Is this our “new normal”?
Can we make “virtual” as compelling as face-to-face?
Should we even try to engage with patients right now?
These and other significant questions are at the forefront of many of our minds today. Faced with such ambiguity, one’s natural inclination may be to freeze, to wait things out. But now is absolutely the wrong time to maintain your status quo.
In fact, a lack of action could have both immediate and long-term repercussions. Instead, we must prioritize forward momentum, keeping in mind that just as we’re all faced with uncertain circumstances, we’re also all changing. Perfection is not as prized today, as people’s expectations have shifted and their appreciation of authenticity has grown. (We must remain precise and perfect when it comes to compliance, of course.)
In the patient engagement space, taking action now means making the move to virtual. Shifting in-person interactions to remote, technology-aided models. Last week, I discussed this topic, and solutions we can help your organization implement, in our webinar “Going All-In on Remote Patient Engagement.” If you missed it, please let us know and I’m happy to present it to you live or give you access to the recording.
During this presentation, I discussed how asking questions of your audience is a crucial first step because research performed prior to the pandemic is no longer relevant. You must discover what patients’ current concerns and needs are, as their answers can help you plot a course toward meeting them with virtual solutions. We surveyed over 1,000 people among our own Health Stories Project audience to understand the point of view of those living with chronic conditions in today’s reality.
While 60% of respondents told us they are finding it more difficult to access their medical team, and that same percentage said that access to treatment has been difficult, it’s clear that people are finding ways to persevere—largely via connected technology. A 92% majority said they seek information on their smartphone, with social media platforms sourcing most of their communications. Turning to those devices for health support makes perfect sense, as we’ve grown accustomed to using them for so many other reasons.
We also asked our audience if they want to hear from pharma companies right now, and their response was overwhelming: two thirds answered in the affirmative. Yes, they want to know you’re listening, you’re there for them, and are continuing real efforts to meet their needs.
Understanding these needs, of course, is paramount. It can make all the difference between a successful campaign and one that appears tone-deaf, which some consumers now find unforgivable. Fortunately, we facilitate multiple means of discovering this information—surveys, HROCTM online communities, ad boards, and advisory councils—through purely remote platforms. That’s half of the equation.
As I discussed in our webinar, we’re also focused on two areas that allow you to virtually address your audience’s needs as well as contribute to a sense of community:
Low-footprint productions. Video kits. Conferencing. User-generated video platforms. Our host of remote video options allow you to safely, compliantly craft genuine, moving content wherever your participants may be—and whatever your budget. Each method also enables you to connect with your audiences here and now, not weeks or months after a shoot when circumstances may have changed.
From remote patient education events to social media engagements to patient mentorship, our proven programs cover a spectrum of methods for staying close to, and facilitating relationships with, health consumers. Each program enables your organization to strengthen the bonds among patient communities and to provide them with the support they’re seeking.
This is just a broad overview of what we offer, of course. Send us a request to view our webinar to learn more about the specific remote tactics that can fuel your patient engagement programs in this unprecedented present—and the future.
I also encourage you to contact me about your organization’s circumstances. The sooner we discuss your particular “new normal,” the quicker we can remotely meet your audience’s needs.