How we can help fight the global cardiovascular health crisis
June 26, 2020

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally (CDC). CVD takes an estimated 17.9 million lives each year and accounts for a quarter of all deaths in the states and the UK (BHF).

There are many medical risk factors that can contribute to cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol etc. as well as other factors such as age, gender, mental health and ethnicity (BHF).

The vast amount of people both in the UK and globally that are suffering from cardiovascular disease or linked conditions, means that there is a great need for medicines in this area.  We see this reflected not only in the amount of pharmaceutical companies heavily focused on cardiovascular sales but also in the increase in revenue generated when cardiovascular drugs are marketed and implemented correctly (PMLive). This is particularly pertinent in the case of Bristol Myres Squibb, who’s rapid increase in cardiovascular market share bolstered drug sales by 326% based on one drug alone – Eliquis® (Forbes). As other key players run quickly towards the end of their period of exclusivity, the race is on to market as the most promising cardiovascular drug – one that will help patients manage their chronic conditions and ultimately will save lives (Cleveland Clinic).

Why are we as a data tech company interested in the cardiovascular space?

Well, there are a number of reasons:

1) We have seen in our data the impact the pandemic has had on cardiovascular patients that are waiting for treatment (13.2%), and are worried about their health (52.9%) as a result of not being able to see their healthcare professionals.

2) It is being hypothesised that coronavirus could in fact be a blood vessel disease (Elemental). Having spent a lot of time analysing the symptoms and feelings of COVID-19 patients we feel that the cardiovascular space is a natural place for us to progress to.

3) We are interested in the inequality in the cardiovascular sector – there are endless articles about the lack of females in clinical trials, how ethnic minorities are misrepresented and we want to play our part in changing this for good (BBC).

4) We genuinely believe that our unique blend of data can help track patients at risk, bolster educational messaging and help optimise medicine usage in a space in which it is much needed. We know how to engage and listen to patients – people are speaking online about their medicines, talking about their diagnosis, management of their conditions and treatment options. We believe this data of value should be structured, to give meaning and to do good!

Why are we fit to help in this space?

We are a company with global reach that has experience in communicating and engaging with all ages and genders. We slice data by age, gender, location to build up an understanding of shared characteristics – we call these our patient ‘personas’. In recent communications we have engaged with an audience of which 50.4% were in the age range of 71-80, illustrating our capability to engage with “hard to reach” profiles. These individuals were predominantly female (83.7%) and suffered from health conditions including hypertension (45.5%), heart disease (43.1%), stroke (14.6%) or were at risk of heart disease (13%).

We know that different people have different ways of sharing health information – that’s why we are looking across many different mediums (e.g. Twitter, Reddit, connected devices such as our Medsmart® App and more). We are already seeing value in doing this as there are definite differences in the information that can be obtained from these sources. On Reddit we are seeing patients that are open to talking about their heart symptoms. Whereas on Twitter we are seeing a lot more talk about health conditions with less focus on symptoms. Other communication on Reddit included feelings and medicines and on Twitter involved medicines and lifestyles, showing a real shift in information between the two social media platforms.

Furthermore, working for both the pharmaceutical industry and the patient puts us in an unparalleled position to use our data both to help patients get the most out of their medicines and to help pharmaceutical companies improve their marketing strategy. A strategy that takes into account data and opinions from the people that matter the most – patients.

The bottom line is, like any health tech company with a conscience, we want to make a difference. Our data blend is unique, bringing value and benefit. We are excited about the days ahead as we continue to source and analyse data across the cardiovascular space. We look forward to sharing more of our insights with you. In the meantime, please reach out if you have any questions!

Data sources: 170 posts Reddit/Twitter, Survey 138 respondents, Medsmart 2.8K users.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/contact-the-press-office/facts-and-figures

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjxxt3q4Z_qAhUKAcAKHeiXByUQFjAAegQIBhAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bhf.org.uk%2F-%2Fmedia%2Ffiles%2Fresearch%2Fheart-statistics%2Fbhf-cvd-statistics-uk-factsheet.pdf%3F&usg=AOvVaw0pu1-MB6CIrWkASqyQHXSn

http://www.pmlive.com/top_pharma_list/cardiovascular_revenues

https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2020/03/27/whats-behind-300-jump-in-bristol-myers-squibbs-cardiovascular-drugs-sales-in-the-last-4-years/#262a7adb8891

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-big-six-heart-medications/

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