Life science companies are now embracing the potential of digital technology in order to ‘move patients from being recipients to participants’ (PharmaVOICE Nov/Dec 2014) in their own treatment regimen.

It’s not so long ago that the family Doctor was revered in the local surgery.  I remember in the 1970’s visits to the Doctor with my parents and I was sure to see the same Doctor each time I went.  I don’t remember anyone really challenging the Doctor’s diagnosis we would simply say ‘Thank You! Doctor’ and leave –  prescription in hand and with a note added to our paper health records.  Home visits for the elderly and pregnant women were the norm and the feeling of empowerment to make any decision towards the treatment that you would receive never really there.

How time has moved on, as the patient moves from the passive recipient of treatment to the central point of the R&D process for new therapies.  For life science companies that are increasingly engaging with patients earlier in the process they are finding that they are seeing better uptake by both investors, providers and regulators as they better meet patient needs.  Here at Datatrial we have been building and deploying data capture software for almost two decades to the life science industry.  We have great plans for Nucleus, our hub for all clinical information, and are already hearing of the value of utilising this compliant platform to communicate, collaborate and engage directly with the patient.

Having the feeling of control over your own health is really quite empowering and with NHS-driven thinking of ‘no decision about me, without me’ the importance of digital health as a model of healthcare that is driven by data is key.  This will however require a high level of coordination and cooperation across many healthcare sectors and providers in order to realise the true benefits of ‘proactive healthcare’.