The way we tackle disease is going to change

Written by Trish Shepherd on Thursday 14th March 2019

Representatives from the OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications team jetted out to Barcelona for the eyeforpharma conference, “The stage for pharma pioneers and health innovators.” Within hours, they’d heard some pretty eye-opening predictions for the future of pharma…

Pharma companies may become less relevant alongside fast-growing distribution companies with a healthcare subsidiary, such as Amazon. And as personalised medicine continues to grow and evolve, we could see an era of patient-created medicine dominating over traditional agents.

Today pharma investment is highly concentrated in oncology and rare disease. Yet 80% of the world's health troubles - neurological disorder and cardiovascular health - are not the main focus.

Talking about cardiovascular health raises the age old question - how do we overcome the human condition? We can make lung cancer a chronic condition with the latest medical innovations but we cannot stop people from smoking. Currently, smoking is responsible for 30% of the US health cost burden, despite multiple global campaigns highlighting the health risks. Put simply, we haven’t yet found the right incentives to get people to take responsibility for their own health. In the future, prevention of disease through improved personal health management is likely to shift the emphasis away from event-driven healthcare (i.e. reacting to symptoms or a crisis) towards a more holistic approach. 

Could increased investment in understanding the lived patient or human experience unlock the next chapter in improved health outcomes? If we can better understand the emotional journey, could we identify more relevant and motivational behavioural incentives?

At OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications, we are at the forefront of applying patient journey mapping and insight principles to the creation of behaviour support programmes. If you’d like to learn more about how we could help you map your patients’ treatment and emotional journey, contact us today: 

Richard Jones

Patient Engagement Consultant

+44(0) 7584 003 692

Trish Shepherd


+44(0) 7387 253 317