Patient centricity, derived from the NHS-driven thinking “no decision about me, without me” has been talked about for some time and has been adopted by pharma to understand their patients better, to make them part of the treatment journey and to achieve better patient outcomes.

However, healthcare is now at an exciting point in time where we can create new digital therapeutics merged with AI, telehealth and wearables to provide “tech-enabled healthcare”. This will help to deliver more personalised approaches to treatment and digital technologies that can help to improve and measure outcomes – a truly “patient centric” approach.

Pharmaceutical companies have been investing heavily in potentially life-changing gene therapies over the past few years and these are now reaching the market. One example is Zynteglo which was developed to treat patients with transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT). This has resulted in the need for new payment models to be evaluated as the price tag can seem daunting when viewed as a one-off payment. Bluebird Bio developers of Zynteglo have implement a novel payment system that staggers the cost in instalments over a multi-year period based on therapeutic outcomes and data.

Another buzzword which has been around for some time is Real World Evidence (RWE). However, the potential observational data which can now be obtained outside of randomised controlled trials and generated during routine clinical practice is about to grow exponentially. This data will provide rich information and deep insight into a patient’s life and therapeutic outcomes allowing patients to have more control over their own health. Wearable health tech now can record almost as much data as a GP could and more. This data can be used to support payments based on outcomes.

Pharma companies can now reach patients at any time of day this could mean understanding when a patient is more engaged or when they might need more support. This is a novel time for pharma and presents a significant opportunity for the industry to accelerate its vision to be truly patient centric.

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