Social Buzz

Contributed by:

Taren Grom, Editor

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

New Social Media News, Events, and Strategies Featured Briefs: Novo Nordisk Tackles Diabetes FDA Seeks Help with Digital Monitoring Android App Provides Power for Clinical Research Pfizer CEO Ian Read Featured on LinkedIn’s Influencer Page PROTECT Act Causing a Stir, But Doubtful to Pass Greater Than AIDS Campaign Uses Multimedia Channels ­ePatients Willing To Share Health Data Social Media’s Role in Managing Chronic Disease Social Media Starting to Impact Clinical Trial Enrollment Social Buzz By Taren Grom, Editor Trending now: Facebook campaign gives diabetes the finger. Sovereign Arab emirate Qatar, in Western Asia, has the eighth highest rate of diabetes globally; one in the three people don’t even know they have the disease. Most Qataris avoid testing because as a culture they fear needles. Novo Nordisk Gulf wanted to create awareness for a screening event and encourage people in Qatar to be tested. In only three days, with no advertising and using only Facebook as a channel, more than 1,500 people were screened for diabetes, a 20% increase from the year before. The Qatari ad agency Agency 222 used key Facebook influencers to spread the word of the event by changing their profile picture to their unique branded finger portraits. Professional artists on site at the event took photos of participants’ fingers and created specific finger portraits. These portraits were then uploaded on a microsite — — where people could download them as a Facebook profile picture using a special link. This created an effective social media branded content through Facebook users. Participants were also able to choose famous fingers to join them in a cover page picture. The website earned 10,524 unique visits and more than 50% of the participants changed their Facebook profile pictures to their finger portraits. { For more information, visit FDA Seeks Help with Digital Monitoring According to an FBO ( notice posted Feb. 10, 2014, the FDA is looking for vendors to help the agency evaluate risk communications by using in-house social media monitoring, social media listening, and analyses that provide both baselines and changes in social media buzz following FDA communications. The FDA wants a third party to monitor safety problems as they happen in the digital universe, and to observe how those problems are being discussed online. The scope of work includes social media buzz reports, a social media dashboard, and quarterly surveillance reports related to specific product classes. According to a report on the website, the FDA issued similar plans twice in the last year, including a September 2013 announcement in which it pledged to spend up to $182,000 on a social media tool to shape and monitor social and Internet communications, and a more general notice in January 2014 regarding similar intentions. { For more information, visit Android App Provides Power for Clinical Research Scientific research requires vast amounts of computing power and HTC smartphones have designed an app, Power To Give, to help. The app allows android devices to be used as part of a distributed computing system when they are not in use. HTC Power To Give acts as middleware to connect a smartphone to different research projects, enabling the applications from supported projects to run and communicate with their central servers. Research problems are broken down into many small tasks and distributed across the network of smartphones. When the app runs, it downloads the required project software, which then manages the calculations required to process the individual tasks provided. Once complete, the results are uploaded to the central project team servers and a new task is allocated. The app is available on Google Play Store and users can select the projects they want to support. { For more information, visit / Pfizer CEO Ian Read Featured on LinkedIn’s Influencer Page Since October 2012, LinkedIn has offered up a platform called Influencers, where a selected group of leaders, such as Bill Gates, Deepak Chopra, and President Barack Obama, could write articles on leadership. In February, LinkedIn opened up the platform to other authors to accept insightful and well-written pieces. The first ever pharma leader — Pfizer CEO Ian Read — wrote an article regarding the importance of a pharma company’s reputation, and just one day after publication had amassed more than 8,500 views. The article also earned more than 1,200 shares and 66 comments on LinkedIn, not to mention 45 tweets and 112 Facebook likes. Mr. Read was one of more than 50 new Influencers added. The platform allows authors to self-publish using LinkedIn’s platform and retain ownership of the content, although LinkedIn reserves the right to use the content and publish it widely. Authors of articles are not paid and LinkedIn plans to cap the total number of Influencers at about 500. According to a report on the WSJ tech blog ( this move by LinkedIn reflects a greater focus among social media companies to exploit free content from members. { For more information and to read Mr. Read’s Influencer article, visit PROTECT Act Causing a Stir, But Doubtful to Pass The Preventing Regulatory Overreach to Enhance Care Technology (PROTECT) Act of 2014 was proposed by Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) in February. The point of the bill is to reduce the FDA’s workload of reviewing digital medical applications by lifting the regulatory burden off the lower medical risk digital tools, like mobile fitness apps, clinical support software, and wearable devices, so the FDA can spend its time focusing on risky medical devices. Both opponents and proponents predict that if the bill passes, it would have a significant impact on several levels — from endangering the safety of the public to allowing the FDA to do a better job scrutinizing devices with higher risk. But the passage of the bill seem doubtful; the govtrack website reports the prognosis of the bill being enacted is 0%. The site reports that the bill has a 1% chance of getting past committee. To put in context, only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 3% were enacted from 2011 to 2013. { For more information, visit congress/bills/113/s2007/text. Greater Than AIDS Campaign Uses Multimedia Channels Greater Than AIDS is a leading public information response to the U.S. domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through targeted campaigns and community outreach, GTA and its partners work to increase knowledge, confront stigma, and promote actions to prevent the spread of HIV. While national in scope, Greater Than AIDS focuses on communities and people most affected. Emphasizing hope, unity, and personal empowerment, GTA reinforces what is possible when people come together to achieve a greater goal — the end of AIDS. The campaign uses all traditional and social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube and has featured Grammy Award-winning artist and HIV advocate Alicia Keys in YouTube videos and a VH1 special. { For more information, visit ­ePatients Willing To Share Health Data A survey of 2,125 PatientsLikeMe members in the United States reports that adult social media users with health conditions embrace the idea of sharing their health data online if it helps clinicians improve care, helps others, or advances medical research. The survey, conducted by the Institute of Medicine’s Evidence Communication Innovation Collaborative, signals a new age in medicine where patients and researchers can learn in real time from the shared experiences of others. Findings: » 94% of patients would be willing to share their information to help doctors improve care. » 94% would be willing to help other patients like them. » 94% believe that their health data should be used to improve the care of future patients who may have the same or similar condition. » 92% would be willing to share to help ­researchers learn more about their disease. » 84% would be willing to share their health ­information with drug companies to help them make safer products. » 78% would do so to let drug companies learn more about their disease. » 76% of respondents said they believe that data from their personal health record could ­potentially be used without their ­knowledge. » 72% of respondents said they believe that data from their personal health record could ­potentially be used to deny them healthcare benefits. » 66% of respondents said they believe that data from their personal health record could ­potentially be used to deny them job ­opportunities. { For more information, visit SharingHealthData. Social Media’s Role in Managing Chronic Disease As Americans increasingly use the Internet, social media is emerging as a major form of communication that can overcome traditional geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers to information and support. A new eHealth Initiative (eHI) report finds that social media can reduce the burden of chronic disease on the U.S. health system by providing realtime access to care, information, and support that empowers patients to achieve personal health goals, correct high-risk behavior, and better manage chronic conditions. Social media platforms provide a unique social network of support, motivation, and education that can accompany individuals across the continuum of a disease. “As social media practices continue to mature, they will support patient-centered care by redefining communication among peers, patients, and health providers,” says Jennifer Covich Bordenick, CEO of eHI. “While we may still be in the early stages of adoption and use, it is clear from this research that stakeholders must work together to address challenges such as misinformation, and harness the incredible potential of social media.” { For more information, visit Social Media Starting to Impact Clinical Trial Enrollment Social media is gaining ground as an important tool to improve the clinical research process through more effective engagement of patient communities, but drug sponsors are proceeding cautiously, according to an analysis recently completed by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Social media is being used to recruit patients in about 11% of all trials. Key concerns voiced by pharmaceutical sponsors about using social media in clinical trials focus on violating patient privacy and confidentiality, jeopardizing research integrity, and influencing study volunteer receptivity to participating in clinical trials. While none of the 20 major pharmaceutical and biotech companies and contract research organizations participating in the study reported using social media for protocol design, nearly all said input from social media communities would greatly improve the feedback they receive on program planning and protocol design feasibility. Other findings from the study include: » Drug sponsors are primarily using social media to distribute information (e.g., about drugs, ­diseases, and the company) and to listen to ­patient and professional conversations. » Only one in five companies that use social media directly interacts with patients; most contract out engagement to a third party or use more passive approaches, including placing banner ads on social media sites. { For more information, visit

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