Social Media is Changing How Doctors & Patients Interact

Social media has expanded the communication opportunities between consumers and brands all over the world. Professionals that rely on client communications are also leveraging social communications both as means of engaging with existing clients and patients as well as to create awareness and engagement with new “customers”.

“The power of the Internet is the power of the patient, who can now research treatments, compare physicians, and collaborate with doctors, who may not always—in fact, don’t typically, according to Timimi—have the time or budget to conduct the kind of in-depth research their patients can and will because, frankly, they’re damn motivated. There’s nothing like learning the horizon of your life has been foreshortened to push you into the Internet rabbit hole of research. ”

5 Step Prescription for Healthcare Marketers: Social Media Medicine

healthcare social media prescription

Consumers are frustrated with information access to healthcare data which is ironic, since the technology exists now to make such information access a reality. Reggie Bradford, founder of Vitrue writes a prescription of sorts in a recent MediaPost, Marketing Health article 5 tips for healthcare marketers:

1. Set it Up
If you have not taken the time to set up and establish a presence on at least Facebook and Twitter, get it done. It’s free.

Online Pharmacy CVS.com Features New Personalized Shopping Experience

CVS Online Pharmacy

By leveraging data from its loyalty program, CVS launched a revamped their online pharmacy website with advanced personalization features as described in Drugstore News:

One of the key highlights of the revamped site is the pharmacy page, which is designed for easy management of health information so shoppers can not only remember to refill and pick up prescriptions but also gather the information they need about what’s in their medicine cabinet. Visitors also have access to a Drug Information Center to check for drug interactions and identify pills by shape, color and imprint. Through the enhanced Prescription Center, customers can:

76% of US adults have looked up health information online

look up health information online

Image credit: Flickr tomhe

MarketingCharts reports on a study about how consumers are looking up health information online:

The latest Harris Poll, measuring how many people use the Internet to look for information about health topics, finds that the numbers continue to increase. The Harris Poll first used the word Cyberchondriacs to describe these people in 1998, when just over 50 million American adults had ever gone online to look for health information. By 2005, that number had risen to 117 million. In the new poll, the number of Cyberchondriacs has jumped to 175 million from 154 million last year, possibly as a result of the health care reform debate. Furthermore, frequency of usage has also increased. Fully 32% of all adults who are online say they look for health information “often,” compared to 22% last year.

Health Care Providers Are Testing the Latest in Social Media

healthcare social media marketing

There’s a recent article at the Baltimore Sun that describes how Doctors offices are trying services like Facebook, Twitter and even Groupon to attract new patients. In fact, through the use of Groupon, one Optometrist expanded their customer based and connected with other eye doctors across the country.

“Groupon has offered a growing number of deals for eye exams, teeth-cleaning and whitening, electrolysis and chiropractic services. Approximately 15 percent of Groupon deals nationwide are for health care services, says Julie Anne Mossler, a company spokeswoman.”

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As companies evolve their marketing programs to digital and online, the pharmaceutical industry is hampered by a lack of clear guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration.  Advertising Age commented on a recent eMarketer study, “DTC Pharmaceutical Marketing Online:A Slow Shift to Digital” that “pharma marketers are waiting around”.  Not only is online marketing effective for growing pharma profits, but it’s where customers spend their time discovering, consuming and sharing information.

From AdAge:

“Pharmaceutical online ad spending is expected hit $1 billion this year and keep rising through 2014, according to report prepared by eMarketer. But until the Food and Drug Administration issues its draft guidelines for online pharma marketing, that growth remains limited.”

FDA Won’t Create Rules for Specific Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter

pharma social media marketing

Panel experts voiced their support for allowing drug and health care companies to access the power of social networks during the Food and Drug Law Institute’s recent Advertising and Promotion Conference in Washington, D.C.

These experts discussed how to communicate the message of drug and health care product safety and risk to the public as they wait for the Food and Drug Administration to set guidelines online pharmacy without prescription on how health care companies and marketers can proceed into the social-media space — regulation that are expected by the end of the year.

Pharma Social Media Marketing: Case Studies

Social Media use by consumers and professionals in the pharma world is exploding and organizations that have been latent to adoption in the past are joining with progressives to demystify and in some cases, embrace the social web. But how?

A recent presentation from John Mack, Publisher of Pharma Marketing News and the Pharma Marketing Blog offers an excellent overview of the current state of pharma social media use, how social media can work with other Pharma marketing tactics as well as how to overcome common barriers.

Buy Cialis Online name=”__sse3951280″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”>View more presentations from Pharma Marketing Network.

Pharmaceutical Social Media – Free E-Book from SHIFT

Pharmaceutical Social Media E-Book

There’s a new ebook on social media for the Pharmaceutical industry out from Chris Iafolla, of SHIFT drugs online without prescription Public Relations. Todd Defren, co-founder of SHIFT writes:

“Every Social Media program — regardless of the industry — is tasked with finding the right audience and engaging in a thoughtful and productive manner.  For pharmaceutical companies, other issues have to be considered … such as how to handle adverse event reporting; the need for fair balance; and how to handle off-label discussions.  On top of this, you are dealing with a patient audience that is more knowledgeable than ever and craving a give-and-take relationship with their doctors.  When they have questions that require a personalized response, many are as likely to turn to their online peers as to their physicians, which only further muddies that twisty road!  To help Pharma marketing execs navigate this journey, SHIFT today released an eBook aimed at offering practical advice on successfully implementing Social Media programs in the pharma space.”

81% of Physicians Online Visited Health Care Professional WebSites

Physicians Digital Media

Physicians are increasingly looking to the internet for health care related information according to a recent study by comScore. However, the trend is not limited to physicians. Consumers are leading the trend towards finding health and medical information buying prescription drugs online online:

“While medical professionals remain a keystone of the US healthcare delivery system, patients and caregivers are empowering themselves in record numbers when it comes to managing their own health and the health of their families, according to new data from Manhattan Research, which revealed that the internet surpassed physicians as the most popular health resource for the first time last year.”