Home Icon

Loading, Please Wait...

Largest Study of Its Kind Uses AI to Identify Unmet Needs of Patients with Severe Chronic Conditions; Emotional Support Takes Top Spot

1031 Days ago

Study harnessed the power of natural language processing and machine learning to analyze over half a million patient comments

San Francisco, Jan. 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, NEJM Catalyst published new research co-authored by healthcare executives from UCB, ARTIS Ventures and Quid, that analyzed more than 500,000 publicly available comments made by patients living with one of 10 chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, breast cancer, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. The result is the identification of eight commonly occurring unmet needs expressed by patients, with the analysis revealing that six of the top eight relate to long-term emotional concerns such as how to live with the disease, a stark contrast to the commonly held belief that patients just want their symptoms treated.

The study, which used natural language processing to analyze more than half a million posts made between 2010 and 2018, is the largest of its kind and serves to provide critical information to help healthcare stakeholders offer improved understanding of the real needs of patients with severe chronic conditions, starting by treating them as people, rather than a set of symptoms.

Emotions Matter, Let’s Address Them
As it relates to this study, the emotional concerns most commonly expressed by patients centered around questions such as how a patient's daily life would change, how they would cope mentally with the physical condition, and how to manage the disease long-term. Surprisingly, these questions took precedence over purely medical concerns.

The takeaway for healthcare providers is that patients are looking for some degree of control over how the illness will affect their lives, rather than the focus on just resolving medical needs. Identifying, understanding, and actively targeting these emotional needs on a granular basis is critical to providing both the care and experience that patients want, and deserve. The first step is to start treating them as people, rather than a set of symptoms.

People, Not Patients - Rethinking the Approach
Physicians, advocacy groups, and other healthcare stakeholders have opportunities, and responsibilities, to address these emotional needs through greater awareness and education. The analysis shows patients want to understand their disease at a deeper level, both theoretically and practically. While the internet has made it easy to collect information, patients lack the medical training to truly understand their condition. Therefore it is not enough to only inform them of steps to manage their illness, such as with a medication schedule, but instead take the time to explain the reasoning and science behind each medical step.

The root of many of these unmet emotional needs stem from uncertainty and confusion, which leads to anxiety and distrust. If healthcare stakeholders heed the very clear results of this study, we can all work together to provide people with severe chronic conditions a better quality of life.

A Word from the Authors
“Creating value for patients is only possible if healthcare stakeholders align on how to define, maximize, and measure it,” said Dr. Bharat Tewarie, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at UCB. “As a start, those stakeholders need to break silos, work together, and align on a definition using the lens of the patients. This landmark research gives us this lens so we now can see that the emotional needs of patients are more top of mind than medical needs.”

“For investors and the venture community at large, this research illuminates the tremendous untapped opportunities that can truly make an impact on how people with chronic diseases can improve their lives,” said Vasudev Bailey, PhD, partner at ARTIS Ventures.

“We were inspired to conduct this study when we realized that AI now lets us do something that has never before been possible: listen to half a million voices all together,” said Jennings Xu, author at Quid.

Read the complete study published on January 30 in NEJM Catalyst here.

This research was conducted and written by Bharat Tewarie, MD, UCB, Vasudev Bailey, PhD, ARTIS Ventures, Maxwell Rebarber, and Jennings Xu, both from Quid.

About ARTIS Ventures

Founded in 2002, ARTIS Ventures supports and partners with entrepreneurs who are driven to positively impact their world through disruptive technological innovation. ARTIS was the first institutional investor in cancer-curing Stemcentrx, which was acquired for as much as $10.2 billion in 2016, making it the largest venture-backed acquisition in the history of life sciences. Other notable companies the firm has backed include YouTube, Modern Meadow, Nimble Storage, Aruba Networks, Quid,, IDbyDNA, Versa Networks, Cohesity, Excision BioTherapeutics, Locus Biosciences and many more. The firm supports its portfolio companies throughout their entire life-cycle, from initial venture investment to initial public offering and beyond.  For more information visit www.av.co or email contact@artisventures.com.

About UCB

UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases in immunology and neurology. With more than 7500 people operating in 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €4.5 billion in 2017. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCB_news.

About Quid
Quid is a research platform that inspires full-picture thinking by drawing connections across massive amounts of written content. Our powerful set of core technologies mimics the way the human brain reads and organizes information but does so at a scale and speed beyond the capabilities of any single researcher or team. Quid leverages proprietary machine intelligence to broaden and deepen your analysis. The platform identifies patterns in millions of text-based documents to link otherwise disparate elements into broader storylines that can signal forthcoming trends, opportunities, or potential trouble ahead. We are a trusted partner across a wide spectrum of industries, including Fortune 500 companies, consulting groups, healthcare insurance firms, advertising and PR agencies, and media outlets. Many of the world’s top companies use Quid to spot emerging trends, gauge consumer sentiment, stay ahead of competitors, and develop unique content. For more information, visit Quid.com.

For ARTIS: susie@lymanagency.com
For UCB: Laurent.Schots@ucb.com
For Quid: jxu@quid.com

We Are Diffrent
Is your business listed correctly on America’s largest city directory network of 1,000 portals? Find your City Portal