Patient Engagement & Patient Centricity Series Part I: What’s the Difference?

Nirpal Virdee, Synchrogenix’s Global Head of Transparency and Disclosure recently sat down with Trishna Bharadia, award-winning health advocate and patient engagement champion, for a discussion around patient engagement and patient centricity. Their discussion was moderated by Darshan Kulkarni of the podcast 'Darshan Talks' for a series of episodes that you can listen to here. Darshan has given us permission to summarize their conversation for this 3-part blog series.

Patient Engagement and Patient Centricity: Terms Defined

Oftentimes the terms ‘Patient Engagement’ and ‘Patient Centricity’ are used interchangeably. Many companies say it’s a focus, but have trouble speaking to what the terms even mean to them. Darshan Kulkarni and Nirpal Virdee sat down with Trishna Bharadia and asked for her take on things. Trishna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008 at the age of 28. Her negative experience with diagnosis and what came after inspired her to become a health advocate and patient engagement champion.

According to Trishna, patient engagement and patient centricity are different.

“Patient centricity is not about putting the patient at the center – it’s about putting the patient needs at the center,” she said. “If you put the patient at the center, you take away the importance of other stakeholders involved in that healthcare journey. [Patient centricity] is about putting the patient needs at the center. In order to achieve that, you need to have patient engagement.”

According to Trishna, patient engagement is about engaging with patients at the right time, in the appropriate manner, when it’s relevant. The engagement also needs to be transparent and fair. It is possible to engage in this way and still not put patient needs at the center. But you can’t have patient centricity without patient engagement.

Although sponsors say they’re focused on partnerships with patients, “sponsors are not going far enough to really understand what that means and how to embed patient participation and need throughout the development lifecycle," according to Nirpal.

What do you think? How do you define patient engagement and patient centricity? Let us know in the comments.

Click here to read Part II of our Patient Engagement and Patient Centricity Series where Trishna and Nirpal discuss the three different types of patient advocates.

You can follow Trishna on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.

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