In July 2023, A Life in a Day experienced a truly fascinating month. Several A Life in a Day participants shared their stories about the impact of the program. Mark Doyle spoke on a (now on-demand) webinar about driving empathy for patients. The story of A Life in a Day in June 2023 was very exciting.
If you have not had the opportunity to keep track throughout the month, our highlights are listed below!
Insights from participants: Chugai Pharma UK
Recent A Life in a Day participants – Kate Nicholson, Key Account Manager for Oncology and Hematology at Chugai Pharma UK; and Folake Ajose-Adeogun, Medical Manager and Final Medical Signatory for Oncology Medical Affairs – were eager to share their stories after going through two of our latest oncology experiences.
Chugai Pharma UK’s Key Account Manager, Katie Nicholson, shared her personal thoughts on our lung cancer experience. In a video blog recorded over the 24-hour experience, she highlighted how the emotional journey, sharing real-patient stories ad challenges made Katie aware of how much patients are experiencing and dealing with ranging from long-term side effects, psychological and physical effects.
“I did not think the emotional side would affect me and it did not at first. Later in the evening it started to impact me more,” – Katie said.
Medical manager and Final Medical Signatory for Chugai Pharma UK’s oncology medical affairs, Folake Ajose-Adeogun, shared her candid feedback on A Life in a Day’s immersive experience.
During the immersive experience, Folake felt so many different emotions. She honestly felt as close to the condition as she could possibly be, and understood how her life could be changed from her diagnosis.
“I think I was shocked by how much it affected me. And even though I knew it was not real, it really made me feel it.”
Exploring the value of empathy
According to A Life in a Day’s Founder Mark Doyle, empathy is a powerful force that drives behavioural change and improves patient outcomes.
“At A Life in a Day, we deliver immersive experiences that allow healthcare professionals and practitioners from a wide range of functions to step into the patient’s shoes for a day. This provides valuable insights into daily challenges. We measure empathy levels before and after – and 98% of participants agree that the experience has increased their empathy for patients.
Although these results are encouraging, empathy can still be approached in our industry with reservation. Organisations and clients want it, but it’s often seen as more of a “nice to have” than a valuable success indicator.
“Ask yourself – could any patient-focused initiative really succeed without this capability? If we are not willing and able to make every effort to understand the feelings of people living with a condition or disease, how can we ever truly put their needs first?”
Putting yourself in the patients shoes
In addition to the article, Mark also revealed how he transformed his acting background into a truly innovative program during an exclusive interview with Pharma Times editor, John Pinching. Within this thirty minute, now on-demand recording, he shared how being a patient can be a tremendously impactful experience for those within the life science sectors.
Being in the patient’s shoes is completely different from hearing about their condition. It is important to listen to the voices of patients in every industry.
“Spending just a day in a patient’s shoes gives you an entirely original perspective… To create an experience, we talk to patients endlessly”, said A Life in a Day’s founder.
Mark explained that experience is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their viewpoint.
“We consider more than just the physical and clinical aspects of the condition even experience lasts for 24 hours”.
Patients living with different conditions rely on health professionals for medical assistance. Patients’ voices are important to A Life in a Day, so we amplify their stories and make sure they are heard. We create unique ‘lived’ experiences of patients for up to 24 hours by weaving accurate information from healthcare professionals throughout our journeys. Our understanding of their everyday lives allows us to develop more empathy for them.
Eleni, a healthcare specialist, shared that people would be surprised at the rapid onset of symptoms. In her remarks, she emphasized the importance of paying attention to changes in physical and mental health and seeking medical attention as soon as possible.
“I know patients are bored with waiting and tests, but it is better to be safe than sorry”, Eleni explained.
Katie, a clinical nurse practitioner, says that sometimes no news is good but this doesn’t often help alleviate patient’s concerns.
“We only get updated when things go wrong. Of course, they want to know how things are going, they are scared and anxious, but we often do not have the answers they want. They are terrified that by the time their cells are ready it will be too late. We can’t treat them. We must reassure them as best we can and tell them to stay positive.
If you would like to learn more about any of the above stories, or would like to learn more about how A Life in a Day can support you in achieving real patient-driven outcomes, contact us using the form below.