In the past few weeks, we have talked about the growing trend for articles and blogs, which are digging deeper into social media and digital within the healthcare industry, providing more specific and detailed insight as the industry continues to grow in this space, and it looks like this trend is set to continue,
We have selected some must-reads for anyone with an interest in digital communications in the healthcare industry. This article on PMLive’s Smart Thinking blog addresses this issue specifically, stating that while we all tend to judge how well pharmaceutical companies are doing in social media by looking at their presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, there are in fact many other ways of using social media that should be considered, including what is known as social innovation.
Although Twitter and Facebook are obviously parts of this, they are not the whole story, the blog argues. Other aspects of social media such as social bookmarking, wikis, virtual social worlds and crowdsourcing are also part of the equation and further inspection suggests pharma companies might not be as far behind as some people think when it comes to these less obvious forms of digital innovation. Indeed, the blog suggests that there are in fact plenty of examples of internal social media projects within the industry that are on a par with other sectors, with three of the top ten pharma companies (GSK, Janssen and Merck) using the enterprise social network service Yammer.
The article pulls out some encouraging examples of social media innovation within the pharma industry which back this up. Definitely worth a read.
Another article that caught our eye here at An Apple a Day was this one from Pharmafile, which covered some of the platforms more traditionally associated with digital and social media engagement such as Twitter and Facebook. The article looks at the ‘received wisdom’ that suggests pharma should be joining the online conversation and asks some very important questions about what sort of conversations are appropriate and inappropriate, as well as conversations actually worth engaging in.
As social and digital media continue to secure their place on almost everyone’s agenda, communications professionals will increasingly be expected to show they are capable of answering these sorts of questions and provide genuine insight, to ensure they are not just suggesting digital for digital’s sake, but are actually able to identify the most appropriate and effective solution to meet specific objectives.
(image: Cancer Research UK: Cell Slider)
In other news, Cancer Research UK has teamed up with Amazon, Facebook and Google to create a mobile game for analysing genetic mutations. Data is integral to finding a cure for cancer, however the challenge is getting the data investigated by human rather than machine eyes in order to be properly analysed. With this in mind, Cancer Research UK has teamed up with these US tech firms to try and build an engaging, fun and user-friendly mobile game, which can be used on the move. The charity has already developed a web-based game called Cell Slider where users look through archived tissue samples.
Finally, if you work in the oncology disease area, this interview on the Cancer Network website is really worth checking out. Dr Michael A. Thompson, an oncology specialist who writes a blog for ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Connection, talks to Cancer Network about the use of social media by oncologists, providing some great insights into the dissemination of research results, clinical trials, and other oncology news using social media.