Social Media

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Robin Robinson

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Social Media trends, regs, and apps By Robin Robinson AstraZeneca Hosts Tweet Chat To Increase Awareness of Patient Assistance Programs Trend: Pharma uses Twitter to expand reach beyond traditional channels. AstraZeneca recently earned kudos for hosting a one-hour live tweet chat using the hashtag #rxsave that discussed its patient assistance programs. In reports about the event, Jennifer McGovern, director of AstraZeneca’s prescription savings programs, is quoted as saying AZ used Twitter to increase its reach to community advocates, and the tweet chat was considered a success. Ms. McGovern reported that AZ received positive results from the event, as the chat generated hundreds of tweets from more than 200 people, including patients, patient advocacy groups, healthcare professionals, and industry observers and allowed AZ the opportunity to hear from patients directly. The conversation between @AstraZenecaUS and patient advocate groups resulted in information sharing among all participants, Ms. McGovern states on the company’s website. To avoid regulatory risk, AZ tweeted messages outlining its guidelines on discussing medications or disease. AZ chose the patient assistance programs as its first topic because it did not require mentioning specific medications or diseases. One of Ms. McGovern’s tweets explained, “As a pharmaceutical company, when we talk about our medications, we also have to talk about their risks and benefits, which is difficult to do in 140 characters.” AstraZeneca won a 2012 Healthcare Engagement Strategy award for its Twitter efforts. The award was presented by Creation Healthcare. { For more information, visit or follow AstraZeneca ­@AstraZenecaUS. Interest in Pinterest Soars Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board where people — 97% of whom are women — post images of their favorite things, has experienced a sudden jump in popularity. Monthly use hit 10 million, faster than any other site, and most of that increase occurred after September 2011. According to reports from Shareaholic, the site is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined. More than 100 brands are using Pinterest for building relationships with consumers, the majority of whom are mothers in their 20s and 30s and 28% of whom have a household income of $100,000 plus, according to Modea. The self-stated goal of Pinterest is to connect people through the things they find interesting, a favorite book, toy, or recipe, that can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests. The majority of users are early adopters of social media. With an average of 1.36 million users daily, Pinterest may be of interest to the industry as a place to connect women with a brand. While the medium seems to work best for apparel, cooking, and wedding planning, others are exploring its capabilities. { For more information, visit Google Streamlines Health Search Function Google has introduced a new health search function that refines users’ health search by immediately offering a small list of conditions after an initial search of symptoms. Google’s data show that a search for symptoms is most often followed by a search for a related condition. To streamline the search process, Google developed an expedited search pathway, so when a health information seeker searches for a symptom or set of symptoms, they get a list of possibly related health conditions, generated by algorithms that analyze data from pages across the Web, and pop-ups that appear to be related to the search. For example, if someone searches for “abdominal pain on my right side,” potentially related conditions quickly come up with links. According to Internet Marketing Inc., Google has stated that this change will not affect any Internet marketing efforts. { For more information, visit Google’s blog, improving-health-searches-because-your.html Apps… App helps physicians identify bugs and the drugs to treat them An app designed for healthcare professionals, called Drugs & Bugs, provides information on bacterial conditions and the drugs that treat them. The app contains a database of more than 100 antibiotics and almost 200 bacterial pathogens, which can be searched by pathogen, type of infection, brand and generic drug names and more. Clinicians can also search by bacterial class, pharmacological class, or alphabetically. The app also aids clinicians in the selection of antibiotic regimens with the narrowest spectrum possible based on susceptibility results. Available on all Apple iOS products and Android platforms, the app was designed by Monthly Prescribing Reference in partnership with US Biomedical Information Systems, and Philip Chung, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Manager in Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. The app sells for $1.99 in the United States. { For more information, download at Mobile health app aims to help ­doctors with patient education The app is intended for physicians in specialties including obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, and orthopedics. The app’s features include appointment reminders, medical education materials, secure messaging and a timeline based on a patient’s expected course of care. The app by Duet Health is designed to promote patient adherence and help doctors better communicate with patients. The driving force behind the app was the idea that patients forget 80% of what doctors tell them during office visits. Duet Health is free and available for use with the iPhone, iPad, and Android operating systems. { For more information, download at Millennial men react more positively than women to mobile ads According to a recent report by eMarketer, men ages 18 to 29 were significantly more likely (69%) than women to recall having seen a mobile ad on their mobile phone. Less than half of women the same age remembered seeing mobile ads. Millennial men are not just more likely to recall seeing a mobile ad, they are also more likely to enjoy having done so, according to the research. Among women ages 18 to 29, just 12% said they liked mobile ads at least somewhat, while a plurality were ambivalent. But fully 40% of men that age actively enjoyed mobile advertising, including 20% who said they liked it “very much.” On average, across all smartphone owners, one-quarter liked mobile ads at least somewhat. { For more information, visit UK health service evolves from phone to Web to mobile app NHS Direct is a UK service that provides preliminary healthcare via phone and Web. According to its website, NHS Direct’s Web services are used around 600,000 times every month. The phone option handles more than 12,000 calls a day or nearly 4.5 million calls a year. The service was recently made available as an iPhone and Android app and has won awards as well as has been named to the Sunday Times top app list. The influential list aims to capture the pick of the best apps that are available to mobile device users either for free or to purchase. The service provides online patient health information and advice on a wide variety of symptoms and also features a symptom checker. NHS Direct guides users through a set of questions to determine the seriousness of their problem before delivering recommendations for appropriate actions they should take. When appropriate it gives advice on how to treat symptoms at home or refers patients to another part of the NHS if necessary. Those who need further advice can enter their phone number to receive a call back from an NHS Direct nurse or Web chat with one. { For more information, visit Tweets… Houston hospital live tweets open heart surgery To provide an educational inside look into a common heart surgery Memorial Hermann Hospital medical staff tweeted live photos during open heart surgery. According to ABC news reports, it was the first time physicians had ever live-tweeted an open-heart surgery. The hospital’s Twitter account has 4,910 followers, and the live tweets were retweeted and embedded on various news sites. The event, done in part to promote awareness of Heart Month, reached 225,000 viewers and was also covered by the New York Daily News and ABC News online. Videos and photos posted on Twitter illustrate the surgery on the living organ with extreme precision and were labeled with a warning of their graphic nature. { For more information, follow @houstonhospital and use the hashtag #mhopenheart to view the tweets from the surgery. Videos… The Huffington Post and J&J partner for motherhood forum The Huffington Post and Johnson & Johnson have joined up to create a forum that covers the issues of motherhood worldwide, through stories, perspectives, and challenges facing mothers around the world. J&J has posted a video on its YouTube channel that features Arianna Huffington discussing the collaboration. The Global Motherhood section will give voice to the people and organizations that are making a difference and inspire others to join in on the new section within HuffPost Impact, dedicated to the health and well being of mothers and babies around the world, and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Global Motherhood goes beyond matters of physical health to address the full spectrum of issues affecting mothers and their babies, with a special focus on the dangers faced by pregnant women in underdeveloped countries and the guilt and fear that accompany childbirth for many woman. { For more information, visit the Huffington Post Global Motherhood site at or the J&J channel, to watch the video at TECH CHECK Apps, Tweets, and Videos Send us your favorite industry apps, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, and Facebook links to

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