At HealthPrize Technologies, chief executive Tom Kottler is tackling a problem that many in the pharmaceutical industry are trying to solve:
What stops people from taking their medications and how can the industry boost medication adherence rates?
In order to encourage patient compliance, Kottler told Drug Delivery Business News that he’s taking a different approach than his competitors. Instead of trying to change a person’s behavior, the team at HealthPrize wants to help people form better habits.
“I don’t believe that you can change a person’s behavior,” Kottler said. “What you can do is learn to adopt habits that help you overcome some of those behaviors.”
“With respect to medication, most people need nudging, not a change in behavior,” he added. “I think the way you view any particular problem, particularly when it comes to healthcare, will define how you build your product.”
The process of nudging a person to understand how valuable a drug could be for them involves gamification, behavioral economics and loyalty marketing, according to Kottler. HealthPrize teams up with pharmaceutical brands to create a digital dashboard that provides patients with educational and motivational tools to help elevate the user’s understanding of their medication.
The company built solutions designed to address an array of conditions, from diabetes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to HIV.
“What’s really fascinating is that nonadherence is a problem for every indication, no matter the patient population, no matter the condition,” Kottler said.
Although the problem of medication nonadherence is universal, he added, HealthPrize tries to design solutions that address the unique needs of each patient population.
“One of the things we think has been a real drawback, or a real pitfall, for a lot of adherence solutions that we compete against is that they didn’t understand this fundamental distinction. That is, that every patient group, every drug, every drug-delivery method, every way you look at one of these particular indications and the problems associated with the drug are different,” Kottler said. “So it’s critically important to be able to understand those patient populations, to understand how to write different content for them, how to build a unique experience for them that’s going to be motivating. On the other hand, we don’t want to be like an agency that starts with scratch every time and that’s really our big distinction.”
HealthPrize’s solution employs tools like weekly quizzes and surveys that encourage users to engage and compete with one another – and it seems to work. The company’s average user logs into the platform nearly five times per week and spends 38 minutes each month using the system.
“In a 12-month period, on average, we spend about 400 minutes with the patient. That’s like 30 physician visits,” Kottler said.