Excuse me, if you listened you might learn something

Over the past decade, patient-centered care has become a major focus for the sector and is now critical for the healthcare decision-making process. This concept prioritises the patient voice and provides a platform, empowering them to make informed decisions about their care.

Offering patients the opportunity to tell their story is essential in healthcare PR. In environments where understanding is limited, healthcare professionals look towards the patients as the primary source of information.

The journey towards accurate diagnosis and effective treatment is often fraught with complexities. Yet, one of the most powerful tools is the patient story. By meaningful storytelling and actively listening to and amplifying patient experiences, the medical community gains invaluable insights that contribute to:

Improved diagnostic processes

Many diseases are, unfortunately, notoriously complex to diagnose meaning patients can wait years to receive necessary treatment. Through sharing their experiences, patients can help the medical community understand their condition and support in developing efficient diagnostic tools. Shared experiences promote patient empowerment, leading to greater patient engagement, awareness, and education around their care.

Accelerating access to treatment

Involving patients in the initial phases of drug development will help inform clinical trial designs, improve treatment efficacy measurements and assist in the procurement and approval of new drugs.

Enhanced awareness and advocacy

The patient voice can be used to highlight current barriers and challenges facing the patient community and advocate for increased research funding, improved care pathways and better health outcomes for all.

So… where does industry come in?

MedTech and pharmaceutical companies play a huge role in elevating the patient voice and driving innovation in healthcare.

With the emergence of personalised healthcare, the patient is no longer just at the heart of the drug development process. Whether it be investments in research institutions, awareness initiatives and diagnostic R+D, patients are increasingly involved across the whole spectrum of patient care to ensure a personalised experience tailored to their needs.

In addition to investments, there has been an ever-increasing push from the industry to collaborate with patient organisations and advocacy groups; capitalising on the opportunity to understand the needs of patients and their families, helping identify patient-centered solutions to their problems. In 2008, Roche set up the International Experience Exchange with Patient Organisations (IEEPO). This provided a platform to bring patient communities together to engage and collaborate to transform the future of healthcare together. Initiatives like this have helped raise the profile and awareness of the patient community and driven innovation in life-changing treatments.

Rise of the patient influencer

Patients are increasingly calling for the industry to support them in making their voices heard and improving the treatment options. During Covid-19, we witnessed the rise of the patient online influencer (POI), advocating for change and driving advancements in healthcare. POIs such as Nikki Lilly, Molly Burke and Shane Burcaw have become the voice of their respective communities, offering advice, guidance and support on their conditions. A recent study conducted in the US found that 85% of patients trusted a pharmaceutical brand or advert if promoted by a POI. This highlights the importance of patient advocates in driving innovation and connecting in the industry with the patient community.

The empowerment of patient voices is not just a trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how healthcare is delivered and innovated. EatMoreFruit is a healthcare PR agency supporting healthcare companies in navigating their markets by harnessing the power of the patient.

Looking to get MORE from your communications? Contact us today to find out how we can help you make a healthy difference to your brand.

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