From agile research to effective health tech

From agile research to effective health tech

Just before she arrived in Riyadh for #LEAP23, we caught up with Reena Sooch (Head of Digital and Connected Health at Ipsos) to get a quick preview of the wisdom she’d share on the keynote stage. 

Sooch leads Ipsos in developing capabilities in evolving digital techniques, and has a unique understanding of the barriers when it comes to connected health. She’s passionate about empowering patients and equipping them with accurate, actionable knowledge; as well as supporting medical professionals so they can embrace productive, fulfilling careers – and avoid burnout. 

We asked Sooch what she was most looking forward to at LEAP 2023, and she said:

“Bringing together a variety of countries and healthcare providers to discuss the challenges is the exciting opportunity of LEAP 2023.” 

Here are more of our questions – and Sooch’s insightful answers. 

There’s lots of speculation (and hope) that digital tech will create more equity in access to relevant, effective healthcare services and treatments. Do you think this is the case – and  what needs to happen alongside rolling out digital tools to ensure they really do benefit everyone? 

“We have an inequity gap in traditional health access and outcomes today, and technology can help certain individuals with better access to quality information. The issue is the word ‘certain people’ – today from Ipsos data we can see those who are educated, health literate and have disposable income are accessing digital tech. 

“We need the Industry, Government and Provider communities to enable greater access to technology for lower income populations and look at the health literacy of their products. Ipsos are working with the Industry on this mission.” 

What research projects is Ipsos undertaking (or has recently undertaken) in the healthcare sector? 

“We run a diverse range of projects and studies,” Sooch said. 

Including:

  • This paper on the digital therapeutics landscape in the UK
  • Working with clinicians on their awareness and needs in digital tech – like this report, in collaboration with Elsevier Health, which shows the challenges and burnout that clinicians are experiencing as a result of adopting technology
  • Studies that test new concepts in various countries, segmenting target customers and optimising launch plans – such as this survey on the unrealised potential of digital therapeutics in the UK

Can you identify any important gaps in existing health tech research?

“I think there is a lot of research happening across the globe, what we lack is cross-sharing of learnings. There is an opportunity to better map the current digital health landscape – policy, adoption, access – across the globe but there would need to be a cross-industry effort to create this and openness to share data.”

How would you describe the relationship between market research and technology development? 

“Insight is critical to development, and the earlier the better! You can learn and leap frog quickly if you take a truly user-centred approach to your technology development. Understanding the pain points of your end user, current behaviours and attitudes will enable companies to create a breakthrough product which speaks to a real need in the market. 

“Research should be agile when working on technology; we know one size will not fit all so we need to craft a research approach which invites a diverse range of perspectives (in terms of stakeholders and patient types). Market research should be at the forefront of technology development – not an afterthought.”

Thanks to Reena Sooch at Ipsos. Discover more at LEAP 2023. 

 

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