Mitral regurgitation (MR), where a leaky valve causes some of your blood to leak backward into the heart, is a common/degenerative condition that affects nearly 1 in 10 people over age 75. If untreated, it can progress to heart failure/death. In severe cases, surgery can repair or replace the valve. If patients are not candidates for surgery, doctors can implant a clothespin-like device called a MitraClip that helps the valve close more completely and improve blood flow.
Because many patients with chronic mitral regurgitation are asymptomatic or their symptoms are often attributed to non-related cardiac conditions, MR is rarely diagnosed and often goes untreated. Patients remain on pharmaceutical treatments that don’t address the underlying cause of MR.
Historically, medical device companies have promoted their products through physicians/surgeons, either because the condition it addressed or the device itself – or both – were too complicated to explain to patients in 30 or 60 seconds.
Abbott, maker of MitraClip, decided to break with tradition and engage directly with patients, directing them to a physician to find out whether they qualified for the device, which can offer almost immediate relief from the debilitating symptoms of MR and ultimately save lives.
- Increase patient awareness about MR and demand for MitraClip, a minimally invasive procedure that can provide immediate, lasting relief and help patients reclaim their lives and live longer
- Drive patients to the MitraClip website where they can learn about their condition and access a database of centers that treat mitral regurgitation
- An online analysis of the language patients used when describing their symptoms revealed many patients didn’t know they had mitral regurgitation because their doctors described it as a “leaky heart valve.” Communications had to mention MR and “leaky heart valve” together to ensure patients connected the two.
- MitraClip is minimally mentioned in heart failure and mitral valve regurgitation discussions. Conversations are primarily among HCPs
- Because MitraClips are implanted by interventional cardiologists, general cardiologists may not be aware of MitraClip and not educate patients about this less invasive option
- As a result, MR patients were not aware of treatment options beyond invasive surgery to replace the valve, which carries risks and is not appropriate for all patients
- Target and educate patients and caregivers online who:
- Are likely to have mitral regurgitation or search for MR online
- Have been identified by Real Chemistry as diagnosed with MR
- Develop powerful messaging to motivate patients to seek more information about MR/MitraClip
- Drive patients to the Mitraclip website so then can find centers with interventional cardiologists trained to insert the device
Hyper-targeting key to high KPIs
- Real Chemistry created an exclusive, privacy-safe AI-generated digital audience by analyzing 300 million de-identified patient journeys from the past 10 years. To be fully HIPAA compliant, The Company’s system of engagement uses tokens to mask personal health information. It also incorporates social determinants of health data, including 3,700+ consumer attributes and 65 billion consumer records to obtain a holistic understanding of the target patient
- The Company created patient segments without having to rely on inferred health data, including browsing and location, or actual health data like purchase history by using a randomized process to create demographic targeting rules. The propensity of a condition was then measured against the universe of all conditions and targeting rules were established accordingly. This enabled The Company to create patient segments broken down by demographic traits instead of fishing for patients within a presumptive demographic
- The Company created specific messaging for patients with heart disease and caregivers of those patients—that focused on how these patients can ‘Reclaim their Lives’
- The Company then tested different creative concepts and messages to ensure they resonated with the target and motivated them to access the clinic finder
Reaching the right patients via the right channel at the right time
- The campaign, which began November 2020 and is ongoing, includes a digital relaunch, website refresh, integrated digital campaign across paid search, and programmatic display/native, as well as paid social. Specific components:
- Animated display banners in five sizes to take advantage of the maximum amount of publisher inventory
- Animated paid social posts
- Static native ads that resemble content “native” to the site where it is viewed
- Paid search
Using AI and real-world data to hyper-target patients, the campaign was enormously successful in meeting objectives of encouraging patients to learn more about their disease and driving them to clinics that had the capability to insert the Mitraclip.
From December 2020 to January 2022 (results that can be shared to date):
- Clicks to the MitraClip website were up 329% with 515,947 site sessions vs. 120,337 the previous period
- Clinic finder searches were up 555%, ~5,700/month including ~4,700/month from paid media vs. ~870/month the previous year
The campaign was so successful that Abbott plans to continue using this approach leveraging real-world data to target patient populations that would benefit from life-saving medical devices.
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