Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yesterday's Tweets

A complete list of yesterday's tweets. Thanks for following. If you would like to follow, go to

  • Religion 2.0: Vatican launches "POPE TO YOU" portal, featuring facebook and iphone app (courtesy @2healthguru):
  • Religion 2.0: Vatican launches "POPE TO YOU" portal, featuring facebook and iphone app (thnx @JamesLDaniels):
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The Vatican Gets Hip, Launches iPhone & Facebook Applications

source: The Cleveland Leader, Via GossipGirl

Though the Catholic Church is steeped in thousands of years of tradition, it doesn't mean they aren't keeping up with the modern world. The Vatican is now taking new technologically savvy steps to bring its messages to social networking sites and smartphones through new Facebook and iPhone applications available through the new Pope2You web portal.

Launched Thursday, the Facebook app allows web users to send virtual postcards of Pope Benedict XVI to their Facebook friends. The Pope2You portal - located at - will even allow you to follow the Pope's travels using an iPhone. The iPhone app also works with iPod Touch, and gives surfers video and audio news on the pope's travels and speeches, as well as Catholic events around tehw orld.

On just its first day of operation, the Pope2You portal acquired 45,000 contacts and 500,000 pageviews, and the new Facebook app was used about 10,000 times.

The introduction of the iPhone and Facebook apps are just the latest efforts in the Vatican's efforts to reach young people and broaden the pope's audience. This past January, the Pope got his own YouTube channel (which is now linked on the Pope2You portal).

The Pope2You portal is run by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications. It is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Yesterday's Tweets

A complete list of yesterday's tweets. Thanks for following. If you would like to follow, go to

  • The 10 Hottest Viral Video Ad Campaigns Right Now (@mashable)
  • Blog Re-Post: "How Physicians (Should) Use Twitter" (courtesy @MichaelLaraMD)
  • RT @SusannahFox: RT @mindofandre New on healthGAMERS: health care applications for Nintendo Wii incl phsyical therapy
  • DNArgus launches CRYOBOOTH. This might just change your life:
  • WOW. Amazing. RT @timandren: $70 zombie movie wowing Cannes
  • Shawnee Mission Medical Center to Supplement Live Surgery Video With Live Twitter Updates
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Live Surgery Video with Twitter Updates

Shawnee Mission Medical Center to Supplement Live Surgery Video With Live Twitter Updates

(Event took place May 21, 2009 at 6 CDT; this is SMMC's Second Live Broadcast Featuring a Twitter Feed)

MERRIAM, KS--(Marketwire - May 21, 2009) - Millions of Americans suffer from the discomfort of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. Now, a minimally invasive procedure called Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication is helping ease the pain for people living with reflux. On Thursday, May 21, you can watch Joseph B. Petelin, MD, FACS, an internationally renowned expert in minimally invasive surgery, perform a Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication, live, during a one-hour Webcast from Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

Gastroesophageal reflux is caused by a backflow of stomach acid which can irritate or damage the lining of the esophagus. People with reflux disease often have frequent heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitation of gastric acid into the mouth. During the surgery, a new "valve" is constructed between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest part of the esophagus, preventing the reflux.

The live surgery broadcast will be moderated by Glenn A. Deyo, MD, FACS, who will also be Tweeting during the broadcast, providing more engaging experience to those viewing the broadcast, and reaching the broader Twitter community. You can view the Twitter feed by accessing the webcast, or you can follow the Twitter feed at, or by using the #SMMC Twitter hash tag.

About Shawnee Mission Medical Center:

Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) is a 383-bed facility with nearly 20,000 inpatient admissions and more than 200,000 outpatient admissions annually. SMMC has the busiest emergency department in Johnson County, the area's first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center, a nationally recognized Center for Women's Health and delivers more babies each year than any other hospital in the metropolitan area. SMMC employs more than 2,700 local residents and supports an exceptional staff of 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties, the largest medical staff in Kansas City. Visit us on the Web at

About ORLive

ORLive is the world's leading surgical broadcasting company. Working collaboratively with hospitals and device manufacturers, ORLive produces customized, interactive, video programs that demonstrate the latest surgical techniques and product innovations. The ORLive broadcasting network provides an intimate look at over 650 live and on-demand surgeries to a global audience, streaming over 45,000 hours of programming each month. The ORLive network can be found on-line at

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DNArgus: Leading the Posthuman Age

This is not a joke. Read below and then check it out for yourself:

DNArgus is a world-class biopharmaceutical and health services company specializing in the development and commercialization of life extension therapies. Our flagship cryobooth, AICryogenesis II, is the safest and most well-studied product of its kind in the world. We believe in uncovering the mysteries of the human machine.


  • DNArgus' Genetically Modified Crops Bring New Hope to Famine-Plagued Countries
  • DNArgus Submits Marketing Approval Application to DDEA for Life1K Serum
No, I am not kidding. Go see for yourself.
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How Physicians (Should) Use Twitter

by Michael Lara, MD
Source: BrainTwits of Michael Lara, MD

Will Twitter change the way physicians practice medicine?

Probably not.

Does Twitter have any practical uses in the late-adopting tribe that is modern medicine?


As an early-adopter with all things technical, I've found Twitter to be a useful adjunct to my private medical practice. Along the way, I've stumbled upon a few practical, time-saving techniques for integrating Twitter into an office-based medical practice.

Generally speaking, Twitter use falls under three categories:

As a Tool For Information Collection:

As A Tool for Information Sharing:
As a Tool for Communications Regarding Direct Patient Care:
  • Physician-to-team member about non-urgent matters
  • Office staff-to-patient about appointment reminders
I've also found that there are several scenarios where Twitter should NOT be used:
  • To communicate directly with patients and their families
  • To communicate with anyone regarding matters that require urgent or timely action
  • To answer inquiries from anyone regarding details about patient care, even if from a recognized Twitter account.
Furthermore, under no circumstances should patients be referred to by name or other identifiable means, even via Direct Messages.

For Twitter to work as a viable tool in an office-based medical practice, everyone should have a basic understanding of how Twitter works. Every team member, for example, should understand the difference between a Direct Message and the Public Timeline. Our rule is to tweet only via Direct Messages, but assume that the tweet will be on the Public Timeline.

Another Twitter tenet is understanding how and when key team members integrate Twitter into their work day. For example, key members of my teams and office staff know that I tweet from 5:00 am to 5:30 am and again from 7:00 pm-7:30 pm. Team members also understand that some of my tweets are distributed throughout the day (I use TweetLater), so even though my tweets might be appearing during the workday, I'm not necessarily tweeting live.

There are, no doubt, other potential ways of integrating twitter into an office-based medical practice.

Any other ideas? Please share them by clicking here and commenting on the original post.
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DTC Perspectives: Anti-DTC Emotions Run High

By Bob Ehrlich, Chairman
DTC Perspectives, Inc.

I have been involved in DTC since 1996 and it still puzzles me why the drug ads get such a visceral negative reaction from critics. I ran across a blog from George Parker, a former adman who writes blogs on a site called Adscam. He wrote a contributor blog on May 12 for which blasted DTC in a way that illustrates the ire it causes. Let me quote a few lines from George.

DTC he says “is considered insane and outlawed in every other country in the world.” Allowing DTC, he continues, "has resulted in some of the crappiest advertising known to man.” DTC promotes products for illnesses “such as restless leg syndrome that didn't exist.” The good news for agencies says Parker is that “the giant tit is not going away.” He is referring to the pot of large media dollars for future DTC ads.

Ok so George hates drug ads. I refer to his blog because it represents a fairly broad consensus among critics. Why does DTC provoke such anger? I assume it is because critics feel DTC is something that interferes with a doctor's objective decisions on drug prescribing leading to inappropriate use for expensive brands. I remind critics that no one in our health care system is objective and all information a consumer gets is biased. In an imperfect world we need a whole bunch of imperfect competing information to arrive at our own conclusions about product value.

Is the doctor objective? They used to be before managed care, capitated drug coverage and physician owned diagnostic centers. Is our health insurance company objective? They never were since their goal has always been reducing cost of care. Our employer wants us well enough to work, but really does not want to fund more than the minimum to keep us at our desk. Is our government objective? They want acceptable affordable care for the broadest population, not premium care. So in our system all opinions must be heard about a health care service or product before an intelligent decision can be made about value.

DTC is one source of biased information. If we banned it, do we really think doctors would make the best drug decision while under the thumb of insurance companies, PBM's, government and employers? So like it or not, we need this “crappiest advertising known to man.” DTC may not be the most creative of ad categories but I am sure mankind has seen crappier categories. Look at some financial advertising!

The drug marketers are doing what they must in a biased world of health care special interest groups. I would love to have an objective bureau tell us the “truth” about branded drugs. Such a place does not exist. Consumers need to hear many points of view to see if a branded drug is best for them. DTC is an easy and accessible source of imperfect information. That is just one piece in the health information puzzle in our data rich society. I also remind critics that FDA looks at every syllable of DTC ads, something they do not do for alternative medicines. So George, I am afraid you will see the “crappiest advertising known to man” for many more years.

Another recent blog on the Huffington Post (May 20) by Brian Ross brings up another myth. That one is that drug ads cost so much that they increase consumer cost. The fact is drug ads spending is about 1% of total sales revenue. Banning ads will not noticeably reduce drug cost even if all of it was refunded to consumers. The critics always say drug companies spend more on promotion than R&D. This is true when you add the sales force salaries, sampling and medical meetings to the promotion cost. One could argue that these are as much educational as promotional. If one looks at advertising alone, costs are well below R&D.

Our PhRMA lobbying group needs to provide politicians the real data on promotion and explain which part is advertising and which is educational. This idea that drug companies are just big marketing machines needs to be countered more effectively. The visceral attacks will continue, and be fueled by an anti-profit mentality now growing in Washington. I'll admit once again drug companies have a significant bias to sell what they make, but banning commercial speech will not make it better for consumers.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yesterday's Tweets

A complete list of yesterday's tweets. Thanks for following. If you would like to follow, go to

  • ABSLTLY. THNX! RT @JeanneMale: Yep! HIV/Aids RT @skypen: "Is there a thing called patient opinion leader?" LinkedIn Q/A
  • RT @JamesLDaniels: Turner Radio Network: LEAKED: CDC Director's Bulletin on new Flu
  • A complete list of yesterday's tweets in one blog entry. Took me 4ever to figure this out! will auto-parse daily. Thoughts? ...
  • "Social Media Apps Meet Widget" cracks the top of the charts at #2:
  • Shwen's "Social Pharmer Site" :
  • eMarketer Digital Intelligence, "Real Kids in Virtual Worlds":
  • AdAge: "P&G Social-Media Strategy Increases Tampon Sales"
  • Press Release: " Launches Allergy Alert iPhone and iPod Touch Application"
  • GameStop and National Women's Health Resource Center launch Website Promoting new Wii Game:
  • RT @JMurray21CFR: @pharmaguy FDA hasn't decided if the internet is advertising or labeling. Odd but real issue.
  • Made a little "widget" out of it -THNX! @StrategicHealth @shwen @brianreid @edsilverman @jensmccabe @jjohnsondc. #SocPharm
  • NOW you can even grab/share the widget ;) @brianreid @shwen @brianreid @edsilverman @jensmccabe @jjohnsondc :
  • I don't know.. now you have me concerned. RT @cadelarge: You think its true that 99% of what we worry about never occurs? If so, why bother.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA and PHARMA dominate SKYPEN'S TOP TWEETS OF ALL TIME with 1200+ clicks! updated 5/21:
  • RT @healthworldweb: The Power of Social Media in Doctor / Patient Relationship - Ann Engelland MD #health #socialmedia
  • A new way to experience "Little Red Riding Hood". Brilliant. (courtesy @davidrosenman, @danielpink)
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Telling stories in new ways

Many thanks to @danielpink and @davidrosenman for bringing this to my attention. Amazing. I strongly recommend you watch this full screen.

SlagsmÄlsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

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The Power of Social Media in Doctor / Patient Relationship

by Ann Engelland MD
Original Post: Health World Web Blog

Talking about using social media in the healthcare industry and actually doing something with social media that makes a difference are two totally different things. Ann Engelland MD clearly understands the power of social media and her 4000 newsletter recipients are clearly glad she does.

Doctors and the Power of Social Media

Social media is a connection between people. Whether you are using Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn or FaceBook, the main attraction of these websites are the connections people make on a daily basis. How many people log into their personal social media accounts every day just to check on the people they are connected with and what they have posted? Here in lies the brilliance of social media and the relationships doctor’s have with their patients.

For Ann Engelland MD, for instance, specializing in adolescent medicine means treating people in the social media age group. These patients talk more with the connections they have on social media websites than they do with their parents, so medical questions and problems are often left to the doctor’s office. With tools like blogging, newsletters and websites, doctors can answer some of the questions parents have in a more open setting so, potentially; millions of viewers have access to the questions they are seeking answers for.

Times are changing and so are the demands of the patient. Soon, patients will not only have the expectation of more education but the social media connections to fulfill those expectations. Limitless information, limitless knowledge and a connection on a whole new level is the true power of the healthcare / social medical relationship.

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BIO 2009 "New Media Panel" Widget

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Gaming company teams with women's health group for new Web site

source: ePharma5

GameStop has teamed with the National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) for a new Web site to inspire women to be active and healthy. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, women now represent 40% of the gaming community in the United States.

The site,, includes five health and fitness tips specific to women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s provided by the NWHRC. Within each decade, there is a listing of important health screenings, immunizations, and questions women should ask their physicians as they age. The new site also includes conversations with women celebrities representing each of these decades.

buzz this Launches Allergy Alert iPhone and iPod Touch Application Launches Allergy Alert iPhone and iPod Touch Application

Top Allergy Web Site Also Receives HON Certification

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE), the most visited allergy site on the Web, announces the availability of Allergy Alert, an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The alert provides one-day alerts and four-day forecasts for four different conditions: allergy (pollen), asthma, cold and cough, and ultraviolet sensitivity.

Available for free at the iPhone App Store, the Allergy Alert application allows users to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the iPhone and iPod Touch user interface.

“The iPhone application provides users with greater access to information that they’ve come to rely on from,” said Glenn Connery, associate director of the application development/Web group for SDI, the company behind “Having this instant, portable access for their conditions helps users plan their day or week ahead.”

Features of the Allergy Alert iPhone application include:

* One-day alerts and four-day forecasts for four different conditions: allergy (pollen), asthma, cold and cough, and ultraviolet sensitivity - customized down to individual ZIP codes
* Indexes indicating severity for each condition ranging from 0.0 to 12.0
* Easy-to-read user interface with color coding for easy focus
* Access to the Allergy Alert application support page on

Compatible with any iPhone or iPod Touch with operating system version 2.2.1, the application was designed by SDI’s development team. recently received the Health On the Net Foundation’s Code of Conduct certification (HONcode©), identifying as an internationally reliable source of health information. Certification by HON, the most widely accepted reference for online health and medical publishers, denotes that provides sound, authoritative information; data confidentiality and privacy; proper attribution of sources; and transparency, such as a clear delineation of advertising and editorial content.

SDI developed’s proprietary forecasts and also manufactures Rotorod®, the leading tool for pollen count measurement. For more than 10 years, SDI has helped to set the standards by which scientists, researchers, and doctors operate their samplers, and by which they analyze their pollen samples to obtain accurate and consistent counts.

About SDI

Since 1982, SDI has been delivering innovative healthcare data products and analytic services to the pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, medical device, financial services, and consumer packaged goods industries. SDI is the leading provider of de-identified patient-level data analytics and offers a broad array of solutions and insights across the continuum of care. These include custom and syndicated patient-level data studies; localized disease and treatment surveillance and projection; market research audits; healthcare profiles; comprehensive managed care offerings; clinical trial optimization; direct-to-patient pharmacy programs; marketing effectiveness; sales targeting and compensation products; data integration, warehousing, and mining; list services; and direct marketing services. Its current roster includes the top 50 pharmaceutical/biotech companies. For more information, visit or call 610.834.0800.

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Real Kids in Virtual Worlds

Original Post: eMarketer
May 21, 2009

Whe-e-e-ere are you?

Kids today still play baseball and cut out paper dolls. But increasingly they are playing online—in virtual worlds.

Altogether in 2008, an estimated 8 million US children and teens visited virtual worlds on a regular basis, and eMarketer projects that number will grow to over 15 million by 2013.

Virtual world usage among children in the US is already quite strong and getting stronger. eMarketer estimates that 37% of online children ages 3 to 11 use virtual worlds at least once a month. By 2013, 54% will.

In addition, 18% of online teens will visit virtual worlds on at least a monthly basis in 2009, according to eMarketer, and by 2013, 25% will.

“Unfortunately, as with social networks, advertising has not kept pace with usage,” says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Kids and Teens: Growing Up Virtual. “Not surprisingly, the hype and fizzling out of Second Life, combined with the tough economy, have made some marketers skittish for virtual worlds in general.”

But things are turning out differently for virtual worlds aimed specifically at the youth audience.

According to Virtual Worlds Management, as of January 2009 112 virtual worlds aimed at children under 18 were already up and running worldwide, and another 81 were in development.

“The rate of development in virtual worlds targeted to the youth audience will slow as economic pressures mean less money for venture capital and for advertising to support new worlds,” says Ms. Williamson. “But there is no denying that creating avatars and exploring virtual worlds are growing activities for many children and teens.”

Virtual worlds reside in a sweet spot between online games (which are intensely popular among children) and social networking (similarly popular among teens).

While the vast majority of virtual world users are children and teens, adult users are more likely to be parents monitoring their children’s use of virtual worlds.

According to a late-2008 survey by Accenture, 9% of adults said they spent at least 1 hour per week in a virtual world. But Forrester Research found in 2008 that only about 3% of adults engaged with virtual worlds at all.

Currently, virtual world advertising is a small business, but it has interesting growth potential.

“Advertising in virtual worlds gives marketers new insights into how consumers perceive and interact with their brands,” says Ms. Williamson.

To explore the engagement opportunities that branded worlds themed to real-world products offer, find out more about the new eMarketer report (Note: Interactive Report—available only to Total Access subscribers), Kids and Teens: Growing Up Virtual.

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Yesterday's Tweets

A complete list of yesterday's tweets. Thanks for following. If you would like to follow, go to

  • WSJ Health Blog: "After FDA Warning, J&J Yanks Online Video for Pain Med" (courtesy @richmeyer)
  • From January, but interesting in light of Cheerios: "FDA Not Impressed by Diet Coke Plus":
  • New Nielsen Report on TV, Web, Mobile (@nielsenwire) Summary:, PDF Report:
  • RT @DiabetesMine: RT @helenjaques A new way of visualizing health data
  • Tonight: "Pharmaceutical Marketing Within Today's Social Media Culture, Opportunity or Nightmare?"
  • RT @marketingvox: Starbucks Seeks to Stimulate Social Media Engagement
  • COOL VIDEO: "Social Media Trends in Health Care" (nice job @CheyenneJack):
  • Question: "Is there a patient opinion leader?". Participate in the discussion on LinkedIn:
  • RT @lotay: "Men are from Facebook, Women are from Twitter?" (Fortune)
  • Neat little widget from GSK (in case you hadn't already seen it):
  • RT @richmeyer: Harris corporate reputation survey results (pdf)
  • WSJ: "Hidden Risk: Millions of People Don't Know They Are Diabetic": #diabetes
  • Medical Marketing & Media: "iPhone app to boost level of care for Crohn's"
  • WEGO Health Presents "Twitter Fundamentals for Health Activists":
  • Upcoming Webinar "Twitter Fundamentals for Health Activists": (@wegohealth)
  • RT @TrishaTorrey: @ berci @skypen @whydotpharma "Patient Opinion Leader" LinkedIn Q: Just answered.
  • RT @JNJComm: Calling mommy vloggers -- Rob Halper is looking for content...
  • Will u b twting? @eiobri decided w/@pharmaguy hashtag #philama 4 "pharma marketing within social media: opportunity or nightmare?"
  • RT @accarmichael: Jeremy Person on CureTogether - "harness the Internet to crowdsource health information. Great idea..."
  • CBS/CNET: "Why Are Doctors Such Luddites?" (courtesy @THEHCC):
  • GREAT! Say hello to all! RT @eiobri: @skypen Of course! Great panel with Stephen Wray from Cadient and Nancy Phelan, Wyeth #philama
  • The buzz around the web 2day ... GSK's "new" blog. Entries back in Jan? Why 1st time we hear about it?
  • RT @timoreilly: Brilliant piece by @jmichele on the Digital Panopticon Social media, transparency, and control.
  • "NEW" on doseofdigital this AM- RT @eiobri: @skypen GSK blog is not new? It's been under the radar if @pharmaguy just found out about it.
  • GOING ON NOW: "Pharmaceutical Marketing Within Today's Social Media Culture, Opportunity or Nightmare?" #philama
  • RT @eiobri: Phelan: even listening should be considered long term to get complete and full picture. #philama
  • Same as cost of a patient getting bad info. RT @eiobri: What's the cost of not participating in social media for pharma? #philama
  • RT @juvenation: Win a Track3 electronic carb device for getting the most members on #diabetes
  • Note to "U-Know-Who-U-Are": Don't send me DM 140-character tweet w/link and ask "Please RT w/no editing". Now what?
  • It's about time! RT @LATimes: 47-million-year-old primate fossil could shed light on evolution:
  • RT @jeanlucr: Tips for brands starting out on Twitter
  • SKYPEN'S TOP-CLICKED TWEET OF THE DAY: "Is there a thing called patient opinion leader?" LinkedIn Q/A
  • NEED HELP: What is the BST TOOL to feed daily TWEETS (entire day, not individual) directly into BLOG (specifically: blogspot/blogger)? THX!
  • ABSLTLY. THNX! RT @JeanneMale: Yep! HIV/Aids RT @skypen: "Is there a thing called patient opinion leader?" LinkedIn Q/A
  • RT @JamesLDaniels: Turner Radio Network: LEAKED: CDC Director's Bulletin on new Flu
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why Are Doctors Such Luddites?

Information Technology Is Hard For Older Members Of The Profession To Incorporate Into Their Daily Routines

by Charles Cooper
Original Post: CNET Tech News

(CNET) During the course of a normal business day, Gregg Feinerman likes to send out Twitter updates. He's just like tens of millions of folks around the country.

But there's a difference: Feinerman is a Lasik eye surgeon.

"All the people working in our office are doing it, anyway, and I said, 'Why not also do it for patients?'" Feinerman said.

Feinerman's tweeting obviously is a rarity for those in his profession. More than a decade after the Internet went mainstream, only an estimated 17 percent of physicians have electronic health record systems.

The big trade associations representing the medical establishment, such as the American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association, can't estimate how many of their members use the microblogging service, or for that matter, how many of them deploy consumer-facing technologies in their daily interactions with patients. But if anecdotal evidence is a fair barometer, assume the following: Doctors who grew up in an earlier era are likely to cling to their notepads and pens until the day they retire their stethoscopes. For their younger colleagues, by contrast, consumer technology is just another way to connect with patients.

In its Orange County, Calif., offices, the Feinerman Vision Center staff has set up a Mac notebook in the waiting room with a private Twitter account. As an eye operation concludes, updates go out that enable a patient's friends and family to read how the procedure has gone.

"It's just a different way to do outreach," Feinerman said.

So why aren't more doctors early adopters of services like Twitter? As soon as a new MRI machine or microscope comes out, they tend to be all over it. But practitioners say information technology is hard for older members of the profession to incorporate into their daily routines.

In part, that may be because there are few applications in health care that actually delight doctors. There are still no medical equivalents to Apple's iTunes or iPhone. And like the rest of us, doctors are creatures of habit. But change is happening. With each graduating class of doctors, more physicians feel comfortable with technology.

A survey published in December by Vanderbilt University Medical Center hinted at this trend, though from a different perspective. The survey focused on doctors, mostly on the younger side of the spectrum, trained in IT-rich environments. Of the doctors who wound up working at offices with more rudimentary systems, the vast majority expressed unease about their ability to offer proper care to patients.

A medical generation gap, if you will, is coming into fuller view. In fact, it's something I first saw a few years ago, when I was rushed to the hospital after a hard fall that cracked my head open.

Upon my arrival at the emergency room, the thirtysomething physician who attended to me took notes on a tablet computer. He could then transfer the data from the consultation to a central server over a wireless network. (He also had a high-end smartphone hanging from his belt, just in case.)

As a technology reporter, all this intrigued me more than learning what was going on with my badly smacked noggin.

The doctor told me that age--usually the 40th birthday--often defines a physician's predisposition toward incorporating high tech into his or her daily interactions with patients.

A few hours later, I was in the recovery room when another ward doctor approached me. As he took out a pen to scribble into a notebook binder, I just had to ask.

"You don't like tablet computers?"

He gave me a hard look and mumbled something about how it wasn't his cup of tea. I'd say he was at least in his mid-50s. That was all I needed to know.

"If you don't use tech, per se, in your daily life, at all levels, and you're not comfortable with it, then it's unlikely that you're going to be as speedy (to embrace) technology," noted Dr. Todd Rothenhaus, senior vice president and chief information officer of Caritas Christi Health Care, the second-largest provider in Massachusetts. "If you're not a touch typist...or if you never use a mouse or are accustomed to using a PC as part of your daily activity, then there's going to be an enormous barrier."

Rothenhaus may be right. The hope within the Obama administration is that many of those barriers will crumble in the aftermath of the passage of the $787 billion economic-stimulus package, which includes $19 billion for health information technology and another $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health.

Clearly, the U.S. population is behind a concerted effort to digitize medical records, according to a recent poll (PDF) conducted by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health:

"Fully three in four say it is important for their health care providers to use electronic medical records (EMR). A large proportion of the public also sees benefits to nationwide adoption of this technology. Majorities say that if the United States adopted greater use of an EMR system, their own doctors would do a better job coordinating their care (72 percent say this is at least somewhat likely), that the overall quality of care in the country would be improved (67 percent), and that fewer people would get unnecessary medical care (58 percent.) Just over half (53 percent) say there would be fewer medical errors."

In theory, that sounds like a slam dunk. But life usually turns out to be a bit more complicated. Consider the experience of James Dom Dera. An assistant professor of family medicine at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, his practice made the decision to become a "paperless office" two years ago. However, the transition to electronic records proved more difficult than he envisioned.

Dom Dera, who was accustomed to quickly jotting down notes taken during patient visits and flipping through papers, says that only in the past year has he gotten his typing groove back.

"I'm actually starting to see the benefits of a class I took in high school: typing," said Dom Dera, who, at 37, is relatively young. "I've gotten pretty good at typing and clicking while still maintaining eye contact. At the same time, I'm cognizant that sometimes it's more appropriate for me to stop typing, close my laptop, and just listen. I guess that's the art versus the science of medicine."

Dom Dera and his colleagues, including the nursing staff, now use tablet PCs connected to a wireless network. Nothing is stored locally, and the data gets transmitted in real time without the need for a Save button, he said.

That doesn't sound anything like my doctor; he's terrific but definitely old-school. Getting back up to speed when it comes to using a keyboard only hints at the challenges older physicians face in trying to adapt to a world in which new technologies regularly proliferate throughout the larger society.

"That's exactly it," said Lasik surgeon Feinerman, who is 42. "I grew up in the computer age. This is just my generation. I still feel old when I come to the office, and most of the staff is in (its) 20s and 30s. But I'm trying to use tech and have a proactive attitude to make our practice fun and keep people in touch."

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Twitter Fundamentals for Health Activists

See bottom of post for information on the "Twitter Power Tools for Health Activists*" Webinar to be held on June 3, 2009.


"Twitter Power Tools for Health Activists*" is the second in a series of webinars designed to help you make the most of your Twitter account.

Time: June 3, 2009 from 12pm to 1pm

During this 45 minute presentation, we'll give you a guided tour of some of the most useful third party twitter applications to help you save time, reach more tweeps, and take tweeting to the next level.

Joining the webinar is quick, easy, and free:
To join the presentation of "Twitter Power Tools for Health Activists" on Wednesday, June 3rd at Noon Eastern Time, follow the steps below:

1. Sign in or Register for a free WEGO Health account at
2. RSVP to the event from the "Events" page on WEGO Health:
3. After you RSVP, you'll receive a confirmation email from WEGO Health. Be sure to respond to reserve your spot!

Please note: An RSVP alone does not reserve your place in the webinar!

We hope you'll be able to join us on June 3rd! Contact if you have any questions.

*What does that mean, "Health Activist"? Health Activists are people who are passionate about health, care deeply about others, and are driven to share their knowledge and experience for the greater good. If you're discussing health issues on the internet, there's a good chance you're a Health Activist! Take our quiz to find out what type of Health Activist you are:
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Neat little widget from GSK

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Social Media Trends in Health Care

What are some of the social media trends in health care today?

by Cheyenne Throckmorton

A brief look at these statistics and trends in health care on the social web should help organizations understand the impact of engaging with social media tools to help in spreading their message. It does not matter if you are a pharma company trying to connect with patients, or if you are a medical education provider looking for ways to utilize social bookmarking.

Social media may have its roots in the trendy tweener population but is growing trees of marketing data that the health care industry can utilize to improve their message delivery and improve the healthcare information being consumed online in the social media landscape.

This video is helping to advertise the Health Care New Media Conference in mid June. I have pulled many of the statistics about social media trends in health care from the video and included them below for easier reading and comparison.

  • Trends in Social Media and Health Care
  • 60 Million consumers are using new media to interact and share their health experiences online
  • 250 hospitals use social media
  • 93% of e-patients said that the internet made it possible to ge the medical information that they needed
  • Health Care Information Technology now represents a $36.7 Billion/year market
  • Search Engine Trends
  • 93% of global consumers use search engines to find and access websites
  • 72% of e-patients searched for medical information just before or after a doctor's visit
  • Facebook Trends
  • Facebook has 175 Million active users
  • 3.5 Million users become fans of Facebook pages each day
  • Roughly 1,200 Facebook communities advocate for cures for different chronic illnesses
  • 83 hospitals have Facebook Pages
  • Twitter Trends
  • Feb 2008 - 475,000 unique visitors.
  • Feb 2009 - 7,000,000 unique visitors.
  • 160 U.S. hospitals have Twitter accounts
  • YouTube Trends
  • 100,000,000 Million Videos viewed on YouTube every day.
  • 131 hospitals have YouTube Channels in the US
  • Other Social Media Trends
  • 77% of active internet users read blogs - Universal McCann (March 2008)
  • 23 Million Americans have downloaded and listened to an audio podcast in the past month - Edison Media Research

Feel free to add more stastistics and social media trends, especially for healthcare, in the comments. I will also see if I can find the sources for these statistics in the future.

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After FDA Warning, J&J Yanks Online Video for Pain Med

By Jacob Goldstein
Original post: WSJ Health Blog

In the latest sign that drug marketers continue to struggle with advertising rules in the online world, the FDA sent this warning letter to J&J, advising the company that an online video for its pain drug Ultram ER “omits and minimzed the serious risks of the drug.”

The letter also says the video claims benefits for the drug “that have not been demonstrated” and calls on the company to “immediately cease dissemination” of the video, which appeared on the Web site

J&J is reviewing the letter and will respond to the FDA, a spokesman told the WSJ. “The video in question has been removed; it’s no longer available to the public,” the spokesman said.

According to the FDA letter, the video included six minutes of testimonials from a doctor and a patient. The final minute of the video contained risk information, but it was presented in “a telescript format, with rapidly scrolling text in small type font, and with no accompanying audio presentation,” the FDA letter said. The letter was brought to our attention by this report from Dow Jones Newswires.

J&J was one of 14 drug makers that received FDA warning letters earlier this year regarding text ads the companies bought to accompany certain Google searches.

And last year, an online ad for J&J’s painkiller Motrin caused a bit of a stir — not with the FDA, but with moms who didn’t like the ad’s take on wearing babies in a sling (watch the ad here). J&J took down the ad and apologized.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Social Media is Replacing Traditional PR: Notes from PRSA Health Academy Conference

Written by: Dmitriy Kruglyak
source: TrustedMD

Is social media supplanting traditional PR? That was my impression from the annual conference of PRSA's health section.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the 20th Annual PRSA Health Academy conference in Washington DC.

The conference delivered on its title "Leveraging Social Media in Health Care Public Relations" offering a great overview of how social media can, is and will be used by healthcare communicators. Having presented at the same conference in 2007 and 2008 I have been blown away by the progress made in adopting social media by one of the most risk averse industries in existence.

What are my key observations from the conference?

Social media is taking over traditional PR! To think about it the jobs of PR professionals and social media marketers are not that dissimilar. You craft your message. You get it out there targeting the influencers and the public. You monitor the reaction and keep following up. Whether the format is a press release, a blog post, a YouTube video or a Twitter message, the drill is the same. Whether you are targeting traditional journalists, bloggers covering your niche or general public frequenting social networks, the techniques of persuasion are very similar.

If things seem to be the same, what is really the change?

The change is that a great number of healthcare PR professionals are no longer afraid of new tools and are starting to embrace them. Two years ago at the same conference I have been getting a lot of questions on what social media is and whether it might be of any importance. A year ago most questions were about best ways to dip your toes in the water. This year, I have not been getting many questions and instead saw lots of opinions, angles and case studies. Believe it or not, now everyone is an expert. Congratulations, social media has arrived in healthcare PR!

Now, why would I say that social media is "replacing" traditional PR?

If we define "traditional" PR as getting your story to appear in traditional media (print, TV, radio) and consider the depth of crisis the traditional media is going through (is your local paper still in business?), it is pretty clear PR business simply cannot go on as it once was. While traditional publications still command impressive share of eyeballs and are key to getting the widest audience possible, they are not the fastest or easiest way to get your story out. They themselves are undergoing transformation with digital channels taking over. If you want to stick to non-digital, non-social PR soon there would not be any place to go.

What are the long term consequences of PR going "digital-only"?

To be sure, there are many implications and opinions. Sure, we have ease of publishing, democratization of media, openness and all these things we keep hearing about. But in my view these are not the biggest or most important changes. Going digital means anything and everything can be tracked and measured. Having accurate metrics leads to ability to analyze what is working and what is not - down to clicks and pennies. Availability of such analysis will lead to serious implications of how marketing dollars, not just advertising but also PR, will be spent. Understanding and applying digital performance metrics will be the formula for success. Ignoring measurable facts and going by opinions ("the gut") will be career limiting.

Digital performance metrics were the focus of my presentation. If you want to explore how to use them in your business, give me a buzz.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

REPORT: Effective and Measurable Pharmaceutical eMarketing Using Social Media

Eularis Releases Comprehensive Report on Effective and Measurable Pharmaceutical eMarketing Using Social Media

[Table of Contents at the Bottom of this Post, along with information on how to pre-order]

NEW YORK and LONDON, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Eularis is announcing the release of an update to its report "Pharmaceutical eMarketing: Building Brands, Relationships & Business Through Web 2.0 and Beyond." The comprehensive report has been created to demystify the world of eMarketing and Social Media to provide Pharmaceutical marketers with a competitive edge and the latest information on how to use these emerging tools.

"As market growth slows, the bottom line return for brands is under increased scrutiny, and every marketing dollar must count," said the author of the report, Dr. Andree K. Bates, President of Eularis. "The emerging social media tools are inexpensive to implement, highly effective for gaining prescriptions when implemented as part of a cohesive strategy, and measurement of the financial impact of using them, using analytics, is certainly possible for justification to management."

Many pharma companies still flounder when it comes to justifying online marketing and can still be stumped by how to use the plethora of emerging social media tools now available. This challenge can be troublesome enough to prompt some companies & marketers to sit it out completely, or to half-heartedly engage in some online activities - like blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook - without a real plan. New initiatives are started & neglected, or focused entirely on the wrong things. As a result, companies miss out and waste time, money and opportunity.

However, this report shows how an eMarketing campaign that is built on strategy & a deep knowledge of an audience can be powerful. The report examines specific tools in the social media age, observing how patients, physicians and companies use blogs, social networking, Twitter, YouTube and other new media tools... and develop best practices for their use. Finally, we tie it all together, examining key case studies of eMarketing campaigns, giving instructions on first steps for your own campaign, and taking a close look at measurement.

eMarketing can be a challenge. However, with some company initiative, firm goals and the insider knowledge provided by this report, marketers can also find eMarketing to be an empowering opportunity for their brands.

To purchase this report, please visit:

About Eularis

Eularis provides sophisticated Pharmaceutical analytics that provide data-driven insight into the financial impact of corporate and marketing decisions. Unlike traditional analytics approaches, which are lengthy and whose reliance on historical or analogue data reduces their accuracy, Eularis' proprietary 94.8 Analytics Process is based on the current market situation. This proven approach helps Pharmaceutical marketing teams to quickly plan, measure, validate and optimize their sales and marketing performance, knowing where to focus, and how to budget, for maximum financial return. Co-headquartered in London and New York City, the company has developed significant experience in the global Pharmaceutical market through client engagements with AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer and many others. For more information, visit

This release was issued on behalf of the above organization by Send2Press(R), a unit of Neotrope(R).



SECTION 1: Internet, e-Marketing, and Brand-Building Basics

  • Chapter 1: Pharma Internet Marketing Today, Past and Present
  • Chapter 2: Creating an Effective On-line Strategy
  • Chapter 3: Building a Trusted On-line Pharmaceutical Brand
SECTION 2: The Evolution of e-Marketing
  • Chapter 4: Where it All Began: Web sites
  • Chapter 5: Where it Moved: eDetailing and eLearning
  • Chapter 6: Where We Are Now: Social Media and New Technologies
  • Chapter 7: Using Social Media As An On-Line Community for Marketing
SECTION 3: Key Social Media and Web 2.0 Tools
  • Chapter 8: Maximising the Use of Blogs
  • Chapter 9: Maximising the Use of Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn
  • Chapter 10: Maximising the Use of Twitter
  • Chapter 11: Maximising the Use of YouTube
  • Chapter 12: Maximising the Use of Other New Media Tools
  • Chapter 13: Maximising the Use of Google
  • Chapter 14: Maximising the Use of Multi-Channel and Closed-Loop Marketing
SECTION 4: Putting It Together
  • Chapter 15: Measurement of On-line Activities
  • Chapter 16: Tying it All Together: Social Media and Business
  • Chapter 17: Getting Started with Social Media and Web 2.0


# # #

New report - about to be published in May 2009

"Pharmaceutical eMarketing: Building Brands, Relationships & Business Through Web 2.0 and Beyond"

Written by Dr. Andree K Bates, published by Eularis, distributed by NetworkPharma

Pre-order the report for immediate delivery on publication in May by contacting Peter Llewellyn at NetworkPharma Ltd today:

NetworkPharma Ltd
89 Oxford Road, Oxford, OX2 9PD, United Kingdom
T: +44 1865 865943
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IAB Publishes Social Advertising Best Practices

Source: IAB

Click here to Download the Social Advertising Best Practices.

Social media is big and getting bigger, providing marketers with a combination of reach, relationships, and relevance:

  • Reach: Social media has overtaken email as the most popular consumer activity, according to a recent Nielsen study. Importantly, consumer growth is coming from an older demographic than social media's historical base; for example, Facebook's strongest growth is coming from 35-49 year-olds, adding twice as many 50-64-year-olds as opposed to those under 18. (Nielsen “Global Faces and Networked Places,” March 9, 2009; MediaPost Blogs Research Brief, “Social Networking Is No Respecter of Age,” March 18, 2009.)
  • Relationships: Social media's strength is in the personal connections it enables, the peer-to-peer contact, providing reasons for consumers to visit regularly and for extended periods of time.
  • Relevance: Consumers are extremely engaged with the content and connections that their friends are creating because of its personal relevance.
Marketers are looking to maximize the effectiveness of this new medium and are developing social advertising that heightens relevance and engagement through the use of profile data within the ad units themselves, as well as the use of social graph data to target ads.

These Best Practices are intended to help protect consumer privacy, ensure transparency for what and how data is being used, and to define consumer permissions. The purpose of this document is to provide best practices that illustrate, inform, and facilitate greater adoption of the medium by defining creative components, data usage, consumer control, and privacy guidelines and by providing social advertising examples.

This document outlines recommendations for these key social advertising topics and is intended for social networks, publishers, ad agencies, marketers, and service providers delivering social advertising. These best practices were developed via a thorough examination of the critical consumer, media and advertiser issues to help social media further realize its advertising potential.

Click here to Download the Social Advertising Best Practices.
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Pharma and Social Media: Not Ready For Prime Time?

by Mike Auerbach, Editor (@PharmProEditor)
Original Post: Pharmaceutical Processing

Social media is all the rage. From familiar websites such as Facebook and MySpace to the newest darling of the social media scene – Twitter – it seems that if you are not "tweeting", well, you are just not on the "bleeding" edge of technology.

While I will never claim to be on the bleeding edge of anything - I have been "tweeting" for the last month or so as PharmProEditor ( and have found it both immensely interesting and incredibly frustrating.

The best feature of Twitter is that you are able to "listen" in on what the hottest topics of discussion are – in the pharma world this can range from the latest industry news to what bloggers are saying about every imaginable healthcare topic.

The problem with Twitter is filtering out all the extraneous "noise". On Twitter you "follow" people and have "followers" and its not considered "polite" to "tune out" those who are following you who may not be in your main area of interest.

The big question on everyone's mind regarding Twitter specifically, and social media in general, is how big pharma and the industry will use this new-fangled marketing tool.

The inherent problem lies in the way Twitter is evolving. At its conception it was viewed simply as a means for people to tell each other what they were doing. Now, it has morphed into a marketing juggernaut, able to reach thousands of people in an instant.

How will the pharma industry harness this new tool? And, perhaps even more importantly, who will regulate what the marketing people say?

Currently, the FDA has very strict rules regarding Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) advertising and marketing. If nothing else, Twitter is probably the fastest DTC outlet there is - the potential to reach new customers is enormous.

Is Twitter ready for prime time? Is the pharma industry?

Click here to add a comment.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Towards a Rational FDA Policy Addressing the Internet and Social Media

source: John Mack's Pharma Marketing Talk

Arnold Friede, Counsel to the law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP, talks about organizing a collective response from representatives of the pharma industry to FDA's recent enforcement initiative on the use of sponsored links in search ads and more generally, on FDA's overall approach to regulating social media and the Internet.

  • Guest: Arnold I. Friede, Counsel at McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Live Streaming Audio Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 2 PM Eastern US time.
  • Live Streaming Audio Duration: 15-20 minutes
Go to this Pharma Marketing Talk Segment Page at the time indicated above to listen to the LIVE show via streaming audio on the Web. You will also be able to participate in an online chat with the host and speakers to ask questions!


On April 2, 2009, the FDA issued 14 letters informing drug companies that their search engine ads, which included drug brand names and infications but no risk infromation or fair balance, were in violation of the law. This caught many in the drug industry by surprise because they assumed the "one-click rule" applies; ie, as long as the fair balance information was just one click away -- on another Web page -- such ads are allowed by the FDA. With the 14 letters, FDA disagreed and quashed the "one-click rule."

Fried believes that there is an opportunity now to make a strong and compelling argument for the adoption of rational regulatory policies by FDA that address the unique features not only of sponsored links, but of other kinds of new communication tools, such as social media and the like. According to Friede (as quoted in Eye On FDA Blog): "Viewing the matter from this perspective, FDA's approach of unilaterally rejecting the contents of the landing page as a component of the advertising is unquestionably wrong as a legal matter. It may also violate the First Amendment, which, as the Supreme Court held in Hustler v. Falwell, requires that information (in that case, a parody) be interpreted using a 'reasonable man' standard. (Every reasonable person knows that clicking on the sponsored link takes you to additional and contextually integrated information. It's like going beyond the front page of the newspaper to get to the rest of the story Everyone knows you've got to the turn the page, and they tell you as much, as do the hot links here). And the principle that context determines meaning has likewise been applied by the Supreme Court in any number of related contexts (e.g. in the Brown & Williamson case, which involved the scope of FDA's statutory authority)."

On Tuesday, May 12, 2009, Friede and Bob Nicholas of the law form McDermott, Will & Emery, convened a video conference to discuss organizing a collective response to FDA's enforcement initiative on the use of sponsored links in prescription drug advertising, and, more generally, on FDA's overall approach to regulating the internet as a distinct medium of communication. See below for some background on FDA's enforcement initiative.

The meeting was open to representatives from pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, internet media companies, trade associations and their individual member companies, and others who have a legitimate interest in the evolution of a responsible FDA approach to internet communication. The meeting, however, was not open to the trade press and other members of the media. This podast will present some insights from that meeting and an update regarding progress towards organizing a collective response to the FDA.

Some Questions/Topics to be Discussed
  • Explain your view of the legal issues raised by FDA's recent enforcement action
  • What sort of collective response do you hope to organize and why is it necessary?
  • Have you gotten a good response? What's next?
Arnold I. Friede is counsel to the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP based in its Washington, D.C. office. Arnie is a member of the Firm's Health Law Department. Arnold I. Friede is a widely respected food and drug law counselor and advocate with significant advertising law, health care law, First Amendment, environmental, and commercial and transactional experience. He has a long history of direct involvement in successfully representing clients in FDA-regulated matters beginning as an Associate Chief Counsel in the FDA Chief Counsel's Office, as well as a broad spectrum of senior in-house legal experience across multiple FDA-regulated industries.

Additional Resources
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