Moving the needle: How logistics can help shift focus to patient-centred healthcare

Delivered by DHL

Most life sciences and healthcare organiations are seeking ways to increase patient centricity. Logistics can make a noticeable difference, helping to move the needle from boardroom theory to business action.

In a previous blog, I made the case for logistics as an enabler in life sciences. Now I would like to add the following illustration of patient-centred healthcare.

Our recently published white paper, The Future of Life Sciences and Healthcare Logistics, provides a neat example. It describes Jane, a 40-year-old with a full-time job and a home in the city where she is raising two children and caring for her elderly parents. Clearly this person does not have much time to spare and she requires a relatively high degree of control in all aspects of her life, including healthcare and well-being. So the growing trends of self-care and remote monitoring have particular appeal for people like Jane, facilitated by a growing online landscape of virtually connected platforms.

When Jane or a family member needs medical guidance and support, she is very likely to want virtual consultations with a doctor before she goes to work or after she returns home. She also values the opportunity to order medicines online with the promise of precisely timed home delivery. To support her elderly father’s ongoing medical issues, she is very keen on home care sessions as these allow her increasingly frail parent to stay in the familiar and safe environment of home. Every appointment is automatically scheduled and, so no-one forgets, regular reminders are sent. She feels reassured to know that her father is receiving personalised medicines that fit his exact and changing treatment profile.

In addition, Jane finds it very useful to have smart devices and self-monitoring kits at home to help her keep a keen eye on identified health issues. She uses this data to inform her decisions about the family’s medical needs.

Moving the industry towards adequately serving Jane (and the growing numbers of people who are just like her) requires a patient-centred approach; this, in turn, requires transformation in the life sciences and healthcare supply chain. A large percentage of our customers are embarking on this journey by exploiting data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) technology, new on-demand business models, robotics, automation, augmented reality and 3D printing. I will dip into each of these transformational trends in future blogs, giving further insight into how logistics can help shift focus to patient-centred healthcare. In the meantime, I would like to hear what is your take on this journey. Are you already experimenting with any of these trends in your business or as a patient yourself?

Scott Allison is the president of Life Sciences & Healthcare at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. This article was originally published in DHL’s Delivered magazine.