Social Health Check #4

Brought to you by our New York, London and Hong Kong 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.

Seniors on Social

According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, the number of seniors (over 65) using social media now stands at 32%, with the highest concentration on Facebook. Seniors are taking it upon themselves to train and learn how to navigate these new platforms, and as a result, they are experiencing health benefits.  Using these new tools is said to help their cognitive abilities and confidence, especially when they are stimulated by online games and getting back in touch with old friends. They are also becoming more involved in finding support when it comes to health, as well as using online resources to do their own research. Gaming and social media is therefore a key area for pharmaceutical companies and agencies to explore when targeting this demographic, and it is a group that now cannot be discounted as not being sufficiently tech savvy.

Using Social to Reduce Health Costs

Can social media help reduce health care costs? If you’ve ever shopped around before a health or surgical procedure, you probably discovered that cost information is difficult to find. But a new crop of websites aiming to bring more transparency to medical expenses is now popping up. FAIR Health, a national non-profit, has built a database with billions of medical records that provides cost estimates for procedures by zip code. Healthcare Blue Book offers a similar service that’s available as a mobile app. Another outlet, ClearHealthCosts.com, has tapped the power of crowdsourcing by inviting users to anonymously report what they paid for medical procedures and where the care was provided. Whether you have a high deductible health care plan, a coinsurance arrangement, or lack coverage altogether, it’s finally getting easier to shop around for a competitive price.

 “Shazam” the flu away

This past flu season, Sanofi Pasteur ran its annual PR and advertising campaign to bring awareness to their Fluzone Intradermal influenza vaccine. However, this year they added another element to the cause: Shazam. The pharma brand applied the audio-detection technology to their adverts allowing consumers to find locations for where they could get the new shot. The result? More than 100,000 people used the app. As more consumers are becoming tech savvy its important to review the audience to gauge other means to bring awareness to your product / offering.

Five tech changes to healthcare in Asia

Frost & Sullivan provided 5 tech developments they foresee changing healthcare in Asia over the next decade. Along with cloud computing, electronic medical records – which some Asian countries have showed a willingness to share a range of information regarding their health – they see social media growth as the next big thing. With innovations potentially growing the pharma industry to $55bil in countries like India, there is a need for healthcare marketers to understand the importance of social media engagement, including the role of online portals, live chats, forums and panels etc. as a means to exchange information with e-patients.

Connecting like-patients

Many of us would not book a hotel before checking TripAdvisor – will we soon take a similar approach to prescription medicines?  A new health social network has been launched, to connect people (anonymously) with others who share the same symptoms.  HealthKeep allows users to upload symptoms, medications and their doctor’s details, and create a medical timeline tracking their condition.  Members can also ask other patients for their opinion of prescription medicines.  This reflects the growing trend for patients using social media to seek information on health topics, and specifically prescription medicines.  A study by Klick Health in 2012 found that around 25% of people using social media for health activities look for reviews of prescription medicines.  This has important implications for pharma companies – on the positive side social media provides a rich source of information on real life experience of medications – however the burden of pharmacovigilance is a downside yet to be resolved.

Like to hear more? Get in touch to discuss all things healthcare social media.