How pharma is advancing medication adherence

Artificial Intelligence Patient Care Patient Outcomes

We live in exciting times for adherence, and the pharma industry is playing a critical role, according to Mark Degatano, a pharmaceutical industry analytics expert who is on the advisory board of AllazoHealth. Degatano’s expertise comes from 24 years with Merck where he rose to Vice President of Customer Insights, as well as Chief Operating Officer of ComSort Inc., a healthcare data analytics company, and over 10 years working with pharma analytics suppliers.

Degatano says while the No. 1 cost to pharma with medication nonadherence is, of course, lost opportunities for the sales of products, pharma wants to address the problem of health outcomes as well, working in conjunction with payers. He describes the industry’s nonadherence strategies as “always evolving,” but sees great promise in pharma’s current emphasis: Patient engagement, backed by the latest data and tools.

Patient engagement is a priority

By patient engagement, Degatano means “all of the digital platforms by which companies can connect with patients and enable them to opt in to provide their information.” Pharma is trying to “find ways to incent and motivate patients to be engaged with their treatment medication, and therefore engage with the support and resources made available by pharmaceutical companies.”

Patient engagement and profiling

Over the past 20 years pharma has invested in behavioral and psychological profiling to better understand individual patients. “More can be done, because people are very complicated, with very specific needs. People also have highly dynamic situations – at different times the same person might react differently to their disease situation. There’s a lot that still needs to be done to align engagement to a patient’s disease adaptation stage and their emotional state – their willingness and commitment to treatment, and what interventions will work best in helping them.”

Artificial intelligence enables a holistic view of the patient

Pharma now has access to comprehensive data about patient adherence. And advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to a revolution in patient engagement. “There are many more sources of data, and now there’s a greater ability to utilize it,” Degatano says. “AI helps pharma create a holistic and dynamic view of the patient.”

A holistic view of a patient includes “the behavior that they report, the behavior that they’ve actually taken, the responses that they’ve made, and their reactions to interventions, as well as the reactions of similar patients.” Degatano says. “This is made possible by more data, sophisticated AI, and better understanding of the psychology of adherence. Because of advances in AI we can predict patient behavior with greater reliability and accuracy – we can identify which intervention channel, content and timing will have the greatest impact on adherence for each patient. That’s what’s changed.”

About AllazoHealth

AllazoHealth uses artificial intelligence to make a positive impact on individual patient adherence. We help pharmaceutical companies optimize their patient support programs to overcome barriers to adherence for at-risk patients. The result: better patient outcomes, increased persistence, and stronger brands.