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Jul 28

Pfizer launched the first pharma channel on Slideshare, at, to provide investor and corporate presentations, documents and videos in a custom-branded site. Slideshare gets over 30 million unique visitors each month.

The Pfizer Slideshare channel does a nice job of aggregating many different sources of Pfizer content including: slide presentations, the Pfizer Twitter stream, blog posts, and YouTube videos.

While the channel does allow users to embed, download, and favorite presentations, Pfizer–like most life science companies– continues to take the “social” out of social media as they experiment with the new medium, and they’ve deactivated the comment feature.

While this conservative approach in a regulated industry is understandable, and other pharmaco’s should follow Pfizer’s lead on Slideshare, it’s important to also know that some companies are enabling comments and successfully moderating and managing true community interaction (e.g., Johnson & Johnson’s YouTube channel).


Jul 27

The National Psoriasis Foundation has launched the first website focused exclusively on kids with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. includes many kid-friendly features:

  • Age-appropriate articles and condition information
  • Downloadable PDFs materials that can be shared with kids and teachers at school
  • Recommended books for a school library
  • Drawing contest
  • An online bulletin board that lets members communicate together

This site is a great offering supporting kids with psoriasis. Given the target audience it would be great to see the addition of videos and health games.

To learn more, visit


Jul 27

At a time when many life science and healthcare marketers are struggling to “figure out” or to justify social media marketing, the Mayo Clinic blazes forward and recently established a “Center for Social Media.”

Led by Dr. Victor Montori, the purpose of the new group is to “accelerate effective application of social media tools throughout Mayo Clinic and to spur broader and deeper engagement in social media by hospitals, medical professionals and patients to improve health globally.”  Mayo is of course recognized as the social media leader among health systems with over 22,000 Facebook fans, 61,000 Twitter followers and over 2.3 million views of YouTube videos.

Click here to visit the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.


Jul 25

What’s a Tweetchat?
Tweetchats are conversations held at a pre-arranged time on Twitter. Typically Tweetchats are around a specific area of interest. To access a Tweetchat, use the hashtag which is the # symbol before a keyword such as #SocPharm. Hashtags identify the conversation topic and help you quickly find content on a specific subject.

The #SocPharm Tweetchat
Every Wednesday from 8 to 9 pm EST, pharma marketers get together virtually on Twitter for the #SocPharm Tweetchat. The topics range from news that happened during the week, such as the sanofi-aventis Facebook issue, or larger issues, such as using mobile applications for patient adherence programs. About every 15 minutes the moderator presents a new topic. Each month there is a guest moderator from a pharma company, such as Craig DeLarge from Novo Nordisk, Brad Pendergraph from Novartis and Joyce Ercolino from CSL Behring. Everyone interested in this topic is welcome.

The #SocPharm Tweetchat was started in January 2010 by Eileen O’Brien at Siren Interactive, an agency focusing on relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies. “My goal was to continue the interesting conversations on Twitter that happened around the FDA web hearings,” explains O’Brien. “There are great Tweetchats on health care, but I thought a focus on pharma marketing was needed. Shwen Gwee suggested the #SocPharm hashtag and posting the transcripts on the Social Pharmer community. ”

How do I Join a Tweetchat?
To listen to a Tweetchat you don’t even need a Twitter account, but it’s more fun if you do have an account and participate. You can listen to the weekly conversation on pharma marketing and social media by going to and typing in #SocPharm in the search box. If you continue to hit refresh you’ll be able to see the ongoing conversation. If you have a Twitter account and use a tool like Tweetdeck, you can set up a separate search column for #SocPharm which allows you to easily follow along. Another great option is the website where you enter in your Twitter name and the hashtag you want to follow. It shows you the Tweetchat and also automatically adds the hashtag at the end of your tweets.


Jul 20

The Stanford University climate scientist passed away on July 19. He was well known for his environmental work, advising every administration from Nixon to Obama on issues of climate change, and was a member of Al Gore’s 2007 nobel prize-winning team.

He was also an empowered patient - one with mantle cell lymphoma. Using his skills as a scientist, he researched probabilities and outcomes related to his condition and treatments, working with his doctor to alter his treatment plan.

Schneider wrote a book about his experience in 2006: Patient from Hell: How I Worked with my Doctors to get the Best of Modern Medicine and How you Can Too. In the preface he wrote:

My goal here is not just to tell an uplifting, Hollywood-like melodrama of a cancer survivor struggling with his treatments (though it will seem soap opera-esque in some chapters)… My purpose is to uplift in a different sense: to use my cancer-treatment experiences to argue for needed reforms in a medical system that I believe is not optimally serving patients - especially those with serious, less-well-studied diseases.”

Our thoughts are with Stephen’s friends and family.

Jul 15

The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s annual survey results of cell phone and wireless internet access has just been released. It shows dramatic year over year growth in the use of wireless access; now 59% of adults now access the Internet using a laptop or cell phone.

What do people do with their mobile phones?

  • Take pictures-76% now do this, up from 66% in April 2009
  • Send or receive text messages-72% vs. 65%
  • Access the internet-38% vs. 25%Play games-34% vs. 27%
  • Send or receive email-34% vs. 25%
  • Record a video-34% vs. 19%
  • Play music-33% vs. 21%
  • Send or receive instant messages-30% vs. 20%

To get the full report click here.


Jul 13

A few days ago I got this text message: “Protect your back! Bend your knees when lifting weight (or lifting your toddler) & avoid lifting more than 25 pounds in the 3rd trimester.” Good advice for me - right up until the 3rd trimester part - since well, I’m a guy.

I signed up for Text4Baby, using this year’s e-Patient Connections 2010 conference as my due date. Every few days I receive helpful prenatal advice by text message. The messages are aligned with my due date, so I get timely updates about my health, the baby’s health, things I should be thinking about as an expectant mother, and warning signs I should look out for. The message prompts me to call my doctor if I have any of the symptoms listed.

I’ve just entered the 3rd trimester, which means I’ll start seeing my OB/GYN more frequently - or in my case, starting those weekly conference calls with the conference staffers.

An educational program provided by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, it is designed to promote the health of mother and child. The program is free to end users and it’s been wildly successful so far. Text4Baby launched in February 2010 and in just 5 months, is reaching over 50,000 expectant parents.

After just 5 months, Text4Baby already reaches over 50,000 expectant parents.

In addition to successfully signing up users, Text4Baby has also amassed an amazing number of partners - including corporate entities, academic institutions, government agencies, professional associations, and non-profit organizations. Sponsors include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, WellPoint, and BlueCross BlueShield. The program runs on Voxiva’s mobile health platform and free messaging services are provided by participating wireless service providers.

The sheer number of partners and people becoming involved is truly amazing, with hundreds of partners listed on the website and more being added each week. There’s a Text4Baby Partner Portal Community, which runs on the Ning platform, as well as a weekly newsletter called Text4Baby Tuesday. The newsletter highlights organizational news, partner news, and other information. The big story in recent weeks comes from Hillary Clinton about a partnership between the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and the Healthy Russia Foundation to bring text4baby to Russia. To learn more about Text4Baby going international, click here.

With all the things expectant parents have to worry about, Text4Baby provides an important service by providing support and gentle reminders in digestible chunks. It makes remembering to drink enough water or take your prenatal vitamins easy. Text4Baby is great example of how to encourage healthy behaviors in an easy, fast, and targeted way that actually fits into the whirlwind of daily life. They say it takes a village to raise a child; Text4Baby is proving that we’d like to find that village even before the baby’s born.

To sign up all you need to do is visit the Text4Baby website and click the button that says “click to register” or text the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.

Arlene Remick, Director of Text4Baby, will present their latest results and mobile health insights at e-Patient Connections 2010 (September 28-29, Philadelphia).

Jul 12

Just a few days ago my doctor was lamenting that nobody my age exercises anymore, while encouraging me to get more active. I used the usual excuse, “But Doc, I’m busy!” He explained that people make a mistake in thinking that they need to work out 30 minutes or an hour at a time, or that they have to go whole hog and join a gym or hire a trainer. He said the secret is to think small, and demonstrated how you can do a variety of stretches, for example, using a regular chair and you can do them while you’re on the phone, or even watching TV.

Indeed over half the US population is overweight or obese and only 33.5% of the population engages in regular physical activity (source: National Center for Health Statistics). The most common excuse is “lack of time,” yet we have no problem filling our spare minutes checking Facebook on our phone or skimming a magazine.

Fortunately, Cabot Creamery and Contagion Health have teamed up to make tiny, social bursts of activity easy to fit into your day. Cabot’s sponsored fitness community, “Get Up and Mooove“, is a fun, easy way to make exercise a top priority, one ‘microchoice’ at a time. It turns out you can do 15 jumping jacks just about anytime, anywhere.

Get Up and Move lets you set up a free account, then uses social media sites you already know, like Twitter and Facebook, to send challenge invitations to people you know and love. Each challenge is a simple, two-way pledge: “I will _________ if you will ____________.”

You can do any kind of challenge on Get Up and Move. Examples include walking with your dog, doing a few pushups, playing Wii Fit - even grating Cabot cheese for 15 minutes (hey, it’s a surprisingly good arm workout!). Just finish a few challenges a day, before you know it, you’ll have done the 30 minutes of movement per day recommended by the American Heart Association.

Visit Get Up and Mooove and sign-up. Then I will do 10 pushups if you 10 deep knee bends.

Meet Contagion Health co-founder, Jen McCabe, and hear her thoughts on behavior change, mobile health, and life in a Health 2.0 startup at e-Patient Connections 2010 (September 28-29, Philadelphia).