Tapping Into the Power by ­Getting Personal


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More and more patients are using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media outlets to discuss their health and treatments with peers and caregivers. Social media tools have become an effective way to expand reach, foster engagement, and increase access to credible, science-based health messages, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The interactions must be personal within the social media space if consumers are to trust and become an advocate for a brand. Not unlike the paradigm shift from a product-centric to patient-centric business model, mapping health populations through social media will move the focus away from product messaging and toward building relationships.
Not so long ago, patients and their caregivers had little share of voice in affecting the process of healthcare, but because…

Sound bites From the Field
Barbara Ficarra
is a ­journalist, media broadcaster, speaker, medical blogger, ­consultant, media trainer, and health expert, and the creator, executive ­producer, and host of Health in 30 Radio Show. For more information, visit
Brian Loew is Co-founder and CEO of Inspire, which builds online communities for patients and ­caregivers and helps life-sciences organizations connect with them. For more ­information, visit
David Williams III is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development, PatientsLikeMe, a privately funded ­company dedicated to making a difference in the lives of patients diagnosed with life-changing diseases. For more information, visit
Patient Communities: Threat or ­Opportunity?
Patient Community Builds on Its ­Networks

Amy J. Burnett. Electronic Media Branch, Division of News and Electronic Media, Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Centers for Disease ­Control and Prevention, one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. For more ­information, visit
Kevin Green. VP, Social Media Marketing, Digital Influence Group, a full-service digital and social media agency that helps clients make the shift to social marketing. For more information, visit ­
David B. Nash, M.D. Founding Dean, Jefferson School of ­Population Health, Thomas ­Jefferson University, which ­provides graduate academic programming, continuing education, and research in health policy, public health, and healthcare quality and safety. For more information, visit
Peter Metz. VP, Sales, Digital Scientific ­Solutions Division, Curry Rockefeller Group, an independent full-service medical ­education agency delivering thought leader-focused medical education and publication planning and applied digital science initiatives. For more information, visit
Michael Parks. Executive VP, Vox ­Medica, a strategy-based healthcare ­marketing communications company ­providing concepts for clients across the healthcare spectrum and around the world. For more information, visit
Steve Rothman. President, Chief ­Creative Officer, Cell Division (formerly CCG MetaMedia), a life-sciences communication agency built for the digital world. For more information, visit