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OPEN Health: Co-Creating Solutions for Quality Patient Engagement
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Richard Jones, Patient Engagement Lead, OPEN Health
Patient engagement solutions are almost always developed through the lens of either the pharmaceutical company procuring the services or the healthcare professionals delivering them. Since the solutions aren’t truly developed from a patient’s perspective, there’s invariably a disconnect with regard to value, and patients rarely see the benefits of engaging with a tool or platform.
OPEN Health brings together a broad base of experts working collaboratively and seamlessly to tackle the challenge of patient engagement, and is changing the industry narrative. Unlike its peers, OPEN Health steps into the shoes of the end user and co-creates solutions by engaging with healthcare professionals, patients, and patient advocacy groups. Richard Jones, the patient engagement lead at OPEN Health, believes the following five pillars serve as foundations of a successful patient engagement solution:
“Firstly, regardless of the type of solution and medicine, it must improve clinical outcomes. Secondly, the solution needs to establish a deep-rooted connection between the patient’s lifestyle and the healthcare team. Thirdly, the content, be it articles or videos, must be contextual to the patient’s disease,” he says. “The solution must also support the patient’s behaviour and beliefs, besides requiring a minimal time commitment.”
In its quest to deliver a user-friendly patient engagement solution, OPEN Health religiously follows an evidence-based design process. Prior to building a prototype solution, the team spends a lot of time researching the condition and understanding the unique challenges and support needs of the patient. “Theory is all well and good, but our solutions only truly begin to take shape when we test and co-create them with patients and patient advocacy groups.
We see patient engagement as being a strategic tool for our pharma partners to understand how to effectively improve engagement and retain their patients
This rich insight always generates new ideas, identifies fresh challenges and fines tunes our approach,” says Jones.
The evidence-based process helps OPEN Health build only tailor-made apps and solutions that resonate with its target audience. This is why the UK-based firm sources medical writers from patient advocacy groups to work alongside its team of highly skilled science writers. According to Jones, medical writers bridge the communication gap due to their ability to develop content that everyone can understand. OPEN Health has also hired health psychologists and a dedicated director who oversees the rare diseases segment and brings in-depth expertise of the rare diseases landscape.
It’s evident that OPEN Health is blazing a trail in the healthcare sector, on account that they have received 10 awards for the development of several health apps. They have recently launched a support program across Europe for patients living with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). Initially, the CML solution was catered to help only a handful of patients, until plans changed. “The feedback we got from the patient advocacy groups was that every patient and carer living with CML should have access to the solution. And that’s why the pharma company modified the scope of the program, launching a pan-European project a year ago called ‘CML Life,’ which continues to evolve and grow,” says Jones.
Looking ahead, OPEN Health plans to continue its geographical expansion a year after partnering with a medical communications company based in New Jersey. “We see patient engagement as being an essential strategic tool for our pharma partners, which can help them understand how to effectively improve engagement and retain their patients,” concludes Jones.
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