Interview

The Evolving Patient Journey

with Dan Wilmer

doctor and patient journey

Biggest Changes in the Patient Journey this Year

DHC’s Co-Founder Mark Bard interviews Dan Wilmer, Executive Vice President & CPO of InStep Health, to discuss the biggest changes in the patient journey this year.

Touch points:

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

mark bard

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“You have a lot of experience now in that intersection of technology and content, a lot of experience on the publishing side and how consumers consume content. What do you see as the biggest change in the patient journey this year?”
Dan Wilmer

DAN Wilmer

Executive Vice President & CPO
InStep Health
“Patients’ journeys toward wellness are just getting more difficult in this environment, right? Ed Cox from EVERSANA recently spoke at DHC’s Summit about how social isolation can lead to more cases of dementia, but it’s really across all of these conditions that predominantly seniors face, where they’re having simple joys pulled away from their lives like seeing their grandchildren in person, like taking a walk to the library, all of these little things are contributing to the fact that they’re not taking care of themselves from an exercise or a nutrition perspective as they were previously. We actually see it in our data too.

In InStep Health’s pharmacy retail network, categories like frozen food and alcoholic beverages are way up year over year because this is what people are doing. I think the biggest thing is, at the end of COVID, whenever that it is, we are going to have an explosion of patients that need more care. “
mark bard

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“You mentioned some patients just avoiding the entire journey altogether. What tactics either that you’ve worked on with client partners or worked on yourself, things that whether – again, like email, social, these kind of things, where do you see that we’ve gone full speed that you see those continuing or even getting more intense heading into next year?”
Dan Wilmer

DAN Wilmer

Executive Vice President & CPO
InStep Health
“Sure, yes, I think that in this environment we have leaned harder against the digital programs that were already becoming more popular with our clients, right? Even before COVID, we were starting to see exponential growth in, for instance, using sophisticated HIPAA compliant DTC targeting model to reach the right patient populations and leveraging brand safe programmatic inventory.

Industrywide, we’re seeing tens of millions of dollars flow into this kind of targeting, whereas three years ago you could’ve counted on a single hand the number of pharmaceutical brands that were comfortable with that, and I only see that picking up. We’ve started to show that these things work, and if you’re looking for a smaller population of patients, it’s a fruitful, efficient way to go.”
mark bard

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“Dan, I want to touch on telehealth. One of the insights it seems that we’re gaining this year is it works really well in some cases such as communication follow up or it’s refills, but it’s not working as well in some things such as new patients, or onboarding, or some of these early parts of the patient journey. Are we just stuck with that, or is technology going to help us overcome some of those parts where telehealth has been breaking down historically?”
Dan Wilmer

DAN Wilmer

Executive Vice President & CPO
InStep Health
“Sure, well, I think there’s two or three parts to this. How can this be better? I think one is the technology part of it. I had an experience this summer where I had to go and do a TeleVisit with my daughter who has eczema. It was a nightmare because the app was really, really poor, so having better technology would help. I think, from a marketer standpoint, we can do a better job of reducing burden on the system by referring the right patients to the right practitioner and getting the proper messaging in front of each of them. They should be pre-screened as much as possible, and then handed off to a physician that is educated on the treatment needed. These are things that we can always be doing better.

At the end of the day, there are certain types of patients that doctors will be better off bringing them into the office in-person because you do have the flexibility to draw blood, to do an EKG, to take a urine sample. The doctor doesn’t always know going into the appointment all the stuff that they might want to do. There are other areas like mental health support where that’s really shifted to telehealth, and it’s probably going to stay that way because it can.”
mark bard

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“The DHC recently completed a study with pharma marketers about budget and investment trends in 2020/2021. While there has already been activity this year with shifting budgets to various digital initiatives in 2020, companies projected their consumer spend on digital initiatives will continue to increase in 2021 (compared to 2020). Where do you see increased investment in 21 – above and beyond what’s happening in 20? Unbranded? Social? Email? Other?”
Dan Wilmer

DAN Wilmer

Executive Vice President & CPO
InStep Health
“On the DTC side, we see more investment going into HIPAA compliant audience targeting run across programmatic inventory. For InStep Health, we have the added ability to use our vast pharmacy and physician office footprint – and everything we know about the patients who visit each – to make these campaigns work even harder. On the professional side, we’re getting more requests to run professional-directed digital inside EHRs and integrated into social media too, so we’re in the midst of bringing those capabilities online.”
mark bard

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“It seems like health media companies of all stripes are getting more sophisticated with their use of data. How has this affected your own business over the past few years?”
Dan Wilmer

DAN Wilmer

Executive Vice President & CPO
InStep Health
“This has been the single biggest change in our business. We have gotten so much more strategic in how we leverage data to plan and execute our client campaigns. What’s different about InStep Health is our ability to execute programs in 30,000+ pharmacy and retail locations plus 190,000 physician offices. We use claims and prescription data from our pharmacy partners like CVS / Pharmacy and elsewhere to put our clients’ media in the absolute best places where market access, the right patients, and referring physicians all align. Some digital health publishers and point-of-care companies say they do this, but their inventory avails and smaller footprints lead to much less optimized coverage than ours in almost all cases.”
mark bard

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“It seems pharma (and brands) has a big opportunity to really think “outside the box” in 21 as they think about the post-CV era. Give me your best “outside the box” idea for 2021 (build/buy/partner).”
Dan Wilmer

DAN Wilmer

Executive Vice President & CPO
InStep Health
“Telehealth meets the pharmacy. We’re building the ability to launch physician consultations right in the pharmacy aisle. There are so many therapeutic areas where easier access to a physician consultation can keep a patient on their current medication or get them switched to the right one. It’s good for the patient, good for the pharmacy, and good for the insurer. Win, win, win.”

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