MarlaJan describes herself as a girl, a nurse, a patient and a part-time super hero. She is one of a growing number of what Kantar Health calls "health activators."
At Kantar’s FragmentNation event on November 15, Lynnette Cooke, Global CEO of Kantar Health, interviewed MarlaJan to find out more about how a string of illnesses has changed her approach to the healthcare system.
MarlaJan was born with congenital heart failure and has been diagnosed with lupus and cancer. She started writing a blog – Luck Fupus – which proved so popular that she has become a voice for patients. MarlaJan says the healthcare industry should reach out to people like her.
“I am a voice for people who can’t get out of bed, a voice for people who don’t want to be known for illness. We need to be at the center of our healthcare.”
Kantar Health research has found that "health activators" -- consumers who influence and activate health choices for themselves and others -– believe that doctors are not spending enough time with them during visits and are not focusing enough on health and preventive care.
Patients increasingly want to be involved in everything, from marketing to research and development. MarlaJan says everything should start and end with patients.
“Be really transparent and say what you mean. We want to know where our data is going and who will have access to it.”
In a fragmented nation – the gaps between patients, pharma and physicians become an increasing challenge.
“If you want to get rid of the stigma, reach out to us and find out what we need. Most of us realize a cure isn’t going happen, we just want to feel better and live normal lives, despite what the disease has taken away from us,” said MarlaJan.
Kantar Health finds "health activators" don’t differentiate between “health” and “wellness.” Health is more than just being free of illness, it also includes being physically fit, happy, well-rested and free of stress.
Source: Kantar Health