In brief

In brief

  • Patient needs are becoming more complex and, in an ever-more digitized world, so is oncology itself.
  • Our study of more than 1200 cancer patients from Europe and North America, revealed four recurring challenges.
  • We explore the challenges and offer opportunities for human-centric solutions that embrace personalization, collaboration and diversity.
  • Biopharma companies can use this intelligence to get ahead of the curve and improve patient lives.



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Cancer patient pain points: Four challenges

In our first report: “The Experience report – Oncologist issue”, we focused on how to empower oncologists with human-centric services. In this study we again take a human-centered approach—this time to uncover the main pain points for cancer patients, particularly in the growing population of digital natives.

We surveyed 1200 patients in the US, the UK, and Germany between the ages of 18 and 50. Our survey included patients with all types of cancer who shared with us their biggest challenges. More than 90 percent identified themselves as “digital natives” and answered questions about their end-to-end patient experience ranging from the discovery of first symptoms all the way to life after treatment.

Patient journeys tend to be very heterogeneous, yet we discovered that participants’ pain points revolve around four recurring challenges:

1. Information access

Patients struggle to find personalized, understandable and reliable information. They want access to accurate input related to their cancer journey.

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1 out of 3

patients were overwhelmed by the number of sources of information when trying to find out more about their symptoms.

There was just no personalized information available online.

2. Patient involvement

Patients in our report describe a unidirectional relationship with their oncologists and want more involvement in their cancer journeys.

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50%

of respondents would have liked to be more involved in their overall treatment plan decision-making process.

Doctors are these controlled, rational human beings. I felt silly asking them questions and didn’t want to waste their time.

3. Holistic care

Patients expect cancer care to take a holistic approach. Many participants want more mental health support and guidance.

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79%

say that an app/digital tool could help them in managing anxiety of cancer returning

I would have needed somebody to take me by the hand and tell me how to lead my life in terms of exercise, nutrition and sleep.

4. Organizational hassle

Patients need more help with the dreary administrative, logistical, and domestic tasks of their journey.

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25%

of respondents experienced transportation difficulties during treatment.

Dealing with the huge amount of paperwork felt like a second job. But where do you get the time for it?

A glimpse of the future

There is potential to improve the experience journey of cancer patients as long as they take a human-centric and more holistic perspective of the well-being of patients. Given a future composed of digital natives, it is imperative that health care interventions and services align with patients’ evolving preferences.

For biopharma companies, future opportunities come from;

Building or joining a patient support platform to drive relevance in a more sustainable way.

Creation of and integration into seamless experiences and personalized information across all channels.

Providing the field force with content that is atomized and as much patient specific and personalized as possible.

Acting as a role model beyond their own organizations and the drug medication, creating positive impacts for customers and employees.

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Dr. André T. Dahinden

Managing Director – Life Sciences, Precision Oncology and PHC, Global


Hartmut Heinrich

Principal & Group Director – Accenture Song Design Lead Switzerland


Christoph Loeffler

Managing Director – Fjord & Accenture Interactive


Dr. Boris Bogdan

Managing Director, Lead – Global Precision Oncology and PHC, Life Sciences

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