We believe that the future is bright, that health will improve and that progressive pharma will be successful. Led by emerging science, amplified by technology and powered by engaged patients.
The scale and impact of progress, will be at the discretion of a new breed of physician, the millennial HCP (mHCP). Digitally native, their number increases year-on-year.
Of course, they exhibit many of the traits of their predecessors; knowledge, empathy, ambition. We’re comfortable with the healthcare professional in them. But what about this other side – the millennial? What does it mean when your homework group included Google and Wikipedia? When you spent 14 months of your medical education online? And when you haven’t written by hand for more than a month?
Millennials are visual. They choose SnapChat, YouTube and Instagram. 72% of them use emojis to communicate their emotions – no language has ever grown more quickly.
Millennials embrace progress. 95% make positive associations with the word ‘change’. Their digital tools of choice are in a constant state of beta, as they look to optimise their digital being.
Millennials demand more. They believe big business should take as much responsibility as the government. And, as illustrated by the UK Government and Junior Doctor dispute, they believe in collective power.
It would be wrong to define this generation by their birth certificates, and to suggest that this population only includes those born after 1980. Instead, it is a generation that was forged in the last two decades as its members immersed themselves in a new world. Their habits and personalities have evolved with the technology around them. Put simply, they are digital.
In this world, insight, creativity and design are more important than ever. CREATIVE agencies have a critical role to play, aiding and supporting mHCPs to leverage the science and technology at their disposal.
Scientific knowledge has been, and always will be, the critical capability of physicians. The shift, is in their expertise and confidence with technology. And our opportunity is to recognise these new skills, supporting mHCPs in improving outcomes.
Much of the industry boasts an exciting pipeline of products. As we look to build these brands and partner with healthcare professionals, let’s not forget the millennial within them 😉
To find out more about the impact of the millennial generation on healthcare, sign up for the new white paper, podcast, and YouTube series from Havas Lynx at www.m-hcp.com
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. State Health Facts 2015. http://kaiserf.am/1VfEncN (Accessed May 2016)
Ofcom. Media Use and Attitudes Report 2015 http://bit.ly/1E3fFyO (Accessed May 2016)
Docmail. The death of handwriting. 2012 http://bit.ly/1srFRoG (Accessed May 2016)
Bangor University & Talk Talk Mobile. Linguistics Research. 2015. http://bit.ly/1HseRrW (Accessed May 2016)
Pepsi Optimism Project. 2008. http://bit.ly/1R6meY1 (Accessed May 2016)
The impact of the millennial healthcare professional on our world.
Millennials are criticised as narcissistic, entitled and technology-obsessed, but our new campaign shows millennial healthcare professionals – mHCPs – in a different light. They have certainly grown up in a digital and interactive world, but have a strong social conscience, are entrepreneurial and are adept at communicating, collaborating and adapting to the world as they find it.
Through a series of in-depth interviews with medical students, academics, innovators, physicians, authors and patients from around the world, Generation Now identifies a new & inspired generation of healthcare professionals. It is a generation with different attitudes and ambitions to their predecessors, and it is a generation who will drive our industry forward and embrace innovation to offer improved outcomes for all.
In our new campaign, we outline key considerations for communicating and collaborating with this new generation, outlining how we can create effective healthcare campaigns that truly make a difference.
For more information on our YouTube & Podcast series, and our White Paper visit www.m-hcp.com
Twelve months ago I was asked if instead of a festive greetings card, could we try and raise enough money to send 10 children to school in Africa. Of course, I was delighted to do something more meaningful than cards. This time of year can inspire the the very best from our society, and perhaps now we need it more than ever.
It should have come as no surprise to me, that repeating last year’s feat was not enough. Why fund individuals’ education, when you can build a school? This year, in support of Born To Thrive, we will build classrooms. How many? The target is one, but I certainly won’t be betting against a few more. #LYNXLife
I’m often asked about how hard it is to be CEO of Havas Lynx? Managing 200+ diverse experts? Preserving 30 years values & culture? And the answer is simple – it isn’t, at all. I have the best job in the world. I work alongside the most amazing people, doing amazing things. I don’t inspire them, they inspire me.
Almost three years ago I attended my first Havas Health Global Leadership Meeting. The theme was, “Change Faster”. It was a brilliant meeting, incredibly inspiring and a fantastic first taste of the network. It entirely validated our decision to join, and had me ready to change the world.
Except, on returning to Havas Lynx, whilst I was now beset on change, I had no idea where to start. On the 6th of October, I’ll be hosting the Havas Health Global Leadership Meeting in Miami, with Cris Morton. So that delegates can avoid similar confusion, the theme this year is very clear: #ChangeForGood.
Since that first meeting in January 2013, Havas Lynx has gone from strength-to-strength; building capabilities, winning awards, hitting targets and producing work that makes a real difference. At the heart of this success is an agile agency culture. We’re responding to the needs of the market, the needs of patients and healthcare professionals and the needs of our team.
I’m sure that managing an agency has never been easy. Certainly Mad Men provides an indication of the trials and tribulations of a previous – and less moral – era. But today, agencies must blend extreme diversity, from traditional creatives to engineers and mathematicians. Moreover, they then need experienced heads alongside digital natives who are ready to turn the working world upside down. And all this against increasing austerity, fiscal pressure and ambitions established in a golden age.
Changes to the market have been as profound as those within our agencies. We’ve moved from manufacturing brands to earning them, as we’ve witnessed the profound impact of our behaviour. We’ve moved from engaging consumers to prosumers, as we start to understand social dynamics. We’ve started to use creativity to maximise outcomes, and not points of sale.
Healthcare professionals and patients have also changed significantly, in both their behaviours and their expectations. Agencies are challenged to build relationships through new means, and in new ways. The format of the idea can now be as important as the idea itself.
We’re incredibly lucky. The world is amazing. Fuelled by technology, it changes every day; it’s fascinating, interesting and challenging, in equal measure. Our success is born from changing faster.
Following on from Carers Week 2015, we reflect on the need to do more to support caregivers and introduce our study into the holistic needs of those who care for people with long-term conditions.
‘Being a carer in 2015 can be incredibly tough, taking a huge toll on health and mental wellbeing, finances and relationships. More and more people are taking on a caring role – 10.6 million over the course of this Parliament. So getting it right for carers has never been more imperative. Carers can’t carry on doing this alone.’
– Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK.
Last week was Carers Week in the UK, an annual campaign that raises awareness of caring, highlights the challenges that carers face, and recognises the contribution that carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.
All week, at events and via the internet and broadcast media, stories of the commitment and devotion of carers have been shared. As was the case at Local Solutions’ annual information event at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool on Friday, which brought together charities and organisations to showcase the services available to carers. It was wonderful to see so many people coming together in support of the caring community, and it raised reflection on whether pharma does enough to support carers.
The importance of the efforts of carers cannot be underestimated. To many patients, they are a lifeline; without carers, many simply couldn’t manage. To the British economy, they’re indispensible, saving the public an estimated 119 billion pounds a year.
Whilst the pharma industry is not immune to the importance of carers, it’s rare to find pharma-initiated interventions that target carers.
Why should pharma help?
Often the question is raised of which professionals are the gatekeepers to patient care, but arguably no one professional could be more important to the success of patient outcomes than the person caring for them every single day. Ensuring their health and wellbeing can drive greater treatment success. It’s also worth noting that carers are often ‘patients’ themselves; in a 2012 survey of 3,500 carers, 53% said they have suffered a long-term condition or illness, whilst 39% had put off medical treatment due to caring responsibilities.
Additionally, this is a group of people whose need for support is greater than ever. In spite of the indisputable fiscal and social value, cuts to financial support in recent years (such as the ‘spare room tax’ and the introduction of personal independence payment) have put carers under increasing pressure. Reports on carer wellbeing indicate that this is a strain they could well do without. Carers UK has recently published research showing that 82% of carers feel that looking after a disabled or older relative or friend has had a negative impact on their health.
The statistics are both alarming and compelling, but to uncover the full story and better understand what can be done to help we need to speak to people. It’s with this in mind that, over the coming months, we’ll be talking to carers about their needs and what impact caring for a person with a long-term condition has on their lives. These interviews will form part of a quantitative study to be included in our autumn white paper later in the year.
For both Kenyans, success depends upon a multitude of elements coming together and working in their favour. Nutrition, training schedules, rest and recovery, and mental preparation must all be spot on. Coaches, dietitians, physiotherapists, and psychologists must all be pulling in the right direction. But what if one element isn’t functioning as it should; what if Kimetto comes to the line worried that his diet’s not been right, or if Kipsang feels his head coach has been off his game? It wouldn’t stop either starting the race, but they’d have niggling doubts running through their minds about how well they could perform.
It’s the same in anything we undertake; from learning to play the piano, to recovering from a chronic condition. Every failing element creates doubt, a doubt that can grow to dent faith in success. A patient who undergoes yet another unsuccessful treatment change is going to lose faith in their doctor, the value of adhering, and perhaps their recovery altogether.
Positive customer experience is considered golden across all consumer-based sectors; whether you’re booking a hotel room or looking for an insurance quote, every element you encounter should run like clockwork, making the road to success as seamless and hitch-free as possible. It’s no coincidence that, with digital so central to modern day lives, Barclays launched their Digital Eagles initiative to improve digital literacy amongst young and old. A customer who better understands how to use the platforms Barclays operates within, is of course, more likely to have a positive customer experience when engaging with them.
Consumer brands invest in customer experience because if they don’t, there are a million other places their customers can go. The situation isn’t quite the same in healthcare, but the implications are no less significant. From a commercial standpoint, a professional who, from their very first interaction with a representative, feels informed and in control is more likely to prescribe and re-prescribe a treatment (and more generally have a positive opinion of a brand). And from an ethical perspective, a patient given the tools to take charge, not just of their treatment, but also of their life in general, is more likely to achieve a better outcome.
At Havas Lynx, we’ve recently been discussing the importance of taking a more holistic view to patient experience in order to achieve treatment success. As such, we’re pleased to be taking part in Create Health’s Customer Experience In Health Summit, held on 12th May in London. The Summit brings together the brightest and most inspiring leaders in customer experience from inside and outside of healthcare, with experts from GSK, Merck Serono and Pfizer talking alongside the best from RBS, Travelodge, AXA and many more. We’ve always really enjoyed working with the Create Health team; they have a knack of creating a relaxed atmosphere that opens people up to genuine debate and discussion. Last year, those of us that attended their event were imbued with ideas and enthusiasm. This year, our very own Rob Fuller and Claire Knapp will be delivering a talk, but whether you listen to them or any of the other speakers, you’re bound to stumble across some enlightening insights.
For more on the power of patient engagement and holistic support, read our latest white paper, Smiles That Save Lives
We’re pleased to be able to offer Havas Lynx clients a 75% discount off the normal ticket price for CXIH 2015. Just use the promotional code ‘havas’ when you come to pay.
‘Everywhere I see the mistake of ignoring that people have priorities in their lives besides merely surviving another day.’
– Dr. Atul Gawande
In Britain, the current strain on the NHS is a key topic as we head towards the general election in May. In the closing moments of a live debate on Channel 4 News last night, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt commented that, ‘for the public, it’s not about public vs. private; it’s about good care vs. bad care’. But do we know what good care is?
The healthcare industry has been built upon treatments. Progress to date has been based on innovating around the molecular, on tackling problems in the minutiae of the atomic arena. It has brought some incredible advances and delivered great success in changing lives.
However, it’s a focus that ignores the bigger picture of the patients these treatments are created for. Patients whose conditions may infiltrate every aspect of their lives, and have consequences that they live with until their dying day. For these people, treatment is just one aspect of their journey, and the care they require extends far beyond this. They need help in communicating with professionals, understanding and accepting the implications of their condition, taking control of their health and the other aspects of their life it affects (work, finances, family). Unsupported in any of these instances, patients can feel isolated, confused, and deeply unhappy.
In his BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures in December, Dr. Atul Gawande exclaimed that, ‘we’ve been rather limited about what we [in healthcare] think our job is, building systems of care for human existence. We think our job is to ensure health and survival, but really it is larger than that. It is to enable wellbeing, and wellbeing is ultimately about sustaining the reasons one wishes to be alive.’
We need to pay greater respect to wellbeing and happiness. It might sound trite to say that happier patients are healthier, but improved wellbeing has been shown to improve cancer outcomes, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, encourage adoption of healthy behaviours, and even lengthen lifespans (amongst other health benefits).
In an era in which healthcare moves to outcomes based performance models, ensuring patient wellbeing could be a catalyst for improved treatment-brand success. It’s time to look far beyond the pill, from the beginning of a patient journey to the very end, and provide support at every moment in between. Support that instils patients with the happiness, confidence and encouragement to stride on toward a positive outcome.
For more on the power of subjective wellbeing and holistic support, read our latest white paper, Smiles That Save Lives
Watch our introduction of our interview with Lucy May Middleton, holistic support advocate and educator here
I talk about this a lot, but make no apologies for the frequency. I’m proud to work in Pharma, and see it as an opportunity to use insight, imagination & innovation to make a difference. I didn’t choose to work in healthcare, I simply liked ideas. In all honesty, as a bullish graduate I would have preferred Nike over Pfizer, but the world changes, and so do we. Today I choose to have a significant impact on society, over a cool one.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, says: “The business benefits from ethical practices are not soft ones about reputation or image. They are hard measures of growth and margin improvement. Wherever you look, it’s a no-brainer“.
I agree 100%. Havas Lynx aims to help patients, their families and HCPs to improve outcomes, whilst also driving the commercial success of our clients. We call it #HelpfulChange, and whilst it sounds improbable and unrealistic, it has been the central strategy behind our success. It aligns with the increasing trend for Pharma companies to out behave the competition & benefit through their enhanced brand equity. Unfortunately the more conservative in our industry wait for others to fail & win by default. Doing nothing, but doing nothing wrong, they would argue. These people fear their brand, and lack the courage their power affords them to improve society. Those that embrace this power, those that choose to make a difference, and show courage in their actions, will succeed in today & tomorrow’s social world – they’ll have a brand with meaning.
Johnson & Johnson have invested in Care4Today, through Janssen Healthcare Innovations. Like many others, they believe innovation can improve outcomes. However, unlike the majority, they have invested significant time & resource to bring forward that day. They will both make a difference, and secure a competitive advantage.
AstraZeneca invested in a critical testing infrastructure for non-small cell lung cancer. Monthly tests increased from 18 to 452 over the course of the campaign. Patients were more accurately diagnosed, treatments more accurately prescribed.
Novartis support Skin To Live In and, despite the regulatory challenges, aspire for it to be the most progressive campaign in healthcare communications, supporting the community & building brand equity – a fair trade.
These are just a few examples from our portfolio, beyond Havas Lynx there are numerous other superb cases of brands doing good and making money. It is the future of our industry, one that will be shaped by passion & courage.
Dr Nick Broughton is Medical Director of HAVAS LYNX Medical and has a strong interest in the ethics of business and compliance. Nick tries to explore the good and not so good in an industry he cares about. Below he writes about narrative education.
Narrative education: The power of storytelling, the importance of the individual and the start of a radical shift in pharma, by Dr Nick Broughton.
Boston 2013 and a bunch of agency types collect in a rather cramped and faintly dismal hotel function room for an afternoon of whatever it was the meeting agenda said. Into this arena of postprandial apathy steps Dr Rita Charon foremost exponent of narrative medicine and it appears she has forgotten her slides. Nothing appears on the screen behind her save for an artistic abstract featuring, as I recall, purple lines and black rectangles.
With nothing on the screen to stimulate the senses, a confused audience turns its attention to the quietly spoken senior gentlewoman occupying stage front. The lady is talking, clearly though not loudly, and with little, if anything, that could be described as so vigorous as a gesticulation. All I could think (given the piscatorial attention span of the average agency executive) was that I hoped the gags were good. There were no gags.
Dr Charon told stories. Individual patient stories recounted with depth of feeling and detail no one had witnessed before and, unexpectedly, the audience was rapt. These weren’t case studies as beloved by clinicians (49 year old man with three year history of x, had lab results y so I gave treatment z) or patient pictures (photo of healthy looking smiley person with something chronic and life-shortening) as beloved by the more naïve end of the pharma marketing community. These were stories that put disease, healthcare and treatment in their proper place within the context of individual human lives: narrative medicine.
The point here is that it is impossible to understand the impact of an illness on an individual without understanding the individual’s story. The effect on a person of being diagnosed as HIV positive is quite different depending on their marital status, their age, their culture and, most significantly, a myriad of factors particular to them. This is the ‘data’ you need in order to act for that individual; this is the patient story. The art of the good doctor is to understand the narrative so as to be able to understand the disease and target therapy appropriately. Good medicine is narrative medicine, but narrative medicine is also, I would propose, good education. Dr Charon in describing the narrative of a patient with a rare disease indelibly imprinted the memory of its signs, symptoms, treatment and outcome in the memories of one hundred people who, up to that time, had lived in happy ignorance of any such disease.
Yes, stories are powerful but it’s really a bit glib to leave it at that. Storytelling, story appreciation and story learning are hard wired into our brains. We humans consume and repeat stories rapaciously all across our lives. From gossip down the pub, to jokes, to news stories we frankly can’t get enough. We absorb stories to the extent that we can completely suspend reality in pursuit of story enjoyment. When you turn on Coronation Street you (probably) know it’s not real, it’s being displayed on a flat screen for one thing, it’s shot in a studio, the actors appear in the papers, but none of this interferes with your appreciation of the story. It gets more bizarre still – theatre goers watching Shrek (the stage version naturally) rapidly forget their own presence when sat in rows in front of the acting ranks to absorb a story about an eight foot ogre. The truth of the story does not impact their appreciation or indeed their memory of it, and that latter fact is the crux of the medical educational opportunity that good storytelling represents.
The obvious opportunity in storytelling is to educate about disease, treatment and outcomes through the prism of individual patient stories as evidenced by Dr Charon. Good case studies told well on the congress stage can get part way there as they recount the triumphs and tragedies of a diagnostic conundrum, but they lack the medically irrelevant human details they need to make them good stories. Good storytelling needs that characterisation to make you care about the outcome and a good plot to surprise and dismay you along the way. Us humans like a structure to our stories, a set-up, a series of crunch points, a climax, a resolution. If you are Quentin Tarantino you might get away with mucking with plot structure but lesser mortals shouldn’t bother.
A good patient narrative, in effect an anecdote, is a Trojan horse for knowledge that our brains are unlikely ever to be suspicious of, but we must avoid confusion with anecdotal evidence. Patient stories should represent tested evidence and medical fact or give pertinent lessons on the unusual and be clearly labelled as such. This missive is not a plea for Daily Mail medicine.
Of course, such thoughts could be seen as a bit drippy in the hard EBM world we live in today; narrative education as I’m describing here is hardly mainstream. What’s wrong with explaining medical matters in blocks of prose with umpteen graphs and a slug of stats? What do you mean you can’t remember it? Thing is though, underneath all the bluster your top KOL/external expert/therapy area expert (the names vary – the gist is the same) is just the same story loving beast as the rest of us even where medicine is concerned. Telling the tale of your new medicine’s development, the characters, the failures, the blinding insights and the dumb mistakes can be an intriguing cocktail if told well. It has the useful spin off that for many a HCP it provides the first realisation that there are one or two steps for pharma before selling a drug.
Training on storytelling recently I got into in-depth discussion of whether storytelling could ever impact on that most sacred of objects, the clinical paper. Do they have to be quite so dull and unmemorable? I know we all (well ‘piscatorians’ at least) read the abstract and only carry on if there is something positive but it still seems like a wasted opportunity.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you wanted to pick up a clinical paper for the pleasure of reading the story within it rather than as a necessary drudge to find the interesting bits? More seriously, when reading clinical papers is such hard work is it any wonder we naturally ignore those that hold only negativity and non-significance. There are patient consequences to positive bias as our friend Dr. Goldacre has recently been explaining, but unlike him I suspect the issue is grounded more in human disinterest in the uninteresting than pharma malevolence.
The structure of a story, its characters and plot is one thing, but above all a story needs a storyteller. Stephen Fry I suspect could read a train timetable and keep us fixated. Harry Potter would have passed unnoticed into oblivion if his many exploits were described in an SOP. Execution is critical and herein pharma has created its own demons by spending too long supporting too many mediocre medical story-tellers to speak on its behalf.
Times are a changing and, I suggest, it’s about time. Pharma is equipping itself and its medical teams for a radical shift that will involve it speaking more for itself about the medicines it develops, the research it does, the lives it improves and (yes) the profits it makes. The shift is barely underway and will be painfully slow, but as we break ground let’s not forget the whole flaming point of what we do when we speak for ourselves – the patient and their story.
HAVAS Worldwide’s latest paper, The New Consumer & The Sharing Economy, outlines a growing sentiment against over consumption. Seven in ten of us believe it to be putting our society and the planet at risk, and the majority feel that current models of consumerism are not sustainable. More than this, we feel weighed down by the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we own.
Put simply, we’re tired of consumerism and bored of adverts that try to manipulate us by pushing products at us like they’re the answer to life’s problems. We want to be in control, we want to be able to make informed decisions about how we spend our time and money and we don’t want others telling us what to do.
This goes for healthcare as much as consumer markets. Patients no longer expect to merely be prescribed a pill that they unwittingly swallow down once a day and hope for the best. Facilitated by an abundance of information technologies, they are knowledgeable about treatments and want to be actively involved in managing their own health care.
The wealth of monitoring apps across treatment areas (AsthmaCheck, MoodPanda and Diabetes In Check are but a few) is a fair indicator of a general desire for information and authority regarding personal treatment regimens. For financially hamstrung public health providers such as the NHS, this is a welcome trend. Empowering patients with greater control of their treatment reduces the burden of care placed on public providers, and has the potential to garner much better results by actively engaging patients.
So where does pharma fit into all this? The patent model and subsequent relationship with healthcare providers has always followed traditional models of consumerism; ‘we are a drug company and we’ve produced this drug which you can buy from us’. So how can we who work in pharma support and facilitate patients’ desires for greater inclusion and authority in their care and still turn a profit?
Firstly, we need to reshape our relationship with the people we serve. Pharmaceutical companies can no longer act as vendors and must become partners to professionals and patients alike. In doing so, we need to provide solutions, not pills, and increasingly this will mean delivering holistic services and systems of care. ‘Beyond the pill’ solutions are an arena in which there is massive potential for pharmaceutical companies to add real value. At HAVAS LYNX we’ve worked on a series of patient care programmes that have been shown to half the number of days patients spend in hospital.
When pharma partners its expertise with other parties, it opens up a world of new revenue streams. Start-up accelerator organisations such as Healthbox are stimulating the sort of innovation and collaboration that pharma should be looking to more and more. Even amidst the context of Pfizer’s efforts to secure the acquisition of AstraZeneca, pharma companies need to look beyond traditional development pipelines when seeking to expand their offering.
We need to innovate past the sector mainstream and recognise outsider trends, much in the same way that Facebook is making moves to expand beyond social by purchasing of ProtoGeo. There are so many exciting and disruptive technologies being developed that have the potential to transform the lives of patients. Far more than offering supplementary revenue, these areas that currently lie on the fringes of the market are likely to be the mainstay of pharmaceuticals in the future.