Patient Engagement in the time of COVID-19
written by Dr. Andreas Reimann, Co-founder and Managing Partner of admedicum
These days there is no “business-as-usual”. Of course, we all are trying to meet our duties in our families, in our professional lives, and in our societies. But we all feel how much the Corona Crisis has changed our daily routines. What is true for all of us is even more impactful for all patients with chronic diseases who have to cope with similar challenges before, during and also after the crisis.
For all of us who are working as professional patient engagement specialists in pharma, medtech or consultancies, there is a call to be sensitive to that situation. During the past weeks, we learned from patients and patient advocates about their very challenging situation in these days. Obviously, patients with a severe chronic illness, amongst them many rare diseases, are afraid of getting infected themselves with a potentially severe course of that infection.
However, there is more than that: people may have difficulties getting hospital appointments or they are hesitating to ask for them because they think this is putting themselves at risk. Other patients in the need for personal assistance may get deprived of personal because their assistants are either under quarantine or simply unavailable due to the travel restrictions.
We were also told by patient organizations that they are facing financial challenges with their scheduled events canceled and they are left with non-refundable pre-payments for locations.
So, what’s critical in this moment in time is to be both empathetic and creative when supporting patient advocates and patient organisations to cope with this challenging situation.
Times of crisis tell who is really a reliable partner and friend. Let’s hope, many patient activists will find patient engagement experts at their sides these days. The entire admedicum team is fully aware of that need. As the pictures show we are keeping up the spirit, good humor and high creativity in order to continue involving patients also under challenging conditions!