pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé
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pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé
infos sur les différentes pratiques des acteurs de santé sur les réseaux sociaux
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Rescooped by Caroline Crousillat from Social Media and Healthcare!

Young physicians should be on Twitter. Here's why.

Young physicians should be on Twitter. Here's why. | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

You — a medical student, resident physician or newly-minted medical attending — are late in the game.  Sure, you appropriately hopped onto Facebook during your first few years of college, only to rightly disengage around the advent of newsfeeds and cover photos.  You passively signed up to LinkedIn last winter only to remain passively aware that your profile exists unfettered and un-updated in the inter-web ether.

Despite this predictable navigation into online social media, you remain steadfast in avoiding the Twittersphere.

Well, you’re missing out.

Like you, I initially thought Twitter to be an online community entirely made up of famous celebrities tweeting how normal they are and normal people tweeting how celebrated they are.  All within 140 characters of smushed words with no vowels.   I get the preconceived distaste.

But I’m telling you, there exists an entirely different world within twitter that you, as a young medical professional, should get involved with.


I know a little about the life you lead.  Coming from a family of doctors and training as a resident physician, I have a reasonable understanding of your daily grind.  I’m also sure of one thing: despite your many interests in health care, there remains little time each day to keep abreast of your field’s current research and stay updated on national health care issues.

Here’s where Twitter becomes useful.

Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter allows for you to follow most people online without requiring an invitation or acceptance from fellow users.  It takes an easy click to follow professional journals, health policy foundations and/or health care leaders without feeling creepy or fearing rejection from the community.  (Trust me, it feels good to be followed, no one will mind.)

By choosing a good mix of these medical profiles, especially those that tweet links to high-yield content, you are able to create an individually-tailored and constantly updated curated source of medical information, freely available at any time


As part of the newest generation of physicians, I am constantly bombarded with fascinating career interests and tend to dream big.  Whether theses extra-clinical projects involve working as a physician writer or engaging in health policy and patient advocacy, I am usually left with more questions than answers when it comes to contemplating prospective career paths.

Especially when it comes to more specialized professional interests that encompass only a handful of field leaders, Twitter offers a virtual, often tight-knit community that paves way to directly connect with established members despite geographical and professional distance.  It is not unheard of for project collaborations and formal mentorships to form from simple interactions via the Twitter community.


As patients and medical providers increasingly use online sources for information and support, Twitter offers a unique opportunity for young medical professionals like yourself to voice opinions and be heard in ways that otherwise would be challenging at such an early level of medical training.

Having a venue such as Twitter to display professional accomplishments, engage in discussion over important health issues and curate high-yield health-related content allows medical students and young physicians a way to develop a reputation for professional commitment and advocacy beyond what is seen at the bedside.

Take home point

Whether you like it or not, your professional image will likely end up on the internet.  Be it through the increasing patient utility of physician rating websites or your own institution displaying your professional identity and accomplishments, it will be difficult to avoid the online community from having influence in your medical career.

By taking this bull by its horns and integrating yourself online in settings such as Twitter, it is more than possible to take advantage of these virtual communities rather than considering them useless or detrimental to your line of work.

Therefore, fellow young health care professionals, I am eagerly awaiting to learn and engage with you via Twitter.

In no more than 140 characters, please.  Thx.

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Applications médicales : une confiance en hausse chez les médecins

Applications médicales : une confiance en hausse chez les médecins | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Si l'usage des applications médicales reste restreint parmi les professionnels, ceux-ci ont pleinement conscience de l'évolution que cela apporte et de la nécessité de se mettre à la page.

Via Jerome Leleu
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Infographic: Marketing Healthcare to Baby Boomers

Infographic: Marketing Healthcare to Baby Boomers | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

Baby Boomers make up more than a quarter of the population of the United States and as they reach retirement age, are seeking information and answers to questions about Medicare insurance plans. Healthcare marketers should be capitalizing on this incredible growth opportunity, advises OHO Interactive.

OHO's Marketing Healthcare to Baby Boomers Infographic gives healthcare marketers valuable insight into how Baby Boomers like to receive information about health-related matters, their online usage behaviors, and how they envision themselves.

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Enquête : les Français et l’achat de produits de santé sur Internet

Enquête : les Français et l’achat de produits de santé sur Internet | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Le portail de vente en ligne de produits de santé a lancé avec Harris Interactive une grande enquête nationale sur les Français et l’achat de produits de santé sur Internet. Découverte.

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Study: Twitter can boost health research

Study: Twitter can boost health research | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

While healthcare practitioners ponder the best way to incorporate social media into their lives or practices, Twitter may be a useful tool in gauging both feedback from consumers and for furthering research, according to a recent study.

Via Valeria Duflot, Giuseppe Fattori
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Healthcare Social Media

Healthcare Social Media | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

Yesterday, I tuned in for a bit of the ONC Annual meeting. I caught the tail end of the Fireside chat with Karen DeSalvo, and Thomas Daschle and Bill Frist, MD who were both previously senate majority leaders. Near the end of the discussion, Bill offered up that social media is going to be the way that the change happens. He even commented that many in DC (and I think he was including the medical community as well) aren’t that keen on social media. However, he said that 300 million people (seems to be referencing Facebook’s number) are on it and that’s where the conversation and influence are happening.

It was quite an interesting moment to hear someone like him talk about many people in his position’s opposition (or at least dislike of) social media and how it was going to happen anyway. With that as context, I was intrigued by thisHealthcare Social Shakeup Infographic by CDW Healthcare. The title of their post sharing this infographic was called “Healthcare has officially gone social!” The same sentiment that Bill Frist shared. I love this excerpt from their post:

Healthcare social media is here to stay. The problem is that in most hospitals we’ve treated social media as a marketing task. It’s a technology, but tech doesn’t take any ownership of it. It’s interaction with patients and possibly patient care, but medical doesn’t want to be part of it. It will take all three groups at a hospital to really do it well.


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Nicole Gillen's curator insight, February 11, 2015 8:37 AM

Its coming friends - social media will reinvent healthcare

Rescooped by Caroline Crousillat from Digital Health!

Mobile Health Adoption Growing Among Doctors, for Apps and Content

Mobile Health Adoption Growing Among Doctors, for Apps and Content | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

More than 80 percent of U.S. doctors surveyed use mobile apps or view professional content on mobile devices for work. That’s a significant increase over the numbers from around a year ago, according to a new survey.


The main reasons for adoption? Improved patient care and communication, and time efficiency, doctors say. The survey was conducted byMedData Group, a healthcare marketing company in Topsfield, MA, and involved polling 375 physicians around the country this month.


Via Alex Butler
Decide Consulting's curator insight, January 28, 2015 11:11 AM

mHealth is growing whether physicians, hospitals, or offices are ready or not. Learn about Decide's impact on the mHealth market here:

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Social Media's Growing Role in Healthcare Marketing

Social Media's Growing Role in Healthcare Marketing | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

While we have all heard “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” the real fruit of the healthcare industry today is social media. Social media is a bridge connecting people, ideas and emotions to answers. Possibilities. Healthcare is growing at a rapid pace, but the sphere of influence driven by social media is growing even faster.

With the development of smart phones and high speed internet comes the need for instantaneous results, brand relationships and full-disclosure. This trend does not circumvent the healthcare field. The impact a strong social presence can have on healthcare providers and patients alike knows no bounds.

Consumers today are hungry for information… And they want it now.

Nearly 34 percent of consumers find themselves using social platforms such as online forums, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to find and share medical information (Source: Demi & Cooper). In fact, a recent consumer survey suggests 72 percent of patients in the U.S. searched online for health-related information before and after visiting their doctor.

What does this mean for healthcare providers?

Consumers cling to the most accessible data they can get their hands on, whether it is accurate or not. It is imperative in this day and age to be a reliable source for your target audience. Additionally, 54 percent of patients are comfortable with their healthcare providers seeking advice online to help treat their condition. In these situations, having high-quality information readily available can help you establish credibility not only with consumers, but among industry colleagues, as well.

Consumers today want to develop brand relationships.

As shocking as this might sound, consumers WANT to be brand loyal. It makes their lives much easier to know who they can and cannot trust in industries they care about. It just so happens the way consumers today build these relationships is through their online interactions.

Being a part of the conversation is crucial when fighting to gain credibility as an expert in the healthcare field.


“Early adopters of social media in the health sector are not waiting for customers to come to them,” Ed Bennett of the University of Maryland Medical Center told “If you want to connect with people and be part of their community, you need to go where the community is and connect before you are actually needed.”

Nearly 2,337 hospitals in the United States have already bought into this truth in one way or another. Whether they are pushing out educational content through blog posts or commenting on Sally’s Facebook status about her daughter’s successful transplant: they are joining the conversation, making themselves known and most importantly trusted in the social stratosphere.

Consumers today are willing to share anything and everything.

Social media has completely transformed the way consumers view transparency. Whether you are a doctor, a patient or a parent, you have unlimited access to data on the Internet.

A recent study shows that 30 percent of adults are likely to share information about their health on social media sites with other patients, 47 percent with doctors, 43 percent with hospitals, 38 percent with a health insurance company and 32 percent with a drug company.

Social media opens the door to deeper and more productive discussions about diseases, symptoms and treatments. Podcasts and real-time updates of major catastrophic events and procedures through social media platforms are becoming a huge way to bolster the reach of a message. Social media also has become an outlet for patients and families to find support and guidance during what can be a terrifying and confusing time in their life. This degree of authenticity has never before been seen in healthcare.



As a result, 60 percent of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.

What does all of this mean for you? Simply put, a social media presence is a game-changer for healthcare providers throughout the industry. If you are readily available when consumers need answers and are looking for someone to trust, your business can only sky-rocket.


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Israel George's curator insight, January 27, 2015 3:18 PM

Healthcare Marketing for Consumers of Social Media.

Rachel Turner Dool's curator insight, February 2, 2015 6:25 AM

Very topical!

Rescooped by Caroline Crousillat from #eHealthPromotion, #web2salute!

Social Media: A Social Revolution for Pharma

Social Media: A Social Revolution for Pharma | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

As pharmaceutical companies continue to dabble in social media, patients and consumers are not waiting, and are in fact, driving health-related conversations in a variety of ways and across a variety of media, most importantly digital.

A recent study found that one-quarter of the world’s population uses social media. This means that 1,730,000,000 people are posting, pinning, tweeting, and instagraming. According to Emarsys’ Jacqueline Woerner, every 60 seconds 20,000 pictures are uploaded on Tumblr; 104,000 pictures are shared on Snapchat; 2,460,000 posts are sent on Facebook. So not only is there a greater diversity of social platforms, there are also more people using them, Ms. Woerner says.

“Naturally, this phenomenon has greatly affected business,” she says. “Considering the sea of social networks and the millions of people using them, brands nowadays can’t just hop on Facebook. They have to make informed decisions in which networks to invest their financial and personnel resources to achive the best resutls. Social media is no longer about following the masses, it’s about following your target audience.”

There are obvious differences between how retail marketers can capitalize on social commerce — a driving trend in 2015 — and how pharma companies can engage with the social movement, but the basics remain the same. All companies, even those in a highly regulated environment, must be aware of how, where, and what social media customers are using.

One way pharmaceutical companies can create an opportunity for themselves is through the growing mobile movement. Experts contend that mobile, more effectively than any other channel, lets brands create and take advantage of existing compelling micro moments at different stages of the purchase journey, be it through SMS, push notifications, or in-app product recommendations.

Considering a worldwide mobile penetration of 93% and 1.7 billion social media users, the time has come for companies to revolutionize their engagement strategies.

Executive viewpoints

Ben Currie
VP, Digital Solutions
GA Communication Group

Social Startup
Companies need to start with general lifestyle subject matter that is useful to their audience such as exercise routines or recipes. They get the opportunity to engage, listen, and learn about their audience’s social media preferences and engagement style while refining their content workflow and approval process.

Audience Preferences
By using  data points from various patient sites and social media outlets companies can determine the channels are right for their audience. Then they should use the direct data gathered as part of their engagements to better understand their audience.

Sarah Morgan
Content Strategist
Intouch Solutions

Exploring the Possibilities
Our industry is a scientific one, in which progress relies on learning from previous results — “standing on the shoulders of giants,” as the expression goes. But, for generations, proper pharma sales and marketing meant one thing, and we’re doing very different things now. There are no peer-reviewed studies on the best technique. We have to learn how to approach patient engagement like explorers, not scientists. And we must prove the value of doing so.

Not all pharma companies are ready to embrace social engagement, due to corporate culture, the complexities of products with certain restrictions, or a social-averse legal team. But the simplest — and, I’d argue, most important — best practice in social is listening. Even if you’re not yet ready to converse, discover what others are saying about your brands and your disease states — lurk and learn.

Train, Educate, and Analyze
First, understand your universe of social outlets — the main sites, but also the new or niche sites — and which are most currently relevant to your audiences.

Then, companies need to invest in analytic tools, but also, even more importantly, in training. Educate a broad group from throughout the organization, removing data from its silo. Finally, use your findings not only to determine “what” and “who” — honing in on messaging and audience — but also “when” and “where” — timing and segmenting.

Malcolm Bohm
President and CEO
Liquid Grids

To truly activate the patient base one-to-one patient engagement is not relevant. Turning strategic insights from social media dialogue into profitable actions by patients is what is required to deliver real returns.

Targeted, contextual advertising campaigns that appeal to more patients in a personalized way is the safest and most compliant mechanism to leverage social media. Social listening alone, no matter how simplistic or sophisticated, is not enough.

Ritesh Patel
Executive VP, Chief Digital Officer
Ogilvy CommonHealth in New Jersey and Ogilvy Healthworld in New York

Getting Down to Social Tactics
There are a number of tactics that can be used to begin the exploration of the use of social media. The easiest is the creation and management of a Twitter handle. Not a brand handle, but one for the company. That Twitter handle can be used by the company to provide information, news, and other resources that it wants to ensure are in the hands of the people it wishes to get to.

YouTube is also an easy tactic to begin working on. Most companies create a vast number of video assets, from MOAs to KOL videos to patient stories (approved). These can all be hosted on a YouTube channel. Google offers a “pharma compliant” YouTube setting that can be used for this.

Lastly, working with social media on a paid basis should be explored. There is tremendous opportunity to target people specifically on these platforms for both branded and unbranded campaigns.

The Personal Challenge
The biggest issue with the use of social media data is any personally identifiable information (PII). The good news is that there are many things pharma can do with data for the creation of almost real-time trends. For example, the fine folks at use Twitter data to predict outbreaks of a variety of diseases based on Twitter. While not completely clinical, these predictions provide another data point for analysis. The CDC takes weeks to report this kind of data today. Similarly, Facebook data can be used for trending commentary and conversation around disease states without obtaining PII. (PV)


Via Plus91, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, Giuseppe Fattori
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Primary Care Doctors And Digital Health

Primary Care Doctors And Digital Health | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Infographic highlighting the use of digital, mobile, apps, and clinical resources online by US Primary Care Physicians  (source: Digital Insights Group).

Via Plus91, Giuseppe Fattori
Art Jones's curator insight, January 15, 2015 11:35 AM


Alexandre Gultzgoff's curator insight, January 19, 2015 9:16 AM

still in the US, but maybe a trend in Europe also...

Rescooped by Caroline Crousillat from Social Media and Healthcare!

Pharma Companies adopting social media

Pharma Companies adopting social media | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

Social networking and the pharmaceutical business have a complex relationship that has pulled in a considerable lot of investment of late. From one viewpoint there are pharma’s well-known administrative shackles and on the other, the undisputed yet heretofore unexplored favorable circumstances that online networking can convey to the business.

A very important aspect of the pharma-social media relationship is research and development (R&D). Social media is fast becoming an integral part of clinical research and playing a critical role in patient recruitment and retention, as well as reducing time-to-market. Social media is also playing an important role in influencing physician communities via interactions with key opinion leaders. This will continue to be a core area of focus for pharma as they develop a finer understanding of how these direct interactions can help in raising the productivity of clinical research.

Pharma correspondence has dependably been constrained by stringent regulations. Accordingly, the business’ moderate selection of social networking opposite others like monetary administrations, telecom and cutting edge, ought to shock no one.

Pharma companies have focused on using social media for creating brand/product awareness, managing communities and reaching out to stakeholders like patients and physicians. Companies need to keep tabs on emerging trends as well as the competitive landscape, and then identify the internal capabilities and responses needed to address these. In order to do this, they need a well-defined, management-approved social media strategy that allows for continuous feedback and iteration.

Social media analytics allow marketers to get a quick glimpse into consumers and make adjustments to their traditional market research strategy. In addition, there have been efforts in creating internal social media channels across regions and functions. Methods like crowd sourcing have found relevance in this space. Examples like Roche disclosing internal social media principles speaks volumes about the mind-set change that is on its way in the industry.

In trying to manage the risks for a pharmaceutical company associated with a social media channel, these are the main points to bear in mind:

Have in place a good social media policy, on which all employees receive regular training (although see below as to why this still may not be enough)Think very carefully about whether to allow user generated content on any site or social media channel for which you are, and will be deemed by the relevant regulatory to be, responsibleIf you do wish to allow user generated content, consider pre-moderation and have clear terms of use and rules about the sort of information that can and cannot be posted, and which allow you to take down material that breaches the termsTake account of all the guidance available, such as the ABPI’s guidance notes on the management of adverse events and product complaints from digital media

On the off chance that you have any inquiries on this article or need to impart your perspectives please get in touch.


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Panos's curator insight, March 23, 2015 8:37 PM

Social media is fast becoming an integral part of clinical research and playing a critical role in patient recruitment and retention.  It is also important for communicating with physician communities via interactions with key opinion leaders. As a result, pharma will need a well-defined, management-approved social media strategy that allows for continuous feedback and iteration if they want to keep tabs on emerging trends as well as the competitive landscape. However, pharma correspondence has been constrained by a lack of action following the FDA guidance on social media.

Some things that need to be kept in mind in order to manage those risks:

  • Every company should have in place a good social media policy

  • User generated content should always comply with the nation’s regulatory system

  • Pre-moderation and clear terms of use are key for any user generated content

  • All available guidance, such as the  ABPI’s guidance notes on the management of adverse events and product complaints from digital media should be taken into account

Rescooped by Caroline Crousillat from Social Media and Healthcare!

Has The Ice Bucket Challenge Changed Healthcare Fundraising Forever?

Has The Ice Bucket Challenge Changed Healthcare Fundraising Forever? | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
There’s no shortage of Ice Bucket Challenge knockoffs. From giving rice to the needy to taking a pie to the face for suicide prevention, many are trying to start a challenge that will echo what the ALS Association received from the Ice Bucket Challenge in one month, which as of Aug. 29 was $100.9 million from over three million donors. That level of fundraising success in such a short period of time is unprecedented, for ALS Association or anyone, and everyone with a passionate cause is trying to reach it.Will any other challenges take off, changing healthcare fundraising for the long haul, or was the Ice Bucket Challenge an isolated success story?According to Doug White, director of the Master of Science in Fundraising Management program at Columbia University, the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge was viral happenstance that shouldn’t try to be replicated by other charities.“Charities may get the impression from this challenge that it’s easy to make money if you find a gimmick and get people to do it,” said White, who has over 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience. “But charities need to do more work at maintaining relationships or growing them, since 40-50 percent of new donors don’t come back.”White thinks that a major reason why the Ice Bucket Challenge has been so successful—beyond its perfect timing, public model and sheer fun— is its novelty. Since people eventually “get tired of even exciting things,” there’s a “lifespan to this kind of thing,” White says. Another success story like this is not impossible, but too unique and remarkable to plan for or expect, according to White.Bravelets COO Elisabeth Nakielny doesn’t think the challenge-concept is a fleeting success, pointing to the No Makeup Selfie for Cancer Awareness, which was a campaign that raised £8m in six days for Cancer Research UK in March. Many of those same people who took bare-face photos of themselves in the spring are now dumping ice water over their heads, which goes to show “we’re all looking for that next thing that’s going to take off,” Nakielny says.“That doesn’t mean that every campaign will be successful, but there’s still room for many of these challenges to be successful in any given year,” said Nakielny, whose company sells jewelry to raise money for various causes.Nakielny thinks challenges like the Ice Bucket Challenge have potential for global reach, since they make the challenge-concept that’s been largely limited to prep-heavy events like marathons and walks more accessible. As for cultivating relationships with existing donors, she doesn’t see why that can’t coexist with quick, fun campaigns.No other similar campaigns to the Ice Bucket Challenge, like the HD Pie in the Face Challenge and Doubtfire Face for Suicide Prevention, have raised in a month anywhere near what the ALS Association raised in America, nor have nonprofits that have had fun and great ideas and a wide-reach network, even after the creation of social media. This has people wondering why the Ice Bucket Challenge was so successful. Was it the fact that the Ice Bucket Challenge was big, simple and selfless? Or personal, social and feel-good? Or just flat-out, it’s hot outside and we’re sick of negative news? Everyone’s throwing around theories and many are plugging away at what they think the formula of its success is by creating new challenges. But it doesn’t seem like anyone has definitively figured it out yet.Until then, we’re bound to see many more challenges and it’s unclear which will stick. It could be something like a mayonnaise slip n’ slide or hot sauce challenge, as York Technical College English instructor William Folden saw when his students turned in their own challenges for a homework assignment. Or the challenge-concept could die off entirely and nonprofits return to the drawing board.It’s anyone’s guess at this point.
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FDA's social media guidance: Better late than never

FDA's social media guidance: Better late than never | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

Not only are today's healthcare consumers and patients relying more on the Internet to seek out information, locate needed medical experts and keep up on latest research and treatments, they're also sharing what they learn through an increasing number of social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter.

Social media technologies provide users with quick and fast sharing capability and the potential to reach a huge swath of other users. The sites also afford the same capabilities to healthcare providers, vendors, pharmaceutical companies, payers and everyone else within the healthcare industry.


To that end, it's nice to see the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally catch up with how consumers and patients are sharing information online, especially since medical device manufacturers, pharma companies and other healthcare professionals are are doing the exact same thing.

In drafting a new federal guidance document on social media use, FDA offers medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies insight on how to share benefit and risk information on 23 electronics digital platforms, ranging from Twitter and blogs to online paid search programs. Specifically, it calls for a balance between risk and benefit information posted to online platforms.

The guidance arrived several months after the FDA announced its intention to track social media talk about product risks. "The objective of this requirement is to provide FDA with the resources needed to use social media to inform and evaluate FDA risk communications," a solicitation notice published to the Federal Business Opportunities website in March said.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare consultants from the U.S. make up most of the healthcare professionals who use Twitter, according to research by Creation Healthcare, a London-based research and training consultancy. U.S. healthcare professionals make up 31 percent of the 75,000 worldwide total of healthcare professionals who turn to the social media site to "tweet" information about healthcare policy, research, individual medicines and treatments for the disease.

Still, social media, in general--for med device and pharma companies, as well as health payers and providers--is about actively influencing consumers, educating and empowering them to drive measurable results, according to a Deloitte University Press article published earlier this year.


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Erado Press's curator insight, July 8, 2014 10:43 AM

FDA offers medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies insight on how to share benefit and risk information on 23 electronics digital platforms, ranging from Twitter and blogs to online paid search programs. Specifically, it calls for a balance between risk and benefit information posted to online platforms.

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What Do Your Social Media Posts Reveal About Your Health?

What Do Your Social Media Posts Reveal About Your Health? | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

What have you shared on social media today? Did you comment on last night’s election results; mention that you’re going to the gym later; sympathize with a friend who’s been in the hospital; describe your meal at a favorite burger joint, or display pictures of your daughter’s jazz dance recital?

And what do those posts reveal about your health and your risk for serious medical conditions?

That last question may seem odd, but not to the researchers at the Penn Social Media & Health Innovation Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Director Raina Merchant and her team are investigating how people’s social media language on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Yelp can be used to assess and their health and predict diseases. The conditions they are looking at are some of the main culprits for premature death and disability (not to mention skyrocketing health care costs) in America, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, chronic lung problems, depression and drug abuse.

Part of the larger Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, the lab also has a partnership with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), which studies ways to improve America’s health care system. Merchant is a senior fellow at LDI as well as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Penn.

Merchant explains that there are differences in people’s language structure, or the kinds of words they use, that might indicate a disorder or cognitive decline. “Someone might post directly about having a condition, or some [conditions] may be more revealed when people talk about it,” says Merchant. “If someone has a lot of posts that may suggest that they’re depressed, they may not be as overt as ‘feeling sad,’ or ‘blue,’ or ‘unhappy,’ but there may be other words … that suggest depression, that aren’t as obvious.”

While much of the lab’s research is at a relatively early stage, there have been some intriguing initial findings. The team published a study involving Facebook in October 2015 in BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) in which more than 1,000 patients in the University of Pennsylvania Health System agreed to have their social media data compared with their electronic health record.

One finding: Individuals who were clinically obese according to their medical records were significantly more likely to use words related to being stationary: “sitting, being still, planted, at rest; these sorts of things,” says Merchant. The results were not what the team had predicted; they had thought this group might make frequent references to food or exercise.

About 71% … consented to share their social media activity and have it compared with their electronic medical records.

David Asch, who directs Penn’s Center for Health Care Innovation, mentions an even more unexpected association that was revealed by another of the team’s ongoing studies: Patients with high blood pressure post more frequently about their children than do people without the condition.

“Dealing with your kids doesn’t cause high blood pressure, although people think it does, colloquially,” noted Asch, who is also a professor of health care management and of operations, information and decisions at Wharton. “We find associations that are on the surface hard to explain, [and which] we wouldn’t have thought of in advance.”

The Privacy Question

Would most Americans agree to this type of surveillance, if they were told it was for the purpose of improving their health? Data mining is not new, of course — marketers have been using it for years to stealthily capture our online behavior and tempt us with ads. Some of this research may even call to mind the 2014 controversy involving Facebook and “emotional contagion.” The company reportedly manipulated nearly 700,000 of people’s news feeds without their knowledge, to test if it could influence whether individuals posted more positive or negative content. (Facebook asserted that consent was given via its stated Data Use Policy.)


By contrast, in Merchant’s research the idea is to obtain explicit consent and to funnel “actionable” data to patients. “Our hope is, can we collect this information and give it back to patients so that they could really learn from these assumptions we’re making? And how do we also make this available for health care providers, if patients wanted to share with them?”

In the lab’s Facebook study, a large percentage of individuals were in fact willing to participate. The study showed that of 1,432 patients in the University of Pennsylvania Health System who were Facebook and Twitter users and expressed interest in the study, the majority — about 71% — consented to share their social media activity and have it compared with their electronic medical records.

“That was a big finding,” says Merchant. “We don’t know of anyone really having done that before — being able to demonstrate [that people would give consent] and to engage in a very transparent way for data collection.”

Asch says that in his experience with the lab’s experiments so far, people seem to feel comforted by the idea that their health might be “watched over” by their local hospital or health system. “My intuition was that people would think of this as Big Brother,” he said, but he found that the opposite appears to be true. Plus, “a main finding is that although people do care about privacy, they also recognize the value of sharing, to themselves or to society.”

“Even something that is said in jest [on social media] may be more likely to be used by people with certain conditions than others.” –Raina Merchant

With 3,000 patients in the database currently, the team plans to collect data over the next decade and according to Merchant, “build this map, this database of digital footprints that people are sharing as information.”

Separating the Signal from the Noise

Is it really possible to get useful health data from social media posts? People say a lot of spur-of-the-moment things online. How does a computer program cope with human beings’ colloquial language, metaphors, sarcasm, and humor? What if the lab’s computer program interprets “BTW, I could have died!” as “I’m depressed and thinking about killing myself?”

“I think [those questions] get at the crux of this,” agrees Merchant. But even joking comments may be relevant. “Even something that is said in jest may be more likely to be used by people with certain conditions than others.”

The team’s task, she says, is to try to separate the signal from the noise. This effort is spearheaded by the lab’s computer scientists, including Lyle Ungar and Andy Schwartz. Ungar, whose expertise is also in biomolecular engineering and operations, runs the group that performs natural language processing: using computers to automatically “read” people’s social media. Schwartz is based at Stony Brook University and works remotely with the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab.

“Social media is an unstructured data source. It doesn’t come with these variables that you can just cleanly plug into your statistical software,” Schwartz points out. “So you have to, first of all, run algorithms that turn the social media — these strings of characters — into some sort of meaningful piece of statistical information.” He also applies the latest machine learning techniques from computer and information science. But even so, the process is challenging.

Tracking Public Health

In addition to looking at individuals, the team also conducts studies involving broad public health trends. Other groups have taken this route as well: A widely reported example is Google’s effort in the late 2000s to analyze search queries to predict flu outbreaks earlier than the CDC. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the project was not very successful. It consistently greatly overestimated flu rates. But some believe that although the project’s execution was flawed, its essential concept holds promise.

Merchant says the team is involved in studies using Twitter to look at heart disease. One focus is “to learn something about how people think about heart disease,” Asch says. “How do people understand terms like heart attack, hypertension, and diabetes?” If there are mistaken views out there, perhaps Twitter could be used to push out health-promoting messages. “It’s just so costless to do it, so if it works, what a great thing.”

“I would submit that our social media probably tells us far more about our health than our DNA.” –David Asch

Research by Penn’s social media lab may also help hospitals obtain useful feedback about their services. Schwartz talks about the team’s Yelp study, published in April in Health Affairs, which analyzes people’s reviews of their hospital stays. U.S. hospital visits are typically assessed with a standard patient satisfaction survey called HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). But according to Schwartz, the Yelp study shows that HCAHPS fails to ask about some issues that are very important to patients, such as parking, and dealing with the billing staff.

“Billing, for example, correlates with how well patients rate the hospital. So not only do they talk about it a lot, but actually we find that if they mention billing in their review, they’re more likely to give a negative review.” Schwartz notes that these kinds of findings could be used by hospitals to improve their services and their national rankings.

From the Genome to the “Social Mediome”

The team has coined the term “social mediome” to describe the area they are studying. “It’s kind of a play on words,” Merchant explains. As the genome is reflective of a person’s genes, the social mediome is reflective of his or her online behavior.

But can attempts to parse our random chatter on social media really compare with the “hard science” of DNA research? Revolutionary breakthroughs have been made over the past few years in sequencing the human genome, leading to new treatments for cancer and other diseases. And yet, Asch points out, “Human behavior, [according to] estimates, is responsible for 40% of early mortality.” What we do, or fail to do, in our day-to-day lives matters. “I would submit that actually our social media probably tells us far more about our health than our DNA,” he says.

Ungar agrees. “What can we do to be healthier and live longer? Don’t smoke. Exercise. Wear a seatbelt and don’t drive drunk. Don’t be depressed. People who are happy and in good relationships live some five years longer than those who are not.” What all these behaviors have in common, says Ungar, is they are fundamentally psychological, not genetic.

If self-destructive behaviors can be identified earlier, continues Ungar, this can cut down on the cost of health care. “Most of American health care money is spent too late in the process,” he observes. “Giving someone a stent is expensive; using social media to help people exercise so they don’t get cardiovascular disease is much cheaper.” He gives the similar example of drug addiction: Identifying those at risk early costs less than trying to rehabilitate them after years of substance abuse.

Asch remarks on the tremendous research opportunity offered by social media. Before its advent, “so much of our behavior was ‘unwitnessable’,” he says. “Private communications were important, but we couldn’t observe them.” Now, “we’re in a position to learn a lot more about the associations of various forms of behavior with health. And that’s very exciting.”

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Professional use of social media by residents - 2015

Professional use of social media by residents Lecture to University of Toronto obstetrics/gynecology residents - April 21, 2015

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[INFOGRAPHIC] How the Health Care Pros Use Social Media

[INFOGRAPHIC] How the Health Care Pros Use Social Media | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

We've covered a multitude of reasons why social media is such a powerful tool for health care professionals and institutions. An online presence is no longer recommended but required to flourish in the industry. The below infographic reveals how some of the top professionals in health care are using social media to further their careers and provide better care.


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more...'s curator insight, April 15, 2015 3:19 AM

Interesting article ...

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Top World 12 Pharmaceutical companies on Social Media

Top World 12 Pharmaceutical companies on Social Media | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

We present you our last report about Pharmaceutical Companies taking into account their global profiles on Social Media during December 2014. The analysed companies have been selected regarding their turnover volume, and are the following :GlaxoSmithKline, Astrazeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Roche, Eli Lilly, Bristol MyersSquibb, Abbott and Bayer.

Among the 12 enterprises considered for the study, Facebook is the most important social network with 2 millions of potential buyers. The most populars companies are Bayer and Johnson & Johnson because they gather the 80% of the total unique audience.

Twitter is the place where pharmaceutical brands are more active, in spite of their performance not being very high (an average of 78 tweets/month) in comparison with other industries’ activity on this social network.

Pharmaceutical Companies obtain the best results of engagement on Youtube. This network should be part of your online strategy. Johnson & Johnson has the 44% of the total unique users, meaning that it holds almost half of the market.

Would you like to know more about this study? If so, please click on the button bellow these lines and you will find out interesting data for your knowledge.


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Tanya Kerr's curator insight, February 22, 2015 9:25 PM

Interesting to see the stats on usage of social media by the pharmaceutical industry.

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Using social media to predict disease

Using social media to predict disease | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

Social media can be an exceptionally useful tool in Medicine.

Many platforms are ideal for educating colleagues, patients and the community at large about chronic medical conditions as well as spreading the news of new medical innovations and treatments.

Social media platforms such as twitter, YouTube and Facebook (among others) can allow communication between people from different backgrounds and can connect those separated by oceans and thousands of miles all across the world. While the medical establishment remains skeptical of social media and is often slow to adopt its routine use, it is emerging as an important part of many practices.

Twitter–both in and outside of its use in medicine–certainly has been shown to stir media controversies, influence politics and significantly impact careers (both positively and negatively) due to its ease of use and potential for immediate widespread dissemination.

Beyond the more traditional uses of social media platforms in medicine, a new study has recently been released that shows that one particular platform may actually be useful in predicting disease.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published a study in the January issue of Psychological Science in which they carefully examined the relationship between the “type” of language posted on twitter and an individual's risk for cardiovascular disease.

Stress, anger and other hostile emotions have long been associated with increased levels of cortisol, catecholamines (stress hormones) and increased inflammation.

These biologic byproducts of anger and hostile emotion have been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events. Based on this information, researchers set out to identify whether or not the type of language utilized in tweets by a defined population could predict those at greater risk of cardiac events such as heart attack and stroke.

In the study, researchers analysed tweets between 2009 and 1010 using a previously validated emotional dictionary and classified them as to whether they represented anger, stress or other types of emotions.

They found that negative emotion laden tweets–particularly those that expressed anger or hate–were significantly correlated with a higher rate of cardiovascular disease and death.

Conversely, those whose tweets were more positive and optimistic seemed to confer a much lower risk for heart disease and cardiovascular related death.

While this is certainly not a randomized controlled clinical trial–and while we must interpret these results in the context of the study design–it does illustrate an new utility for social media.

As we continue to reach out and engage with patients on social media, our interactions may actually provide more than just communication of ideas–these interactions may produce important clinical data that may provide clues to assist us in the treatment of our patients in the future. This particular study allowed researchers to predict risk for entire communities based on an analysis of random tweets from those residing in that geographical area.

For primary care physicians, using clues provided from social media interaction may provide insight into both an entire community's health risk as well as an individual patient's demeanor and allow for more aggressive screening and treatment for a wide variety of diseases from depression to cardiovascular disease.

Social media use will continue to grow among medical professionals. I believe that when healthcare providers use all available tools and data in the care of their patients, outcomes will improve.

We must continue to explore the use of social media platforms such as twitter in clinical care and we must continue to examine ways in which the social media behavior of patient populations can predict disease.

I commend the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania for their creativity and vision–we need more creative minds who are willing to use pioneering strategies to improve care for our patients. We can no longer shy away from social media in medicine–we must embrace it and begin to learn how to use it as a tool to effect change.


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Miranda Long's curator insight, February 22, 2015 6:11 PM

This is inspiring that clinicians could in the future utilize social media to observe medical symptoms. Social media posts can realistically reveal a lot about a patient's current mood and mental state. However, this type of clinician practice could raise some privacy concerns.

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Infographic: Physicians’ opinions and challenges on using social media at work

Infographic: Physicians’ opinions and challenges on using social media at work | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |

Nearly 45 percent of physicians say they don’t use social media professionally. Of the physicians who dabble online for work:

33 percent say they use LinkedIn

28 percent visit online physician communities

22 percent venture onto Facebook

Here’s an interesting point from this infographic: Only 3 percent of docs say they visit online patient communities.

Which top five professions engage in physician groups? Research from market research group,MedData Point, finds that ophthalmologists prefer this form of communication.


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Les réseaux sociaux en Santé Publique

EVELYNE PIERRON's curator insight, January 26, 2015 10:17 AM

Document intéressant, synthétique à partir d'une revue de la littérature qui définit d'abord les médias sociaux, puis de son usage et de celui qui pourrait en être fait  en Santé Publique.

Des questions sont soulevées: 

- quelle est l'efficacité des médias sociaux?

- Quel est leur impact sur les inégalités en santé?

EVELYNE PIERRON's curator insight, January 26, 2015 10:21 AM

Document intéressant, synthétique à partir d'une revue de la littérature qui définit d'abord les médias sociaux, puis de son usage et de celui qui pourrait en être fait  en Santé Publique.

Des questions sont soulevées: 

- quelle est l'efficacité des médias sociaux?

- Quel est leur impact sur les inégalités en santé?

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INFOGRAPHICS | Digital Insights Group

INFOGRAPHICS | Digital Insights Group | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Infographics from Digital Insights Group Digital Insights Group is a research and advisory firm focused on bridging the gap between strategic insight and the mountains of data created by the social, mobile, and digital revolution.
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166 supports d’information online, proposés par la pharma

166 supports d’information online, proposés par la pharma | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Si vous souhaitez être informé de l'offre digitale élaborée par les laboratoires pharmaceutiques, voici une nouvelle actualisation de mon mapping consacré aux réalisations digitales de l'industrie ...

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Drug companies are struggling to find ways to legally engage with consumers on social media

Drug companies are struggling to find ways to legally engage with consumers on social media | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Online comments from patients can draw unlawful responses from drug companies

Via COUCH Medcomms, Giuseppe Fattori
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Une étude analyse la relation des professionnels de santé avec le digital

Une étude analyse la relation des professionnels de santé avec le digital | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
[] - « Je pense que la plus grande innovation du 21e siècle sera l’intersection de la médecine et de la technologie » confiait Steve Jobs.
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Why Pharma Should Rethink How To Use Social Media -

Why Pharma Should Rethink How To Use Social Media - | pratiques sociales dans l'écosystème santé |
Last Thursday, I had the great fortune to address a group of prestigious individuals at the American College of Cardiology Professional and Corporate Consortium in Washington, D.C., on the relevant topic of Digital Health and Patient Engagement. The audience was primarily made up of professionals from pharmaceutical companies and medical device businesses, and as I spoke on the social media challenges these industries face when adopting digital and social initiatives, an ongoing discussion began centering primarily around the hurdles of regulatory requirements and constraints to reach patients directly.Getting down to it, the impact of patients and practitioners going online to research, communicate and make healthcare decisions has transformed the entire healthcare communications paradigm. For the pharmaceutical industry, this shift has been met with trepidation of how to effectively embrace the opportunity of leveraging social media for business goals. As noted in the ACC meeting, fear of regulatory compliance (and the lack of clear, cohesive guidance from the Food and Drug Administration), privacy concerns, and simply the unfamiliarity of social media – has kept pharma out of playing a hand at the crowded social media table. Further, according to the January 2014 report from the IMS Health Institute, almost 2/3 of respondents in the DHC/Google Executive Landscape 2013 survey agreed that the pharma/device industry is very far behind other industries with respect to the use of social media.This advent of transparent, real time public communications with consumers and healthcare providers (and at the behest from the industry requesting clarity on internet/social promotions) led the FDA to finally develop directionalguidances, which were passed down in June 2014. The proposal addressed promotions posted with character space limitations (such as Twitter and Google/Bing search ads) must present a fair and balanced benefit and risk and include a direct link to more detailed risks. The FDA also discussed how companies can correct misinformation on third party sites, like Wikipedia and chat forums, as long as the information is accurate, clearly defined and non misleading. (Wikipedia is the leading single source of healthcare information for patients and healthcare professionals).However, with this piecemeal approach from the FDA, the guidance’s will likely do little to change any immediate behaviors of pharma companies on social media.Another challenge is a question that we hear from all clients who are new to social media at one point or another: How can you truly quantify social media ROI? For pharma, the IMS Institute suggests they take a more refined approach – Social media ROI requires a more nuanced view of the benefit of customer interaction, including the quantity and quality of followers, the number of comments, likes and shares, the reach to targeted demographics, the sentiment of comments and buzz, and ultimately the change in brand perception.” In this lens, providing content that fosters community involvement, thought leadership and purposeful messaging for a wide-spread audience could largely change the way customers interacted with these pharma brands.As Pew Research indicates, 72% of adult internet users have searched online for information about health issues (the most popular being specific diseases and treatments). The pharmaceutical industry should consider it an obligation to provide meaningful education content to help accurately inform consumers about health related issues and out shine any misleading information that is on the world wide web. I would not dare suggest that pharma should axe promotions altogether, rather shift from promoting products as the core social media focus to instead developing a strategy that empowers their customers with critical and up-to-date health information.Especially for pharma companies with a consumer products side to their business, activating strategies that provide significant content to practitioners and consumer would fall in line with the extremely successful social media communities of their healthcare cousins - Mayo Clinic andCleveland Clinic. As the social achievements of those two social media juggernauts show, social media should be about creating messaging for that can help their audience, and not to serve as a mega phone for brand promotions. Take Johnson & Johnson for example – they were rankednumber one by a wide margin in the IMS Institute report of the top ten pharmaceutical companies by social media engagement. Digging deeper, Johnson & Johnson primarily focuses on non-prescription consumer products for their social strategy, but they are setting new precedents in other ways as well. They are one of the very few pharma companies that allows comments on their YouTube channel! On the non-consumer product side (and number three on this list) Novo Nordisk uses Pinterest to share visual information that practitioners can share as critical information pieces for families of children who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes.“We see that pharmaceutical companies recognize that patients increasingly are using some form of social media to obtain information, exchange views and seek advice regarding their healthcare. They therefore need to be present, active and engaged in these channels to be patient-centered.” Murray Aitken – Executive Director, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Although uncertain if any remaining directives from the FDA would change the reluctancy of social adoption, changing the focus from brand-centric marketing to customer-centric marketing would alleviate some compliance fears and perhaps provide a more viable long-term approach to social media. So stick your toes in, Pharma … it’s not as cold as you think.
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