Case Study

Understanding the Patient Journey to Help Guide a Successful New Indication Launch


For individuals receiving a diagnosis of heart failure, it often arrives unexpectedly; the revelation of their heart failure condition frequently occurs during a cardiovascular event requiring hospitalization. This diagnosis not only takes patients by surprise but also reveals hidden risk factors such as iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA), which can be easily missed, putting patients at increased risk of hospitalization. Consequently, when a product attains a new indication for heart failure and prepares for its launch, it becomes crucial for the manufacturer to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s path to uncover areas of opportunity and tactical steps for their product.

By utilizing online qualitative research to conduct one-on-one in-depth interviews (IDIs) via webcam, the team gained insights into the patient journey. The primary objective of the research was to identify gaps in patient education, unmet needs, and other critical aspects, all aimed at uncovering key areas where our client’s product could make a meaningful difference for patients managing heart failure.  This strategic approach ensures that the product launch not only addresses these concerns but also maximizes its impact.


A New Product Full of Potential for HF Patients, but Patient Perspective Is Needed

With its new heart failure (HF) indication, our client is poised to make a potentially significant impact within this disease state. In preparation for the launch of this new indication, the client team needed to understand the heart failure patient journey and areas along the experience when a diagnosis of ID/IDA may occur. With a complete view of this journey, the goal was to identify gaps and areas of opportunity for its new indication.  


Webcam IDIs, Starting with a Homework Assignment, Enabled Deep Understanding of the Journey

To obtain a deep and nuanced understanding of the heart failure journey from the patient’s point of view, C+R Research conducted exploratory qualitative research via webcam in-depth interviews (IDIs). Prior to the interview, participants completed a “homework assignment” of how the patient perceives his/her condition. The assignment served as a springboard for the live interviews.

The interviews dug deep into the rational and emotional aspects of how patients approach their condition, education gaps, unmet needs, sources of information and circle of influence for the condition and healthcare in general.

The result

Opportunities Exist at Each Phase of the HF Journey

The research findings illuminated the fact that maneuvering through the journey of chronic heart failure can often be confusing for patients. They frequently lean heavily on their healthcare providers (HCPs) for guidance and education. With this overarching insight as the guiding principle, C+R successfully delineated the stages of the heart failure journey (pre-diagnosis, HF diagnosis, post-discharge HF care, and HF management) and pinpointed distinct possibilities for the product’s new indication within each phase. Many of these opportunities revolve around devising effective communication strategies aimed at various healthcare personnel. Additionally, the research revealed DTC avenues to engage with heart failure patients to raise awareness and facilitate educational initiatives.

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