A recent conversation with @epatientdave on twitter reminded me of his talk from TEDx Maastricht last year. This years event is in coming up in April, read more about it here. Also if you haven’t met/connected with Dave deBronkart I urge you to seek him out. He is incredibly charming, generous with his time, opinions and a true leader of the e-patient movement. That movement centres on the transition from ‘parental’ model of healthcare to a more participatory model, where the patient is allowed access to their data and to be an informed participant in the decision making process.
Before viewing this video I had been unaware of his backstory. All I had known previously was that he was twitter contact who appeared very knowledgable about the epatient movement. When I first viewed the video from the TEDx event I felt inspired by this incredibly moving and fascinating human story. The fact that Pharma, as an industry, has a possibility to play a part in helping to enable more patient stories like the one mentioned here.
My thought is that the biggest motivator for pharma employees to evolve and contribute to this industry ‘shift’ should not be the need to survive in an era when downsizing has become the norm, but the opportunity to be a part of something MUCH bigger.
My hope is that we can use the collective intelligence and creativity of pharma and to create genuinely innovative support services for patients to achieve better outcomes with and without the products that we provide.
So thats the objective, but how does that relate to pharma and our role to commercialise medications by getting the RIGHT treatments to the RIGHT patients. Jeff Jarvis, the tech blogger/google commentator has also stated that neglecting your customers/end users is no longer a viable business strategy, especially in these times of real-time communication channels. Therefore ignoring and not investing in the services to go along with our products, as an industry we will be failing our ‘end users’ and it is simply not an option.
Perhaps I have a slightly utopian view but I sincerely believe that in this new environment any unethical practices will be found out and publicised, therefore there is only one option for the future and that is better products, robust ethics, informed and HCP and empowered patient ‘experts’ who will be given as much responsibility for their care as they wish to have.
The ethics behind this MUST be correct, the responsibility on all of us is huge, but this is an amazing chance to be part of something bigger.
All opinions are my own and not those of my employer.