Using Data to Unlock the Patient Experience

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The topic of big data has rocketed to stardom, often popping up as a business publication’s lead article, headlining a conference and even commandeering casual conversation. And there’s good reason for it; the collection and analysis of patient demographics, preferences and product feedback helps companies develop and communicate the value of their products and services to their end users.

Just like Nike wants to know when their ideal consumer runs, on what surface and for how long so the footwear giant can design the perfect running sneaker, pharmaceutical marketers are hot on the trail of differential patient types, contingent on a patient’s preferences for a particular medication profile – or lack thereof. The overall objective is to gain an insider’s view of the patient journey to achieve better outcomes and overcome barriers to therapeutic success. So how do pharma leaders access the insights they need? The solution lies in the elusive world of big data. But before jumping on the big data bandwagon, an understanding of what it entails is crucial.

What is big data anyway?
In the healthcare arena, big data is an umbrella term that encompasses volumes of data related to patient health and well-being, disease diagnoses and progress, tests performed, lab results, medications prescribed or administered, side effects and more. The data sets that comprise big data are large, complex and unruly. Think of the data sets as a pack of wild horses-they’re difficult to corral because of their size, speed and utter indifference to playing by the rules. But bring in a well-regarded horse whisperer, and the horses line up and behave accordingly. More.

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