A year and a half ago, I was asked to contribute to an article in PharmaVOICE on Marketing with Data Analytics, still a common topic in healthcare today. In the short period of time between then and now, the focus of the conversation has shifted. Then, talk was largely about the capabilities and limitations of technology in healthcare. Now, the conversation has shifted to the challenges that have grown from marketing with data technology while respecting privacy and upholding regulations.
Flashback to 2018, data collection wasn’t a new concept, but some of the technology used to capture data still needed a bit more finesse. Data often gets collected in massive quantities and needs to be filtered and formatted before it can be used. In some circumstances data is time sensitive, and if it takes too long to process— it may not be relevant once it’s in a user-ready form. These types of hiccups were more common in 2018. Since then, data technology has helped the healthcare industry overcome a lot of the challenges found in getting data from collection to a user-ready state.
But there are also consequences to making data easier to acquire and use. Too many times, patient information has fallen into the wrong hands and has been used inappropriately. In a short period of time, a big part of the general public has become leery of data collection companies, applications, and devices. As people have grown reluctant to share, data privacy laws and restrictions have become tighter— their consequences more severe. This has caused the industry to ask…
Given the challenges of today, how can I continue to collect the patient data necessary to help them?
My advice— try a patient-centric approach with education and transparency. Take the time to explain why patient information is important and what benefits it provides to patients. When it’s necessary, don’t hesitate in sharing the steps taken to de-identify data and keep it secure. The more people understand how data collection and usage can benefit their overall health, the more likely they are to willingly share it.