While patient support programs (PSPs) have historically benefitted many patients, there is certainly room for growth. Patient barriers to new or continuing treatment often aren’t accounted for, such as education background, condition management, access to preliminary tests, and many others. And this confluence of obstacles can be demotivating for patients, leading to many not completing the necessary steps for support because they feel like they’ll never get through the process.
As it currently stands, statistics show that each year, poor adherence contributes to more than $500 billion in avoidable healthcare costs, around 125,000 potentially preventable deaths, and up to 25% of hospitalizations in the United States.
Coupled with the rise of the New Healthcare Economy, where patients are carrying more financial burden for their care and becoming more active healthcare consumers, this signals that a significant shift in PSPs is needed.
The gap between patient expectations and PSPs
In fact, consumer expectations for support from pharmaceutical brands and their patient support programs are increasing. In a survey, 53 percent of patients said that they want more education to better understand their medications – and more than three quarters of consumers go so far to say that they feel pharma companies have a responsibility to provide tools and services that complement their products.
This data may come as a sting for PSP leaders who have spent considerable time and resources delivering outstanding programs, yet consumers still want to see more. As it stands, pharmaceutical companies have spent more than $5 billion on PSPs every year, but unfortunately, only three percent of eligible patients are currently using them. Fewer than one-quarter of patients (23 percent) say they are extremely or very familiar with patient support programs, while another 18 percent state that they are only somewhat familiar with their options.
Suffice to say, PSPs have a gap to overcome with healthcare consumers, and shifting the lens from being viewed as ‘transactional’ to genuinely supportive. As we’ll explore in the next section, AI-powered personalization can be the powerful, effective bridge that supports initiation and adherence success going forward.
AI-powered personalization: maximizing PSPs performance and efficiency
AI-powered personalization is a necessity for PSPs looking to expand their outreach and support efforts. But what exactly does that mean? AI allows us to go beyond the traditional route of persona segments and expand into personalization at the individual level. By compliantly using patient-intent data, PSPs can use AI to take standard operational processes and turn them into personalized support.
For example, if a PSP is trying to call a patient during the workday, but that person is working, that most likely won’t be effective. If you send them a text the day before, alerting the patient that they will receive a phone call, that gives the patient an opportunity to be available at that time. This helps the program support the patient, not just the process.
So not only is effectiveness boosted, but also efficiency. By determining which outreaches are necessary and the most impactful, and eliminating outreaches that would be unnecessary, PSPs can save on time and effort – and instead routing those resources toward patients who need the extra support.
Using AI to predict, measure, and demonstrate impact on patient engagement paves the way for continually improving and refining your outreach strategies, delivering overall better experience and long-term value for your consumers – as well as better health outcomes.
Predict, Personalize, and Maximize with AI
The rise of technology has resulted in a great growth opportunity for PSPs, and in order to stay ahead of the industry, it’s highly advantageous to leverage tools such as AI. Though the application of AI for PSPs is still somewhat new, many organizations are already successfully using AI to help predict and personalize intervention methods, maximize patient engagement, increase therapy initiation and medication adherence, and deliver patient health outcomes and program efficiency at scale – and your PSP could be next. Let’s connect to discuss how AllazoHealth uses innovative AI to bolster patient engagement and medication adherence, improving patient outcomes and enhancing quality performance in the process.