Personalised medicine is about getting patients on the right medicine, at the right time on the right dose. Many factors play into achieving this, none more so than patient involvement in their treatment plan – sharing their opinions and feelings at different stages of their journey. Capturing these feelings can be used to improve treatment in several ways.
Why is feelings data important?
- Diagnosis – By monitoring how patients feel, there is a greater chance of early and more accurate diagnosis. This is because downward trends and symptoms associated with certain illnesses can be spotted in their infancy, reported, and acted upon early.
- Identifying comedication – Collecting information about how patients feel on specific medicine combinations can inform which drugs may have negative effects when taken in unison.
- Tackle suboptimal dosing – Some feelings such as exhaustion etc are characteristic of the wrong dose having been administered. Feelings data could identify mis-dosing and resolve it efficiently.
- Optimise medicine usage – Observing the way people use and feel on certain medications could be a fast way of identifying when a treatment is not working for an individual and must be changed.
Who is feelings data important for?
There are three distinct groups that could benefit from feelings intelligence.
- Patients – Recording how individual patient’s moods and feelings change as a result of their medicine will make it easier to optimise their treatment plan, leading to an overall improvement to the quality of life of the patient.
- Pharmaceutical companies – Feelings data can help pharmaceutical companies determine common issues experienced by patients. This allows the tailoring of educational content to fill knowledge gaps. This information may also help in the identification of patients that are “at risk” resulting in increased usage of their medicine.
- Healthcare professionals – Recognising concerns about specific medicines and health conditions will help healthcare professionals understand patients’ most “burdenous” symptoms and react to these. This will limit the amount of times an individual has to return to a GP, increasing the efficiency of a practice.
By listening to patients, whether it be in person or digitally, we can undoubtedly gain a better understanding of their concerns are and how to address them as effectively and efficiently as possible.