Social Health Check

Brought to you by our Hong Kong, New York and London Social@Ogilvy teams, this is our monthly snapshot of the latest news and trends in healthcare social media. The aim is to inspire ideas, discussion and fresh thinking in this challenging yet ever exciting field.


Mobile users have surpassed desktop users on social media networks like Facebook. Social platforms such as Chinese video site Youku are recognizing this shift in behavior by driving their users to view content via smart devices (read: China’s Top Video Site Adds QR Codes to Help Viewers Go Mobile). So what are marketers doing to adapt to this shift in behavior? Marketer Brian Solis lists out the importance for marketers to recognize this shift in change and ways to create synergy between your mobile and social media strategy.


Healthcare Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts, the video chat service once publicized by a gaggle of Muppets, makes it easy to broadcast online conversations to live audiences. Cancer Surgeon Dr. Jay K. Harness uses Hangouts to host a weekly show called Breast Cancer Answers. Viewers submit non case-specific questions ahead of time and can watch every Friday at 2 PM ET while Dr. Harness and a panel of experts answer them live. On a show last September, Dr. Harness used the platform to teach proper breast self-exam techniques. In the 14 months since the show launched, the Breast Cancer Answers YouTube page has passed 6.4 million views. Wirebuzz, the digital marketing company that supports Breast Cancer Answers, plans to roll out similar Google Hangout shows for prostate and colon cancer next month. Hangouts provide a great opportunity for brands to establish authority in an area of expertise while connecting directly with their target audience.

Describe your pain in 140 characters

People experiencing chronic pain can now share their experiences in the Pain Exchange, the first user-generated database of descriptions of pain.  Participants can tweet descriptions of their pain to form a word cloud, upload photos representing their pain on Flickr, and rate the severity of their pain on a scale of 1 – 10.  Pfizer has launched the Pain Exchange as a pilot in the UK and Ireland, as part of the European health awareness campaign Can You Feel My Pain, in order to help improve understanding between people in pain and their healthcare professionals.


Facebook Graph Search (the healthy version)

There has been much debate about the new Facebook Graph Search and what this means for people, as well as brands. However, there hasn’t been much discussion around the opportunities for pharma.  Could we see niche patient groups cropping up for rare diseases? Will people increase their privacy settings to keep this personal information to themselves or will they be more open in order to foster relationships? The opportunities are certainly there for connecting and creating support networks. And how can pharma get involved? Greater targeting of ads is a start with access to data from 1 billion people, 240 billion photos and 1 trillion connections, but hopefully this is just the beginning and a new way of educating, raising awareness and helping people along their patient journey will be born. A dedicated blog post is coming up on this subject, so check back for deeper insights.

Medical advice on your mobile

Most of us have used Google to search for answers about health issues – but how do you know the information you get is credible?  Health Tap is a new app that helps patients get medical advice from registered doctors via a mobile app.  Members can ask health related questions which are answered by a US-registered doctor, usually within 24 hours.  Doctors can also give a “second opinion” by agreeing with the answer (the medical version of Like?).  There are currently 32,000 doctors registered on the service, and patients can also enter into private conversations with a selected doctor for a small fee.

Healthcare professionals using Vine

There has been much hype around Twitter’s newest app, Vine, a mobile service that lets netizens capture and share short six-second looping videos. Basically, it’s Instagram for video. There is a lot of potential for this new service to be used for healthcare professionals such as offering quick tips, recording procedures, providing timely news, etc. Are there any other ways you can think it can be used for healthcare marketing?


*This blog entry was originally posted on Social@Ogilvy. Written by Priya KapoorAndrea Hackett and Joanne Wunder.