Mowen says that diagnostic companies should start preparing for the era of patient-centered medicine.

Lindsey Rooney

June 1, 2010

2 Min Read
Patient Preferences to Shape the Diagnostic Industry

Putting the patient at the center of care is good business for the diagnostic industry, according to a report by Price­waterhouse Coopers (PwC) Health Research Institute. The report, “Healthcast: The Customization of Diagnosis, Care and Cure,” says that between now and 2020, “health systems will turn from reactive medicine to proactively understanding and supporting individuals in managing their own health.”

PwC interviewed hundreds of leaders representing governments, hospitals, insurance companies, clinicians, and life sciences firms. Interviews were conducted in more than 25 countries. In addition, 3500 consumers in seven different countries were surveyed.

According to Doug Mowen, managing director, PwC Medical Device Industry Practice Leader, the patient-centric trend is driven by the greater understanding of how genetic factors affect health status and outcomes. “As regulators accelerate the movement toward outcomes and quality-based reimbursement, the case for personalized medicine becomes even more compelling.” This puts pressure on diagnostic companies to create more personalized diagnosis and treatment options, Mowen says.

Customer demand is another factor influencing the rise of personalized medicine. The PwC report finds that patients have been empowered by the “ubiquity of wireless mobile devices,” which makes it possible to receive care anywhere.
Additionally, technologies such as smart phones, electronic medical record databases, and home health–monitoring equipment have also enabled patients to take control of their healthcare. This leads to changes in behavior and preferences, fueling the rise of mass customization. “The patient becomes the end-user with industry players focusing on providing care and treatment options best suited to the end-user’s needs and preferences,” the report finds.

Meeting patients’ needs provides diagnostic firms with a tremendous growth opportunity, Mowen says, but it requires a change in business models. “Historically, diagnosis and treatment have operated in two distinct silos. From a patient perspective, the convergence of diagnosis and treatment is inevitable.”

For example, diagnostic companies could develop tests that show which type of patients respond well to a drug and which types wouldn’t. “If a test can help avoid use of expensive prescription by someone who won’t respond to it, the marketer of a test could potentially capture a portion of this enhanced value,” Mowen says.

Diagnostic companies should also explore partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. This would enable them to link test development to drug development and launch an approved drug with a companion diagnostic. Mowen says, “compelling clinical evidence for the test and drug would be developed in tandem, supporting the value of the Dx/Rx combination from the outset.”

Lastly, the importance of demonstrating the value of a product cannot be underestimated. “Beyond partnering with pharmaceutical companies, diagnostics companies should also be looking for ways to partner with payers and the providers to share data, increase patient adherence, and improve quality care and patient outcomes,” Mowen says.

Sign up for the QMED & MD+DI Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like