Monday, August 31, 2009

Pharma Companies are Launching YouTube Channels

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Steve Woodruff mentions in his latest blog post that pharma companies are beginning to realize the importance of online video sharing and alternative methods of communication. Novartis, for example, has joined the elite group of pharma companies that have launched their own YouTube channel. Now why is this important? This proves as a great way for pharma to turn people's negative perception away by allowing patient stories to be seen as videos. The Novartis Channel does exactly that, covering 1-minute patient stories ranging from cancer, dengue fever, meningitis, and other diseases.

There is no reason why other pharmaceutical companies should not join in the bandwagon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Some online health appoints proven to be effective

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At Health care Republic, they look at how may services, such as the online psychiatric counseling, are effective for treating health conditions. The author wonders if this could change our health care in the future, meaning that much of our basic consulting could turn online.

Do you think this is a good thing? We have been hearing about the drought we're going to experience in family health doctors. Will this help or medical system in the future?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Web 2.0 Past its Hype Cycle in Pharma?

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John Sharp detailed in this post on eHealth that according to Gartner Research Web 2.0 technologies has moved past the initial hype phase and now has matured into something of real value. Gartner specifically mentioned,

"We see a number of potentially transformational technologies that will hit the mainstream in less than five years, including Web 2.0, cloud computing, Internet TV, virtual worlds and service-oriented architecture (SOA)."

John seems surprised that microblogging applications like Twitter has not made it to that list of components that Gartner expects to become mainstream. Do you think pharma is heading in the same direction and speed in terms of Web 2.0 technologies compared to other industries?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Many turning to online health insurance websites

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According to the Chicago Sun Times, of the people who buy health insurance this year, 28% will do so online. This article focuses on eHealthInsurance, which is an affordable Expedia-type search engine that finds affordable health insurance for individuals. It's partnered with Celtic Insurance Company of Chicago. However, new legislation from the Obama administration could put businesses such as these out of business. The government is considering a single market place that would detail all health insurance, which would not allow eHealthInsurance to operate.

What do you think? What do you see for the future of online health care insurance?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Online Psychiatric Counseling Appears Effective

Pin It Now! reports today that there could be virtual relief for patients suffering from depression through an innovative internet-based program.

Online cognitive behavioral therapy for depression -- with patients and therapists communicating in real time via instant messaging, or IM -- was not only effective, but could broaden access to treatment, researchers reported in the Aug. 22 issue of The Lancet.

After four months, 38 percent of patients who had participated in the Internet-based therapy program had recovered from depression, compared with 24 percent of those in a control group, according to Dr. David Kessler of the University of Bristol.

After eight months' follow-up, 42 percent of the treatment group -- but only 26 percent of controls -- had recovered.

Online Psychiatric Counseling Appears Effective

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Utah offers online health insurance marketplace

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Yesterday, an online health network that provides insurance to small businesses and the uninsured debuted. This is a unique programs where all health insurances are taking on the risks of those who sign up for the program. With this program, which is currently available to 120 small businesses, individuals can choose the health care plan that suits them best. Read more about this unique program here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pfizer And Private Access to Develop Online Community for Clinical Research

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Pfizer and Private Access have begun a collaborative partnership into the world of online communities. The community is the first of its kind and will serve to increase clinical trial awareness and participation by allowing users to connect with patients, physicians and researchers. The goal is to create an online community that will lead to more informed decisions about patient care and clinical trial participation.

According to the press release, Private Access allows patients to control to whom, and for what purposes, they grant access to see all or selected portions of their personal health information. By granting “private access” only to researchers focused on the conditions that interest them, patients can be more quickly and precisely matched to appropriate clinical trials while simultaneously protecting their confidential personal health information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cloud Computing in Healthcare

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John Sharp mentions in his latest post that healthcare has been considering cloud computing, but there is some hesitancy when it comes to its availability and its security. HIPAA keeps a strong hold on security and regulations on data breaches, and the security of EMRs is vital in order to keep public trust in online medical records. So what are the next steps in getting cloud computing accepted by healthcare professionals?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Online site launched to help new parents

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In Morpeth, UK, a new website has been launched for new parents. This website will offer parents advice and hopefully provide answers to the question "Am I doing this right?". NHS Baby Life Check offers advice on many topics, including development, feeding, healthy teeth, safety, sleep routine, immunisations and the challenges of being a parent are all covered. Visit the website here. Read the article on NHS Baby Life in the Morpeth Herald.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

297 + More? Hospitals on Social Media

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Roberta Rochman of reports that 297 hospitals use some form of Social Media in the healthcare market sector.

In the United States alone, the statistics are as follows:

• 231 have Twitter accounts
• 142 have YouTube-channels
• 80 have Facebook-pages

Are you connected with any or many of these hospitals and healthcare organizations? We will see an increase in social media use by hospitals, especially with the new healthcare initiatives set up by the Obama Administration. As hospitals look to enhance their customer service and outreach, social media may be an easier way to spread the good news about the hospital's good work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Social Media and Pharma: Spurring Engagement and Collaboration

Pin It Now! has an interesting overview of how social media and pharma can connect for more opportunity to revolutionize and elevate physician-industry interactions to an equal, collaborative footing. Writer Emma D'Arcy focuses on the four main areas listed below in her discussion of pharma and social media.
  • Can social media improve relations with physicians?
  • Overcoming inhibitions
  • Social media calls for experimental participation
  • Pharma needs third parties to inspire confident engagement

We encourage you to check out her findings and offer up a few thoughts of your own via our Twitter and LinkedIn group.

Sticky or stuck? How the industry can overcome its reservations of social networking and forge new more open online relations with doctors.

Monday, August 10, 2009

SEO Plays a Big Factor in Online Health

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According to this post on more then two thirds of Americans turn to search engines when they are seeking health and medical information online. Manhattan Research, the company that focused on this study strongly suggests that pharmaceutical companies have an effective search engine campaign in order to take advantage of these findings. Increasing search engine visibility can increase sales since consumers believe that search engines can effectively screen out bogus results. Is your company focusing enough on search engine optimization?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Learning from other online health communities

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In the recent post at the FP Executive blog, they point out that it is advisable to step back and take a look at other online health communities before you launch your own. By looking at other online communities and what has failed and what has succeeded, you can learn a lot as to what can be successful for your online community. Creating an online community does take time. The website must have good usability, and there must also be a strong monetary backing in order for a good site to ultimately succeed. Read the full article here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The C-Tweet: Where are all the Healthcare CEO's on Twitter?

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This article was co-written by Bunny Ellerin, Managing Director of InterbrandHealth, and Eileen O’Brien, digital pharma diva. It was originally published on Pharma 2.0.

twitterTweeting is fast becoming a must-do vs. a what-are-you-doing for business generally and CEO’s in particular. Last month, BusinessWeek ran an article about business leaders who use Twitter and profiled 50 CEO’s from a range of industries. There was definitely an over-representation of tech CEO’s, but BW also talked to those from advertising/pr, construction, research, media, retail. But none in healthcare.

Where are all the healthcare CEO’s on Twitter? We found a few like @paulflevy (Paul Levy of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), @jbselz (CEO, Ozmosis) and @livestrongCEO (Doug Ullman of Lance Armstrong Foundation) but not many others.

If you’re a CEO or high-level executive, why use Twitter at all? Well, at the core, you are the company’s chief evangelist and represent the brand best. As Michael Hyatt, the CEO of a publishing company, pointed out in the BW article, “Twitter enables me to humanize Thomas Nelson and thus better connect me with our key constituents—our employees, authors, and customers.” Others cited reasons like:

  • Building relationships with customers/clients/vendors
  • Generating real-time feedback from those people
  • Disseminating information quickly to internal and external constituents
  • Meeting potential employees and getting a sense of what current employees really think
  • Acquiring new product/service ideas

We are eager to hear from more in the healthcare C-suite. As followers of many business leaders on Twitter, we have compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts to help future C-Tweeters get started using this amazing technology.

1. Content. To engage people, you must post a combination of business-related information and personal anecdotes. On the business side, this is really why people are following you, so let followers know about company news, important events, interesting company tidbits/facts. You can also post links to interesting articles or retweet good posts. It’s ok to highlight press releases, but don’t make them your main contribution. Followers will unfollow you quickly if that’s the only thing you post. Twitter is about interacting and sharing, not just reprocessing canned messages. Plus, you should pepper your posts with a bit of the personal from time to time. It will draw people in.

Good content examples:

Richard Rosenblatt, CEO of Demand Media, has a great Twitter style. Here are a few of his @demandrichard posts: from sharing info on the business, tonviting people to connect, letting people get to know more about the person.

  • “Demand Media Daily Fact: Demand Studios has paid out more than US$14MM to its creator community as of June 2009.”
  • “Looking forward to the Fortune conference in LA. May attend thursday. Please reply if you are attending.”
  • “Made it to mtns after the conference; worth it…3 glasses of wine down and kids all over you tube and watching our videos on wakeboarding.”

2. Interaction. Twitter is not just a vehicle to push information out about your company. It’s about engaging in the dialogue. The most successful CEOs on Twitter make an effort to interact with followers. Search topics on Twitter and answer questions or provide advice. If you are overwhelmed by questions or comments from followers, be sure to say so and let them know that you aren’t ignoring them.

3. Tone. Authoritative but not smug. And definitely throw in some humble now and again. The regular folks will relate and admire you all the more.

4. Authenticity. It’s got to be genuine and in your voice. The ideal is for you to write your own posts from wherever you happen to be. But not everyone who should be tweeting has the desire or even has the manual dexterity to do so. If you need a little help getting started, then pick someone who knows you well or can get up to speed quickly. Be sure to listen first (follow others) and get a sense of the community before you jump in.

5. Don’t Tweet to Tweet. Personal details are good (see Content) but we're not that interested in what you ate for breakfast (unless it was with Obama) or that you’ll be on the phone all day.

6. Commitment. Be prepared to be in this for the long haul. The only thing worse than an out of date CEO blog is an abandoned CEO Twitter account. We suggest no fewer than 3 tweets a day to establish a real presence. Once you have been tweeting for a few weeks and feel comfortable, add your Twitter name to your email signature and business card.

7. Follower etiquette. Follow others who interest you. It is imbalanced if you have 2200 followers and follow only 100. You can’t engage in a dialogue if it’s all one-sided. Plus, part of the value of Twitter is hearing what others have to say. Also encourage people to follow those you like to follow.

8. Have an opinion. There aren’t too many public company CEO’s on Twitter because their CFO’s and compliance people worry it might affect the stock price. But if you’re a private company CEO, then have an opinion. Don’t like parts of the health care bill, say something. This is your opportunity.

9. Twitter is a Permanent Record. It goes without saying that once someone has Tweeted it’s public record.

10. Twitter vs. Facebook. No contest. Twitter is a business tool. Facebook, while it is trying hard to position itself as a business tool, is a personal update tool. Haven’t used either? Don’t waste time on Facebook, go straight to Twitter.

Are you ready to go? Set up an account at and follow us at @BunnyEllerin and @EileenOBrien.

If you have no clue how to get started, but know you should be on Twitter, contact us for help.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Online hospital ratings

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9 News of Colorado looks at the new surveys that have become available that rate the hospitals in the nation. The new surveys from Consumer Reports, let locals rate hospitals based on communication, communication about medicines, discharge planning, cleanliness, quiet and other factors. Find the reviews here. Read more about the 9 News report here.