Personalized Healthcare (PH) has become a buzzword in the medical field, holding the promise of tailored solutions and improved outcomes for patients. However, achieving true personalization requires more than clinical discovery, technological advancements, and data insights and analytics.
It begins with understanding the patient as a person first, acknowledging their uniquely individual human needs, and solving for what they value.
In the pharmaceutical industry, the primary focus has long been on scientific advancements and ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications. Novel prescription drug discovery and manufacturing have been the core aspects of the industry’s innovation. With the emergence of digital technology and data analytics, there is accelerated interest in leveraging connectivity, AI enablement, monitoring, and tracking of medication usage to capture real-world data for evidence of improved outcomes.
However, research from the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement indicates that 80% of factors influencing a person’s ability to engage in their health and wellness lie outside the clinic setting. These factors, known as social determinants of health (or SDoH), include elements such as education level, financial status, home and family life, access to healthy food, transportation, or digital technology, and personal motivations and behaviors.
These are all key factors impacting how we live our lives every day. After all, how can we expect people to adhere to taking medication if their basic needs aren’t met? A single mother working multiple jobs with a car that broke down (again!) is going to struggle to prioritize her health over getting to her jobs, putting food on the table, and paying rent.
These real-life situations are increasingly common and negatively affecting the health of millions. As pharma stakeholders, we will and should prioritize the science and therapeutic solutions, but we can’t disregard focus on the human experience surrounding the access to and use of the medication