Archive for November, 2009

Ongoing Debate: Social Media and Its Use in Pharma

Pharma Social MediaIt’s clear that social media has gained widespread popularity amongst the consumer-oriented Fortune 500 crowd. But how about pharmaceutical, biotechnology and devices/diagnostic companies? By and large, they have been reluctant to participate in the social web, instead sticking closely to a Web 1.0 model. That’s the point made in a recent Life Science Leader article by Cliff Mintz:

Indeed, only a handful of life sciences companies have decided to take the social media plunge, claims Jonathan Richman, director of business development at Bridge Worldwide Inc. and author of the popular “Dose of Digital” blog, which tracks social media usage by life sciences and healthcare companies.

Health Care Social Networks

It was the perfect storm: As social media sites were gaining in popularity, health care was becoming more expensive and doctors’ time was becoming more finite and valuable.

It was only a matter of time before patients and their families began turning to health care social networks for medical information and even emotional support.

The Wall Street Journal discusses the trend in an insight article:

Online health sites have been booming in the past five years … Many of the sites have recently experienced heavy traffic from users seeking information on the H1N1 virus. Officials of the Health 2.0 Conference, which tracks the industry, estimate that the number of such sites climbed to nearly 500 from about 35 four years ago.

Social Networking for Doctors Gaining Ground

Social networking for doctors is quickly gaining popularity. Doctors across the country are using social networking tools to give patients’ families, as well as the public, an eye into operating rooms, according to a recent Miami Buy Drugs Without Prescription Herald article.

In an effort to educate the public on medical procedures and calm the fears of patients’ families, doctors are providing real-time updates and videos illustrating step-by-step medical procedures.

The article shares an example of social networking for doctors:

In the waiting room, the patient’s family members circled a Blackberry. About every 15 minutes, Dr. Carlos Wolf of Miami Plastic Surgery gave them a few keystrokes of information about how the patient was doing.

Social Networking in Health Care: Our Future

Networking in health careToo many Americans find themselves too busy to be healthy. Parents, more concerned with providing care for their children and elderly parents, fail to see a doctor when they’re feeling under the weather. Others put in extra hours at Drugs Without Prescription the office instead of the gym. A recent article in Fast Company predicts that, going forward, health care needs will be better met through increased use of networked devices and social networking platforms.

To illustrate, the article tells the story of a typical working mother, overwhelmingly busy and often unable to address her own health: