Health Smartees reveals the 'empowered patient'

Last Thursday, InSites Consulting organized its first Health Smartees. More than 20 professionals from the healthcare industry listened to presentations of Magali Geens, our Director Healthcare Research, Rudi Van Campenhout from UCB and Annelies Verhaeghe, who presented a client case.


Magali kicked off and presented the results of our 2009 Pan-European patient study. This study revealed 4 actionable patient segments, which allow us to really understand the needs of different patient profiles. It showed us the increasing involvement of certain patients in their relationship with healthcare professionals. Today, it becomes very clear that pharmaceutical companies have to change their current sales and communication approach and start taking into account this new patient. Neglecting this influence might lead to a big loss in business potential.

Therefore, understanding patients and speaking the language of the patient is a key priority for healthcare marketers these days. In order to answer this need, InSites Consulting developed a ‘Daily 2.0’ website for Merck Serono. During the Smartees, Magali gave a demonstration of this tool: it allows Merck Serono to have live and continuous updates of patient news that appear on the internet. Through a smart system that relies on RSS feeds, marketers receive frequent updates of patient information to “keep the finger on the pulse”.

However, it shouldn’t stop here. More than just observing, InSites Consulting helps companies to analyze these patient conversations on the internet. For UCB, Annelies Verhaeghe conducted an online patient nethnographic study in the field of epilepsy. The analysis of more than 30.000 patient conversations leads to new insights and understandings towards their patients. Rudi Van Campenhout and his team are now translating these findings into concrete actions.

During the coffee break and lunch, the discussion about the “empowered patient” and the different patient segments continued, and clients started wondering how they could start implementing this in their own business. This really motivates us to keep on ‘Taking health research forward’!

For more information, you can contact Saartje Van den Branden ( or visit our Smartees website.

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