Monday, February 29, 2016

My "Ah-ha" Moment with Self Care Catalysts

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During the afternoon session of Day 1 of the ePharma Summit 2016, I was truly inspired and optimistic of what the healthcare industry can do to bring the patients to the forefront of the conversation. The speaker was Grace Soyao, Founder and CEO of Self Care Catalysts, and she started her presentation talking about patients. Patients as the leaders, not as the afterthought.


Self Care Catalysts is a company that believes in welcoming the patient. Within those patients, we know there is always a story, and always a person behind that story. Furthermore, patients are going digital. In fact, healthcare is going digital, but patients are just doing it faster. As was presented, we have to be in digital to involve ourselves with patients and what they need. That's what Self Care Catalysts is all about, and more importantly, what their disease management app is all about.

We know that 90% of care happens at home, so how do we meet that? The app is called Health Storylines and is available on mobile devices and through the web. Apps that offer disease management opportunities are essential to the quality of life for chronic disease patients especially. What I find inspiring is an app that involves physical health, lifestyle management, medication adherence, mental health, and physician integration. Not only that, but all conditions are available for input within the app, key for those of us with rarer diseases.

The point of #mHealth needs to be a mimic of the patient's life. I talk about wanting my physicians and other members of my care team to follow me on social media or follow my blog all the time. Why is that? Because those avenues show my real life. They show what I experience, what symptoms I have, what side effects I have, and how I'm handling those things. A physician cannot possibly know all of these things by just having that 15 minute appointment every couple months.

I was truly invigorated by the possibilities available from the presentations focused on mobile app technologies in today's sessions. The mere mention and road map of putting patients first and listening to what patients want and need is such an 'ah-ha' moment in healthcare and in my own journey. In actuality, what are healthcare, pharma, and physicians without the patients?

From Grace Soyao: "The future is in the patients' hands." Are you working towards that statement?




Make sure to follow along live with this year's ePharma Summit. Read about sessions and experience on the ePharma blog here. Follow along on social media with @ePharma and #ePharma16. If you'd like to follow me specifically, use @KristinMCoppens.




About the author: 
Kristin Coppens is a social media and digital communications professional, a health activist, an ePatient, and a multiple chronic diseases fighter and blogger. You can read more about her chronic illness journey on her blog, Chronically Kristin, 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.

The Three Must-See Companies of Day One of #ePharma16

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Earlier today, I had the great pleasure of seeing presentations from Cohero Health, Curatio, and Self Care Catalysts.

Cohero Health is a company that allows patients to track how they are utilizing and responding to their respiratory care medications. The medications can be tracked for both technique of use from the patient and how many times the medications are used versus how many times they are prescribed for use (or, adherence).

This data syncs wirelessly and AUTOMATICALLY with applications for smartphones from Cohero, one for Pediatric patients (AsthmaHero) and another for adult patients (BreatheSmart).

Information can be shared with a patient's care team when interventions may be needed.

Curatio is an application that allows patients to manage their health, track their conditions, and build social support networks based on shared/similar diseases, interests, and other information.

It also shared stories with patients that may be pertinent to their lives, like a daily magazine or some social media gurus we all know and love.

Lynda Brown, Curatio's CEO, is an incredibly interesting person AND incredibly fun to speak with.

One of the reasons I really enjoy the idea of this app is that social support is often left lacking for patients. We leave offices with a new diagnosis but no information on how this affects our lives or what the future may hold. We're overwhelmed and worried - and often turn to social media for support already!

Integrating health information, a tracker that syncs with everything from Apple to Fitbit, and that social support?

Where do I sign up? (Right here actually.)

Self Care Catalysts is a company right after my own heart.

I even said so during the presentation from founder Grace Soyao!

SCC has a goal to help engage more patients in their own care by creating their own storylines. By sharing those stories, we're not only helping other patients BUT we're enabling our providers to give us better care and creating a culture where all stakeholders are valued.

The Health Storylines app was created WITH patients and is customizable for a variety of needs, even for specific patient organizations and conditions like Epilepsy. You can even access this process on the web which provides a wider range of access to patients.

The app reminds you to take medications, allows you to journal and build a support team, and is even shareable via an HIPAA-compliant system with healthcare providers.

HOW COOL IS THAT?

What did I learn today?

Today I learned that I geek out a lot.

I also learned that there are a ton of applications out there being designed for us that we're not aware of yet but desperately need.

I hope that more patients will be able to attend conferences like this in the future to be able to get the word out on these as I have today.

Oftentimes without that information, pharma is vilified in many patient communities.

Keep us apprised sometime, eh?

Make sure you follow ePharma on Twitter and the tag for the conference #epharma16 for live updates!



About the author:

Kirsten Schultz is a health activist and blogger. You can read more about her life living with multiple chronic illnesses on her blog, on Creaky Joints, 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. 

Got Strategy? Figuring Out a Rational Social Media Plan

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Your social media content strategy benefits from forethought.

Sandra Valez, Content Strategy Leader at Merck, suggests a three-step process:

  1. Understand your customer needs
  2. Have a 2-way conversation
  3. Be on the channels your customer expects to find you

Rather than use a “spray and pray” approach, get to know who your customers are and create a “persona” or archetype of your customers – the HCPs, the consumers and the payers. Figure out their goals and needs, and then listen to them. Depending on your customer’s persona, they will have different emotional needs. So use your data and other intelligence to get to know who they are and meet them where they’re at.

Once you have developed your personas, map the patient journey, develop content to target them and learn their channel preferences.

Social Media Strategy Needs to Align with Business Goals

In a follow-up session on content marketing technology, Martin Johansson, Vice President of Business Informatics at The Medicines Company, cautioned attendees “don’t do technology for the sake of technology.”

Employ a deliberate strategy with three components:

  1. Diagnose what is going on with your customers.
  2. Have a Guiding Policy that is executable.
  3. Develop a list of coherent actions that you can follow through on.

Your plan should not exist in isolation, though. Make sure you tie back your social media strategy to business goals that align with business outcomes.

“Put a plan in place, align it with your business goals, then prioritize your actions,” Johansson said.

Digital Marketing for Pharmaceuticals: Think Innovation and Disruption

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When you think about the words “innovation” and “pharmaceuticals”, you think about the incredible scientific advances taking place in labs around the world. You don’t, however, necessarily think about leading edge social media strategy.

One of the clear messages that came out of the ePharma Summit 2016 today is that the industry lags in content marketing strategy and execution. Speakers agree on the reasons – legal, regulatory, medical, silo mentality, fear. Historically, a lot of careful planning goes into highly regulated marketing messages. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

During a panel discussion, speakers agreed that “you need to be a disruptor.”

  1. Go outside the industry for digital marketing talent.
  2. Challenge your agencies. They are afraid to bring you new ideas because you’ve told them no. Energize them.
  3. Build your internal knowledge so you know the right questions to ask your agencies
  4. Get outside brand silos at your company and talk to each other. Find out what the other brands are doing.
  5. Educate legal, privacy, regulatory and medical teams.
  6. Be less scared.
  7. Come up with the right plan.
  8. Be thoughtful.
  9. Engage the customers – HCPs, consumers, payers. Make it personal.
  10. Develop an action-oriented culture

The mood is optimistic that with some careful planning and by putting aside conventional ideas about what is possible, e-pharma presents lots of opportunity to learn about our all our different customer segments and meet them where our products intersect with their needs.

Data Analytics Getting More Sophisticated

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Social media guru-ess for Johnson & Johnson’s Digital Center of Excellence, Edlynne Laryea, told ePharma Summmit 2016 attendees Monday that data isn’t a crystal ball or a silver bullet. But the tools exist to do some effective “social listening” today that yield some valuable insights.

First, you can target and find out who your patients, customers and audiences are – at least in a broad way.

Second, you can figure out what you want to show them because a good data analysis will help you figure out what surrounds their issues.

Next, you can find out if you are reaching your customers with a “thumb-stopping” message.

And you can also learn, to a limited degree, what has changed as a result of your message.

“When should you look for insights?” she asked. “At the beginning, during, and at the end.”

Good data analysis takes a lot of upfront work.

“During, too. People forget this. They set it and forget it. But you should optimize (your social media). Which (message) is performing and why? Is your hypothesis correct? What could be better?” Laryea said.

Getting good data from your social media is like finding a needle in a haystack. But social listening, calibrated correctly, can yield useful information. However, it is used incorrectly all the time, she said, like limiting your analysis to how many mentions your messages receive.

In the end, your analytic tools depend on the analysts behind them. Programmers, market research analysts and data scientists are your “howitzer-level tools for social listening.”

There are three eras of social media. The first was based on searching for words. The second was rules-based listening. It is the third era that we are entering where Natural Language Processing (NLP) coupled with machine learning will allow social listening to begin to parse information to a more granular level.

“Build some predictive analytics,” she advises. “Social listening is a hand-raiser. People tend to be polarized. It doesn’t tell you why things happen.”

You want to look to your data to tell you what you don’t know.

“What am I able to do about it. Am I able to do something about it easily. And most importantly, if my competitors had this information, how would they use it to hurt me?”

“Data itself is not an insight,” Laryea said. “Use it as a magnet to find the needle. Understand where to look for social insights and understand the limits of it.”


Integrating Art - yes, Real Art -- into Programs to Build Recruitment for Clinic

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It started with Lilly TrialGuide, a website created by Eli Lilly to provide many levels of support for patients who are considering or already participating in clinical trials. Then they created a powerful, moving documentary commissioned from a filmmaker, which can be viewed here.

In a fascinating talk by Joe Kim in Clinical Innovation and Jerry Matczak, Consultant to Clinical Innovation, we learned about Lilly's partnership with artist and patient advocate Regina Holliday, creating beautiful art customized by individual patients' stories, printed on jackets. Then came Project #Cinderblocks2, in which the patient community took it further, creating their own "Burning Man" event, in which Lilly executives actively participated.

In addition, this intimate project has expanded to large-scale art. Several large installations are being designed to give patients an opportunity to personalize pieces and have them assembled into sculptures (see rendering below.)

So what's being done to get this rich, very personal content out to a larger audience? Lilly is mulling this question and determining the potential end location for the sculptures.  Should they create communities? Make an investment in advertising channels?

With support all the way up to CEO John C. Lechleiter, Lilly will continue to expand their art-driven programs. They will always involve patients as part of team, both to make the work authentic, and get them invested in the project.


It's not too late to join us for more exceptional content at the #ePharma16 @ePharma16 event through Wednesday March 2nd.  And for more updates, follow me on @SensisHealth


Joe Kim

Jerry Matczak


Beatriz Mallory, VP, SensisHealth
Beatriz Mallory is a veteran healthcare and pharma marketer. She specializes in cross-cultural marketing and mitigating disparities throughout the healthcare system. She can be reached at bmallory@sensishealth.com, and she'll be a guest blogger at ePharma Summit 2016.





SRO at Content Marketing as Storytelling pt 1

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Plenty of people attending @ctrappe's Content Marketing session at @ePharma16 #ePharma16  -- SRO!





Beatriz Mallory, VP, SensisHealth
Beatriz Mallory is a veteran healthcare and pharma marketer. She specializes in cross-cultural marketing and mitigating disparities throughout the healthcare system. She can be reached at bmallory@sensishealth.com, and she'll be a guest blogger at ePharma Summit 2016.

#mHealth and Patient Empowerment

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Good morning! I'm here live at the first day of the 2016 ePharma Summit. We're already hearing impressively innovative ideas and opportunities from a great group of attendees. You can see the official agenda here.

This morning's break-out session focused on #mHealth and disease management apps. The presentations included technology from CoHeroHealth, Curatio, ZipDrug, and AdhereTech. With chronic disease patients, management of treatment options, tracking, medication compliance, social support, and overall disease management are all essential to offering and implementing the highest quality of life. Chronic diseases need overarching support, as well as long-term goals, and syncing across the care team.

I am extremely impressed by the technology and innovative collaboration from each of these companies. The important part of mobile health apps and disease management technologies is covering all your bases: patient need, physician follow-up, B2B, B2C, data, tracking, social support, reminders, etc. Nevertheless, there's one part of these app opportunities missing, and I'm curious how we can overcome this and connect the missing link.

The question I have is how do patients find these apps and/or the opportunities to trial the technology and provide real-time patient feedback. I can honestly say that the only time I learn about disease management apps is at conferences that I attend, like ePharma Summit. Although I'm thrilled to hear firsthand from some of the founders of these companies, I want to hear how the average consumer can get involved.

As chronic disease patients, we don't learn about #mHealth from our care team or our physicians, and we also don't hear about these medication adherence opportunities from our pharmacies. My question is: are these companies reaching out on social media to find ePatients? ePatients are such an integral part of healthcare innovation. I've talked at great length about bringing the patient voice to the table, and this instance is no different.

So here's my plea! If your company is developing an app or implementing patient disease management, reach out to us. Both parties benefit from true patient feedback and collaboration.



Make sure to follow along live with this year's ePharma Summit. Read about sessions and experience on the ePharma blog here. Follow along on social media with @ePharma and #ePharma16. If you'd like to follow me specifically, use @KristinMCoppens.







About the author: 
Kristin Coppens is a social media and digital communications professional, a health activist, an ePatient, and a multiple chronic diseases fighter and blogger. You can read more about her chronic illness journey on her blog, Chronically Kristin, 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.

First Reactions of a Patient at #ePharma16

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'Adherence' and 'compliance' were common themes during this morning's Disruptive Technology Showcase & Innovation Challenge track.

These two terms are some of the most disruptive to patient engagement.

Patients who are taking their medications do often have better health and cost the healthcare system less. Emergency department and urgent care visits go down. The need for multiple visits goes down.

However, according to Greene et al, this can all happen with engaged patients.

As a patient who is engaged, I never forget my medications. I know that if I do, my Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and other medications flare up. I lose time off spent being sick and cannot accomplish what I want or need to do.

Most of the patients that I know who have had issues with adhering to medications do so because of side effects not being heard by their physicians or access issues - most often, funding issues.

Medications are incredibly expensive. My daily shot is over $4,000 for a monthly supply. I'm lucky that I only have to pay $25 (thanks Sobi!).

Personally, the biggest era of my life where I would have had adherence issues would have been in my teenage years. I did not have access to healthcare, but the majority of people I know have had issues during that time period. You want to be cool or spend time with friends, not taking Cystic Fibrosis medication and getting treatments.

There are numerous journal articles and studies that back this up.

If we're going to talk adherence and compliance, we need to acknowledge that many patients do not necessarily have a problem directly with adherence. These are issues that contain nuances that pharma and physicians aren't addressing.

We need to change that.



About the author:

Kirsten Schultz is a health activist and blogger. You can read more about her life living with multiple chronic illnesses on her blog, on Creaky Joints, 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.