"The reality is that patients have no choice but to be engaged. They are provided these details in an inefficient way that causes a lot of frustration, worry and fear on top of already stressful medical concerns. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology reports that one in three patients experience gaps in information exchange, which we rely on the patient to solve. I suspect this number is a significant underestimate because we are so used to this level of fragmentation and repetition, that we no longer see it for the system failure it is."
Twitter is about to give marketers new ways to share videos with a feature the ad world has been asking for: autoplay. Twitter has been working on its built-in video system for months, which would finally give users and marketers a way to shoot footage within the app.
A report published earlier this year illustrated the number of apps pharmaceutical companies produces and the conditions for which they have developed them. The apps are frequently designed to improve health literacy and motivate patients to take their medication to improve adherence, especially around chronic conditions.
Is the growth of digital channels a good thing for reps seeking to engage a physician audience—or is the Internet the driving force behind a trend for more physicians to say “goodbye” to the traditional rep relationship? Looking at recent data from Digital Insights Group (DIG) it seems the answer lies somewhere “in between” for most U.S. physicians today.
Teaser data from research firms is a great place to find nuggets of knowledge, even if you don’t buy the report. Here, Best Practices shows some insights into pharmaceutical research channels (on a limited set of respondents) and finds some interesting nuggets:
Pharma leads in mobile research, with 70% (7 of 10) respondents using it at least sometimes. Only 47% (15 of 32) in the total study population use it.60% (6 of 10) of Pharma companies are using social media listening as part of their research activities.50% (5 of 10) of Pharma companies are using online patient communities as part of their research.
This chart comes from the linked report excerpt:
These findings reinforce the trend that social listening is proving to be a valuable source of insights for Pharma marketers. Also, they show that mobile channels, with their ability to reach a large audience, are becoming more popular with researchers.
harma Companies need to employ a multichannel approach to fulfill their physicians' marketing objectives in 2012. Digital in this scenario is becoming the big trend with innovative and integrated solutions.
Mobile, Video and Social Network, in fact represent today a commonplace for physicians, becoming part of their daily practice. The following infographic would help Pharma Companies to understand how physicians are increasing their interest in new media for personal and professional usage and what Pharma can't miss in their 2012 marketing plans.
Don’t Miss The Opportunity To Balance Your Social Media Equation
Just about every biopharmaceutical company has a presence in social media. Pfizer is no different. According to the company’s chief medical officer, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, the company now uses social media in two ways. “One is to help get information from patients,” she states. “We have a great example with our Get Old platform. It allows us to be part of an organically grown conversation about people and their attitudes toward healthy aging.”
The second use for social media is to provide patients with information on timely topical issues. “Through our Get Healthy, Stay Healthy site, for example, patients are able to connect with our medical information group and ask questions about diseases, wellness, and prevention. They end up sharing information with us, such as how they feel about the topics we've covered. The questions patients have are just as informative as their willingness to actively engage.”
While social media has a lot of upside to improve biopharma patient engagement, there is another side to it, with which Lewis-Hall admits Pfizer is grappling. “The potential of social media to have a negative impact in the clinical trial environment is fairly significant,” she affirms. “For example, what happens when patients are blogging about their experience in a clinical trial, trading tricks about how to get into a trial, sharing information about how they feel or what they are experiencing during the trial, and whether or not they think they're on the standard of care, placebo, or the new experimental product?” Obviously, these kinds of issues could affect everything from patients’ willingness to participate to how and what they report about their own experiences to an investigator. Nevertheless, Lewis-Hall believes social media represents an opportunity for companies to do more than just make clinical trials better or more accessible for patients. It can also help to educate and interact with clinical trial participants to help them understand the potential negative consequences of online conversations. “Interrupting the conduct of a clinical trial can prevent new treatments from getting beyond the trial and into the hands of patients who need them,” she attests. While she understands many of these conversations are meant to be helpful, they need to be conducted in such a way as to minimize the risk to the trial. If you want to get the most out of using social media as a patient engagement tool, Lewis-Hall suggests striving to educate beyond diseases, products, treatments, and trials.
Doctors who interact with patients on social media risk blurring the boundaries of the professional relationship, according to a medical defence organisation.
MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) has reported a 74% increase in calls from doctors on the subject of social media this year compared to 2013. While a small part of this rise could be attributed to growth in membership, MDDUS now receives four times as many social media-related calls compared to 2011.
A study published last month in The Lancet Oncology revealed that one in seven doctors had accepted Facebook friend requests from patients.
MDDUS medical adviser Dr Naeem Nazem reminds doctors of their obligations to keep their relationship with patients professional.
“Social media offers a platform for doctors to network effectively and develop their own knowledge and expertise,” says Dr Nazem.
“However, the rise of social media has created some serious ethical challenges for doctors and their relationship with patients. We have handled a number of cases where doctors have sought advice from us regarding social media issues, including patients posting critical or abusive comments.
“Doctors must keep their relationship with patients professional at all times. Accepting a Facebook friend request from a patient or commenting on a post risks blurring the boundaries between a professional and personal relationship. As a consequence, doctors may find that their ability to make objective judgements in clinical situation is affected.”
Social media can offer a detailed insight into a doctor’s life when they are off duty, warns the MDDUS.
“As a doctor, the reality is you are never off duty and their status in the public eye demands a high standard of conduct at all times,” says Dr Nazem. “By interacting with patients online, doctors are exposing themselves to be scrutinised from their own homes.
“When using Facebook or Twitter, doctors should ensure patient confidentiality and should avoid sharing any patient information, especially anything that could potentially be linked to an identifiable individual. Even with the proper privacy settings in place, anything posted online may end up being distributed further than intended.”
The General Medical Council’s (GMC) guidance ‘Maintaining a professional boundary between you and your patient’ on doctors’ use of social media, states: “You must consider the potential risks involved in using social media and the impact that inappropriate use could have on your patients’ trust in you and society’s trust in the medical profession. Social media can blur the boundaries between a doctor’s personal and professional lives and may change the nature of the relationship between a doctor and a patient.”
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