Originally posted on “Value innovation in medical and life sciences” ; July 30th, 2010
See: http://web.archive.org/web/20101021014110/http://wp-pharma.waardeinnovatie.nl/?p=183

In health care, patients are often left alone with their therapies. Currently, we see service and marketing in health care efforts using the internet to fill the patients most obvious needs. Information services, indication backgrounds, drug information, patient stories, communities around peers, compliance guidelines are all services brought to the patient on a one-to-one basis.

From a health care perspective, these efforts are innovative, but do not present a structural attempt to systematically arrange all or several of the elements that caring for one’s health condition may include.

From a marketing perspective, these are attempts at a service level, attracting the patient occasionally, but not on the basis of reaching out to help on a continuing basis. And, thereby missing out on the opportunity to increase the frequency of patient engagement, but also to increase the quality of the relationship with the consumer over time.

Setting up and delivering an integrated context for servicing patients’ needs and demands will be more beneficial to patients in coping with their condition, as well as to the stakeholders relating to them in pursuing their health care business.

Such a service presents an unprecedented opportunity for drug companies that could put them in the position to both build a unique partnership with patients and to partner with health care providers in setting up a rich and diverse context of care.

Experience Co-Creation in Care (EC3), is both a marketing and a health care development approach. It is based on serving patients’ needs by caring for their health condition and upon their ability to self-manage their efforts effectively by giving them the trust, information and tools they need. At the same time affording them the opportunity to relate them to their health stakeholder partners, the healthcare provider, and the pharmaceutical industry.

First, Experience Co-Creation in Care (EC3) is a marketing approach in health care that adds to the patients’ therapy a trusted context of integrated and accommodated services to them, specifically:

  • Information and instruction as to what their health condition entails and how to manage it;
  • Learning and support (as opposed to control) in complying with the therapy;
  • Monitoring the maintenance of their condition;
  • Providing coaching services that speak to their personal concerns and actions.

EC3 is a marketing approach because it builds on the provider-customer relationship to the point where it may shape their experience above and beyond the product and service level. It is specifically conceived of as a suite of different types of services designed to put the consumer/patient in the position to choose for the option best suiting him or her. Thus, the consumer/patient is promoted to a proactive, co-operative position with the care provider(s).

EC3 entails both a concept and a toolbox of methods that builds the EC3 environment in accordance with patient needs based on assessment of the patients’ current experiences of health care, the actual processes deployed in the delivery of their care, an analysis of the associated value chain, and the identification of potential or existing flaws in their experience of the care provided. Subsequent to a preliminary analysis, it offers a method to selectively add value to consumers at key points in the care-giving process. It does so on the basis of an insight-driven view of consumer/patient needs and demands. Ideally, patient advocates as well as health care providers (representatives) and/or relevant health care authorities are involved in the development process to contribute to trustworthiness and validity of the resulting provisions.

EC3 is not an internet application per se. Instead, it is an approach to develop health care business from the perspective of the experience of care by patients. It builds bespoke services to support their exact needs and wishes.

EC3 neither dictates nor attempts to control patients’ behavior, but seeks to enable and facilitate.

In this sense EC3 provides a supporting context, based upon patients needs, designed to integrate into and co-operate with health care services to shape his or her experience of coping with their health condition.

EC3 provides for a health care environment that through further development has the potential to become an interface between the patient and many other elements of contemporary health care provision. With respect to concerns regarding the cost of care, EC3 features robust data monitoring and actions/interventions capabilities, providing an evaluation/research facility new to health care but well suited to moving rapidly towards health efficiency gains and health economy data collection, collation and redistribution.

EC3 will put stakeholders in health care in a novel position to their market and hence, will have the opportunity to change their business model from fee for intervention into ROI on integrated product/services embedded in total costs of care. It will render a pharmaceutical company the opportunity to change its business from product sales into ROI that is based upon added value stemming from acquired pharmacology and from knowledge of experience with and use of their drugs.

It is time to begin to imagine how the basis of competition to health care stakeholders will change from the moment of starting to cooperate and collaborate with each other and with patients in creating Experience Co-creation in Care. It is time for taking patient care to the next level. It is time for EC3.


Rob Halkes1

1 I do thank Andrew Spong (www.stwem.com) for editing this text.

Photo’s from:
– Microsoft media gallery
– photo of pills from forumpharma_35.3_stosse flickr


Original Comments

Comment by Neil Crump July 30th, 2010 at 07:27 | #1

Dear Robert, I was really interested to read this post. Only yesterday I went for lunch with a market access friend and we talked about this exact topic. In the UK, where public money is tight, there will be a squeeze on spending (currently health is faring well but with a 25% reduction in spending for four years, health will see cuts) and hence partnership approaches such as those you create where patients are at the centre of the process is key. You should start-up a business here in the UK :+).

Comment by Rob Halkes July 30th, 2010 at 07:43 | #2

Hi Neil,

Well thanks for your comment, and yes, as it happens we are on the way of embarking on the UK with our business. Developing EC3 in Care is an investment, that to my belief pays itself by endorsing self-management on the part of the patients as well as by structuring processes and collaboration between health care providers!

Comment by Michaela Endemann July 30th, 2010 at 11:41 | #3

Hi Rob,
the first sentence says it all: In health care, patients are often left alone with their therapies.
and this is what my first thoughts are when I hear about efficiency in hospitals, especially financially, when it comes to close unefficient small hospitals. When patients are far away from their relatives¦

Comment by Alexander Schachinger August 5th, 2010 at 18:34 | #4

Hi Rob,

your approach is a great combination of consequences of new health 2.0 possibilities combined with tailored, personalized, timely and relevant information therapy, called Ix, which is a similar approach:


Cu soon

Comment by Rob Halkes August 9th, 2010 at 14:06 | #5

Indeed Michaela and thank you for your response. Experience Co-Creation in Care may thus bridge the gap of distance!

Comment by Rob Halkes August 9th, 2010 at 14:07 | #6

Thank you Alex for rendering the link! So much motivation to go that road!