Healthcare patient centred apps continue to grow, but what’s on the horizon for the B2B environment?

It seems you can’t move without yet another healthcare app launch, each promising their own specific benefits for the patient and the healthcare industry in general. According to a recent Deloitte report (“A Journey Towards Smart Health“), the mHealth (mobile health) industry generated 3.2 billion downloads in 2016, over 70% of the examined patients used at least one health app to manage their condition and 58% of prescription drug users reported refilling prescriptions using a mobile health application. The report provides a wealth of information about the mHealth market.

The desire for more information about disease symptoms, treatment pathways and prognosis has no doubt driven this level of demand from patients wanting clearer information.

There are now literally thousands of healthcare apps, and most appear to be patient centred by providing patients with a means to record various aspects of their health such as blood pressure, physical activity or blood sugar levels. Others facilitate a more continuous and collaborative relationship with their clinician, doctor or nurse – these apps are looking to enable better and more consistent communication of key parameters, especially for patients with chronic conditions. These types of apps and interactions will only grow.

Although this represents a revolution between patient and doctor, the suppliers to the healthcare industry have not been slow to get in on the act: the number of apps produced by pharma companies has more than tripled from 305 in 2013 to 988 in 2016 – again predominately for patient-centred applications. 

So what about business to business (B2B)?

Using apps as part of a B2B activity within healthcare is less common. This is despite the potential that digital apps can more effectively communicate complex value propositions to the payers and funders of healthcare, such as the UK’s Commissioning Care Groups (CCGs).  

This ‘B2B’ approach has worked well for some of LVC’s UK-based clients. Creating visually engaging stories with easy-to-use budget impact models (BIM) makes for compelling cases on specific product or treatment pathways. Such apps also have follow-up functions, for example emailing results based on models that were jointly created between the customer and the company representative during a visit. This ‘collaborative business model’ approach means the output of such models is also ‘owned’ by the healthcare professional involved, forming a strong basis for further dialogue.

Digital tools such as these are often integrated as part of a larger digital package that communicates real world evidence (RWE) and patient centred outcomes as well as potential return on investment (ROI). In our view this approach to consultative selling has many benefits and it has had a direct and positive impact on our Pharma clients’ businesses.

We recently launched our new LVC Medical brand and LVC Medical website to promote the good work our clients are doing to encourage this truly collaborative approach.