Johnson & Johnson gets pulmonary hypertension nurses talking with live online educational campaign

When it comes to treating pulmonary hypertension (PH) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), it’s the nurses who are on the front lines. Johnson & Johnson’s biotech unit Janssen is running PHrontline Conversations as an educational series on Facebook Live aimed at speaking to and with this audience.

The three-part program launched late last month on the platform, and this first discussion focused on the importance of objective risk assessment versus a "gut intuition" when it comes to PH. It included the use of tools, such as the REVEAL Lite 2 risk calculator, which Janssen helped develop to properly measure the progression of the disease. The group also discussed the difficulties of dealing with PH during COVID-19 and how to get patients back into the office or hospital.

Howard Reid, Janssen’s vice president, marketing, pulmonary hypertension, emphasized the care of those with PAH is a “multidisciplinary effort” including cardiology and pulmonology physicians as well as the nurses. Janssen chose to focus on the nurse aspect because it’s what this group brings to dealing with this incurable and rare disease state.

“They play a critical role in the service of these patients because it's such a rare disease," said Reid. "One of the big needs in the nursing in the PH nursing community is to bring them together to share best practices, to share tips on how to take care of these patients, to share anecdotal advice based on their individual experiences among the nursing community."

The talk, which Reid said saw about 40 live visitors and nearly 400 subsequent views—an nice turnout for a rare disease—was moderated by Reid and RN and clinical nurse coordinator at the University of California San Diego Medical Center Sandee Lombardi; it also featured a panel of three PH and PAH RNs.

Upcoming talks will be based on suggestions from the nurse community. Currently, there are two more talks planned for the year on Facebook Live.

Reid said Janssen chose the Facebook Live platform because it allows for interactive engagement among PH nurses, and the on-demand aspect works for the group who lead very busy lives. The talks will also be housed on the portal of Pulmonary Hypertension News.

For Reid, it was the varied breadth of experiences that really stood out to him.

“We had nurses that had been doing this for over 20 years, we had nurses that were doing this for right around on nine years. We also had different viewpoints based on where they were working in the country. So we had nurses from out west, the middle of our country and on the East Coast. And it was just fascinating to hear the different experiences the different perspectives the different tips they used to treat their patients based on their level of experience as well as based on where they live. So I thought it was a riveting conversation. I certainly learned a lot by listening in to the discussion.”

While the project is unbranded, J&J does have a vested interest from it PAH drug, Uptravi, which it nabbed through its $30 billion purchase of Actelion back in 2017.