Healthcare Market Research in the Gulf: 3 lessons I’ve learned
A few key considerations for conducting healthcare market research in the Gulf
Something I recently discovered whilst working on an emerging markets project is that conducting healthcare market research in the Gulf is very different to conducting research in western countries. Whilst the Gulf region is not one single, homogenous market, there are three general truths I learned which I’d like to share
A bitter pill?
The ideal route of admin isn’t clear cut in the global marketplace
A key feature of any pharmaceutical product is its route of administration; the path through which the drug is taken into the body. This may be oral, injectable, transdermal or inhaled. Differences in route of admin can be critical points of differentiation for new pharmaceutical products, especially in crowded markets where multiple options are available. When conducting interviews with healthcare professionals, we commonly find that route of admin is often one of the first features they take into account (after efficacy and safety) when reviewing product profiles, and getting it right is fundamental to a product’s eventual uptake and market share. However the perceived benefits and drawbacks of different routes of administration can be more complicated than one might think. Market nuances can have far-reaching implications for drug formulation and device design.
The remote exchange of data between patients and their clinician
Technology is helping patients become more engaged in managing their own health and manufacturers are keen to leverage these new opportunities in order to improve delivery of care. Smart and ‘telehealth’ devices facilitate the remote exchange of data between a patient at home and their clinician to assist in diagnosis. Telehealth services are being used by more and more patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In 2014 13% of patients in the UK reported that they used smart phones and apps to monitor their health. Earlier this year that figure had increased to 36%.
The Internet of Things
Evolution from man to machine
The internet of things, the connectivity between man and device, it’s being implemented everywhere, from coffee machines that can be programmed from your bedroom, to wearable technology tracking your heart rate and BMI. However, the idea of the digitally connected patient and HCP is still in its infancy. It begs the question, what will a world where man is interconnected with their machines look like, and how will this impact the healthcare industry?
Developments in the treatment of Alzheimer’s
At a global cost of around $818 billion per year, dementia is one of the biggest challenges faced in healthcare today. While life expectancy continues to rise due to treatment advancements in chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, advancements in the field of dementia have historically lagged behind. The result of this is a rise in the patient population most at risk of dementia (over 65’s), with limited treatment options available for those who develop the condition. The impact this has on quality of life, as well as the financial burden to families and the economy, has led to a significant increase in funding for research into dementia, with the aim of finding ways to reduce the burden of this condition in the future.