Monday, February 23, 2015

Patient Engagement Sessions to Attend During ePharma Summit

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Tomorrow, IIR’s 14th ePharma at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City will be underway. Over the course of three days, numerous presentations will be given about how the pharmaceutical industry can better utilize digital tools in order to engage patients, providers, and payers. As a health care blogger, I am excited for the opportunity to learn directly from Pharma representatives about their digital initiatives and how they are working to empower patients to take control of their health.

The agenda for the summit is jam packed with interesting sessions about Electronic Health Records, mHealth technology, patient engagement, and more. There are a few sessions that I am looking forward to attending in particular:

  • Listening to Consumers' Needs to Provide Them with Valuable Content (February 24)
    • I have long said that in order for any health care company to market a product, it needs to use consumer input- i.e. talk to patients and listen to their experiences firsthand. During this session, Roche Diagnostics Corp. will talk about their experience doing just that- engaging with patient groups and creating dynamic, engaging content from their input.
  • Building a Strong Patient Engagement Strategy (February 24)
    • Similar to the session above, this one focuses on the importance of patient engagement. I look forward to learning from Purdue Pharma about how taking a patient-centric approach can benefit ePharma and improve patient care and treatment compliance.
  • The Patient’s Voice: Defining the Opportunity (February 24)
    • Following my interest in patient engagement, I am excited to see WEGO Health on the agenda for the ePharma Summit. WEGO Health does a fantastic job of promoting online patient advocacy and during this session, they will discuss the opportunities available for Pharma to engage with patient communities online.
  • My GI Health: Charting the course to GUT health through GUT feelings – A Progress Update from the last ePharma (February 25)
    • As someone who cares for a patient with a chronic digestive disease, this session has truly peaked my interest. According to the session description, “MY GI HEALTH is an automated on-line, in-office, and mobile application that captures, assesses and interprets gastrointestinal symptoms based on a data logic algorithm. It automatically translates the input into a full patient history and will improve the efficiency of the office visit…MY GI HEALTH tailors educational resources for the physician and patient to improve their dialogue, understanding and productivity of the office visit. This innovative capability has established a technology platform as a standalone app or within an EHR that can integrate multiple data sources such as a GI symptom assessment, a dietary assessment instrument, data from a wearable acoustic intestinal sound analyzer, and clinical treatment response.” MY GI HEALTH sounds like it could be a game changer for those living with gastrointestinal diseases and I am looking forward to learning more about how it brings together all the players across the healthcare ecosystem to bring down costs, enhance quality of care, and improve patient health outcomes.
  • • A Patient's POV: Connecting with Patient Communities (February 26)
    • I am a little biased when I say that this session is one not to miss! Andrea Meyer of The Great Bowel Movement is a fantastic advocate and blogger and someone that I have worked with closely in my advocacy efforts on behalf of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. The work that Andrea and GBM does extends far beyond the digital sphere and this session will highlight how they are making strides to work not only with patient communities but also with Pharma, healthcare providers, and more.
  • Discover Hidden Truths & Capture the Patient Voice (February 26)
    • As I mentioned in my last blog post, there are some Pharma companies who have already made great strides toward executing programs that effectively engage patients. Janssen Biotech, in particular, has been incredibly engaged with the inflammatory bowel disease community both online and offline through its IBD Social Circle. It’s appropriate, then, that during this session, Janssen will highlight their work to engage patients and utilize the true patient voice.

Picking five sessions to highlight was incredibly difficult, as the entire ePharma Summit agenda offers incredible opportunities for learning. However, these sessions aren’t what I am most excited about. There is one thing that I am looking forward to even more- meeting all of you! If you will be at ePharma, I hope we will get to meet and discuss how you are working to expand your digital presence and effectively engage with patients, caregivers, and others in order to improve care and enhance the patient experience.

About the author:
Rebecca Kaplan is a communications consultant, freelance writer, and blogger. You can read more about her life loving someone with Crohn's disease on her blog, on Huffington Post, or follow her on Twitter

She will also be joining us this year at ePharma as an official guest blogger sharing insights from the event.  ePharma will take place February 24-26, 2015 in New York City.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us with priority code XP2006BL, you can save $100 off current rates!
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