing to use a virtual nurse assistant that uses AI to diagnose illness and suggest treatment or when to visit a doctor.

The survey also shows that patient satisfaction rates for virtual doctors’ consultations are high. Only 15% are not or only slightly satisfied compared to 41% who are completely or very satisfied. Both the available technology and patients seem to be ready to accelerate the development.

Small Great Nations’ Youth Panel writes in their newly published vision for 2040 that the majority of Danish patients should feel that their treatment and interaction with the healthcare system is tailored to them. To reach that goal, it is imperative to create a holistic patient experience supported by enabling technologies and health data that are collected, processed and exchanged in a secure way. These capabilities will equip life science companies with more relevant and timely patient data, helping them to better understand unique patient needs and thereby in collaboration with healthcare professionals deliver a more personalized patient experience.

A better and more efficient healthcare
The protection of personal data is crucial for all of us. There is no doubt that all personal data must be processed professionally, archived on secure platforms using the necessary level of encryption. Strict privacy considerations must be maintained, but a modern patient engagement and privacy can go hand in hand. From my point of view, we should take advantage of health data to increase our chances of living healthy and well with our loved ones.

Utilizing health data and new technologies to diagnose as well as establish an efficient and modern way for the healthcare system and life science companies to engage with patients, the treatment becomes more effective, less invasive and cheaper. If our healthcare system can utilize a modern patient engagement to catch and treat certain diseases at an early stage, the chances of survival are far greater than if the disease is allowed to develop. That allows more patients to return faster to their everyday life, their families and loved ones, their work and their contribution to society.

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Sumit Sudan

Sumit Sudan


Spørg mig om: Pharma, medicinalbranchen, life sciences, revision af medicinalvirksomheder, børsnoteringer Sumit er dansk leder af vores Life Sciences - industrigruppe. Han har mere end 17 års erfaring som revisor for medicinalvirksomheder og børsnoterede virksomheder.