The patient ecosystem is now more diverse and dynamic than ever before, with an increasing amount of stakeholders and influencers involved. Knowing who calls the shots at each different stage of the patient journey will allow you to innovate more effectively. Read up on how to tackle these issues from two of the key Health Innovation Battlegrounds from our report; 

Battleground 2: power plays in patient journeys

It is essential to know who decides what happens during a patient’s care journey. The stakeholders that work together to increase patient satisfaction each have their own priorities. Mapping the whole patient journey will allow you to identify friction points, among stakeholders, to work on. 

Start by mapping the different perspectives on the patient journey

Incumbents should take note and design a last mile patient-centric delivery system from the ground up while they can still leverage their market share even if this means cannibalizing their existing brick and mortar business model.

For example, an urgent care clinic certainly wants to improve the quality of care for patients, but not at the risk that it will reduce the number of patients they can see, thus decreasing revenue.

Understand who controls each step of the journey

Determine who controls and influences what parts of the patient journey – both in the short term and the long term. This might require you to do more customer segmentation based on behavior rather than demographics; we are not just considering who makes the decisions, but practically want to understand how and why the decisions are made.

For example, market research can tell you that patients trust a patient support program to help them make decisions around a new treatment option. Opposingly, ethnographic research will tell you that the real behavior is driven by what the patient’s doctor (general practitioner) recommends, even if it directly contradicts the patient support program.

Battleground 8: the growing role of influencers

The role of doctors and practitioners has shifted. Their decision-making process is increasingly collaborative and shaped by influencers, individuals, and communities. This collaborative approach, which has penetrated the health ecosystem, has implications when designing new businesses.

Strategies focused solely on prescribers have become less effective

The days when the pharmaceutical industry could relatively easily convince physicians to embrace new innovations without external input may be over. Focusing your commercial strategy solely on this type of prescriber may be risky in the long run. In the past, health care professionals expected drug info from a pharma company and device info from the manufacturer. 

But now, convincing a physician about information is more challenging than ever before, as seeking advice from many sources is considered best practice before making a decision. 

Shift campaigns towards influencers

Patients themselves have claimed their own position based on the information they are provided and the information they research. And while prescribers are often still trusted sources for the patient, the influencers that surround both the patients and prescribers are gaining authority. To name a few, strong personal brands, social media influencers, and digital external experts can impact deeper layers of the ecosystem.  Nudging these influencers will play a greater role in steering final decision-making.

Influencers are found in multiple value chains

So how do you go about it? Map at least three relevant value chains and assess who can create impact across those value chains. Take the motivations of the influencers into account in your launch strategy, and be sure to get them on board.

Health battlegrounds

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Launching health innovations: 8 battlegrounds