So what’s been happening in the world of healthcare comms this week? Here are a couple of stories which have caught our eye…
An interesting study by the IBM Institute for Business Value looks at the way pharma companies are using digital media, highlighting that most companies have started to use alternative channels such as the internet and social media, but are still tending to rely on push-marketing rather than engaging in a dialogue with the public.
This suggests that simply having a presence on social media platforms does not equate to using them. At the moment, pharma use of social media seems to be at a difficult crossroads, with companies who genuinely want a presence on a number of platforms, but an often cautious approach means that they are unable to realize the potential of the platforms and engage fully with their intended audience. There appears to be a lot of box-ticking when it comes to digital (Facebook page – tick, Twitter feed – tick…), but not so much actual engagement and dialogue.In other news, this is a great example of how digital is being used effectively in healthcare. A new online network of physicians in the US, reported in Mashable, is bringing real doctors back into online medical advice. Health Tap aims to counter the trend for people self-diagnosing using sites like WebMD, which as useful as they are, can sometimes lead to people drawing rather horrific conclusions about their health.
Health Tap has expanded since its launch a year ago to include an impressive 12,000 doctors in 112 specialties. HealthTap has apps on iPhone, iPad and Android, and while it has not yet reached the UK, it’s certainly another interesting development in the e-health revolution. Read more here .
Finally, physician and digital aficionado Bertalan Mesko has written an open letter to pharma companies urging them to employ ‘Wikipedia editors’ to ensure that “only evidence-based information is included in entries about your own products”. It comes at an interesting time as the CIPR has just published a definitive guide to what you can and can’t do as a PR on Wikipedia. Dr. Mesko’s letter is published in full here and you can find the CIPR Wikipedia Best Practice Guidance here.