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July 21, 2022

Sprint: Virtual Care in Oncology: HCPs and Patient Adoption

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HealthXL Team & HealthXL Community
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The HealthXL Sprint 2-part meeting series connects senior leaders across our community to solve the latest health challenges. In our most recent sprint we discussed HCP and patient adoption of virtual care in oncology. In this blog we’ve pulled out the top takeaways from this series. 

5 Key Recommendations: 

#1 Provider motivation for digital health prescriptions: Beyond the potential health benefits to patients, some of the main reasons health care providers (HCPs) prescribe digital health solutions include decreased workload, patient empowerment, ease of data collection, and a fundamental desire to innovate in healthcare delivery. A strong motivator for HCPs is the goal to create improvements to workflow. However, there must be provider trust in a solution in terms of strong evidence and clear data protection. 

#2 Digital tools can help to condense data points rather than create data burden: There’s hesitancy to adopt digital solutions that may affect physician workload or become a burden with excessive data review. Solutions that identify triggers HCPs are already monitoring daily and that can condense data points in an easily understandable way can help reduce physician workload. However, it can be a challenge if a digital solution only covers one aspect of a problem. There’s hesitancy to adopt solutions that aren’t comprehensive enough or that would require more than one solution to meet the patient / physician needs. Physicians are unlikely to use multiple digital solutions to meet a patient’s needs. 

#3 Patients, especially cancer patients, want some element of control over their treatment: However, it can be difficult to get the patient's attention. The key to engagement is demonstrating value to the patient and the care team. Patient’s are engaged through human centered design. Patients need to be invited into the development process in order to introduce digital products that are helpful rather than invasive. Being mindful of how questions are asked and how they may make someone feel are important elements of digital health design, specifically for cancer patients who are undergoing frequent exams and treatments. There needs to be a balance between solutions that help the patient but don’t add a burden to the provider, and solutions that help the provider but are not intrusive and not beneficial to the patient.

#4 Roles and responsibilities of pharma partners: Digital health solutions want to work with pharma partners as they offer access to scale and network. However, there may need to be a shift in the traditional sales team model. Pharma needs to set up dedicated teams that are solution oriented and that can help to convince physicians of their value. There needs to be an alignment of commercial strategies and shared commercial goals between digital solutions and pharma companies. There also needs to be a clarity of the roles and responsibilities of both pharma and the digital health company in order to have aligned expectations. 

#5 Care models in oncology are changing: COVID-19 opened up the at-home model. It can be safer for cancer patients and help health systems have a broader reach. Many treatments are also capable of being delivered at home. There’s value in patients not physically needing space at an institution or having to travel to one. However, digital oncology solutions may need to be drug agnostic in order to add value. Patients may receive frequent changes or adjustments to their treatment which would become a barrier to using solutions that are not drug agnostic. 

Experts Included: Alec Moretti (Director of BD & Commercialization, Twill), Carole Tremonti (VP Clinical Strategy, Project Rōnin), Ivan Jurisic (Business Analyst for Digital Therapeutics, Roche), Jyri Yli-Villamo (Head of Global Strategic Partnerships, Kaiku Health), Karine Soulat (VP marketing Wellthy Therapeutics), Kellee Franklin (Strategy & Innovation, Digital Transformation Leader, HCD Expert, Executive Advisor, Mindful Innovation Labs), Maike Schmitz (Oncology Lead, RoX Health)

*All opinions are the participants’ own and do not necessarily reflect the stance of their respective employers.

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