Unmet Needs: Hearing the Challenges of Chronic Patients with Artificial Intelligence

Bharat Tewarie, Vasudev Bailey, Maxwell Rebarber, and Jennings Xu

1.30.2019


UCB, ARTIS Ventures, and Quid have leveraged artificial intelligence and natural language processing to algorithmically analyze over 500,000 public, anonymous patient comments online to understand what needs of chronic patients are unmet. Our analysis has utilized the power of the machine to move us past our unconscious assumptions on what these patients want and to augment traditional focus groups in which a small group of people often represent the voice of a population. This report demonstrates the utility of large scale text mining for delivering real value to chronic patients and ensuring every voice is heard.


Collective voices of the online patient communities across 10 different diseases have been heard: 6 out of 8 of patients' top unmet needs are more emotional than medical.  Patients want to understand how to live with their diseases, adapt daily routines to accommodate side effects, and connect with other patients to share their journeys. For some patients, including those with epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, this call for help has become increasingly pressing as patients are becoming even more negative over time online.


Current systems fail in humanizing patients.  Emotional needs are still largely unaddressed while medical needs are the focus of current efforts and innovation.  There remains a large opportunity for health care stakeholders to come together to treat patients as people rather than a set of symptoms and to provide greater support, awareness, and education. By doing so, we can define real patient value through the patient’s lens, addressing both their emotional and medical needs. Only then can we innovate, build and deliver the solutions that will ultimately help patients live the lives that they choose. 


Report authors are: Bharat Tewarie, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, UCB Biopharma; Vasudev Bailey, Partner, Artis Ventures; Maxwell Rebarber, Vice President, Enterprise, Quid; Jennings Xu, Senior Manager, Enterprise, Quid. 


Read the full report here.

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