In the past week, there have been a number of interesting healthcare stories that have been making noise in the digital world.
As we’ve seen on this blog, the number of healthcare apps are ever increasing and now this growth has been truly cemented and recognised by none other than Apple. For a while, Apple has been creating lists of its favourite apps for specific demographics, including children, parents and film lovers. The new Healthcare Professional (HCP) list categorises apps that HCPs can use for reference, medical education, imaging, patient education, personal care and patient monitoring. Although iTunes have only made these available in the US, what’s interesting is that the list includes apps from pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis and Medtronic. Understanding and keeping track of how to get onto the list could be crucial for pharma companies to gain more visibility for their apps and help bring greater HCP engagement to mainstream attention.
Another story that garnered significant attention was that of the world’s first live-tweeted C-section. The Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston tweeted the whole C-section surgical procedure from beginning to end, with followers able to see the process in real time. Essentially an educational procedure, this garnered a large amount of traction, with an estimated 72,000 people watching the C-section live on Twitter and an additional 11,000 viewing it in another format. This is not the first time a surgical procedure has been live-tweeted, with the same hospital carrying out a live brain surgery and live heart surgery last year. The popularity of this is a clear sign of the educational value this type of digital format offers as well as perhaps whetting the (somewhat gory) appetite of many online.
As communicators, when creating campaigns we know how important it is to target the right audience with the right message. Previously, studies have shown women to be the influencers and decision makers in the household, and the results of recent survey have now shown that women are more likely than men to search for health information and advice online. According to a survey from the Pew Research Centre, 79% of female internet users vs 65% of male internet users went online to look for health information. These percentages overall are quite high, proving the potential reach an online campaign can have. This also demonstrates that when considering a digital campaign, it is important to think about whether it is right for your target audience, and the stats below, although US focused, provide a useful breakdown of which demographics are most likely to engage in the online space.