Crescendo Bioscience launched a biomarker blood test called Vectra® DA that, for the first time, objectively and accurately tracked the activity of a patient’s rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patients loved the idea but rheumatologists were skeptical, as they had been assessing their patients’ disease activity subjectively for decades. Following a few years of steady growth, Crescendo wanted to try a new strategy to win over the skeptics and further increase uptake.
A credible third-party voice was a critical success factor for this new strategy and, as a result, the Vectra DA Ambassadors Program was born. It was a way to give RA patients a voice and a platform for their messages to reach other patients as well as rheumatologists for improved disease management.
We kicked off the program with a full-day workshop designed to help RA patients shape their storytelling skills. Clinical experts, patient spokespeople, and communications experts helped train this enthusiastic group. The Ambassadors were educated on their disease and on Vectra DA, and they were introduced to tools they needed to share their stories on a variety of platforms: online forums such as “RA Connection,” traditional and social media, and speaking engagements.
- Online communication and patient engagement was increased and strengthened through “RA Connection,” and 4 personal blogs were started
- 25 media placements since May 2015
- Numerous Ambassadors delivered motivational talks at medical gatherings and community events
- New Ambassadors are joining the group as the program expands