Home » Wellness » The New Normal: Reshaping Patient Support in Life Sciences

As the life sciences industry continues to operate within the boundaries of COVID-19’s new normal, the need to take a proactive approach in managing patient support through a virtual lens is increasingly apparent. The challenge arises, how to deliver personalized support at scale in a safe, private and evidence-based, online environment? 

In addition to self-management tools such as medication reminders and side effect trackers, evidence shows that being able to share experiences, exchange information, and engage with others dealing with similar medical challenges helps patients feel more in control and better able to manage their condition.

While many patients continue to be isolated from traditional support programs due to limited appointment availability, compromised immune systems and more, life sciences organizations are turning to virtual tools that provide peer-to-peer connection as part of a holistic patient support program.

“We’ve noticed a significant uptick of interest in social technology and virtual support in the healthcare industry over the past year,” says Lynda Brown-Ganzert, Founder and CEO of Curatio, a company that develops peer-to-peer social network apps that connect patients with each other, while providing curated, expert health information and daily adherence support.

“Our mobile app platforms allow patients to connect virtually with each other in private and safe social environments, contributing to a reduced sense of loneliness and isolation. These connections are a critical component in an overall supportive patient program, especially in the new normal when instances of poor mental health are at an all-time high.”

Advantages of In-House Patient Community Support Platforms

Curatio helps healthcare organizations, from hospitals to pharmaceutical companies to telehealth companies, develop their own private patient social networks accessible via mobile app technology. Used in 104 countries, and available in 20 languages, healthcare organizations are seeing the benefits of having their own privacy and regulatory compliant communities on their own platform.

“We help our healthcare customers configure a personalized patient experience that can match a therapeutic profile and adherence pattern of each specific molecule, condition or brand to their specific patient populations,” says Lynda Brown-Ganzert. With real-time, real-world evidence, a Curatio app can provide a deeper understanding of the needs of a patient population, while extending the reach of support beyond the four walls of a hospital, clinic or pharmacy and into day-to-day condition management activities.

And while some patients have been turning to mainstream online social support networks during and even prior to the pandemic, Brown-Ganzert warns that this can be problematic. “Aside from inherent privacy, data ownership, and retargeting issues, along with being open to abuse and difficult to navigate for patients, mainstream social networks don’t have the functionalities to be used effectively in a healthcare context and there’s no way to know whether the information being shared is evidence-based. You also lose the relationship with your own patient base. On mainstream social networks, you don’t own the patient relationship, the platform does,” says Lynda Brown-Ganzert.

The Curatio platform solves these challenges and was specifically designed for healthcare. “We take great care in monitoring for false information or anything that could be harmful, protecting privacy and making sure the information provided is factual,” says Brown-Ganzert. All content is evidence-based, and the functionalities include in-app Q&A sessions, groups, and hangouts that are personalized to the patient’s condition. “You can think of Curatio as a type of social health prescription to help patients get the social support that, when combined with disease management, therapeutic pathways, and treatments, helps patients better help themselves,” she adds.

Adaptable and Flexible Platform Can Work for Any Health Condition

Social support is not the only purpose for which Curatio can be prescribed. Flexible and adaptable, it can also be used to provide an array of virtual healthcare services, from monitoring vital signs to tracking medication adherence, to managing a care plan. The app technology is easily integrated into existing marketing initiatives and patient support programs, and can be white-labelled to strengthen the patient-provider relationship.

Healthcare organizations are also partnering with Curatio to explore other ways to leverage the technology. A health authority is using the platform for patients waiting for hip and knee replacement surgery. “It’s a 12-week, day-by-day program that does everything from helping them get ready for surgery, to understanding what to expect during surgery, and then making sure they have the supports at home post-surgically,” says Brown-Ganzert. Another example is a large, rare disease community where the platform is helping with adherence and condition tracking. “We’re not only supporting patients but also helping them understand what triggers a health crisis, empowering them with education and tools to take control of their health and garner the benefits of adherence,” she says.

Available in 104 countries and 20 languages, Curatio can scale to the needs of any health organization. “Our platform is agnostic and can work for any condition and can be white-labelled and branded to fit in with other patient supports in the health ecosystem,” says Brown-Ganzert.

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