Healthcare decision making is complicated – from rare diseases to chronic diseases. Patients and HCPs are navigating an environment with more online and offline triggers and touchpoints than ever before. In an era of ‘patient centricity,’ untangling these journeys is a critical challenge for pharmaceutical companies.

  • How do physicians arrive at a diagnosis and which touchpoints influence that decision?
  • What factors can cause delays in the diagnosis and thus treatment initiation?
  • What is the patient’s role in the diagnosis – how/where do they influence the HCP’s ultimate diagnosis and treatment decisions?

These are the questions Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) faced as it sought to strengthen its position within the treatment landscape for a rare disease. The company’s previous traditional journey research on the patient flow failed as it was too high level – it didn’t provide actionable insights. BI had many outstanding questions: they needed more specificity, granularity and a more realistic understanding of the patient journey.

At EphMRA 2022, BI and SKIM shared why traditional patient journey research isn’t equipped to untangle non-linear journeys in today’s “empowered patient” environment. Attendees learned how a new advanced analytical research method – Decision Journey Modeling – helped BI tackle two challenges that may sound familiar:

  1. How to tackle delayed diagnosis, and thus delayed treatment initiation, which can jeopardize patient outcomes and lead to further worsening of the disease. With a focus on ‘patient centricity,” BI wanted to help smoothen the patient journey, but was challenged in putting that theory into action.
  2. The complex nature of patient journeys creates much uncertainty on where to prioritize marketing investments. The journey, from first symptoms to finding the right treatment, is often non-linear: there are many circuitous paths and decision makers involved in arriving at that ultimate treatment decision. For patients this can be extremely frustrating. And for BI’s marketing, product and medical affairs teams, these sequences led to many questions.

Discover how BI and SKIM’s innovative journey research approach resulted in a new marketing strategy and focus, in addition to programs aimed at speeding-up diagnosis and treatment outcomes.

What you’ll learn:

  • How a new advanced analytics approach can better untangle realistic (non-linear) patient journeys for more accurate and granular marketing, product and medical affairs insights. 
  • A new advanced analytics model that handles an infinite number of journey possibilities, enables the discovery of patient flow cycles, interactions amongst decision-makers (HCPs, specialists etc) and helps identify critical touchpoints and transitions in the healthcare journey. 
  • How Boehringer Ingelheim applied this patient journey research framework to drive positive outcomes across the business. 

About the Presenters

Melissa Félix Figueroa – Global Customer Insights Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim

Melissa has diverse experience in areas related to healthcare, including consulting, marketing, and business analysis in the pharmaceutical industry in ethical and highly specialized products as well as in medical equipment, surgical supplies, and healing materials. As Global Customer Insights Manager for Boehringer Ingelheim, she is responsible for the management of both patient and HCP insights to support commercial decisions.

Ana Edelenbosch
Ana Edelenbosch – Healthcare Director, SKIM

Ana is a director leading SKIM’s healthcare practice. With nearly a decade of experience in healthcare market research, Ana partners with pharmaceutical, MedTech and consumer health companies to help them better understand and influence decision behaviour. Ana has a background in intercultural communications, a growth mindset, and a natural ability to connect with people which are her assets in developing true partnerships that thrive in a dynamic environment.

Want to know more?

Not a member of EphMRA but interested in learning more about this topic? Schedule a consultation with one of our SKIM Healthcare experts