Misconceptions of Building a Digital Drug Companion

Nearly every brand, entity, product, and celebrity have an app these days. In many cases, pharma organizations are adding new digital platforms to connect with patients and deliver guidance specific to medication therapies. But creating a digital drug companion can be more complex than just launching an app. There are many misconceptions about how to create great patient engagement in the digital age. Below are a few fallacies that require a closer look when launching a digital drug companion:

It’s better to build a solution in-house
Gourmet or make at home? If baking a cake, you could collect all of the necessary ingredients to make it, but after factoring in costs, labor, materials, transportation costs, it may be more efficient and effective to hire a baker. The same holds true for launching a digital platform. While many pharma organizations attract talent that have experience launching an app, an outside firm may be better prepared to manage regulatory challenges, meet launch deadlines, and create stronger patient engagement.

Creating and launching a companion takes years
Building from the ground-up can be a long and tedious process. Why not employ a skilled vendor that already maintains a database of more than 7MM engaged patients? By investing efforts into an already proven platform, time spent on development and journey mapping could be used to connect with a captive patient audience and collecting real-world insights. An existing solution could turn a three-year plan into a 9-month success story, with measurable ROI and stronger brand equity.

A digital drug companion can be costly with limited return
Make no mistake, a digital drug companion can be costly if not done right. It can mean years of planning and development to launch a digital platform that no one uses and doesn’t meet patient needs. When factoring in the speed of set-up and ability to launch a digital drug companion in a matter of weeks, an existing solution such as Medisafe offers savings compared to building an in-house solution that requires contract developers, IT assets, and on-going maintenance costs.

In the digital age, launching a platform means more than just ‘build-it-and-they-will-come.’ A successful platform must be engaging, accessible, and meet patients’ complex needs. Instead of creating a new site that competes against other industry-leading sites, it may be more fruitful to invest in creating a digital drug companion site within the platform.

Digital drug companions are only useful for certain medications
Forty eight percent of patients take more than one prescription medication  every day, and 36% take more than three medications daily. This means that patients are already managing multiple medications and want support in this effort. Many times, the challenges come in the mixing of medications, not just one singular drug. By investing in a companion within Medisafe, patients can receive notifications about potential contraindications and medication risks associated with other meds. This multi-purpose makes a single site more advantageous for both the patient and pharma, delivering insights into medication management.

While a simple app may be easy to produce and can be done with minimal effort by an in-house team, it may not achieve the full results of a complete digital platform that creates engagement. There are many reasons why a simple digital app may be the right answer, but when it comes to patient health, delivering a personalized, intuitive, and complete digital drug companion can complement the medication journey toward better outcomes. As pharma companies look to create the future of patient support, start by connecting with patients where they’re already gathering and create connection that improves the treatment

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