The World Health Organization categorizes psoriasis as a chronic and noncommunicable skin disease with no apparent cause or cure that has global incidence and impact. Studies on psoriasis reveal prevalence rates ranging from 0.09% to 11.43% across various countries, making it a problem that affects 100 million individuals worldwide (1).
Due to the unpredictable nature of its symptoms, complex disease triggers, and many comorbidities, the treatment of psoriasis presents significant challenges for healthcare providers. However, drug innovations and the adoption of digital solutions are paving the way forward for positive patient journeys and early treatment outcomes. The market size for psoriasis treatment is expected to reach US $51 billion by 2030, indicating that this is an area of focus for healthcare (2).
How Digital Health Platforms Help
Digital health platforms leverage the use of digital technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and wearables to improve access to care and drive positive health outcomes for patients. Being highly flexible with solid integration, these platforms streamline the delivery of targeted healthcare services, from patient onboarding to financial assistance.
· Patient onboarding and treatment – Digital health platforms ensure easy onboarding of patients to find the right healthcare provider on their mobile devices. Patients can register themselves, create their profiles, and upload their clinical history. Using this data, healthcare providers can assign medical or care teams.
· Treatment adherence and care plans – DHPs enable personalized care plans through customized patient pathways packages, routine tests, etc., depending on the type of therapy and comorbidities. Such platforms can stratify patients according to disease type and severity, track medication adherence, provide nutrition guidance, and capture biomarker data for daily health monitoring.
· Access to the right doctors – Digital health platforms offer 360-degree care by ensuring access to multi-speciality doctors including dermatologists, nutritionists, psychologists, and general physicians. They also integrate easily with healthcare information systems to retrieve patient data, which enables additional capabilities to improve access. For instance, it can include travel logistics for multiple doctor visits for tests and diagnosis and location-based tracking to locate the right healthcare providers.
· Continuous patient support – Digital health platforms help build a community of disease experts as well as patients for augmented support. With DHPs, companies can scale their awareness campaigns across a wider network and push relevant educational content to patients.
· Healthcare provider dashboard –– Digital health platforms provide a unified dashboard, allowing doctors to monitor their patients anytime, anywhere. Doctors have a single window view into all patient data including symptom history, therapy adherence, medication regimes, lifestyle behaviours (such as exercise, diet, and sleep), lab results, and other relevant biomarkers. It provides a holistic picture of patients for improved medical decisions by doctors.
· Value-added services – Digital health platforms facilitate patient access to health programs through digital channels. The platform can also support the complete patient journey across enrolment, appointment scheduling, case management, adherence tracking, telemedicine, mobile health monitoring, and advocacy. By onboarding other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, it can also offer support for insurance claims, appeals, and alternate funding. Additionally, patients can easily access resources such as registered nurses and educational materials.
· Extend reach of healthcare plans – As digital channels become pervasive, digital health platforms will help establish a strong social presence and brand recall for pharmaceutical companies. By widening the patient pool, access and support as well as making care increasingly efficient, automated, and relevant, DHPs can support global reach.
Psoriasis is a global healthcare challenge that is yet to achieve all-round success in treatment outcomes. Patients often struggle with low disease awareness, ineffective access to the right physicians, and the lack of a multi-speciality treatment approach. As symptom control is the first step in the long-term management of psoriasis, consistent monitoring, adherence to therapy and drug regimens, and timely as well as appropriate advice are critical success factors. Digital health platforms can help those involved in diagnosing and treating psoriasis deliver quality and responsive care. By streamlining patient journeys, from mobile onboarding to financial advice, such platforms benefit all stakeholders – patients, their families, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies – through better drug uptake, improved health outcomes, and patient satisfaction.
1. WHO, Global report on Psoriasis