Approximately one of every three Americans is older than 50, and they're remaining active and living longer. Meanwhile, roughly one in every 10 Americans owns an activity or sleep tracker – while seven out of 10 know what they are. But only one of every four people using an activity or sleep tracker is a senior.
Any guesses as to where the market might be heading?
A new report from the AARP cites the "great promise" that activity trackers hold for the senior market – for which health monitoring is and will continue to be essential. "The quality of their years is just as important as the quantity," the report notes, "and they are searching for tools to help them stay healthy and productive as they age – specifically tools that monitor progress toward wellness goals (steps, distance or elevation walked, for instance) and alert them to negative health developments (such as abnormal glucose or heart rate readings)."
A group of scientists and HCPs have published a paper indicating that, through their use of hashtags during medical society conferences, biopharmas and medical device companies exert a disproportionate influence on healthcare providers to promote their products or services instead of sharing unbiased, evidence-based information.
I must admit this aspect of pharma’s Twitter contributions to hashtags is one that I had not fully considered, possibly because I have been far more concerned with encouraging the industry to use social media and engage with HCPs openly. We should not forget that it was only a few years ago that the very first pharmas plucked up sufficient courage and developed appropriate internal guidelines to enable them to contribute to conference hashtags; Boehringer Ingelheim springs instantly to mind.
Yet, most importantly, the analysis raises some critical issues concerning the industry’s apparent power to influence: should its behaviour be curbed or regulated in some way?
Over the past 25 years, almost every industry has been transformed by technology, data, design and collaborative platforms that have made it easier for entrepreneurs and creators to develop and deliver solutions that once lived on the pages of...
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We are in the midst of the digital health movement, it's the topic taking up columns of media space, seminars across cities are headlining the topic and digital health start up investments during Q1 have already surpassed $600m in the US alone. As we witnessed the media frenzy regarding the Apple watch launch and its range of health applications, we now eagerly wait to see if the health revolution is really upon us and whether we will see a real shift in power from physician to patient?
Furthermore, what will this mean for pharma? Will a new patient segment emerge that is truly in control of their healthcare decisions, selling their health data to eagerly waiting research agencies and driving payer treatment decisions? Will chronic health patients finally have a support mechanism through digital technology which informs and helps them on a daily basis?
The truth is, we just don't know, it is likely the above scenario is some time away but one thing we do know is that primary care physicians are concerned with what this new digitally empowered patient segment will bring. The healthcare systems across Europe are already feeling the burden of patient numbers and whilst physicians acknowledge this shift, it is difficult to say whether digital health will bring more help or harm to the current patient–physician paradigm.
Tracking the physician perspective The Ipsos Healthcare Digital Doctor tracker aims to keep abreast of the physician activity and perception on digital health. Our data shows physicians across Europe are comfortable using the conventional technology options such as websites (61% visited a non-pharma and 46% a pharma website to obtain information on a specific drug) and online discussion forums (32% recommended these to their patients, and 34% use these platforms themselves to discuss with other HCPs). However, we are not yet seeing a strong engagement with new technologies such as app based services, with only 26% recommending a health and lifestyle app to a patient during consultation.
Physicians are in agreement health and lifestyle apps will play a strong role in the future, with a possibility they will form part of treatment plans for certain health conditions (57%). Conversely a similar proportion of physicians also believe apps will cause more conflict between themselves and patients (48%). This is where the complexity lays, whilst many are excited about the digital health revolution, healthcare professionals are troubled by the potential areas of conflict that will occur. There is a reluctance to fully embrace this new world and to push patients in the direction of digital health technologies.
How can the gap be met? Interestingly, conflict has always driven curious minds to the path of innovation; there is little doubt somebody (most likely a non-healthcare company) will bridge the gap and find a solution which enables the patient-physician consultation rather than hamper it. So, what will the ultimate solution be and what are the challenges which need to be overcome?
In order to truly engage physicians and empower patients, digital health solutions will need simplicity at the heart of them; there will need to be absolute confidence that the data is accurate and agreements are in place for data to be integrated with electronic medical records.
For pharma and healthcare providers this is an opportunity to support innovation at the grassroots level, through engaging with start-ups and non-traditional partners, thus allowing providers to play a role in shaping the future of digital health solutions. Providers need to be positive catalysts in this time of change, it is important they use their experience and knowledge to foster the patient-physician relationship and have an openness to walk the road less travelled. After all, without deviation from the norm, progress is impossible.
If pharmaceutical and medical device companies are on the fence about how to incorporate social media into their digital marketing campaigns, they better get moving. The reason is simple: That’s where patients and consumers are.
The first place that most people turn to for health information is the Internet. Increasingly, the main way that people access the Internet is via a smart, mobile device. In a post at Compliance Monitor, Cadient’s Gene Y. Miller notes that research from the Pew Research Center shows that 52 percent of smartphone owners have used their phones to look up health or medical information; 19 percent have downloaded an app. “Pharmaceutical marketers,” Miller writes, “need to engage with their audience on their terms.”
In the fall of 2014, the FDA released draft guidelines covering how companies can discuss their products on social media. Those preliminary guidelines call on companies to state both the risks and benefits of their products, a tall order considering that Twitter’s interface limits messaging to bite-sized snippets of information of no more than 140 characters.
Striking a balance between conveying an effective marketing message that also includes appropriate safety and risk disclosures can be difficult. But Miller says that with some effort, pharma marketers can do both.
Say much, use little space. In order to convey both risk and benefit, Miller suggests economizing space by using abbreviation, punctuation marks, and symbols, such as “&.”Primary and secondary links. Primary links should be a site that provides more complete information about risk. A secondary link could also be included for additional information.Consider the platform. Twitter is not the right forum for every pharma marketing message. If the proper risk/benefit balance cannot be achieved in the constraints of Twitter, or any other social media forum, Miller says that perhaps that platform should not be used for that particular message.Composing an FDA-approved Tweet. In a nutshell, keep it short and sweet. Include the benefit. Communicate the risk. Use the full FDA-approved product name.
Technology changes quickly and regulation moves slowly. The FDA will likely have more to say on the matter and the agency’s guidelines can shift and change. But Miller says that’s no reason to wait. Internet users generate more than 500 million Tweets every day, according to some estimates. “Short-form messaging and advertising is going to remain a major fixture of the media landscape for the foreseeable future,” he says.
Protecting patient data and privacy requires prime attention when deploying mHealth technology, according to Michael Ash, chief transformation officer at Nebraska Medicine. The health system is conducting a $10 million research project on the impact of remote health monitoring of chronically ill patients, and is now deploying an Apple Watch-based version of its Epic MyChart app to let patients and physicians communicate and access data from test result notices to appointment information.
In a recent interview with HealthcareInfoSecurity, Ash says that security strategies surrounding such mobile endeavors must encompass all potential risk points, from user access to data sharing.
In deploying the app, Nebraska made a series of decisions regarding security to ensure data is protected at every point, from creation to transmission to storage. No data resides on the Watch and encryption technology is used for transmitting data between the Epic system and the wearable.
Start listening to chatter on social media and you'll discover that Pepto-Bismol is commonly used for face masks, allergy OTC meds' side effects are disruptive, and knitters get lots of headaches.
Infegy's recent study divining social insights for pharma also found some interesting prescription drug gems as well. For instance, cancer patients talk more about marijuana than Zofran for nausea relief. And along with insulin shots, diabetes patients also use almonds and nuts, apple cider vinegar and high fiber to manage their disease.
Rion Martin, Infegy's marketing director, said social listening is often an untapped resource for pharma, which even some drugmakers admit. Initial feedback on the study included several companies noting they had never thought of using social media that way, he said. The other significant feedback centered on regulations, particularly adverse events and the question of whether findings via social listening would have to be reported. (The answer is currently no.)
"Today the major value is insight and analysis because of the problem of (vague) regulations," he said. "We advise people to use social media more as a point of research than a point of engagement."
But what to do with all those insights? That depends. In the case of the discovery of knitters getting headaches, the digital ad agency for Tylenol, which uncovered the new target group, caused the headache medicine to shift marketing and SEO strategies, resulting in an increase in visits to its website, according to the Infegy report.
Other findings, like the marijuana chatter, diabetes dietary aids or the side effects of allergy medicine, can be used to look at the impact of side effects, address what's working and what's not working in treatment management or tailor messaging to address specific pain points.
With the iPhone an everyday part of millions of consumers' lives, and now the debut of the Apple Watch, healthcare professionals believe that Apple is a pivotal part in what they see as the "consumerization" of healthcare, driven by easy access to health-related data.
Companies pursuing digital marketing strategies for their pharmaceutical products might want to exercise some additional caution. By now, companies are well aware that the Food and Drug Administration scrutinizes the drug claims companies make on their websites. But the regulator is also paying attention to pharma posts on social media. Recently, the FDA issued warning letters to six companies for inappropriate marketing claims they made using Facebook.
“FDA’s letters provide evidence that the agency cares just as much about what a company says on its social media channel as on its website,” Regulatory Focus says.
In the warnings, the FDA said that the companies were making claims that were not approved by the agency, Regulatory Focus explains. The inappropriate posts are not one time infractions. For one company, the FDA cites eight instances of inappropriate marketing in the span of 15 months. The FDA’s scrutiny is not limited to reading Facebook posts. In one instance, the agency cited a company for making inappropriate claims in the “about” section of the company’s Facebook page.
The FDA last year released proposed guidelines regarding how companies can discuss their products on social media. Those preliminary guidelines, which state that companies must disclose both risks and benefits, all but eliminate the use of Twitter because of that site’s 140 character limit. That restriction might be sending pharma companies to Facebook, where they have more space list more drug information and talk about their products. Facebook is also a natural channel to reach patients because it is the largest of the social networks. But companies still must be cautious about how they use this channel. Social media offers new opportunities to communicate with patients in a post. But be aware that the FDA is reading those posts, too.
Get hands-on expertise on the state of social media within the healthcare landscape. Join us at 6th Digital Pharma West, taking place in San Francisco, CA in the United States on June 1-3, 2015 to:
Understand exactly where we stand with the FDA draft guidelinesDecipher what is important in privacy and security in successful social listeningAnalyze case study experience on how a pharma company used a branded social presence to deepen patient engagement and affinityBreak down new FDA guidance and how MLR/compliance/legal/marketing teams can work better with regulators and each other
Once again, social media proves its mettle among young people with health issues. Preliminary results of a study of asthmatic teenagers at Boston’s Partners HealthCare found significant improvement in engagement and in symptom control when patients received reminders and encouragement from clinicians and peers via Facebook.
Dr. Joseph Kvedar, vice president of connected health at Partners HealthCare, presented these early findings at the mHealth + Telehealth World conference in Boston this week. Kvedar told MedCity News that Partners is working on publication of the study in a peer-reviewed journal.
Partners Connected Health, formerly known as the Center for Connected Health, teamed up with the Department of Pulmonology at Massachusetts General Hospital and the pediatric asthma group at Partners Community HealthCare to create a private Facebook group for asthma patients aged 14-17. Partners paired the “secret” group, only viewable by invited users and not listed in Facebook search results, with a password-protected website called Connect 2 My ACT, where study participants could take the Asthma Control Test (ACT), a survey intended to measure asthma control.
La HAS publie un guide concernant les demandes de prise en charge dérogatoire d’un produit ou d’un acte innovant et met en ligne un espace dédié au forfait innovation. Cette démarche prolonge la loi de financement de la Sécurité Sociale 2015 qui entend rendre ce dispositif plus réactif. L’objectif est de faciliter un accès rapide des patients aux progrès de la médecine.
Aide au diagnostic et à la prescription, chirurgie robotique, télémédecine... Le numérique bouleverse la pratique médicale. Et c'est une bonne nouvelle : plus la machine entrera dans l'univers de la médecine, plus celle-ci sera humaine.
Le marché des applications et des objets connectés de santé connait une croissance exponentielle. On parle cependant encore peu du monde du travail et notamment de l’entreprise comme territoire de l’e-santé, et pourtant…
Ever asked the Internet what your symptoms mean and gotten a response that seemed wacky or totally off base? It's not your imagination.In an audit that is believed to be the first of its kind, Harvard Medical School researchers have tested 23 online “symptom checkers” — run by brand names such as the Mayo Clinic, the American Academy of Pediatrics and WebMD, as well as lesser-knowns such as Symptomate — and found that, though the programs varied widely in accuracy of diagnoses and triage advice, as a whole they were astonishingly inaccurate. Symptom checkers provided the correct diagnosis first in only 34 percent of cases, and within the first three diagnoses 51 percent of the time.
Asking “Dr. Google” about a medical problem isn’t just a questionable way to get good answers — it’s also a potential security risk, according to research by Tim Libert, a University of Pennsylvania doctoral student, who was recently featured on...
In a bid to relish a better standard of living, working day in and day out has become a norm. This has left people with less time to focus on their personal lives. And as a result their health is being neglected. Imagine if I told you that now you have someone who will keep an eye on our health while you keep on with your daily work!? Yes! It’s true. Smarty-pants Google’s latest health tracker has made this possible.
So what is this health tracker all about?
Before you come up with general questions like how big it is, how I can use it, or is it mobile or not? Here’s the answer to all your queries – the Google Health Tracker is a wearable. Yes, you heard it right! Just like a smartwatch, it has a wrist band which you can wear around your hand and take wherever you go. It keeps track of heart rate, skin temperature, and heart rhythm, along with environmental conditions like light exposure and noise levels. It can also monitor your blood pressure.
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