The 'M' Powered Patient


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Mobile technology is creating more powerful and positive disruptions in the world of healthcare than we have ever seen. It is without doubt one of the most transformative trends in recent years, shaking up an industry that has traditionally been very reactive.
Almost universal access to the internet, social media channels, smart phones and tablets, coupled with a host of technological innovations in the areas of self-monitoring, crowd-sourcing and online communities, allow for a degree of knowledge, empowerment and motivation that is driving this phenomenon of the ‘M’ Powered Patient.
Four key digital trends are at the crux of these changes: Smart Health (prediction); ‘My’ Health (personalisation); Shared Health (participation) and Engaged Health (gamification).

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The 'M' Powered Patient

  1. 1. THE ‘M’ POWERED PATIENT Mobile is the most transformative trend for healthcare in recent years. Never before have patients been more ‘m-powered’ to take control of their own health. Ubiquitous access to the internet, social media channels, smartphones and tablets, coupled with a host of technological innovations in the areas of self-monitoring, crowd-sourcing and online communities, allow for a degree of knowledge, empowerment and motivation that can only be beneficial to all. The future of the healthcare industry will look very different in the coming years, and we believe that there are four key digital trends driving these changes. Those companies that understand this fast-changing digital environment and offer useful, easy-touse solutions have a distinct competitive advantage. Where should the healthcare industry focus its digital marketing efforts in the coming years? What will the future look like in five years and what will be possible and what is already a reality?
  3. 3. SMART HEALTH  prediction Manifestations >> DATA ANALYTICS/DIAGNOSTIC SENSORS/APPS The smart phone has already become the keeper of an expanding array of healthcare apps that prod and poke the owner to become fitter, lose weight and be altogether more health conscious. This trend, however, is just the beginning of a new mobile paradigm now emerging in healthcare.  Mobile technologies have become ubiquitous among healthcare consumers and professionals. Simultaneously, the healthcare industry is moving towards a delivery model that is patient-centred and value-based. Best Practice >> Smartphone App for Disease Detection Engineers from Cornell University have developed a plug-in smartphone accessory which provides a portable way to diagnose and treat a range of viral diseases in remote locations. It’s predicted this same technique can be used to detect other conditions such as E. coli and hepatitis, revolutionising healthcare for billions of people in third world countries. >> Smart Seating: Embedded Biosensors in Cars For Ford, medical monitoring is the next key to growing car sales. Besides checking blood- sugar, Ford has developed a car seat to check the driver’s heart rate that could warn of an impending heart attack. New features may track breathing patterns for asthmatics or pollen counts for allergy sufferers. B-M insight Mobile is one of the biggest game changers in most industries and healthcare is no exception. Your patients are mobile and mobile devices are becoming the primary way people access the Internet, thus it stands to reason that your services should be mobile too. This could be as simple as using SMS technology to support patients and creating responsive websites or as complex as remote monitoring mobile health management tools tailored to patients’ needs. While fitness-based apps are a good first step, the real promise of mobile devices lies in their ability to assist in a wider range of medical issues. If non-healthcare experts are creating healthcare or fitness related apps, why shouldn’t you - the experts - be doing the same? 3
  4. 4. SHARED HEALTH  participation Manifestations >> COLLABORATIVE INITIATIVES/ CITIZEN SCIENTISTS In recent years, various initiatives have attempted to use ‘the crowd’ to drive research forward, be it research on how proteins fold, or the search for a cure for cancer. >> COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES It has been demonstrated that linking with other people facing similar health problems has holistic health benefits and the online world is perfectly designed to facilitate this sharing and group problem solving. Best Practice >> ClicktoCure “Give Time, Cure Cancers” Cancer Research UK launched an interactive database of cancerous cell slides called ClicktoCure and asked members of the public aka ‘citizen scientists’ to help analyse them. This crowd sourced research considerably speeds up the process to the benefit of all. >> AIDSPortal AIDSPortal is a knowledge-sharing online community aimed at people who are working as part of the response to the global AIDS epidemic. The site provides professional and peer-to-peer networking and an online community where they can share experiences, knowledge and support. B-M insight Now more than ever, there is real engagement within patient communities. The most valuable digital marketing will focus on content. Whilst this might not seem like the obvious answer to a growing digital trend, the way content is searched, accessed and shared online has changed substantially. Thus, so should the way content is created. The healthcare industry needs to take advantage of the large number of patients seeking health information but also sharing their own experiences and knowledge online – and as a result creating large healthcare communities online. Furthermore, the healthcare industry should embrace such a trend; involve patients more often when working on projects, listen to their experiences and learn from them. 4
  5. 5. ‘MY’ HEALTH  personalisation Manifestations >> QUANTIFIED SELF/WEARABLE TECH At the heart of the quantified self-movement lies a very simple idea: metrics make us better. The real strength in these quantified self devices is their ability to make positive behaviour change in an individual. Data doesn’t change behaviour per se, but as part of a comprehensive management plan, affordable and convenient personal measurement and monitoring will become the norm for measuring healthy behaviour. Best Practice >> Self Tracking For devotees of the quantified self, this means “self-tracking,” using everything from the Nike fuel band, FitBit to the SleepTracker and mood tracking PocketShrink to gather large quantities of personal data and use that data to improve performance and wellbeing. >> Beyond Wearable: Digital Medication Digestible microchips gained FDA approval last summer and aim to help with medication compliance. A patient not taking prescribed medication is a big problem in the healthcare arena and these little chips hope to enable accurate tracking of whether or not patients are keeping on top of their medication. B-M insight Today’s highly informed patients will expect to participate much more in medical decision making and choice. Companies that understand the crucial importance of putting the patient at the centre and giving them control over their health will be the ones that succeed in the coming years. Forget standardised content and mass messaging. There are new changes to be taken into account in the area of customer relationship management. Customers and patients are increasingly looking for personalised content and help, and even more so when it comes to their health. By delivering personalised and tailored healthcare and content, companies are empowering patients as well as the larger healthcare community. 5
  6. 6. ENGAGED HEALTH  gamification Manifestations >> INTERACTIVE & VIRTUAL LEARNING/COMPETITIVE & REWARD-BASED FITNESS A growing body of research has shown that games are a “non-pharmacological intervention” that can actually help people be better patients – by increasing their engagement in care, improving adherence and boosting resilience. The widespread adoption of mobile devices and the participation of up to 70% of people in social networking, is driving gamification on a large scale. Game developers have harnessed costs and scale and are now anticipating precise needs in the market, e.g. illuminating biological systems for physicians through simulation; or targeting a condition or disease and the existing behaviour of those patients. . Best Practice >> Managing Chronic Illness with Fun” Diabetes is no fun, but there are companies like GameMetrix Solutions who are inventing entertaining platforms based on other classic games – e.g. Solitaire and Jeopardy – with the goal of managing those illnesses. The idea is to draw patients into the games using tried and tested game mechanics with a very low learning curve. >> “OptumizeMe” App OptumizeMe users can create and challenge each other to fitness competitions while trading encouragement and “digs” along the way. Users can network with friends in the app or link to their existing social networks to create new fitness challenges. The app tracks their progress and rewards them with virtual badges as they achieve their goals. B-M insight Don’t be fooled by the dubious name; gamification will impact the way healthcare improves patients’ lives. Applying the principles, thinking and mechanisms of gamification is already more common than you might expect and this field is already demonstrating in more ways than one how it is impacting the healthcare sector. There is a reason why ½ billion people around the world play for at least one hour a day – it is entertaining, an escape and feels like play although work is involved. The younger patients were the first to be introduced to gamification solutions (think Bayer’s Didget), but such practices should not be limited to young patients, or even patients for that matter. The possibilities are endless and the results are remarkable. 6
  7. 7. This report was co-created by the EMEA Digital practice, Future Perspective Trend Analysis group and the EMEA Healthcare practice. For any questions about the Healthcare sector please contact: Kate Hawker Healthcare Practice Leader for UK and EMEA Burson-Marsteller For more information about the digital trends guiding the healthcare sector please contact: Elaine Cameron Head of Future Perspective Trend Analysis EMEA Burson-Marsteller Toni Cowan-Brown Digital Practice Strategist EMEA Burson-Marsteller