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Social Health Check #1

Brought to you by our New York, London and Hong Kong Social@Ogilvy teams, this is our monthly snapshot of the latest news and trends in healthcare social media. The aim is to inspire ideas, discussion and fresh thinking in this challenging yet ever exciting field.

#stampoutstigma with a tweet a day

Blurt Foundation UK has launched a “Donate A Tweet”’ scheme to #stampoutstigma surrounding depression.  Supporters who sign up will allow Blurt to broadcast one tweet a day via their profile, thereby greatly expanding the reach of Blurt’s social sphere (without giving Blurt access to supporters’ accounts).  The scheme is driven on the platform, which helps charities, non-profits and NGOs to increase their social media reach through tweet and status donations.  So far, Blurt has 88 Donate a Tweet supporters, which has increased its reach by more than 87,000.

Forget “liking” celebrities on Facebook; “like” your doctor instead

The latest stats reflect that we are seeing increasing numbers of doctors using social media to help manage and educate their patients: 60% of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients.  One Las Vegas chiropractor is really getting involved, and posts health tips on Facebook, tweets news on Twitter – all with an aim to create an online community where he can keep patients informed and educated. As the lists of “2012’s most influential people in social” pepper news sites at the moment, it does make you wonder whether in 2013 we will see the first healthcare professional make the list.

Tweet the weight off

Twitter was used in a recent weight loss study as a way to provide group support to participants and help them succeed in shedding the weight. As part of a wider program that included biweekly podcasts, participants tweeted to show their progress, and communicate with a weight-loss counselor and fellow participants. There were two groups in the study – one that used Twitter as part of the program, and one that didn’t, and the former ended up losing more weight than the latter. Using Twitter as an online support group could be a new trend for 2013, as it crosses geographical boundaries and connects patients and caregivers in a new way. 

Pharma pinning                                         

If you thought Pinterest was just for recipes, think again.  A growing number of pharma companies are active on this visual platform, pinning images and infographics on disease-related boards.  Novo Nordisk and Boehringer Ingelheim lead the way with 8 and 7 boards, respectively.

So why not include Pinterest in your social media plans? Show off your fancy visuals, tell your business story, demonstrate your innovation…and if you’re still struggling for inspiration, check out some pharma Pinterest case studies here.

Health at CES

One thing is clear from CES: emerging technologies don’t stop at the smartphone, smart car or smart home; they also include smart people. The digital health revolution was one of the most discussed topics during CES, where new high-tech tools are making it possible for individuals to take more control of their own health.  Read more about it here.

Mobile healthcare in China

With the number of cellphone subscribers in China exceeding 900 million, it’s no surprise that the Chinese have high expectations of mobile healthcare. According to a PwC study conducted for the region, the most desired mobile healthcare solutions are around integrating real-time medical information from patients into their existing medical records, allowing greater transparency between doctors and patients. While patient privacy would be an issue in other parts of the world, in China, this is something that doctors, caregivers and patients alike are interested in integrating within their existing healthcare services.

Like to hear more? Get in touch to discuss all things healthcare social media.