Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Health Activists To Bring Empowerment to ePharma West

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In the world of health social media, “e” means “empowerment.” Wearing proudly the “e” badge are empowerment connoisseurs, Health Activists, a unique collection of online health leaders who advocate tirelessly for specific health conditions, better living, and awareness efforts. While the majority of internet users do utilize the web for health (around 89%) virtually all of Health Activists (98%) do.[1] What started, for them, as self-education, utilizing the online space for information and support, has grown into the creation and leadership of inspiring health communities. Like virtual online metropolises, each health community is led by a dedicated, passionate patient expert, or Health Activist, guiding and presiding over relevant conversations about health. Through channels like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and online forums, Health Activists raise the standards of healthcare by empowering those around them. And, since each Health Activist reaches an average of 15,000 people every month, their microcosms of empowerment pack some serious clout.

Eager advocates, Health Activists are more than willing to raise their voices wherever and whenever they can, leading their community members to live better. While only 21% of typical online users use the Internet to raise awareness about health issues – 82% of Health Activists do.[1]  And while only 17% of typical Internet users answer others’ questions online, 74% of Health Activists do.[2]  This is a serious community of leadership. Supporting their Health Activist efforts is WEGO Health, their home base for leader-to-leader conversation and resources to help them empower others. Through numerous education programs, interactive webinars, in-person speaking events, and online communication – WEGO Health is helping to amplify the voice of these courageous leaders. WEGO Health has found what they hope healthcare companies will begin to recognize – by listening to the leaders of online health communities, you will learn what patients really want from their healthcare and ideas on how to meet those needs.

In line with our mission to empower Health Activists to help others, WEGO Health has created Voices to Industry, the latest in a string of rewarding Health Activist-focused programs.  By participating in Voices to Industry as part of WEGO Health’s Speakers Bureau, Health Activists get the chance to speak with leading healthcare companies in person about what their communities are looking for in regard to social media interaction. WEGO Health has seen success with Voices to Industry at a number of pharmaceutical and healthcare industry conferences and will be continuing this program with a wonderful opportunity at the ePharma West Summit. Speaking on a panel about the best uses of social media in the healthcare space are Health Activists Manny Hernandez and Jamie Inman. Both individuals have done incredible work for their online communities and have some serious wisdom to boot. Manny is a leading Diabetes Health Activist and creator of the popular TuDiabetes community, Healthseeker app, the Big Blue Test campaign, and is incredible active on Facebook and Twitter. Jamie is the creator of Stay In The Pink, a community that supports Breast Cancer and promotes the importance of early  detection. Jamie is an active voice and two-time Breast Cancer survivor blogging and active on Facebook and Twitter. These WEGO Health Activists will be joined by a leading industry representative, Sharon Dotson from Genentech, and the panel will be moderated by Bob Brooks, Vice President of WEGO Health. The panel on July 27th, 2011, will surely be a highlight of ePharma Summit West.

WEGO Health is excited to present the wonderful work of these two online leaders and promote the important mission of Health Activists everywhere. To learn more about Health Activism check out this white paper from WEGO Health, “Be a Health Activist,” visit the WEGO Health Community, or take some time to read the highlights on the WEGO Health Blog. We’re looking forward to learning from the other ePharma West participants and working together to innovate in a way that empowers healthcare.


[1] "The WEGO Health Technology Survey." Survey page 4. WEGO Health. Mar. 2011.
[2] "The WEGO Health Technology Survey." Survey page 4. WEGO Health. Mar. 2011.
[1] "The WEGO Health Technology Survey." Survey page 3. WEGO Health. Mar. 2011.

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