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“Patient Ecosystems” Hold the Key to Understanding Patient Behavior and Improving Care, Kantar Health Research Finds

Sep 6, 2017

Better Understanding of Socio-Cultural Influences and Contextual Environments Will Drive Change

NEW YORK, September 6, 2017 – To improve patient care, healthcare companies can no longer afford to view the patient in isolation, but instead must holistically work to understand all angles and inputs of a given disease or condition, according to new research by Kantar Health, a global leader in healthcare market research and consulting.

The findings, featured in the company's latest Edge Of Insight report, "Patient Ecosystems: Understanding the Physical, Emotional and Social Impact of Health Conditions", provide deep insights into the patient's relationship with their illness and the drivers of behavior. Through "Patient Ecosystems", which encompass patients, their conditions and the many surrounding factors that influence care and quality-of-life, we acquire unique understandings of impactful socio-cultural influences and contextual environments that foster transformative strategies and drive change.

"The Patient Ecosystem takes us inside the psyche of the individual patient and provides an enhanced understanding about how a disease impacts that patient from a human perspective," said Jeanette Hodgson, Global Head of Qualitative Strategy, Kantar Health. "Qualitative research allows us to understand ‘why’ people do the things they do. By taking a multifaceted approach which layers insights from a range of methodologies and combines principles and practices from behavioral economics, social psychology and linguistics, we are able to offer a fresh perspective on what people say, what they do, how they feel and what they need thereby creating compelling insights."

While the methodology can be applied to any health condition, ailment or disease, this initial piece of Kantar Health research is centered on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a costly condition with a global impact similar to asthma, hypertension and congestive heart failure. Kantar Health found evidence that beyond the physical manifestations of symptoms, the emotional and mental impact that IBS has on an individual can be equally challenging. The data also revealed that activity and work productivity impairment measures are significantly worse among IBS sufferers compared with non-sufferers in both the United States and EU, and that overall quality-of-life is significantly lower for IBS patients than for non-sufferers.

Critical research outcomes included: uncovering the emotional, societal and practical impact on sufferers; exposing the hidden nature of the condition and the desire of individuals to keep it hidden; identifying the cultural barriers to shifting perceptions; discovering what sufferers and advocates are doing to open up discussions around the condition; finding opportunities for intervention and ways to challenge the cultural narrative, including educating physicians and leveraging the power of patient advocates and bloggers; and pinpointing the areas of support and positive linguistic patterns that will break down barriers.

"Our IBS Patient Ecosystem work clearly demonstrates the harsh reality of this globally prevalent condition that has enormous practical, emotional and societal impact on its sufferers," said Hodgson. "There's far more to the silent suffering of IBS patients than meets the eye, and closely examining the many factors of the Patient Ecosystem will be pivotal for achieving a greater understanding of the larger dynamics and improving patient care."


About Kantar Health

Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 600+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. For more information, please visit