Patient Engagement for Medtech Companies is Hard – Here’s Some Advice on How to Do it Right


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Engaging with patients in a genuine and transparent way is tough.  Really tough.  It’s challenging for all healthcare stakeholders – payers, providers, and industry.

From a medtech perspective, we often times get stuck in a certain mindset when trying to engage with patients. Whether it’s a continuous glucose monitor for diabetic patients or a new hip implant for orthopedic patients, we gravitate towards communicating the features and benefits of our particular product.  For example, this might sounds familiar – “Joe Patient, you should consider our knee implant because it has a greater arc than Competitor X.”

But is this really the right approach?  If our end-goal is for a patient to take action, is this the best way to engage with them?  To answer this question, I invited Neal Sofian to the program.  He’s currently the VP of Engagement & Innovation at Vivacity, a subsidiary of Premera Blue Cross.  Neal is recognized internationally for his work in population health management and behavioral change.

Interview Highlights with Neal Sofian

  • What does patient personalization really mean?  And why messaging around life and context is so important.
  • Why do so many life science companies fail to effectively personalize their messages to patients?
  • What technologies can actually support effective patient engagement?
  • Examples of companies that have been successful at patient personalization.
  • How to overcome some of the legal challenges associated with patient engagement.
  • The top 2 things that medtech or biotech companies should do right now to improve their patient engagement initiatives.
  • Neal’s favorite non-fiction business book, the business leaders he admires the most, and the one piece of advice he’d give to his 30-yr. old self.

This Is What You Can Do Next

1) Listen to the interview with Neal Sofian right now:

2) You can also download the mp3 file of the interview by clicking here.

Don’t forget – you can listen to this interview and all of the other Medsider interviews via iTunes.  And if you get a chance, leave us an honest rating and review.

About Neal Sofian

Patient Engagement with Neal Sofian

Neal Sofian is recognized internationally for over 35 years of innovation in population and corporate health management as well as organizational change.  He is responsible for commercializing the first telephonic coaching programs including Free & Clear and many of the early social networking platforms including the Cancer Society’s ‘Cancer Survivors Network’.  Neal is currently the VP of Engagement & Innovation at Vivacity, a subsidiary of Premera Blue Cross.  He develops new strategies to actively engage the 2 million members of Premera in their health and wellbeing.  He is also a clay artist and has done standup comedy.  Neal holds a master’s degree in public health from the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine.

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