March 14, 2012 ·
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Industry Insights from Brian Castle
As in nearly all other aspects of life, social media is fast becoming a dominant force in the world of healthcare. Leading centers of excellence—hospitals, clinics, research foundations, and universities—are utilizing social media to educate patients about medical resources and treatments on a daily basis. Biopharmaceutical companies are using social media to promote new medications and further educate patients about other wellness resources at their disposal to help with debilitating diseases and conditions.
Physicians and other healthcare professionals, like practically every other profession, are embracing social media at unprecedented levels, engaging with each other on everything from new medical devices to tough medical cases. Due to this rise in HCP use of social media, some have begun to question the very essence of what makes a key opinion leader in the medical profession.
Some of these questioners have gone a step farther, at their ultimate peril, in misinterpreting physician involvement in spaces like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and physician-only social media networks like Sermo. They incorrectly perceive that social media participation is the new thought leadership. Last year, I sat in the audience for a presentation by a leader in the pharmaceutical industry. This person posited a talking point she’d heard from an executive at a physician-only social media network: “If you’re not in their social network, you’re not ... read more »
May 13, 2010 ·
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In a recent Marketing: Health blog post at MediaPost, Kathy Thorbahn of Razorfish Health, a marketing/advertising/public relations firm focused on health care industries, makes a strong case for the pharmaceutical industry to fully embrace social media in its efforts to give balanced information for consumers to make good health decisions.
While several companies are experimenting with self-created communities built around different products, brands, diseases and conditions, as well as starting Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels for company news the promotion of certain products (see Digital Dose of Pharma for a list of pharma’s early adopters in social media), Thorbahn makes the point that the industry is missing out on the real essence of social media—“. . . ultimately social media is not about advertising, and it’s not about marketing. It’s about sharing the insight, information and tools that can help people make better decisions.”
In the not-too-distant future, we may see companies like Thought Leader Select and others, in their ongoing efforts to promote positive relationships among pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and patients, utilizing social media communities to bring these three groups together to share product information (pharma), treatment advice (doctors), and feedback about the effectiveness of drug therapies (patients). This level of communication and transparency, aimed at promoting the public health by drilling down to one-to-one interaction ... read more »