How to Launch a Patient Support Program (PSP) in 6 Weeks

‘Industrialization’ does not always trigger positive associations. For Patient Support Programs, it should. Read why digital programs outperform their traditional peers in every aspect. And how we can bring them to life in a mere 6 weeks.

Dan Brown Jul 22, 2021

Dan is a journalism graduate from the UK. He aims to make the complex topic of digital healthcare accessible for both patients and experts, using simple and concise language.

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Making Patient Support Accessible Through Industrialization

In their early days, patient support programs were almost like a piece of art: Only a small group of experts had the know-how and experience to conceive them and bring them to life. They analyzed reasons for non-adherence and for people dropping off a particular treatment early. Subsequently, they applied their magic of ‘intervention design’, orchestrating contents and support elements across patient materials, hotlines, and nurses. Finally, local agencies and call centers would need to implement materials, websites, and call protocols. Overall, the process often took beyond 6 months from kick-off to launching in the first market. A roll-out to additional markets, if possible at all, would take significant additional effort and time for asset transcreation, finding local providers of nursing services, and local MLR approval.

Today, patients’ still need tailored support, specific to their treatment. Luckily though, we no longer need to start from square zero for designing patient support programs. Established frameworks speed up intervention design. state-of-the-art digital patient support platforms like MyTherapy turn many of a product’s specific requirements into a mere configuration exercise. Also, digital patient support allows rapid scaling to large and small markets across the globe, thereby becoming accessible for more patients and improving unit economics.

But what does an industrialized approach mean in terms of program quality? Judging from the sheer engagement, it is a massive improvement. Where traditional programs had a handful of touchpoints within the first 6 months, we are seeing several engagements per day on the MyTherapy platform. And while most patient support programs have never been improved since they launched, a digital platform like MyTherapy continuously evolves in a monthly release cycle – and with it, every digital patient support program running on top of it. Does it still take one of those scarce experts to conceive a high-impact program? Not necessarily, but a busy 6 weeks are awaiting you.

Launching a PSP in 6 Weeks: A Timeline

While launching a patient support program in just six weeks is one of the tighter timelines, it is possible thanks to a platform that allows us to merely configure key program parameters like behavioral triggers, onboarding sequences, or personalized content. Here’s how.

Week 1: Understanding the PSP

With no time to waste, the first week will be spent understanding the medication in question and how the PSP will handle topics such as the regimen, titration period, and restrictions. With this information, we can outline the setup of the program and the steps necessary to get users up and running as efficiently as possible.

No need to reinvent the PSP wheel. Novartis, Merck and Pfizer are working with us for a reason.

Find out how we can make it happen

Week 2: Safety Contents

The next step is to define the safety content that users will access in the app. Our team of medical writers and behavior science experts conceptualize the content pieces, identify gaps, and define a plan to help ensure we engage users in the right manner and with the “voice” that will best support their treatment.

Weeks 3 & 4: Coding, Coding, Coding

In what will undoubtedly be an intense two-week sprint, our Scrum teams will work their magic and meet the goals defined in the previous weeks. Together, our iOS, Android, and Backend developers will bring the vision to life, along with our team of designers who will help ensure aspects such as usability and accessibility are of the highest standard.

Week 5: Testing & Bug Fixing

With the deadline now looming, our testers will leave no stone unturned in the search for bugs and any other issues that need resolving.

Week 6: MLR & Launch

In the final week comes the essential (but often dreaded) Medical, Legal, and Regulatory (MLR) review. Fortunately, our years of experience in producing content for PSPs means MLR reviews rarely throw up surprises, helping avoid any delays and allowing us to achieve the final target: Launch!

Beyond MVP: Leveraging the platform for advanced customizing and user acquisition

As a tech company, agile methodologies are deeply rooted in our DNA. Our 6-week blueprint fully embraces the agile concept of the ‘MVP’; launching fast with a Minimum Viable Product and effectively postponing as many investment decisions as possible to a point where you can draw on first data from actual users. This is not always easy. Through custom modules, MyTherapy supports advanced customizing and even medical-device grade IoT integration and DTx modules. It is tempting to try to think ahead and define a much more ambitious launch scope.

No need to reinvent the PSP wheel. Novartis, Merck and Pfizer are working with us for a reason.

Find out how we can make it happen

Over the years, we've learned that in most cases, it is worth fighting for a true MVP launch. Once live, the immediate next focus should be on the user acquisition strategy where - again - the platform can come in handy. With millions of users and significant disease communities, online user acquisition through MyTherapy can help to drive an offering’s reach beyond what the traditional ‘MSL-tells-doctor -> doctor-tells-patient -> patient enrolls’ funnel can deliver. In parallel, we recommend learning from real user behavior and only then plan further, potentially custom features for the program.

Sound interesting? If you would like to hear more about how you can build your patient support program on our MyTherapy platform, don’t hesitate to get in touch.