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Events: Intellus Worldwide Summit 2018 round up

May 17, 2018

Earlier this month, US President Harriet Kozak and Emerging Markets Director Rachel Howard attended the inaugural Intellus Worldwide Summit in Philadelphia. The theme of the conference was ‘7 billion voices’, exploring how patient experiences, programs and health literacy can be improved through insights delivered by market researchers in the pharmaceutical industry.

Intellus 2018

As part of the keynote speeches, we were honored to hear the perspective of patient advocates and leaders in rare disease. Hearing directly from patients who had lived through unimaginably challenging experiences provided a humbling reminder and refocusing of our common goal as an industry – to ultimately improve patients’ lives.

In keeping with the patient-focused conference theme, Rachel presented the paper, ‘Patient Power as a Force for Change in Emerging Markets’. In her presentation, she made a case for how healthcare system limitations, coupled with patients’ expanding digital connectivity and quantum leaps in disruptive innovation, uniquely position emerging markets for new patient-centric paradigms, that may even inspire those in mature markets.

At our booth, we invited delegates to try out a virtual reality experience to allow them to see one way researchers are trying to improve patients’ lives. We demonstrated the game Sea Hero Quest, developed by dementia researchers to provide insights into how our brains navigate space, and hopefully inform earlier detection of dementia, given navigation is one of the first skills to decline with the disease. Virtual reality offers healthcare numerous opportunities to step into the lives of patients and to support the improvement of health and we’re interested in seeing where it can be applied in healthcare market research. 

In between catching up with connections at our booth, Harriet and Rachel attended a range of other presentations and identified a number of themes at this year’s conference. One was digital  – particularly exploring the use of social media by patients. The other was ethical- in light of the recent Cambridge Analytica Facebook data scandal, a key discussion point threading through multiple sessions revolved around patients’ use of public vs. private social media spaces, and where in this space it is ethical for us as market researchers to listen, enter and play. As we strive to listen more closely to the patient voice, while keeping abreast of the GPDR requirements that are affecting our industry in the EU and globally, also a recurring topic of conversation at the conference, we need to continue to ensure informed consent is paramount and remain mindful of how we are using the patient data we collect, whether obtained directly through traditional interviewing or indirectly using big data or social medial listening / web scraping. 

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