Healthcare Social Media
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.
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.
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?
What do you want to do when you're 100? If you're like me, you don't think much about it. Too busy with today's priorities - like getting to work on time, packing lunches and making the next track meet. But Florida Hospital's Healthy 100 campaign, especially the beautiful Healthcare Advertising Award winning spot below, will stop you in your tracks and make you ponder.
A successful marketing program emotionally connects and can make you think about things you really don't want to think about. We've done it with healthcare issues like organ donation, drunk driving and AIDS prevention. This hospital has me convinced of their vision of a world where people live to be a healthy 100 years old. They offer a wealth of positive body, mind and spirit tools to motivate longevity. Like healthy recipes, inspirational videos with adorable centenarians, healthful events, newsletters, deals on healthy products and services, even a mobile app to track your daily water intake. But it doesn't stop there. The hospital has forged ahead with community extensions into Healthy 100 Kids, Healthy 100 Church and an executive program. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube successfully echo each component of the vision, rounding out a wonderfully convergent campaign.
If you're not convinced you need to think about what you want to do when you're 100, use the Life Expectancy Calculator to see if all of this is worth your time. This innovative campaign makes me want to live to be a healthy 100, how about you?
We are always trying to think of ways that our healthcare clients can successfully tap into social media in order to help them reach their marketing goals. And with an industry that is slow to adapt to leveraging social, it’s hard to convince them that it’s imperative to participate (especially when there isn’t much research or good samples to reference that support the fact that it is worth the investment of time and money).
So, when The Health Research Institute released an analysis of health care and social media, I was extremely interested to see what the data said and how it could be applied to our current and future healthcare clients.
With that, I have honed in on some of the research that I found most relevant to our hospital clients, and have included 9 insights that should be considered when developing your social strategy.
- Those with poor health are more likely to engage about health.
This is really interesting – as the ultimate goal on social platforms is getting people to truly engage with your brand. With this, hospitals could think about developing campaigns and social programs specifically around a disease state. For example, we have seen many children’s hospitals doing a good job at breaking into social, as their audience seems more engaged than those on the hospital’s brand page. So, it would be interesting to see if service line pages specific to a disease state would do better, such as a page for your breast cancer center, to serve as a health resource.
- 18-24 year olds are the most likely to trust/share/engage via social media regarding healthcare.
This brings me to the fact that one of the greatest times to build a relationship with the female healthcare decision maker is during the time she has her baby, as it’s one of the most positive experiences she will have with your brand. Perhaps you could offer an application that allows her to easily share photos and updates on her baby’s development or an application that allows her to find a local playgroup. A unique application available for expectant mothers that is a nice reference for inspiration is available via babygaga on Facebook
- 28% of consumers have supported a health related cause.
I can truly appreciate this piece of data, as it proves that fans are passionate about health causes. An idea to put this to work could quickly increase your fan base/followers. Have your organization select a health cause to partner with and develop ideas and tactics to boost followers.
- 40% of consumers will post about negative care received at a hospital.
While maintaining a social presence is important to help build relationships with your brand, it is equally important to monitor social channels to find out what people are saying and what they’re unhappy with, allowing you to improve the perception of the hospital. Be sure that this component is included in your strategy, as you may be surprised at how harmful not knowing what others are saying could be to your reputation. Supporting this is the fact that 41% of consumers said that the info they found via social media would affect their choice in selecting a hospital/medical facility.
- 42% of consumers are likely to post about a doctor/nurse/provider if they had a positive experience.
This data supports the thought that people may look to social for referrals or second opinions. Create an idea that with help foster sharing of positive experiences with your hospital, and make it something that people will really want to share. Be sure to ask yourself, what about this makes it interesting enough to share with others.
- Most consumers expect to receive a response from a healthcare company via social media within 24 hours.
Be sure to build this into your plan and have a highly thought-out process in place to ensure that this can happen. Perhaps a simple “we are looking into this and will get back to you asap,” just letting them know that you are responsive, concerned and timely.
- Consumers want ways to make their healthcare easier to manage (doc apts., apt. reminders, discounts/coupons, continued support post-treatment).
Think of clever applications or tactics that can be incorporated within social outlets that will make people’s lives easier – an app allowing consumers to schedule an appointment, an app that sends patients reminders about their appointments, exclusive coupons for health screenings (i.e. $20 off a heart screening). These serve as the content that is going to keep your fanbase engaged.
- 63% of consumers are concerned about sharing their health info, as they worry about public sharing.
We know that for hospitals, HIPPA regulations have many worried about what they can and can’t do. A great idea for remaining compliant,yet able to engage is to have a social policy in place guaranteeing that information will not be shared. A good starting point on information in regards to the rules for establishing a HIPPA compliant social media strategy can be found on a blog from HIVE strategies.
- Organizations are most concerned about integrating social media data/analytics and measuring the effectiveness/linking to ROI.
When developing a strategy and a social plan, it’s important to set sound goals to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. Determine what is important and feasible to the campaign per the strategy. Is it increasing brand awareness? Be sure to measure your fan increase and retention. Is it spreading your brand message? Look closely and analyze how often something was shared. Or perhaps it is building an engaged fanbase. With this you can monitor comments, shares and feedback rates. Just be sure your goals are realistic. A blog post by Avinash Kaushik gives a breakdown of the best social media metrics to use as a starting point.
Have you seen any good examples of hospitals using social well, with this data in mind? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Memorial Hermann will be doing more than putting pins in patients today. They will be pinning a live brain tumor resection. Brain surgery on Pinterest? Yep. I'm not sure if it's the right social platform - it's not where I'd go to get up to speed on leading brain surgery centers - but it's certainly innovative. As is the hospital's social media machine.
This Texas hospital performed the world's first live-tweeted open heart surgery a few weeks back. When this reaped 125 million views via Twitter, Storify and media coverage, they decided to go for it again. Adding in Pinterest.
Today's brain surgery will be performed by Dr. Dong Kim, the surgeon who operated on former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. While surgeries have been tweeted in the past, this will be the first to share the feed from the surgeon's fiber optic microscope. Real time pics and videos will be posted on Twitter, YouTube and Storify.
According to Nielson @Plan, homemakers index 204 on Pinterest, meaning they are 104 times more likely to be on this site. So Pinterest definitely reaches the female healthcare decisionmaker. But will she want to look at photos of brain surgery while hunting for recipes and fashion tips?
(Image from IdeaStream.com)
Time will tell. I think one thing's for sure. Memorial Hermann is living up to its themeline of "100 Years of Patient-Centered Care and Innovation." Not only with its team of expert docs, but its team of social media experts.
What do you think of surgeries on Pinterest? Is it over the top? Or is this hospital ahead of the curve?
One man. In a box. For one month. No, he's not homeless. Just kinda unhealthy. Until Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota put "Scott the Human Doing" in a glass apartment at the Mall of America. There he learned in the public eye, and with their help, how to be healthier. Sit-ups. Tai chi. Pilates. Cooking and eating fruits and vegies. Whatever his audience desired. Scott did exercises directed by Facebook and Twitter polls. He also spent a lot of time connecting with folks via posts, tweets and videoblogs. And marveling over the support they gave him, which he says made all the difference.
The brilliance in this disruptive campaign is the two way communication. We've all heard that we should exercise and eat better. But this campaign showed and engaged people. In a real and memorable way, with live results. As for the results? National buzz. Over 2 million social media impressions. Over 4300 Facebook fans. Over 500 Twitter followers. Thousands of on-site impressions from people at Minnesota's most popular tourist attraction. Not to mention Scott dropping 29 pounds and 110 cholesterol points in just 30 days.
The Human Doing is part of BCBS of Minnesota's "do campaign". Getting people to move and groove at home, work, school, their community, etc. to fight obesity. Testimonial TV ads spotlight people explaining the excuses they used of why they couldn't lose weight ("I told myself it was hereditary"). Each ends with the thinner, healthier person "do dancing" with the funny "do dance" guy who makes you smile.
I think BCBS of Minnesota is doing a good job of getting people to do. What do you think?
As one of the digital thought leaders at Brogan & Partners, I was excited to attend this year's SXSW conference and see where the future of digital design was heading. Often, I feel like the "usability police" and for years I have been making sure our web sites, rich media and social media designs where intuitive so the user knows where to click and what they'll get. But with Touch UI gaining momentum, it begs the question: Is Touch UI the Click UI killer? After all, video killed the radio star...
During my week of Interactive sessions at SXSW, I realized that the focus of conventional Click UI was pretty much obsolete. If anything, it was only mentioned in passing. And I also didn't hear the word "usability" mentioned at all. It was all about the touch or gesture experience.
I joke that my kids don't know what a mouse is, but it's true. Their first experience and exposure to computers were a laptop, iPhone, and iPad. None of these devices uses a mouse or has to be clicked. We do have desktop computers around, but it's avoided because there's a feeling of entrapment compare to our mobile devices. Our expectations of how we experience the web has gone way beyond just the conventional and intuitive navigations.
Whether we believe conventional Click UI is a passing phase or not, it is paramount to consider the visual interface as part of the brand. As designers, we'll need to build an easy and memorable experience for our users. And to stay on top of our competitors, those experiences will need to be unique. This is what Nike Myers described in his "The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand" session at SXSW. Where do you think the user interface is heading?
Here's a little taste of things to come when the visual is the interface.