Offering Patient Intel at Scale

For years pharma marketers have recognized that web, social networks and message boards could be a source of patient insight but the data has been unstructured and difficult to interpret. New developments in the last year have changed that and — as outlined by Jo Halliday, founder and CEO of Talking Medicines — meaningful evaluations on patient confidence are now achievable, providing social intelligence platform on a scale and depth never before possible.

During a podcast with Marc Iskowitz, MM+M’s editor-at-large, Halliday explained how her firm uniquely captures the voice of the patient giving powerful data insights which are fully pharma compliant and can help drive business decisions. “We use our machine learning and AI techniques to process myriad pieces of data from various social sources and translate them into a digestible format for pharma companies, particularly their marketing teams.”

One differentiator of its tool, called PatientMetRx, involves an intense, algorithmic winnowing. “When it comes to social listening, a lot of voices out there are not entirely relevant, because they come from the press or people who are not patients,” she said. “Our AI is able to sift through the noise, offering a competence score which calculates confidence in a specific medicine.”

Halliday likens this score to the stock market. “It goes up and down, based on what we hear at any given time on any given day,” she noted. “The value to pharma marketers is being able to understand how patients are feeling about that medicine, which they can then compare to the market.”

The second key is contextual relevance. “We understand the context and the nuances of medicine. Regulatory and compliance barriers have meant that for a long time there has not been a direct relationship between pharma health professionals and patients,” Halliday said. “Our database was built in collaboration with regulators who understand what the properties of medicines are and the challenges that surround them.”

“First we ask, ‘Where is the patient?’ Then we map that against 130,000 medicines — some small, some large, some with a big voice, some with a small,” noted Halliday. “At the top end are Twitter and Reddit, which we complement with more obscure forums, places with less people on them, but which contain rich information. Medicines skew to personas and age groups, and the way they interact with social media changes. It is this combined, agile sourcing that makes all the difference.”

The results are delivered in an easy-to-use online PatientMetRx dashboard, meaning marketers can tell at a glance how patients feel holistically, without having to write queries, use analysts or wait for a response. And regulatory compliance is assured. For one, because the information is aggregated, there’s no burden of adverse-event reporting.

PatientMetRx’s scorecard approach is particularly apropos for pharma-marketing professionals trying to make sense of a post-pandemic world, she said, adding that Talking Medicines is focused on making its tool as accessible as it can to users.

“We’re listening all the time to what our customers say and let that inform our roadmap,” she said. “The first problem we’re solving is helping marketing directors who want a KPI to understand and benchmark how their medicine is doing. Moving forward, we’re seeking to unwrap the cause and effect, which is going to be delivered very soon, within the product.”

The firm also aims to accommodate a fair bit of customization. Users will have the ability to load their own data in order to do quick comparisons. “The most important thing for us is that we are customer-centric — listening, developing an applicable product and offering solutions,” said Halliday.

In sum, PatientMetRx promises to be a quantum leap forward, offering to help industry measure customer experience at scale — a service which pharma hasn’t heretofore had at its disposal.

“Traditionally, the primary source of patient feedback came from healthcare professionals and clinicians,” recalled Halliday. “But while ad-hoc feedback is all well and good, systematic feedback will give you the benchmarks and trends. AI gives you a scale that you couldn’t imagine from doing things face-to-face. Having the ability to blend all of that together creates an empowered patient and an industry changing the way it listens to patients.”

To find out more about Talking Medicines and PatientMetRx, as well as get in touch, check out the webpage here.