Mobile Adherence for Today’s Patient
Sometimes I feel like I’ve stepped into a time machine when working in pharma…. and I am not talking about being transported into the future. Big pharma’s approach to mobile adherence looks, feels and acts completely dated. SMS-based medication reminders, mobile coupons and symptom tracking apps that collect data that can’t be easily shared with an HCP are everywhere. It frustrates me to no end. Not because I think I can do better (I can), but because I worry these programs will never show positive results, ultimately leading marketers to never give mobile the respect it deserves.
How do we solve this issue? While there is no one magic answer, I strongly believe that mobile adherence programs must follow these four key criteria to be successful:
- Tailor the interaction, making it truly personal to the individual patient. You must understand why they are not adherent and provide solutions and experiences which address the issue(s). Whether the issue is prescription cost, remembering to take the medication, understanding the condition, treatment or other.
- Listen and respond (for example, let people trying to quit smoking tell you when they need support or have an urge)
- Allow patients to connect with one another, be it their friends, HCPs or their personal care network
- Adapt the experience over time or as the person’s needs change.
The good folks at Allergan have created “My Lap-Band” iPhone app, one of the most impressive mobile adherence apps currently on the market. While it doesn’t hit each of the four criteria, it is one of the more innovative apps that I have seen from Pharma in a while. It’s useful tools support, encourage and engage users throughout the lap-band treatment process.
- Allows patient to quickly set-up and connect with their care network
- Motivational feature, called “TransforMe”, which shows a patient what they will look like at their goal weight
- Daily recipes
- Information on local seminars, success stories and a checklist for patients who are preparing for the lap band surgery
Want to learn more about how to bring your current adherence program out of the stone ages? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chris Crichton, VP Mobile Health