3 reasons biopharma is jumping on the at-home testing trend
This article was originally published in Medical Marketing and Media (MM+M).
The concept of at-home testing has been around for decades, starting with the first drugstore pregnancy tests but quickly expanding to a wide range of options for diagnosing and monitoring common health conditions.
From cholesterol and thyroid function tests to screenings for kidney health, consumers now have more options than ever to take charge of their health from the comfort of their own homes. And after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the ease and utility of testing at home, they are more eager to take advantage of these options than ever before.
Growing consumer familiarity with this $2 billion market is good news for biopharma companies seeking impactful ways to expand their engagement in the health and wellness environment. At-home testing offers a unique way to connect directly with consumers at critical points in their patient journey — or even get people started on a new path toward education and empowerment to take charge of their own health.
For example, Amgen recently partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) to raise awareness of LDL cholesterol’s link to heart attacks and strokes. In addition to hosting provider-focused events and launching a social media awareness campaign, Amgen offered free at-home LDL-C tests to the public during National Cholesterol Education Month in September.
Consumers who took advantage of the offer can then speak to their healthcare provider about the results and find the right therapies to address the problem.
Biopharma companies can see multiple benefits when integrating at-home testing into consumer-centered awareness and education campaigns. Here are the top three reasons why biopharma is embracing the trend more rapidly than ever.
More comprehensive screening leads to broader uptake of appropriate therapies
Many of the clinical factors leading to chronic disease, such as hypertension, elevated blood sugar and high cholesterol, are symptomless until they lead to serious health events. Educating consumers on their personal risks, as well as providing at-home testing opportunities to gather data on their unique needs, can help individuals take action to get upstream of negative outcomes. This can result in better experiences, control costs and improved health at the individual and population levels — the Triple Aim of Healthcare.
There is also a more financially focused benefit for biopharma companies themselves. Simply put, when more people know they have a health issue they are likely to start therapy to address the problem. That means biopharma companies that produce medications for these conditions are more likely to see uptake of their products, which leads to enhanced revenue and greater financial sustainability.
Amgen’s LDL-C campaign is objectively good for patients, for example, but the company may also find that speedier diagnosis of high cholesterol will lead to greater use of Repatha, their PCSK9 inhibitor that reduces “bad” cholesterol.
Knowledge is power for maintaining adherence to recommended care. Most chronic conditions require ongoing surveillance and sustained action to prevent long-term health issues. In fact, 70% of treatment decisions are dependent on lab testing, according to the CDC. Unfortunately, this often means frequent trips to clinics or labs for routine testing — something that can be extremely challenging for people living with health-related social needs (HRSN) such as lack of transportation or housing insecurity.
These challenges can also lead to nonadherence to medications, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the therapies for patients while creating revenue uncertainties for biopharma companies. With up to 50% of chronic disease patients failing to take their medications as required, there is a huge opportunity for biopharma companies to take a more active role in addressing the situation.
At-home testing can form a part of this strategy. By shifting testing into the home, biopharma companies can assist with eliminating barriers to diagnostic and maintenance activities, which can in turn reinforce positive behaviors for patients.
Patient engagement leads to patient empowerment earlier in the care journey
At-home testing provides an innovative way for biopharma to engage with patients throughout the care journey: a key goal for many companies seeking to expand brand awareness while improving outcomes. When pairing at-home testing delivery with a complementary patient engagement platform offering insights into test results and support from trained clinicians, biopharma can elevate the overall healthcare experience.
Supporting convenient, engaging, patient-centered care options positions biopharma companies as partners in empowerment and creates opportunities to work with patients collaboratively — without unduly influencing decision-making — to ensure that every individual gets the personalized care they need to optimize their health.
For more information on how ixlayer can help biopharma companies launch testing programs with speed, transparency, control and impact click here.
At ixlayer, we believe the future of biopharma is integrated with at-home testing. But we know lab testing programs require complex logistics that can take millions of dollars and several years to set up. So, instead of each organization reinventing the wheel, we built an advanced platform that provides the infrastructure necessary for trusted brands to quickly and affordably offer millions of diagnostic tests each year. From white-labeled test kits to reporting of results, our innovative business-to-business platform serves as a gateway to a vast network of diagnostic lab testing services that help biopharma companies build relationships, educate patients, encourage medication adherence and raise awareness of biopharma’s crucial role in the healthcare ecosystem. There’s no better partner and no faster way to begin a health diagnostic program.