A few weeks ago I reviewed Sharecare, a healthcare social media platform that I felt really didn’t deliver any true benefit to its users, let alone serve as a good example of a successful healthcare social media example. But while I was researching, I came across Patientslikeme, which was extremely interesting and unique, and from my introduction, seemed like a much better and successful example of how a healthcare social media platform can really change the world of healthcare. In fact, Forbes notes that the site is "producing some of the most compelling clinical data the healthcare industry has ever seen."
The idea of PatientsLikeMe.com came from three MIT engineers, who had a family member/friend diagnosed with a rare disease. They were having trouble finding research, data or even a network of people that shared a common diagnosis. With that, they developed a platform that has now grown and into the site PatientsLikeMe. Within the platform people can connect with others that share a similar diagnosis and track/share their own experience. While this may not sound very interesting, the greatest part is the data mining that happens simultaneously with the sharing. Throughout the whole process, the company is very openly gathering the stories and data to help with the future of these specific diseases – sharing it with researchers, pharma companies, providers, non-profits, etc.
My initial reaction to the idea is that of brilliance, but I wanted to test the platform. It was during this test and review that I continued to be Wowed. Below, I have highlighted some of the key areas of the platform for an in-depth review:
Create a profile:
I started with creating a profile, which took less than 5 minutes and instantly gave me a snapshot on my condition, how many within the network had the condition and a breakdown of other age/gender/diagnosis information.
Part of building your profile included questions about your history with the condition:
Connecting with Patients:
And then after that, I was quickly able to start using the site to my advantage. One of the greatest areas was the "find patients" tab, where you are able to search for patients like you to connect with and to read their stories.
Another area that I found extremely beneficial was the “your treatments” tab that allowed me to enter in my personal treatment information and to read about other treatments reported by other patients of my condition. This area is complete with information from patients on how the medicines made them feel, benefits, drawbacks, etc. In addition to being clear and easy to understand, the network is actually large enough to make the data useful.
Not only did I find the site and the information relevant, useful and beneficial, it also made me want to share my story, which in the social media world, is the ultimate goal. The more that share their story, the greater the chance of making medical progress and advancements. I am truly impressed with PatientsLikeMe.com and believe that the site is one of only a select few of healthcare social media sites that understand how to leverage social media, ultimately making a direct change in the healthcare world.
What will your last 10 years look like? Using a split screen creative approach, this spot from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada effectively shows two diverse paths. The striking visual contrasts drive the point home that your last 10 years can be healthy and vibrant, or full of illness and hospital care. We see a bicycle tire and a wheelchair tire; a grandchild giving her grandpa a juice box, while a nurse helps the same feeble patient take a sip of his ice water; a vibrant gent confidently adjusting his tie, his counterpart adjusting his breathing tube.
The contrasts go on as does the emotionality of this touching spot. A touch of fear factor coaxes you to check out the makeheathlast.ca website to be sure you end up in the left side of the screen category. As the spot says, "It's time to decide."
Great healthcare marketing for a great healthcare cause. Did it make you stop and think?
Okay, get “prepped” for this. The Pink Glove Dance goes Colonoscopy. Humor is tricky to carry off, but Dr. Rosenfeld of Simi Valley, California, nails it. This proctologist’s Bowel Prep Shuffle (remix of Pitbull’s Give Me Everything), will have you laughing out loud. Especially if you’ve ever had a colonoscopy.
Irreverent? No, a brilliant healthcare marketing strategy using humor to break down barriers and lessen patient discomfort in discussing a difficult topic. All the while making the doc seem more like a “real person”.
I will say no more, except you need to watch this. And share in honor of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
It’s always been tough getting Medicaid moms to their prenatal and well–baby visits. Which is why UnitedHealth’s new game, called Baby Blocks, is a great idea. When moms attend prenatal and well-baby check-ups (which is easier said than done), they get to unlock “blocks” in the game. And voila, they are rewarded with gift cards for much-needed baby related stuff. Like maternity clothes, diaper bags and baby apparel. Pretty spot on for this younger, low-income, yet gaming-savvy, target. And it seems to be working, as 2296 members used the Baby Blocks pilot in 2012, logging 7098 prenatal appointments (an average of 3.1 prenatal blocks per member).
The rise of healthcare gamification can be attributed to the rise in smartphone and social media use and related desire for engagement. “Using motivational techniques from games is part of it, as is creating engaging experiences for people,” says Kevin Werbach, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics. In the Pew Future of Gamification report, neuroscientists claim that "interactive design elements can cause feel-good chemical reactions and in certain situations can improve learning, participation and motivation."
That’s the intent behind HopeLab’s Re-Mission, a video game developed specifically for adolescents and young adults with cancer. Nanobot, Roxxi, travels through fictional cancer patients destroying cancer cells, battling infections and managing side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Research shows the game has been an effective tool for young cancer patients, now distributed to over 185,000 patients worldwide.
A related tool worth applauding is the pain diary app, called The Pain Squad, developed by The Hospital for Sick Children. This innovation was designed to help pediatric cancer patients track and address their pain. How intense it is, how long it lasts, where it hurts, how it impacts their mood and daily activities, and what helps to treat it. Since inadequate assessment and patient reluctance to report pain are the biggest barriers in pain treatment, the goal is to make it easier for kids to track their symptoms by using technology that’s fun and familiar. And the hope is better pain management and quality of life for these youths.
It seems in many cases the ramification of gamification in healthcare is improved health status. Let us know if you have any favorite healthcare games or apps that are helping people.
Dr. Oz is all abuzz and excited about a health and wellness social media platform – Sharecare – that launched in 2010 by the founder of WebMD, saying it is the “Facebook of health information”.
Sharecare claims to be a social media platform that allows people to ask/learn and act upon question of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice. So, I decided to check it out to see if there was any truth to his claim.
I began my experience by asking a common health question:
I was surprised and impressed with the simple, easy to understand answers that could be filtered by contributor:
Within each answer, users can rate if they felt the answer was helpful. But, out of the 4 searches I did, no one had actually rated any of the answers.
I also noticed that many of the topics and questions that I searched came back with little or no answers.
I then tried the “experts and people” section:
You can search for experts, people or organizations. I began my search for an “expert” in family medicine in my zip code. My results were less than successful. While a lot of results appeared, none of them had actually been updated by the practice/doctor to include any information that would make my search easier. Instead, it was generic listings of family practice doctors. No reviews, no ratings, this was info I could have found simple by starting at Google.
The “topics” section kept giving me an error, so I was unable to review that.
The “videos” section also left much to be desired. It was confusing and seemed very generic. Even the categories available seemed limited.
Then I moved onto the Health Reference section – which to me was by far the most impressive section of the entire site.
You could easily search articles, research a drug, look of symptoms, browse treatment options, they even have a “pill identifier” if you don’t know what something is. I tried all of the searches out and was happy with the results.
Overall, my opinion stands that Sharecare had potential of making health information searches easy, but not with their limited network. They really need to do some heavy marketing and pitching to doctors/practices/etc. to expand their reach.
Also, based on the Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released their Health Online 2013 report, a lot of the facts support the fact that the direction of the social media platform may not be the best idea:
- 8 in 10 health inquiries start at a search engine, only 1% of people say they start their search on a social network.
- Only 1 in 5 internet users have consulted online reviews/rankings of health care services or treatments.
- People are less likely to post a review of a treatment/hospital/clinician, only 3-4% have done so.
What are your thoughts on Sharecare? Have you seen any other healthcare social media platforms that you think are worth sharing?
The battle of the bulge has a new weapon. Social media. Today our agency has launched a new integrated campaign for the Michigan Department of Community Health which includes an online pledge, mobile messages, emails, a facebook community, tv, radio, interactive and grassroots support. It’s called MI Healthier Tomorrow.
The campaign is focused on getting those of us with a muffin top to take a pledge to lose 10% of our body weight, share it with friends and engage in ongoing support. Losing just 10% of body weight can reduce the risk of chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. In focus groups we learned that putting that message front and center was the most powerful way to inspire people to make long term change. I am really proud of our creative, account and media team and our wonderful clients at MDCH for the amazing collaboration on this effort. It has been a privilege for me to work on this campaign, as I have been fighting my own battle of the bagels for years. I have lost almost 60 pounds making small lifestyle changes over the last two years. And I am taking the MI Healthier Tomorrow pledge as a commitment to continue to reach my goal. Will you join me and take the pledge to lose 10%? Bathing suit season is around the corner…
Pinterest, the virtual online pin board, seems to be the most recent trend that is starting to catch on in the healthcare world. It’s so new that even the trendsetters – Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Boston, etc. – only just launched their pages. With that, we thought it would be helpful to do a list of the top trends that we have seen from some of the hospital social leaders, and give examples in order to get some direction and inspiration to get started.
Top Trends of Hospitals on Pinterest:
Recipes – During our research, we noticed that recipe boards were being repinned the most frequently. While many hospitals seem to be repurposing other user’s content to fill their recipe boards, Mayo Clinic has been developing and posting many of their own recipes, which is a unique way to help position themselves as a leader in health.
- Fitness – The majority of hospital pages on Pinterest have fitness boards. This is another area in which Mayo Clinic is doing really well as they are posting fitness tips and videos from their health experts directly on mayoclinic.com.
Hospital spaces/design – Pinterest really is one of the best places to visually get across the idea of your brand, image and your hospital. This naturally means we see the masses using their boards to showcase their hospital layout, décor, etc. Check out these cool images from Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
- Clinical Areas – Specialty hospitals are focusing on having boards per specialty area. We think Cleveland Clinic’s boards for Colon Cancer are a great example of hospitals focuses on clinical areas. They do a really nice job of visually presenting data, info and background for someone interested in that key area.
- Patient Stories – People love real stories, and a patient story board allows viewers to feel that emotional side of your brand. Dayton Children’s Medical Center has a great example with their Miracle Stories board that also includes videos. This board is a true testament of how to get users engaged with your boards.
Hospital Facts – The Cleveland Clinic has done a really nice job putting together some infographics about their system’s hard facts; quick and witty, making it actually interesting to learn about the hospital.
- Health Infographics - We think this is one of the greatest trends and most helpful for people, hospitals are building infographics simply put for health purposes. Scripps Health has some nice examples; love the when to call 9-1-1, when to visit urgent care vs. er, signs of a stroke, things that make life easier, visually.
- Safety Tips – We also noticed the majority of hospitals included some type of variation of a board dedicated to safety tips. We really like how some of the infographics make it easy to understand the information. Nationwide Kids has a great example of a safety board.
If you are just starting to think about creating a Pinterest page for your hospital, hopefully these trends give you a good base for your core boards. Also, note that it’s important to continuously add content, so pin and re-pin as often as you can. A good rule of thumb is to re-pin 4 times per day.
Have you seen any other trends or good examples of hospitals on Pinterest?
When you think of “Centers of Excellence”, what comes to mind? I’d guess maybe highest quality. The best of the best. Specialized. Prestigious reputation. Esteem. That’s why when I heard Walmart was offering a Centers of Excellence program, it kinda stopped me in my tracks. I thought the ultimate incongruity. I mean mini clinics are one thing, but this is ridiculous. Then I read on, learning that this Centers of Excellence program is for Walmart’s 1.4 million employees. A first-of-its-kind that will offer no-cost heart, spine and transplant surgeries at six of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals. Including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Geisinger Medical Center. Employees will receive 100% coverage, plus travel, lodging and food for the patient and caregiver.
I thought wow, how Walmart of them to negotiate bundled, volume-based value for their health benefits. And positively brand-consistent to provide a one-stop-shop at these Centers of Excellence. To their credit, Walmart will also work with the six healthcare organizations to collectively share best practices collaboration. Kudos to Walmart for this innovation in healthcare value and delivery, as well as brand and employee morale boosting. Not to mention the six hospital partners who are boasting highest quality specialty care and outcomes at lower costs.
While we all hope not to be in the market for these healthcare services, we never know what lies around the corner. And Walmart's providing this Center of Excellence program makes me feel a little better about having them in the neighborhood. How about you?
Music heals the body and soul. Which is why I think Mount Sinai Hospital Chicago’s new “Sounds of Sinai” fundraising innovation is really cool. It’s also cool that anyone can participate. You simply upload a video of your music performance (no matter how off-key and silly you may appear), let your peeps know, and voila, pledges for the hospital start coming in. All performances, including “favorites” and “highest pledged” are viewable on the soundsofsinai.org site. This is the springboard for sharing to other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
The competition, spunk and goodwill make for a great internal morale and team booster for any level of hospital employee, from security guard to doctor. And what an inspiring opportunity for the whole Chicago community - kids, parents, church groups, school choirs, employers. It's totally inclusive, allowing anyone to raise money for this leading inner city healthcare provider.
Earvin Magic Johnson, a strong supporter of the Chicago urban healthcare community, is the spokesperson and was the first to sing, with his own rendition of The Temptation's "My Girl" . But he's not even in first place! Take a look at the current leading video below (with over $1000 pledged). It's something you could imagine doing with your friends and colleagues.
The spirit and creativity displayed with Sounds of Sinai makes me feel good about this hospital. How about you?
When Omnicare Health Plan embarked upon a recent name change and rebranding to CoventryCares of Michigan, we were honored to become their healthcare marketing partner. There were some unique factors to consider. While a local Michigan Medicaid provider, they are part of the national Coventry Health Care. Hence, names for all Medicaid health plan providers across the country were being changed to “CoventryCares of ___” (fill in the state – in our client's case, “Michigan”). The logo and themeline, “Lighting your path to good health”, had been designed at a corporate level. However, local health plans had the opportunity to create launch campaigns as desired and appropriate within the corporate framework.
So we went to work on a marketing communications plan, including marketing interviews with administrators and docs, review of market research and data, and competitive brand investigation. The end result is a hard-working campaign that fulfills many objectives: Name launch. Themeline launch. Rebranding. Touting of a unique adult dental benefit. Mention of other key benefits. Not to mention the eternal first objective: emotional connection with the target audience.
The visual ray of light consistently and uniquely conveys the brand position of illuminating people to good health. The campaign is now running and includes outdoor, transit, mobile, facebook engagement ads, posters and radio. We hear it's shedding some light on the CoventryCares of Michigan brand. Let us know your thoughts.