Improving Patient Adherence With Behavioral Health Technology

Contributed by:

Kathi Henson, Senior Vice President, Integrated Commercial Services and Chief Patient Officer, EVERSANA

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The industry’s shift to outcomes-based, patient-centered care requires new approaches to patient support to achieve adherence and therapeutic success. Today’s patients are also highly motivated information seekers and are taking control of their day-to-day therapy. And, like all modern consumers, they expect outcomes to be personalized, delivered on their terms, powered by technology, and of high value.

Patient Insights Inform New Model for Support Services of Complex Therapies

By developing a comprehensive patient journey map, EVERSANA established an innovative new model that provides manufacturers with valuable insights into the medical, emotional, and physical experiences of patients throughout the clinical navigation process (from pre-diagnosis to ongoing medical care). When applied to multiple orphan drug support programs, the model resulted in 90% plus patient adherence, compared with far lower industry standards of only 58% to 62%. Serving as a key indicator that patients are receiving full value of their therapy, the adherence rate is increasingly important for complex therapies or precision medicines in small populations where every patient matters.

Key to the EVERSANA model is our one-on-one relationship with the patient and the multitude of channels we can engage them with. Whether it’s technology based through an app or a text message, or a dedicated Patient Services Coordinator they connect with in person or on the phone, the EVERSANA care team is continuously trained to ensure patient empathy and coordinate additional therapies as needed throughout the treatment process.

“We’re not just worried about the shipment and the time and the delivery date,” shares Victoria Butler, Director of Clinical Care Delivery. “That’s incredibly important, but we also care about where they are and what they’re facing. Those patients are more likely to do better, stick to the regimen, and take medications like they’re supposed to.”

The approach also helps manufacturers understand potential issues with the therapy itself that could be impacting adherence. For example, patients might share that taking a drug in many small doses is challenging, and that they would stay more adherent if they could take the drug in fewer, larger doses. Manufacturers also cite fewer adverse event challenges, thanks in large part to proactive patient outreach based on research cited concerns in the therapeutic journey.

Continuity of Rare Care

Patients not only need assistance with adherence challenges, but with managing required lifestyle, nutritional or physical modifications that are necessary for patient compliance — behaviors that are difficult to influence, track or control. Oftentimes, patients do not know how to make long-lasting changes to their everyday life that would best benefit their therapy.

EVERSANA recently partnered with Noom, the world’s leading behavior change company, to increase medication adherence and improve health outcomes for the millions of patients suffering from rare diseases. Noom’s program is based on cognitive behavior therapy that leverages human coaches and artificial intelligence. The partnership combines EVERSANA’s fully integrated patient services model with Noom’s digital therapeutic platform to give patients the personalized support they need to create life-changing habits and generate positive outcomes.

“Despite a long road to diagnosis, adherence to therapy falls to 50% — 80% for patients with complex diseases who routinely deal with difficulties handling side effects, navigating lifestyle changes, and finding the education and resources needed to understand their disease and care,” says Jim Lang, CEO, EVERSANA. “By integrating Noom’s proven behavioral health technology with EVERSANA’s best-in-class patient service programs, we will help manufacturers give their patients the personalized support they have long needed and deserved.”

The Economics of Patient Understanding

As cited in Evaluate Pharma’s 2019 Orphan Drug Report, “by 2024, orphan drugs are expected to reach $242 billion and capture one-fifth of worldwide prescription sales.” Increasing reputational and payer pressures will require the industry to create more value through better outcomes.

Improving adherence, through precision patient support via behavioral technology, will lower cost while helping manufacturers recoup their investment after years of research and development — all to the ultimate goal of better rare disease patient care.

At EVERSANA, we believe that delivering best-in-class patient experiences that positively impact adherence involves a comprehensive suite of coordinated and intertwined services that solve challenges and impact the metrics that matter most.

It’s a fact that the healthcare industry will continue to evolve, and we need to ensure that our work supports and enhances our progress in providing quality service and care to patients. A patient-centered ecosystem of integrated services will not only keep patients informed and empowered along their journey, but will generate positive outcomes to demonstrate real-world evidence of therapeutic success.(PV)

EVERSANA is the leading independent provider of commercial services to the life-sciences industry.
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