There is an area of medicine where KOL involvement is increasing dramatically – patient apps.
Whether you want to keep a simple symptom record for reporting back to your physician, or to go all out and stream body/disease parameters in real-time to third party healthcare providers, the plethora of apps to support patients with chronic diseases such as rheumatology, oncology, diabetes, etc., is growing by the day. The Google Play store alone contains over 250 apps to support patients with Diabetes and over 230 apps for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There has also been a concomitant increase in the discussion of such apps in publications, congresses, etc. with congresses such as ADA, ACR, and EULAR incorporating sessions and abstracts on these apps into their programs.
So what about the KOLs who are leading these discussions and getting involved with such initiatives? All our research to-date suggests that these KOLs are not the usual “Traditional KOLs” nor the “Digital KOLs”, but mostly a new segment of Experts working at the intersection of medicine and technology.
These Experts tend to be clinically orientated (to be able to address and solve specific patient and management challenges) with an interest or involvement in software.
Why should you care? Because chances are that if you have a therapy for a chronic disease, more of your patients are using these apps to manage their disease and their medication.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Engaging with this new class of app-focussed KOLs should form part of your wider KOL engagement strategy.
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