More Cannes Lions Health Gobbly Gook: Social Centricity | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

It’s time to move past patient centricity to social centricity. That was the message from inVentiv Health and GSW at Cannes Lions Health, where they presented the idea of a more holistic perspective.

What is social centricity? Not social media, as one might think at a marketing conference, but rather the entirety of a patient's social life and influences—things like family, friends, community, habits, cultural norms and workplace environment. The agency recently published a white paper with the findings, “Advancing Beyond Patient Centricity.”

“It started with the observation that the patient-centric approach that pharmaceutical companies, pharma advertising agencies and communications agencies in general are taking is not really moving the needle,” said Susan Perlbachs, executive director of inVentiv agency GSW. “Everyone thought patient-centric would win the day. If we focused on patients, the outcomes would be better and healthcare would be better. But it’s just not working.”

So Kathleen Starr, behavioral scientist at inVentiv, and her team InVentiv’s began what became a two-year enthnography study in which they followed 30 families from Boston; Portland, Oregon; Kansas City and Shreveport, Lousiana, and looked at the entire ecosystem and wide-ranging spheres of influence on patients.

“We’ve gotten really good about prompting initial behavior change. We can get people to do something the first time, maybe the second time—talk to your doctor, go to the pharmacy pick up your script, right? But what we haven’t figured out is what is the secret sauce for long-term behavior change?” she said.

“Studying those families for two years and seeing how their real life intersects with all the efforts they made to manage their conditions was really enlightening," she went on. "What we saw is that we aren’t going to make a dent in long-term behavior change until we start thinking about the social influences and use creativity to create a social context in which people can actually engage in healthcare.”

At Lions Health, the two presented insights from the study and then launched into an interactive session that included dozens of real-world examples where patients' behaviors were influenced by some kind of societal change.


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