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Digital solutions can empower patients in their own care


In healthcare, digitalisation offers opportunities to empower patients. Digital tools can be used to help patients to feel in control of their treatment, which in turn supports adherence to treatment and continuity of care, says Sara Fredriksson, who started as Head of Patient and Medical Support Programs at Oriola at the end of January.

Digital services have taken a leap during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digitalisation has spread to new areas in society, such as to remote work in schools, and demand in already existing services has increased substantially. In healthcare, for example, remote appointments with healthcare professionals were growing before the pandemic, but it has accelerated this trend.

“Digitalisation is currently being driven by the pandemic, but expectations towards digital services were already growing before,” notes Sara Fredriksson, Head of Patient and Medical Support Programs at Oriola.

“If you wish to relate to people’s daily lives, digital channels are a natural place to be. In healthcare, digitalisation can empower patients. It is important for the patients to feel that they are in control of their own treatment, and digitalisation can support this. For example, in digital channels information is easily accessed regardless of time and place, and mobile apps can provide tools for patients for managing their treatment and getting individual support,” Fredriksson says.

Individual support through customisation

Before joining Oriola, Fredriksson worked at the Swedish Medical Products Agency as Application Management Lead, where her responsibilities included the development of various digital platforms.

“Health is such an important area in life, and even though I worked in the health sector previously, I wanted to work closer to patients. I’m very excited to work with patient support, as we can help people live their lives as normally as possible despite their condition. For pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, patient support programmes are one piece in the puzzle in developing effective treatment. With my team of experienced professionals, we can meet both patients’ and our customers’ needs and develop our services further,” Fredriksson says.

However, despite her own passion for digitalisation, she also wants to stress that in patient support services, there must be a variety of channels and tools in use as each patient is different:

“I believe that personalisation and customisation is the key in supporting patients’ adherence to treatment. This can mean using a combination of appointments, calls, mobile apps and text messages. Digital channels and tools enable more flexible support than traditional leaflets, for example, but the right mix always depends on an individual patient’s needs,” Fredriksson concludes.