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Rescooped by Sunnie Southern from Social Media and Healthcare!

5 Exemplary Examples of Healthcare Social Media Marketing Success

5 Exemplary Examples of Healthcare Social Media Marketing Success | Health Innovation |

The most effective marketing programs do more than educate; they resonate with the public, eliciting an emotional response that isn’t easily forgotten. With deeply personal subjects often of life or death significance, healthcare marketing campaigns are often particularly powerful. Hospital groups, pharmaceutical companies and charitable causes are increasingly pushing the boundaries to create creative, compelling campaigns which create a lasting impression. Using the right social media channels to deliver the message directly to their target audience is what makes the best campaigns so successful.


Here are five of our favourites from the past few years:

1. SickKids VS

Better known simply as “SickKids,” Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children took a radical approach when sharing the stories of its young patients in a fundraising campaign for the Sick Kids Foundation. Rather than tugging on the audience’s heartstrings by portraying patients as victims of their medical condition or depicting the hardships having a child with a serious illness poses for the entire family, the kids are presented is a series of videos as heroic fighters readying for battle.

Instead of being portrayed as weak or suffering, they are defiant and strong. They are gladiators, boxers, pro wrestlers and comic book superheroes, supported by an army of doctors, nurses, researchers and family members who gird for battle alongside them. The final result is intense, raw and unforgettable.


It’s a new solution to an old problem. Despite rising awareness of breast cancers and the importance of early detection, officials with the Carilion Clinic in Virginia were concerned that not enough women were scheduling mammograms. The clinic added screening locations through the state which would be accessible to all women, regardless of their ability to pay, and launched the #YESMAMM campaign to encourage women to schedule an appointment. The social based campaign helped drive traffic to the clinic site, grew their online community and provided a way to share valuable information with hosted Twitter chats about breast cancer.

3. Movember

When a healthcare campaign goes global and takes over an entire month, you know it’s been a success. Movember started in 2003 as a conversation between two friends in Australia, who wanted to challenge a few friends to grow a moustache. Inspired by friends who were raising money for breast cancers, they decided to make the challenge meaningful by using it to raise money for men’s health issues. The following year they decided to make the movement formal and registered the Movember Foundation, built a website and launched a social media campaign. Now, 15 years later, more than 5.5 million “Mo Bros” (and “Mo Sisters’) have joined the movement, funding more than 1,200 projects in 20 countries and, raising awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancers.

4. The Eyes Of A Child

The brainchild of a French advocacy group called the Noémie Foundation, the powerful campaign titled The Eyes of a Child aimed to change the public’s perception of people with disabilities. In a compelling video, parents and their kids were shown pictures of people making various funny faces, and were asked to mimic them. In each case the last image depicted a person with a disability. While the adults reacted with surprise or shock, and stopped trying to mimic their facial expressions, the children innocently continued playing the game. The campaign’s simple message lies at the root of its success: when we look at the disabled through the eyes of a child, we see the person, not their disability.

5. Things Everybody Does But Doesn’t Talk About

When the U.S. government wanted to encourage millennials to visit healthcare.govand sign up for healthcare coverage it took a decidedly lighthearted approach to a serious (and some might say boring) subject. With the help of a very famous spokesperson – then President Barack Obama – and BuzzFeed, it launched a promotional video designed to capture the attention of this traditionally hard to reach demographic. And it worked. The humorous clip answered the question: “What does the President do when nobody’s around?” The answer: the same things everybody else does. He checks himself out in new sunglasses, makes funny faces, takes selfies with a selfie stick, blames the President when something goes wrong and practices for a big speech in front of the mirror. The fact that his speech rehearsal includes a plug for the site and reminds viewers of the sign-up deadline is clever and hits just the right tone for the millennial audience. With more than 15 million views in its first 8 hours, the campaign was a viral sensation.

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Medical practitioners opt for social media platforms & clinical apps to widen their knowledge base: 

Medical practitioners opt for social media platforms & clinical apps to widen their knowledge base:  | Health Innovation |

Medical practitioners currently use a variety of social media and clinical apps to further their learning and knowledge. These platforms act as enablers to help manage or engage patients effectively, said Jayesh Chauhan, chief development officer, WhiteCoats, a digital platform for doctors.

Popular categories of medical apps for medical news & journal updates, drug databases, disease protocols & guidelines are also gaining traction and user base, he added.

While there are various online solutions for appointments and consultations, WhiteCoats is one of the few platforms that allows them to communicate and collaborate within related speciality groups specialists which could be either a medical association or a hospital.

In the last 18 months, WhiteCoats helps over 50 medical societies’ across specialities to further their digital initiatives. We are continually working on strategies to engage over 1 lakh doctors on the platform to provide significant value on a daily basis, said Chauhan.

By 2020, WhiteCoats is gearing up to be a top digital platform for medical practitioners and medical communities in India, measured not just by number of doctors but in terms of the value derived by engaging with them and using the platform, he said.

The company which is funded 100% by ValueMomentum has received $500,000 with a current recurring investment of around $1 million each year. Currently its team comprises of over 40 members across product, technology, medical practitioners, and market execution teams.

Solution areas being explored for the future include Patient Engagement, and Condition Focused Remote Patient Monitoring/Care. These capabilities will be offered to individual practitioners as well as SMB clinics/hospitals on the WhiteCoats network. In addition, it will enhance the community engagement capabilities offered to medical societies hospitals and clinics.

It is reported that health-tech start-ups globally received over $13 billion of funding in the past year. Indian health-tech firms have raised over $350 million in this period with over 100 deals in this space. Hence, these patient-interface business solutions and platforms that are focused on bringing in efficiencies and effectiveness to a medical practitioner will also find its due share in terms of investments, said Chauhan.

The challenge in terms of adoption and growth for apps and digital platforms for doctors will be to continually add value, and stay relevant to the current developments. 

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Vitamin D reduces early mortality

Vitamin D reduces early mortality | Health Innovation |
A normal intake of vitamin D can reduce the risk of early death substantially in people with cardiovascular disease, a new study shows. The study concludes that people who have suffered from cardiovascular disease, and have a normal intake of vitamin D, reduce their risk of morality as a consequence of the disease by 30 per cent.

Via American Institute Health Care Professionals
American Institute Health Care Professionals's curator insight, March 9, 1:59 PM

Vitamin D reduces early mortality


Good article on holistic and good effects on early mortality and how vitamin D can help

Please also review our Holistic Nursing Program

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ADHD Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments You Should Know

ADHD Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments You Should Know | Health Innovation |
ADHD symptoms involve so much more than being distracted. Learn more about what ADHD is (and what it isn't, too).

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Why is ADHD more common in boys than girls?

Why is ADHD more common in boys than girls? | Health Innovation |
For every girl diagnosed with ADHD, up to seven boys are diagnosed. Researchers looked at risk factors, the role of genetics, and mental health for clues.

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Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: Symptom Self-Test for Adults with ADHD

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: Symptom Self-Test for Adults with ADHD | Health Innovation |
Rejection sensitive dysphoria, or the extreme emotional pain linked to feelings of rejection, affects many with ADHD. Use this self-test to see if your symptoms match up.

Via American Institute Health Care Professionals
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Could a pharma company shun sales reps and be successful?

Could a pharma company shun sales reps and be successful? | Health Innovation |

Could there be a pharma, healthcare or life sciences company that decides to shun sales representatives?

Matt Lowe, pharma agency veteran and founder (just this week) of healthtech agency, believes that such a company, relying heavily on search and performance marketing, may be a possiblity in the next few years (albeit once somebody has the courage to take the leap).

I spoke to Lowe about what he has seen across pharma and healthcare marketing, and the skills that are currently lacking in the industry. He painted a picture of pharma companies that are "certainly patient centric, they just don’t always behave like it online." 

B2B and B2C are blurring

"The healthcare and life sciences industry needs to understand, I believe, that doctors are consumers like anyone else, and so are patients and carers and nurses and pharmacists," says Lowe.

He adds that though most people's first point of contact when looking for medical advice is a search engine [62% of UK patients], "currently pharma has this decentralised model - a plan gets handed out and it’s very much based on sales force and market access – understandably, because that model has delivered significant returns for many, many years."

Such an approach has to change if pharma is to keep up with agile tech companies. Lowe mentions Amazon and JPMorgan Chase, saying "they have digital woven into the fabric of how they operate - pharma doesn’t, so trying to be agile and define how it engages with audiences is going to be a slow process."

Patient-focused content will impact the bottom line

The process of building website infrastructure and online content is one where Lowe sees a breakdown in patient focus – he describes websites as "built based on the ambition, critical success factors, brand and strategic imperatives of the pharma company," but adding that "patients don't care about any of those things. They care about solutions when they need it most, whether it’s a stubbed toe or multiple myeloma."

"For the companies that have the most data on these solutions, the way they use that data is really bad. I get asked sometimes - ‘Do people want information from a big pharma company?’ - and I genuinely think people don’t care where the information comes from, if it’s well balanced, useful, relieves anxiety, or helps with the next best step."

This sort of content often benefits communities dealing with a particular condition, such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems, but Lowe asserts that the value of this approach for pharma also impacts on harder metrics, not just the softer ones.

"From a financial aspect," he says, "if people are better controlled then concordance is better (compliance, persistence, adherence) people stay on drugs longer, there's more effective up-titrating and it affects the P&L very positively."

Analytics and planning skills are lacking, for now

Pharma is stereotyped as being a laggard in some areas of digital. Though this is perhaps too easy an assumption to make, Lowe characterises the typical campaign or website build involving perhaps "a social listening exercise, maybe a keyword planner" but not truly understanding "insights informed infrastructure".

According to Lowe, marketers need to look at a slew of search and behavioural data and decide "what to avoid, what is useful based on semantic search behaviours, what kind of content is engaged with, on which platforms, with what frequency, and in which formats."

This type of activity will help set "domain strategy, url taxonomy, site structure, and onsite and offsite keywords", but according to Lowe the industry needs to recruit better skills in technology such as "tag management, advanced analytics, Google search console etc." 

Pharma needs to join the dots with performance marketing

Once campaigns and content are live, the next task is optimisation of performance marketing. Again, knowing how to track users and understand the success of content is key.

Lowe gives the example of event tracking, such as how many doctors are watching videos on up-titration of a complex medicine, or tracking consumers downloading a helpful PDF. Combining event tracking with acquistion through social media, and landing page optimisation is the kind of marketing industry standard conversion funnel that pharma needs to properly implement.

In order to do this, says Lowe, "investment in new people, new behaviours and new skills" is needed.

The rest of the world isn’t standing still

Many of these techniques of performance marketing are fairly well established now, but pharma marketers shouldn't be complacent and think that bringing their capability up to standard will be simple. Tech continues to evolve, with innovation such as blockchain creeping into paid media.

As ever, digital transformation is a journey, not an endpoint. Whether pharma needs its sales reps or not, the skillset for pharma marketers is changing.

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How social media is connecting people living with illness - Health

How social media is connecting people living with illness - Health | Health Innovation |

Three years after she was diagnosed with endometriosis, Marissa Brennan turned to Facebook for support.

"When it comes to endometriosis, there's a lot of people that think they understand or think it's only a 'small' disease that affects you a couple of days a month," she said.

"But day-to-day coping can actually be really difficult."

What started out as a search for more information, led Marissa to an online support group of Australian women living with endometriosis.

"I read through other women's stories, and it was really nice to realise that there were other people going through the same things as me," Marissa said.

Finding an online community where people understood her experience allowed Marissa to reach out and get support in a way she had not been able to before.

Even though endometriosis affects one in ten women, it has long been poorly understood, can be extremely isolating, and on average takes a woman seven to ten years to get an accurate diagnosis.

Advocates say women are often forced to become self-taught experts, managing symptoms that include pelvic pain, heavy or irregular periods, bowel and bladder symptoms, and fertility problems.

"In the group, you feel like you're around like-minded people that understand ... like there's this big support network that's available just at your fingertips when you might need it," Marissa said.

Support groups on social networks

The 25-year-old Brisbane nurse is one of thousands of Australians living with an illness who turns to social media to connect with others who understand her plight.

"Closed" or "secret" Facebook groups allow people connect privately with others who might be going through a similar experience.

The groups often have a set of unique terms and conditions, and require members to answer a series of questions before joining. For example, "do they live with X illness or care for someone who does?".

"It's safe space where people can talk without feeling judged, and look for support and reinforcement that they are doing the right thing and doing everything they can," Marissa said.

Dr Melanie Keep, an e-Health researcher at the University of Sydney, said recent years had seen a rise in the number of illness support groups on social media, as well as online discussion boards and patient-specific platforms.

"These groups play an important role in allowing people access to peer support that is otherwise limited by time and geography," she said.

Usually the groups are run by one or more voluntary members, or by an organisation advocating for the same cause.

Dr Keep said there was significant variety from group to group.

"There might be emotional support from peers. And there could also be practical support, like being able to drive somebody to an appointment," she said.

"All of these things can be facilitated through an online group."

Dr Keep says some people turn to online communities for support because they find it difficult to talk those close to them.

Dr Keep said research suggested people who actively engaged in online support groups — whether by regularly posting or responding to what others posted — tended to "get more out of it".

But Dr Keep and her colleagues recently investigated the effects of online health communities on members who engage less actively, and found the experience was still largely beneficial.

"We found that even people who 'lurk' feel like they're getting something out of the process, either by sharing minimally or by what they view," she said.

Sharing resources and supporting others

Kristin Gillespie, 54, has lived with mental illness for most of her life, and now helps to run a closed Facebook group for Australians living with psycho-social disability.

Kristin said the announcement of the NDIS prompted her to connect with others who were also grappling with how the scheme would work.

"I'm very much a believer that people with disabilities need to stick together … and peer support is enormously beneficial and powerful if it's done well," Kristin said.

According to Kristin, the group, which now has more than one thousand members, provides peer support and practical information about mental health and the NDIS.

"We have a huge range of stuff in the group. Sometimes we might be discussing how things operate at a nuts and bolts level, or we might be discussing one person's lived experience," she said.

"We have articles about things like self-care, causes of mental illness, or we might share artwork. It's quite varied."

For Kristin, one of the biggest benefits of the group is that people can participate from anywhere in Australia.

"People who suffer from serious mental illness tend to be very isolated, and many of us have to live in more rural or remote locations simply because we can't afford to live in the city," she said.

"It enables us to connect with other peers in a fairly safe environment, and that's actually quite hard to do."

Minimising potential risks

In both Kristin and Marissa's groups, administrators have posted clear guidelines around who to contact if someone needs urgent help or support.

Dr Keep said online support groups often develop group guidelines to ensure discussions are healthy and respectful. These can include:

Who the group is for (e.g. patients, carers)Behavioural guidelines (being respectful of other members)No advertising or promotional contentWhere to access urgent help or support

Dr Keep said for people considering joining an online support group, it is important to read a group's guidelines and note their privacy settings. Also, shop around.

"Look at a number of different communities, look at their terms of conditions and their rules of engagement," she said.

"Does it have a good sense of community? Or are people putting each other down? Do people get positive, supportive messages when they're responding to others and making their own posts?"

It is also important to be aware of the risks of misinformation or false advertising, especially given patient support groups on social media are rarely run by qualified medical professionals. So while they can be a good place to get support and make connections, you should seek medical advice from your doctor.

But the benefits of online support groups can be significant, Dr Keep said, especially for people not able to access support offline.

"I think the support that people receive out of these online communities outweighs the potential risks, especially when there are systems in place to try and prevent those risks," she said.

"It's the value of talking to someone whose been through it all before, and can make things less scary, however awful it may be," she said

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, March 9, 11:32 AM

This is why keeping the power of the internet in the hands of users and citizens is critical. Please contact your senator and congressman to ensure they know preserving the internet as it was designed to function matters to all of us this is not a partisian issue.Tell your leaders to vote to support the internet as the title II 

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Where is biotech and big pharma on social media?

Where is biotech and big pharma on social media? | Health Innovation |

“The absence of pharma brands on social media creates a significant void of reputable healthcare information to aid patients.” posits Dawn Lacallade, LiveWorld. Why isn’t the pharmaceutical industry more active on social media? They would say advertising restrictions and other FDA regulations severely limit their ability to have a social media presence. There is a fear of discussing prescription medication in the uncontrolled environment of the internet. But the industry is missing a terrific opportunity to impact their entire constituency: patients, caregivers, employees, scientists and even their reputation.

Unmetric, a branded content analytics company, recently released a report that outlined social media trends for big pharma. They cited four silos where pharmaceutical companies are utilizing social media. All companies studied have excellent corporate social profiles. They are attractive and informative in a general way about the company, but they aren’t interactive. Most of the pharmaceutical companies have a career silo. It is interesting that the pharmaceutical industry has lagged other industries in setting up and managing an effective career site. No real clarity on why this has happened. There is little to no FDA regulation on advertising open positions.

About half of the pharmaceutical companies in Unmetric’s study have invested money and content into OTC brand profiles. Again these tend to be static/informative and not interactive. The biggest opportunity for big pharma is in the last silo defined by Unmetric, branded community properties. Patient’s have been and continue to turn to social media to research and understand their symptoms and diagnoses as well as trying to connect with other patients.


Under current FDA regulations it is hard for the pharma company to easily join the conversation to provide accurate, balanced info because regulations mandate that “within a single social post brands must provide accurate details on the benefits and risks associated with conditions and products.” Character limits and the speed with which interactions occur means a different approach is necessary. Pharma companies must talk about the disease rather than the product or drug itself. They must try to create a place where people gather who are concerned about one of these conditions. Trying to figure out what drives engagement and putting more effort and money into it will pay off for big pharma.

Social listening is another tool that biotech and big pharma under utilize. Gauging community sentiment about marketed drugs, learning about competitors and gaining insights to improve products, services and treatments are all achievable through social media research. Social media should be more of a pull than a push of information when done correctly. Kiran Mazumdar-Sahw, Chair and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, says, “Doctors clearly will drive this change, as will younger patients. The mindset today is still controlled by pre-internet key opinion leader doctors and older patients who are not tech savvy. As younger and tech-savvy doctors and patients populate our health care ecosystem, things will change and this change will occur rapidly after a certain inflection point which is not more than 3-5 years away. There will be an explosion of social media and mobile-based apps.” For the savvy biotech or pharmaceutical company it’s time to start investing in social media.

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A Conversation About Graphic Medicine –

A Conversation About Graphic Medicine – | Health Innovation |

Circulating Now: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? What is your typical workday like?

MK Czerwiec: I’m from Chicago, born and raised. My clinical nursing experience is in HIV/AIDS care and then hospice care. Currently I work in a few non-clinical arenas—all focused on graphic medicine. I teach a seminar for first and second year medical students at Northwestern, as well as guest lecturing at several Chicago universities.  My work also affords me the opportunity to travel frequently, giving lectures and workshops on graphic medicine.  With Ian Williams, I co-run the graphic medicine website and social media presence. I also help organize the annual conferences, and work with cartoonists, students, and clinicians, advising them on individual graphic medicine-related projects. When I’m not doing all that, I make my own comics, which focus on health, illness, and caregiving. My typical workday, when not traveling, usually consists of going to the gym, then responding to many emails, doing a conference call or two, posting great stuff to our graphic medicine social media outlets, walking the dog, and drawing some comics.

CN: Do you see a relationship between online mediums, like blogs and web comics, and printed works? What drives the production of the book format for these medical narratives?

MC: There is absolutely a relationship between online comics and printed comics. The many, varied online outlets where comics can be posted and shared allow creators to find an audience, expose their work widely, I’ve even seen some creators crowdsource research and editing online toward a final comic product. Creators are also able to gauge interest in their work, and develop bodies of work that will resonate with readers. Often these are the works that then are shepherded into book-length projects.

Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371
by MK Czerwiec

CN: You co-run the Graphic Medicine website and participate in the yearly Comics and Medicine Conference. How does the global graphic medicine community help the field to grow, both in reach and artistically?

MC: The global graphic medicine community brings their work to our annual conferences, presents it, listens to other presentations, networks with participants, and often this results in improved work and future collaborations. Seeing the diversity of the work being presented often results in widening the scope and possibility of our own work. Participants often report being inspired by the work of others, deepening their own. These connections, collaborations, and inspirations frequently continue throughout the year via our active social media community, primarily on Facebook where we have nearly 5,000 active participants from 45 countries.

From Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 by MK Czerwiec

CN: How can graphic medicine help improve patient care?

MC: Graphic medicine can help improve patient care in several important ways. Comics are great patient and practitioner education tools.  Comics are highly effective at conveying information when there is a high density of that information, a high level of importance to the information, and people are under stress. Comics can help caregivers to better understand our patients by giving us a window into the full lived experience of their illness and caregiving. Comics by patients and caregivers show us things we may not otherwise see—like struggles at home, an illness’s impact on family, the ways in which our efforts to help may not be effective. Seeing ourselves and the impact of our actions in these graphic pathographies can allow us to critique our own practice and improve care. In addition, the medium of comics has unique tools, conventions, and traditions that can contribute to understanding of complex care situations. In a comic about a clinical encounter for example, we can see the frequent contrast between a speech bubble (what is being said) and a thought bubble (what is on the mind but not being said) on both the patient and practitioner’s part. These kinds of comics are often quite revealing. Finally, making comics is a unique way to help patients and practitioners reflect on their experiences with health, illness, and caregiving, hopefully yielding important insights.

“A Conversation About Graphic Medicine” is part of our ongoing history of medicine lecture series, which promotes awareness and use of the National Library of Medicine and other historical collections for research, education, and public service in biomedicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. All lectures are live-streamed globally, and subsequently archived, by NIH VideoCasting. Stay informed about the lecture series on Twitter at #NLMHistTalk.

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Healthcare und Social Media? – It’s a match!

Healthcare und Social Media? – It’s a match! | Health Innovation |

The healthcare industry is still largely in its infancy as far as social media communication is concerned. This is mainly due to the fear of a "not to be tamed" community and related to potential side effects. However, this fear is justified only if no clear processes are defined in advance - then you can also save social media directly.

Although pharmaceutical companies may need to consider a little more than other industries, social media communication is far from rocket science. Four simple steps can provide security when setting up a channel. Those who follow them can become a pioneer in their company.


At the beginning there is the question of the right channel. After all, social media is not just "short facebook". An own HCP blog or a DocCheck InSite are just as much part of the social media. The essential question is: where does the target group move and which medium best describes the content of the communication?

To find out, social listening can help. The behavior of the target group is analyzed in detail: Where does the target group move in the social web? What and how does she inform herself? Are there influencers in the appropriate area? Does she already use offers from the competition? This knowledge helps in the selection of the network and in the strategy we will discuss later.

antwerpes has a clear guide to getting started in social media communication.


Before developing a strategy, it is worthwhile to question what the company wants to achieve with the communication channel. Possible questions that you can ask yourself are: Should a website be supported and traffic directed to a website? Or reach with product-related content? Or to position a company with knowledge and current content in a particular area as a subject specialist?

Once the answers have been found, the strategy development follows. You should stick this in a guideline.


A guideline looks different from company to company and becomes exciting when it comes to content strategy. This is where the results of social listening come in - and of course a good dose of creativity. It defines content categories and formats, defines the user approach and design guidelines and, for example, develops initial contributions.

You have to do a balancing act: In the later content production, one would like to remain agile in order to optimize contributions on an ongoing basis - but the previously approved concept paper should also be complied with. This is made possible by the fact that the guideline provides a conceptual framework, but leaves enough freedom to respond to current issues with spontaneous posts, to be creative and to constantly improve content.

In addition to the content strategy, an advertising strategy should also be agreed, at least for the "classic" social media . Often it makes sense to divide these into different phases from the beginning.


The guideline also provides a way to define community management and PV processes. This is helpful in internal reasoning per social media. Because most of the events that emanate from the community can be estimated beforehand. Therefore, it is worthwhile to define: Who answers what on which user request? Flowcharts can be developed for first responses and subsequent reconciliation processes.

Even more important in preparing for community management is defining responsibilities for channel monitoring. The participants should be trained in pharmacovigilance and a 24-hour monitoring must be guaranteed, at least for pharmaceuticals on weekends.

Responsibilities and procedures in the matter of community management can be recorded in flowcharts.


With the right analysis of the target group and your goals, you will find the right network and the right strategy. Take the time to define them in a guideline and also to ensure the processes of community management and pharmacovigilance. Then social media is a plus that should not be given away.


This article is part 1 of the series "How to get social" by the antwerpes Social Media Lab ( ). As part of the Content & Relations unit, it focuses on social listening, content management, social media advertising, influencer relations and 24-hour monitoring of various channels.

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Implementing an Integrated Marketing and PR Strategy for Healthcare Brands

Implementing an Integrated Marketing and PR Strategy for Healthcare Brands | Health Innovation |

Are you a healthcare marketer looking to modernize your public relations strategy and take your content marketing game to the next level? Are you hearing a lot about how you need public relations, content marketing, social media engagement and connections with healthcare influencers, in order to grow?

Today’s healthcare landscape is dynamic and rapidly changing. Shifting federal and state policy mandates, new care delivery models, the informed patient, downward pressures to reduce costs, and the promise of technology to better connect care and treat disease proactively are creating a unique inflection point unlike anything we’ve seen. At the same time, our core healthcare stakeholders are changing the way they seek, consume and share information.


Employing a strong integrated marketing and PR strategy can be a key move to reach the next level.

Earned, shared and owned strategies all intersect and magnify each other. The difficulty remains in the million moving parts to this strategic approach. Integrated marketing and PR agencies know how to create, produce, promote and leverage a great story so you can move your healthcare brand past the infancy stages into a connected company. At this critical juncture, you can’t afford to miss out on what integrated agencies have to offer.


Social media is viewed as the second most effective digital marketing tactic for customer retention purposes, behind only email.


Some hear “social media” and think only of Facebook, Twitter and maybe LinkedIn. While tweeting a few times a day on industry topics or posting daily on Facebook and LinkedIn is a viable and inexpensive way of getting messages out there, social media opportunities can extend well beyond these channels without breaking the bank.

Cambridge BioMarketing launched a social media campaign around International Rare Disease Day that targeted advocates, caregivers and the general public via social media netting 1.4M+ total impressions. Read the case study to learn more.

In particular, emerging healthcare businesses and brands have a distinct advantage when it comes to social media promotion. Why? Because active social media users love talking about what’s new. Perhaps it’s the most promising new treatment for a rare disease, or a new virtual assistant to make physicians’ documentation easier. Healthcare social media provides a powerful means of connecting with your brand’s customers, patients and advocates.

Combining your PR and social media tactics is a winning strategy. Integrated PR and social media services ensure that your brand gets the spotlight in today's “always-on” world.

Healthcare Trends

Are you ready to act quickly and increase your brand’s thought leadership by leveraging breaking news? Trend jacking is one of the most effective tactics in the PR arsenal. It allows you to position your brand, its executives and experts as a thought leader by including your perspectives in coverage around trending industry issues. Additionally, by incorporating commentary on breaking news into social media programs, organizations can position themselves as resources on hot topics, inspiring new connections and creating urgency around issues that impact their constituents. You can hack the news cycle and react quickly to breaking news.

There is a myriad of examples on how to apply this to specific healthcare sectors. It could include topics such as the zika virus (providing information on how to avoid exposure or news on vaccines in development); CTE (sharing concussion facts and treatment options); or healthcare data breaches (discussing how best to prepare for and mitigate compromising sensitive information).



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Social Media Implementation Checklist

Social Media Implementation Checklist | Health Innovation |

Set goals first. If traffic, leads and sales are part of the goal, then gotta have the next focus be on content creation. Then, using social to share. Can't get much value out of social unless you're actively creating, publishing and sharing content. 

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Formdox's comment, April 20, 5:34 AM
Nice post
Formdox's comment, April 20, 5:34 AM
#Formdox integrates perfectly with several #functionalities for the monitoring
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12 Ways You Can Use Social Media To Market Your Pharmacies

12 Ways You Can Use Social Media To Market Your Pharmacies | Health Innovation |

Social media can play a major role in marketing for every business and pharmacies are no exceptions. Using social media, a pharmacy can get more customers, spread awareness about its offerings and can even search for a new market. In fact, social media is the best tool to market your pharmacy to generation X, Y and Z (18-50 years), who are more likely to use their smartphones to look for a pharmacy that to open Yellow Pages.

To attract these generations you need to educate them about the benefits your pharmacy can offer. According to, as these generations grew up seeing traditional advertisements they are usually skeptical about them. Therefore, you can get more success by using non-traditional marketing channels such as social media to market your pharmacy.

Here is what you can do –

First of all, please determine who you are trying to market to. Whom you target will determine in which social media platform you should be. Here’s an example:

If you want to target –

Medical Offices – LinkedIn is a better social media platform to engage the medical offices.Consumers/Patients – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are your best options in this case. Additionally, a Google+ page can up your chances at acing the Google search on key phrases like – “Pharmacies near me”.Local Community – Facebook communities or social forums are the best platforms to engage them.

Secondly, you need to determine the amount of money you are looking to spend on your social media marketing. This will help you determine your strategy.  For example – Are you looking to spend money on social advertising, are you looking to run contests?

Once you decide the target audience and work on a strategy, it is time to implement the strategy. Here are a few tips for acing the social media game as a pharmacy.

As you are a pharmacy, people look to you for authority. Your content should, therefore, be educational and easy to consume.

Educate Them

Being able to help without selling is very impactful. You should, therefore, post educative content at regular intervals. Use infographics, posters, and short videos to promote educational content (e.g. the proper way to wash your face.). Tell them the importance of flu shots. Tell them why it is important to fill your medication on time.

Inform Them

Also in case of a change in law or medical insurance, educate your audience regarding how the change may impact them. For example – from now on ABC medicine will no longer be available as an over-the-counter medicine due to XYZ reason.

Entertain Them

For every educational content, you should put at least two light content such as a picture or engaging games. Create small sudden death quiz on medical or other themes.

Be Creative With Content

Create unique news based content. For example – Use news like Pink performing at SuperBowl despite being down with flu to spread awareness about flu-shots with a post such as “Be in the Pink of health. Take flu-shots.” Be creative.

Be Helpful

Post health tips.

Add Value

Post interviews with medical practitioners regarding common ailments. It will add value to your brand as your audience will learn to associate your brand as an authority.

Remind Them

Post messages reminding your audience to take their flu shots.

Add Convenience

Generation X, Y, and Z are the tech-savvy convenience loving generation. Offer them a chance to use online ordering and ordering medicine via an app and they will love you for that.

Participate In Group Discussions

Post in social media groups and online forums. Offer to answer generic questions.

Talk About Your Brand Too

For every 7 or 8 pieces you put out that are not about your company, put 1 or 2 up that are. Let your audience know what makes your company stand out. It can be that you carry a brand of cloth diapers that no other pharmacy in your area offers. Or it can be free vitamins for kids each month. Just remember not to make your social media all about self-promotion.

Engage The Doctors

If you are speaking to doctors, educate them why your pharmacy is the best at filling orders quickly, or why they should send their patients to you for flu shots.

Introduce Your Staff

Let your customers get to know your staff. Introduce your pharmacist, who he/she is and why he is passionate about what he does.

Let us conclude with a note of warning:

Social media can be a very effective way to reach out to patients and provide resources, but it’s crucial to remember that HIPAA rules do still apply. Be cautious about what you post. A patient’s information can never be personally identifiable from the post. Avoid answering patients’ specific questions publicly; rather, use social media as a platform to provide general information from which most people can benefit.

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How Healthcare Digital Marketing Helps Doctors to Grow Their Practice 

How Healthcare Digital Marketing Helps Doctors to Grow Their Practice  | Health Innovation |


Marketing isn't just advertising because so many people believe. It is countless has a challenge. Marketing doesn’t relate to just selling of product or even services and need to do much more with techniques and campaigns apart from marketing. When someone describes healthcare marketing agency it is about a specialized marketing agency that's capable with regard to effective marketing of healthcare services. This kind of marketing was unheard expression in the past whenever clinical services were very limited on the specific place. 

Necessity of marketing regarding healthcare

The circumstance has changed over years and doctors also need aid of marketing services today. This doesn’t signify only an unbiased practicing doctor needs to marketplace his clinical services but an established medical center, medical center or hospital or perhaps a big party would also need marketing assistance to grow their business. Not merely medical providers are limited but patients’ approach is fixed. Patients must also know about common and specialised medical services in and around their whereabouts where they can approach for much better treatment and medical care. On the internet technology has developed an ease for patients to search doctors, clinics, healthcare centers, as well as hospitals on the web and book their appointment together with consultants.

Marketing is useful for medical doctors and sufferers
Online lookup has no utilize if healthcare services are not available on the web. That’s why doctors and medical solutions do sustain their internet sites and some other websites consolidate list of specialised medical services and obtainable doctors in the city. A good some medical doctors and healthcare services can be accessed about popular social media networks. All of this is possible as a result of healthcare digital marketing agencies that create a solid link between medical doctors and their individuals. Digital marketing is not only assisting doctors to cultivate their individual network but in addition facilitating sufferers to connect to medical doctors. 

Services which marketing agencies offer

Marketing agencies specializing in healthcare marketing, like healthcare marketing agencies UK play significant function in expanding practices of doctors as well as other medical services by building tweaking their internet sites. The marketing agencies also assist in Search engine optimization, SEM, e-commerce, social networking marketing, and mobile apps. More people search on their cell phones and advance of mobile apps is, therefore, extremely important part of digital marketing. Marketing agencies aid doctors to maintain their online presence and lead in their web reputation. The specialized healthcare digital marketing agencies generates campaigns for doctors as well as suggest ways to market their services. It is sort of comprehensive unique brand marketing to fit specific clinical requirements.

Exactly why to use them

Like a doctor or even clinician, marketing isn't your job and you may not be conversant with fundaments associated with marketing. Digital marketing is highly experienced job that can be performed by technology specialists within digital environment. Lots of people in your field may be making use of marketing services, however, you need to stick out in the crowd. The specific healthcare marketing agency is thus, the right means to fix bring you in standout placement.

All this is possible because of healthcare digital marketing agencies that create a strong link between doctors and their patients. Digital marketing is not only helping doctors to grow their patient network but also facilitating patients to connect to doctors.Marketing agencies specializing in healthcare marketing, like healthcare marketing agencies UK play significant role in growing practices of doctors and other medical services by building and maintaining their websites. For more details please visit healthcare digital marketing agencies.

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Hudson Reporter - Public invited to talk on ADHD and mood disorders

Hudson Reporter - Public invited to talk on ADHD and mood disorders | Health Innovation |

MORRISTOWN – On Wednesday evening, March 28, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will feature at its monthly meeting Bruce P. Friedman, M.D. Dr. Friedman treats children, adolescents and adults. He was magna cum laude at Duke University, earned his medical degree at University of Arizona, was chief resident at NYU/Bellevue, and has been recognized for clinical excellence for NYU Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a Diplomate in Adult & Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & TM

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Drug Market Overview, Market Status and Trend, Driving Factor Analysis, Major Manufacturers and Forecast 2023 – satPRnews

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Drug Market Overview, Market Status and Trend, Driving Factor Analysis, Major Manufacturers and Forecast 2023 – satPRnews | Health Innovation |

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Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: Symptom Self-Test for Adults with ADHD

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: Symptom Self-Test for Adults with ADHD | Health Innovation |
Rejection sensitive dysphoria, or the extreme emotional pain linked to feelings of rejection, affects many with ADHD. Use this self-test to see if your symptoms match up.

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Modulation of Fgf21 gene in early-life ameliorates adulthood diet-induced obesity

Modulation of Fgf21 gene in early-life ameliorates adulthood diet-induced obesity | Health Innovation |
The importance of good nutrition in the early development of children has been recognized for many decades. Nutritional experiences in early life can have profound and long-lasting effects on body weight in later life. For instance, malnutrition in early life as a result of poor nutrition during pregnancy and/or the lactation period may be stored on the offspring genome as epigenetic memory and persist into adulthood, thereby increasing the susceptibility to metabolic diseases such as obesity in later life. This area of epigenetics has become one of the fastest-growing and most complex areas of biological science.

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American Institute Health Care Professionals's curator insight, March 16, 12:12 PM

Modulation of Fgf21 gene in early-life ameliorates adulthood diet-induced obesity


Good article on obesity in adults and the importance of healthy eating

Please also review our Life Coaching Certification

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The Changing Face of Social Media Marketing – 

The Changing Face of Social Media Marketing –  | Health Innovation |

Social media offers tremendous value to healthcare companies looking to connect with audiences, especially when you consider that one-third of consumers use forums and social media platforms for health-related matters, according to PwC Health Research Institute. Furthermore, social media advertising is expected to hit new highs in 2018. According to eMarketer, 10% of total U.S. ad spend will go to Facebook. Meanwhile, Twitter and Snapchat will reach ad revenue parity in 2018 as Snapchat is expected to pull in $1.18 billion vs. $1.16 billion for Twitter. But social media marketing is much more than just placing ads. It is about engagement.

“The success of social media has traditionally been measured in audience size: How many followers do you have? How many re-tweets or hash tags? How many likes? How many shares?” explains Jim Cimino, VP, Technology at TAG MM, A division of The Access Group. “Get ready for 2018—the year of engagement, the year where the emphasis shifts from quantity to the quality of social media content. Instead of asking ‘how many,’ the questions become how do your messages resonate with your audience? How do your followers interact and react? It is the year where size doesn’t matter.”

That shift could also mean a change in how companies approach social media in 2018.

“The traditional conversation calendar that was developed in the Facebook heyday has already gone by the wayside,” says Nicole Hamlin, Account Supervisor at Butler/Till Health Group. “As more platforms focused on the 1:1 relationship are adopted, brands will have to shift their strategies from maintaining and engaging with a community, to impacting the life of each consumer one at a time.”

Social Becomes More Personal

Chatbots, in particular, are one method that social media marketers can use to deliver more personalized experiences to their customers.

“These programs can deliver a customized experience that can be turned on and off at the discretion of the user,” says Kevin Dunn, VP, Strategy & Client Engagement, Life Sciences at LevLane. “The lifestyle, support, product education, and dosing reminders are all delivered when the consumer wants it, how they want, and so that it meets their needs.”

But chatbots can also lead to an improvement in how the pharma industry handles customer service.

“I call this the ‘airline response effect,’” explains Chris Iafolla, Head of Digital & Social Strategy at Syneos Health Communications. “If you have a late-arriving plane and need to rebook, tweeting the airline tends to yield a quicker result than walking to the ticket counter. This is what our audience wants from pharmaceutical companies and this transition will be enabled by chatbot technology.”

However, chatbots are not the only new opportunity within social that marketers should be looking into in 2018.

What’s New in Social for 2018

“2018 will be the year of Instagram Stories,” predicts Dhara Naik, Social Media Strategy Lead at AbelsonTaylor. “Marketers will tune into the raw, unscripted storytelling nature of Instagram Stories by pushing their own comfort levels and tapping into this transparency to deliver better outcomes. They can use Instagram Stories to share emotion-based content that isn’t masked behind a perfectly coiffed social media page, but is more real-time in sharing authentic moments.”

Another way to connect with audiences in a more authentic way will be through virtual hangouts, which are not entirely new, but there are several new offerings in this area.

“Houseparty is an example of one of these emerging platforms, and is especially popular with Gen Z,” explains Hanna Johansen, Senior Digital Strategist at Sandbox Agency. “The app allows friend groups to hang out via video chat. Facebook will also launch similar functionality this year through Facebook Spaces, which enables users to hang out with friends in a virtual environment that allows them to create, share, and explore together without actually being in the same room.”

But, an increase in meetings should not be expected to be limited to a virtual environment.

“This year, social marketing will progressively incorporate in-person experiences and interactions to maximize the success of its digital initiatives,” adds Kieran Walsh, President at Greater Than One. “As the distinction blurs between online and offline social communities, marketers with established social presences can further augment their capabilities by engaging in experiential opportunities with the groups they serve.”

New emerging technologies are also expected to make an impact in social.

“With the rollout of iOS 11 and Google AR Stickers, expect to see AR taking a more prominent role in patient and physician engagement,” says Sophia Liu, Social Media Coordinator at HCB Health. “For example, skin care brands will be able to project various physical responses to sun exposure or water intake. AR projections could help increase empathy among treating HCPs, prompting them to proactively explore new treatment options.”

What’s Important for Social in 2018

As always in marketing, just because something is new and shiny doesn’t mean it is the best approach. So, instead of focusing on platforms, marketers should make sure they are making an impact with the right people.

“The authenticity of the patient’s voice is contagious,” says Katie O’Neill, VP, Patient Engagement Solutions at Bionical. “In influencer marketing, customers place more trust in individuals they know or can identify with. In fact, 76% of users placed greater trust in content generated by others on similar health journeys.”

However, marketers just don’t need to limit themselves to making connections with top influencers in a disease state.

“Marketers should further explore niche community platforms that can further drive engagement and insights from very specific audiences,” says Dr. Theodore Search, Founder and CEO at Skipta. “As an example, brands can look to these niche community platforms for crowdsourcing of very specific information and insights to explore virtual alternatives to live meetings and advisory board panels, and to deliver specific content to niche audiences.”

Ultimately, this brings us back to where we started. No matter what platform you use or who you are trying to reach, the most important thing to keep in mind is engagement.

“Real social media success can’t always be measured in a monthly or quarterly report,” explains Andrew Lange, VP, Director Analytics at Harrison and Star. “In 2018, success should be something bigger—making a connection with the audience, having a true conversation as opposed to blasting out corporate-approved tweets. Even if they don’t end up using your brand, you’ll leave the customer with a positive experience they will remember.”

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Fran Cho's curator insight, March 14, 1:14 AM

This article left me somewhat ignorant. What the author was trying to explain was how business companies, corporations, enterprises and so forth could benefit from using social media if they began giving "REAL" tweets or posts, instead of the usual "company-approved" stuff. He goes on it great length to throw out a series of statistics in the form of percentages to explain how customers had given positive feedback regarding, reading a post that was "REAL”, So it left me ignorant. Some "REAL" names and numbers would've been nice to include in this piece. Being a bit more specific would've been a great help as well. If I were a manager or CEO of a specific company, for me to take this article serious I would have to know exactly why I would give a "REAL" post on a social media account. The main question of importance would be if whether it would help my sales.

The author should’ve named a major and/or popular brand that had been and still is doing just that. What did they post on their account that was so “real”? Statistically, speaking show me their sales before the implementation of this technique followed by the afterward sales. It would be almost like the scientific method that we had been taught to use in elementary school. There is also this element that a person must consider – is this posting something that someone would consider to be real or personal?

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Content management system for a better approach to potential patients is an example of the online social revolution that does content management for hospitals in Delhi. The site has multiple dedicated patient focuse…

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How to Add Visual Appeal to Your Social Media Campaign 

How to Add Visual Appeal to Your Social Media Campaign  | Health Innovation |

In my webinar, How to Create an Awareness Campaign with Social Media, I outlined a step-by-step plan to create an awareness campaign from setting campaign objectives right through to measuring a campaign’s impact.  In previous posts, I shared a process for conducting a social media audit, advice on getting to know your audience better,  and a 5-point plan to help you choose which social media channel is right for your campaign. In today’s post I will share some tips and tools for creating images to convey your key messages in a compelling way.

Content Type Matters

When it comes to creating engaging content, the type of content you create matters. If content is king, then visual content is queen. Visual content can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, one that increases message association, brand awareness, and encourages engagement and shares.  In an age when people’s attention span averages 8 seconds (that’s shorter than a goldfish!) visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information quickly. Furthermore, people connect more emotionally with images than text.

Images Are Highly Shareable

Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content according to research by Buffer.  Two of the most highly shareable images on social media are quote graphics and infographics.

Create a Quote Graphic

Choose an inspirational quote from your campaign and turn it into a graphic using a tool like Quotes Cover, Pablo, or Adobe Spark.

Create an Infographic

Many people need to visualize a concept before they can fully understand it. QuickSprout research reveals that articles with data-driven visuals rank fourth in shareable formats. You can create simple infographics using tools like Piktochart, and Venngage.

Stay on Brand

Remember your purpose and your audience. When creating visual content, be sure to stay on brand with your message by maintaining consistency and aligning your visual strategy with your campaign’s goals and your audience’s preferences.

Optimize Your Images

Use a tool like Social Media Resizer to optimize your images for each of the social media sites you are sharing on.  If you don’t size your images correctly for each social network, not only can people not see or read them, you are making a poor brand impression.

Avoid Stock Images

When choosing an image to use in your campaign, don't be tempted to reach for the nearest stock photo. Instead build up your image library by using your own high-quality photos, or choose from one of the many royalty-free and creative commons resources available.

Here are five of my top sites to source images:

Pixabay hosts over 650,000 free stock photos, vectors, and art illustrations free of copyrights under Creative Commons (CC).Foter hosts over 220 million CC images from many online sources and the entire system is also available as a handy WordPress plugin.Unsplash gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ CC photos.Rawpixel prides itself on having the most diverse collection of stock photos on the web.The New York Public Library collections is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

Customize Your Images

If expensive graphic design is out of your campaign’s reach, you can choose from a variety of high-quality, no-cost online graphics editors. Canva is my go-to desktop tool when I am creating custom visuals. In addition to a wide-range of pre-designed templates, Canva offers features like filters, fonts, texts, styles, and the ability to upload your own images.

When it comes to mobile apps, there are a ton of super easy to use tools available which let you produce an image in no time. Some of my favorites are:

Word SwagOverAviaryPicFrameTangentA Color Story

With so many tools out there, there is no excuse for poor-quality visuals.  Whether it's a Facebook cover photo, a blog image, or an infographic, there are tools for every skill level. Experiment to find which tools work for you and use them to add more visual appeal to your social media campaigns.

Marie Ennis-O’Connor is a social media consultant who specializes in providing consultancy and training services to clients in the healthcare industry.  Marie also works with clients to create digital patient engagement strategies, including co-designing research and increasing clinical trial recruitment.

A keynote speaker at Mayo Clinic Social Media Network’s first international Social Media Summit held in Brisbane, Australia in September 2015, Marie is a member of MCSMN’s External Advisory Board. She is also a board member of the Patient Empowerment Foundation, a Geneva-based network of people, foundations, organizations and medical institutions dedicated to empowering patients worldwide.  Her work is informed by her passion for embedding the patient voice at the heart of healthcare.

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Finding that sweet spot: How to communicate effectively to patients 

Finding that sweet spot: How to communicate effectively to patients  | Health Innovation |

One of the main issues facing the healthcare industry is how key stakeholders can communicate effectively with patients. In some disease states, such as HIV and heart disease, much progress has been made to create awareness and understanding. But there are other diseases, such as diabetes, where communication still has room for improvement.

When looking to effectively communicate with patients, consider these four factors to cut through the clutter. 

Communicate to me, not at me: Corporations and governments should communicate as partners. Treating patients as numbers is not the solution to helping them conquer their diseases.

Tools to treat diseases should not be the answer to understand and treat the underlying causes. Communicators must understand and appreciate that disease education must be ongoing throughout the patient's life. 

Disease education campaigns should stand out: Disease education campaigns put out by healthcare companies need to speak plainly and genuinely to get patients onboard for the long haul in managing their health. "Getting real" in how and where patients are communicated to can be very effective.

Speaking to unmet needs through disease awareness campaigns, then presenting a solution in the form of a new medicine or treatment often leaves consumers skeptical. 

Communicate with patients as though they are your partners for life: Talking about disease education and awareness throughout the life of a patient is important. Recently, Judith Mitchell, CEO of Next Science, mentioned that in Australia, doctors are now referred to as life partners, and for good reason. Who will partner with the patient throughout their lifetime?

Who will share in their success and encourage them throughout their journey as they practice strict self-management to control their disease? Communication that humanizes individuals living with their disease is key. 

How one communicates with the younger generation is hugely important: Today, the younger generation is highly active on message boards, chat rooms, blogs, and other social media channels to discuss their condition, exchange ideas, provide encouragement, and take full ownership of their health.

Will healthcare companies truly invest in social media to continue meaningful dialogue with new patients? How will they maximize the use of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs to have a relevant dialogue with millennials? 

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Social Media Etiquette For Medical Practices

Social Media Etiquette For Medical Practices | Health Innovation |

It’s crucial for medical practices to be active on social media to market their brand and attract new patients, but medical professionals must follow a few rules online. When running your practice’s social media accounts, keep in mind that you are representing the practice, and must meet a higher standard of conduct that is expected of professionals.

Professional Boundaries

One mistake medical professionals make is combining their personal and professional social media accounts. This is a big mistake, as you do not need potential clients looking at old photos on your Facebook page. Creating accounts for your practice allows you to keep professional boundaries with your patients and keep your personal life private.

No Specific Medical Advice

Medical practices should also never give specific medical advice online, and never share health information about a patient. Patients may think it’s okay to ask advice via Twitter or Facebook, but the best way to respond is by providing the patient with the office phone number to handle the question offline.

Recording Patients

Certain medical professionals, such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons, film patient visits to show services for other potential clients to watch on social media. One of the most popular dermatologists to record patients is Dr. Sandra Lee, better known as Dr. Pimple Popper. Her videos on Youtube and other social media sites went viral and proved to be beneficial to her brand.

Recording patients has become very popular in the age of Snapchat and Instagram videos, but it’s essential for medical practices to know the rules of recording patients before doing so. You must always have consent to film and should keep identities anonymous and protect patients’ privacy. Also, you should have a reason for filming a patient, mainly for educational value. If you film for shock content or with the sole purpose to go viral, other dermatologists see that as self-promoting and damaging to the specialty.  

Alternatively, it’s becoming more common for patients or clients to record their visit at a medical practice. Whether they want to record the visit for social media or purely for educational reasons, a medical professional must choose words carefully when being filmed. Ask your patient to repeat back what you’ve said to ensure they don’t have any misunderstandings, as this will protect yourself in case any issues arise.

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Social Media + Science Marketing: 'But What about Regulations?'

Social Media + Science Marketing: 'But What about Regulations?' | Health Innovation |

Humans have shared stories and information with each other since the dawn of time, but with the advent of social media and smartphones, sharing ideas is easier than ever. People are now online at all hours of the day and are constantly connected to others in their social circles and beyond. As a result, marketers have recognized the value in maintaining a strong presence on these channels to reach customers.

Social media usage is pervasive in the wider marketing community, but it had been adopted more slowly among the B2B crowd, especially in science. With an increasing amount of scientists and scientific companies becoming active on social media, the channel has proven itself as an important method for members of the scientific community to communicate with one another.

However, because the sciences are often carefully regulated to ensure the protection, safety, and health of patients, B2B companies face additional challenges in interacting with their audience online. With the right approaches, companies can still reap the benefits of a social media engagement program without taking on too much risk.

Here are our best 10 tips for remaining compliant.1. Learn the rules.

Everyone at your organization should understand the rules so that no one inadvertently breaks one. Sounds simple enough, but let’s get specific:

While regulations around social are constantly evolving, the two biggest sets of regulations science marketers need to know come from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). FDA provided draft guidance for pharma and social media use back in 2014, but note they still have not issued their final guidelines.

Their recommendations are intended to protect consumers and educate healthcare professionals by presenting important risk and benefit information for prescription drugs and medical devices. In summary, when companies post about a particular drug or device, they must find a way to disclose the benefits and side effects of that product. Otherwise, they could be guilty of misleading consumers with inaccurate or incomplete information.

Even with its expanded character count, Twitter is a particularly challenging platform for providing enough fair balance of benefit/risk information about a drug product. To avoid this, companies may want to avoid naming FDA approved products on social media. A good practice is to direct visitors to disease area or product webpages where they can find complete information. Follow Novartis’ US clinical trials recruitment account here to see the best practice in action.

The FTC, an agency that protects America’s consumers, has its own set of guidelines for transparency in advertising and marketing. They state companies must support their advertising claims with solid proof. These rules are intended to enforce “truth in advertising,” and pertain to any promotional posts about food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, contact lenses, and other health-related products. Keep this rule in mind and be prepared to substantiate any health claims with validated studies and other evidence.

2. Tread carefully when talking about research.

In addition to exercising caution when talking about products, be very aware of how you talk about scientific research. First, of course, don’t discuss unpublished research on social media. But even talking about published research can be challenging, as many social platforms are intended for short, concise thoughts. As a result, research findings can be misconstrued if the appropriate context is omitted. John Oliver famously ranted on this very issue last year. Brevity is the soul of wit, but when it comes to scientific facts, you can’t afford to cut corners.

Just read this post from Stat for one example.

3. Establish internal corporate guidelines.

Once you have reviewed the regulations, speak to a lawyer: either a consultant or someone from your own legal department. Partner with them closely so you have definitive internal guidelines for what is appropriate to share on social media, and as noted in this Forbes’ article, how to manage comments from patients who want a dialog.

4. Choose the right platforms for your brand.

This may not seem like it has anything to do with regulations, but if you don’t know where your audience is, you’re simply going speaking to the wrong people, – and navigating this issue for little return. Take the time to conduct surveys or focus groups to learn which platforms your core audience frequents. Remember to still listen on all the networks even if you’re not actively engaged, as that’s the only way to find and monitor popular discussions in your industry.

5. Think about your goals on social media.

Who is your audience and what content matters to them? If your audience is consumer-based and they want education, then be sure your posts are informative. If your audience is researchers who want to know the latest being published in their field, highlight exciting developments as they occur. The point here is that there is a lot you can say on social media that doesn’t go against FCC or FDA guidance. To see how, take a look at the top 10 pharma companies and how they use their social media channels for patient education and to promote company news.

6. Plan ahead.

Although much of social media management is responding to people on the fly and keeping up with timely, emerging trends, you can still plan weeks and months ahead for a lot of the content you share. Creating a social media calendar helps give your colleagues responsible for legal and corporate review enough time to turn around edits to social posts. suggests these key elements to help your teams

7. Consider the consequences.

Keep in mind that if you engage on social media, it is not completely risk-free. Entrust the log-in information to responsible team members and ensure that they understand the social media guidelines, as well as any consequences that could ensue if they are not followed.

8. Don’t sound like a robot.

Although it may seem there are a lot of limitations, that doesn’t mean your brand can’t have a distinct voice on social media. You can remain compliant with the rules while still injecting personality and warmth into your messaging. The important takeaway here is that this rule of thumb should be a part of your guidelines, too.

Need inspiration for a campaign that does the trick? Highlight your amazing scientists, staff or company initiative.

9. Start small.

If the thought of launching a fully involved social media campaign intimidates you, pick a particular product or disease area to start and build up your social media presence gradually. You’ll learn a lot about navigating regulations as you go.

10. Have the courage to be a pioneer.

Even if your competition isn’t on social media, lead the way. The more companies that get on social, the more we all learn together about using it effectively.

As tempting as it is to avoid the headaches that regulations can cause, social media is an important marketing tactic. As pharma and other heavily regulated industries embrace digital communication channels more and more, the guidelines around them will become more clear. But for now, these tips should help you feel more comfortable being social-savvy.

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M.a. BA's curator insight, March 12, 10:29 PM

Social media+ science marketing regulations

This was a deep article because it is focused on regulations. Most people do not think about regulations when your online. Some people think you can say what you want because your online. If you work for a company you might need to watch what yo say. I have known people who got fired for social media comments. The article gives examples of things to think about when on social media. The article also tells you things like "plan ahead" and have the thoughts your going to publish ready.

Doreen Tardif's curator insight, March 14, 12:54 AM
Social media has made sharing ideas easier than ever. The marketing community has recognized the value of having strong presence on social media platforms. Scientists and scientific companies have also recognized the importance of using social media for communication.

For social media marketing to be effective, these are some things to consider when advertising like choosing the right platform for your brand, think about your goals on social media, don't sound like a robot, and have goals when you advertise on social media.