healthcare social media

With a boom in health related blogs, information sites are now gravitating toward social media.  Patients are increasingly sharing medical experiences and seeking advice from other patients who share similar health concerns.   Online communities are giving patients support, personal experiences, and direct answers – something they cannot always get from experts.

While patients are gravitating toward social media, a recent ClickZ article shares that some healthcare marketers seem to be hesitant:

  • WebMD has recently lost ground to rival online communities, such as MedHelp.org.  In an effort to fight back, WebMD launched  Health Exchange putting community content on the front lines.  Marketers have been invited to create branded posts and host consumer discussions about health and wellness for the site, but as of April 5, no marketers had signed on.
  • Sharecare, a yet to be launched site from WebMD founder, Jeff Arnold, plans to provide users with info from several points of view including celebrity physicians, hospitals, high-profile health authors, local providers and other users.  The site was projected to launch in early 2010 but has now been pushed out until summer.

With over 60 million consumers sharing health experiences online and over 200 hospitals a part of social networking communities, it’s safe buy rx drugs without prescription to say social media is of great importance to the healthcare marketing mix.  Are regulations and compliance issues hindering marketers from taking the plunge?  The importance of growing patient communities to healthcare marketers will continue to increase as a large and highly accessible consumer base.

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