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What If Personalized Healthcare Became the Standard in Ophthalmology?

Personalized healthcare continues to advance to improve the patient care especially in targeting disease and personlization of therapy. The personalized medicine in the retinal disease area such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, retinal vein occlusion have resulted in enhanced outcomes. The high clinical need for individualized treatment in terms of dosage optimization and dose interval is expected, therefore it is vital to assist physicians to manage patient and treatment data and hence recommend the next optimal treatment.

Our case study for a recent product launch by the personalized healthcare (PHC) pharmaceutical leader suggests an effective digital channel is essential for physicians in spite of high drug efficacy. The adoption of the digital portal provides ease for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to obtain computed recommendations based on the drug protocol and patient scenarios. KY & Company interviewed several experts and elicited several key takeaways in adopting the HCP digital recommendation portal.

Integrate the treatment recommendation into the healthcare ecosystem

Integrate the recommendation portal into existing clinical operations is a challenge unless the value of the portal outweighs the cost of running multiple solutions. Forming a complementary relationship between recommendation portal and clinical management system requires a vision to think from a patient perspective.

  • The role of the recommendation system will need to be positioned as the assistant of the HCPs in the treatment space instead of sole customer/ patient relationship management portal. Empowering HCPs with the recommendation will ultimately bring huge benefits to the patients in both short and long terms.

  • Harassing the assessment data without institution/ clinic boundary will facilitate the HCPs to give more precise and effective diagnosis and treatment.

Developing an architecture that scales

A digital solution with scalable architecture is critical to the global product launch. The dynamic environment results in the evolution of medicine to address the needs of patients in terms of severity, behavior, daily habits and many more. Below are the questions for consideration:

  • Is the recommendation system scalable and configurable based on the ever-changing medical protocol?

  • Is the solution scalable to multiple affiliates in complying to the local regulation and medical practice?

  • Is the solution scalable to multiple brands/ products of the same disease area?

  • Is the solution compatible and integrable with other channels to collect sufficient data for understanding patient insight giving recommendation accordingly?

  • Is the solution practical for HCPs and drug safety to conduct pharmacovigilance detection, assessment, understanding, prevention, and reporting processes

Putting patient data security and privacy management as priority

Data security and privacy are mandatory when handling patient and personally identifiable information (PII) data. The implementation will require both the business and technical teams to consider policies, user journey and implementation approach. Below are the key angles the project team will likely forget.

  • Policy

  • Define and enforce a legitimate privacy notice and data governance policy (collection, classification, retention, backup, and archiving) in all the channels no matter inside the platform or the outgoing communication channels.

  • User journey and process

  • Provide a clear user experience design and guideline for HCPs to seek patient consent

  • Setup usage and issues reporting guideline for HCP users to follow

  • Setup data privacy officer and support team to address user enquiry

  • Implementation approach

  • Ensure the implementation team to follow data security standard and best practice

  • Enforce the information security policy no matter in workplace or work-from-home

  • Define and drill risk management procedures

  • Conduct security penetration test to evaluate the solution resiliency from attacks



Kelvin Tsang is a Consultant, Life science in the Hong Kong office; Mike Kwok is the managing director in the Hong Kong Office

The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Tracy Wong, practicing HCPs.


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KY & Company - Personalized Healthcare in the Ophthalmology
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