The Ozmosis Blog

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Social Networks for Life Sciences

Tags: physician social networks by Joel • December, 14 2010

To friend or not?  A new study from Deloitte on social networking in the life sciences industryToday, Deloitte Research released a new study on the use of social networks in the life sciences industry entitled, "To Friend or Not?"

Deloitte notes, "the industry thinks of social networks as marketing, similar to direct-to-consumer advertising; only more targeted. In reality, social networks are promising as tools that let the company collect information from, communicate to, and collaborate with people outside company walls."

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Enterprises are Riding the Social Wave.  Will Healthcare Keep Up?

Tags: healthcare, social software, enterprise collaboration, yammer, jive software, chatter, saleforce by Joel • December, 09 2010

For anyone keeping score these days, the market for social business software, especially enterprise collaboration, is heating up.

social software upstarts are going head-to-head with enterprise provdersLarge software players such as Microsoft, IBM and all tout the “collaboration capabilities” of their products, from Microsoft's enhanced social features in SharePoint 2010 to the release of Chatter 2.0 by Salesforce. However, the real push is coming from a rapidly growing number of pure-plays like Yammer, Jive Software and Lithium.

IDC reports 41% of respondents have already deployed an enterprise social software solution. Which isn't surprising, since Chatter has more than 60,000 customers and Yammer is used by over 90,000 companies and organizations, including over 80% of the Fortune 500.

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When It Comes to Social Media, Is Everyone a Potential Partner?

Tags: social media, Public Health Initiatives, ogilvy, georgetown, conversations by Joel Selzer • December, 03 2010

Last month, the Ogilvy Social Marketing exCHANGE and Georgetown University held a fantastic event on the role social media can play in improving public health.  During the course of our panel discussion, we were asked to describe the value partners can play in social media.  My response was simple, I said “when it comes to social media, everyone is a potential partner.”  Alex Hughes, the organizer and moderator for the event took this message to heart and posted a very thoughtful review which I have shared below.

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The New Engagement Channel: Physician Networks

Tags: Pharma, Bayer Schering Pharma, physician social networks, physicians, engagement by Joel Selzer • December, 01 2010

Len Starnes, the Head of Digital Marketing & Sales, General Medicine at Bayer Schering Pharma, has long been regarded as a thought leader and trailblazer among Pharma executives when it comes to effectively leveraging social media.  He recently shared a fantastic article on the impact physician networks are having across the world and how Pharma is moving to actively engage providers through each network.

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Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging

Tags: social media, Facebook, Twitter, physician social networks, Public Health Initiatives, ogilvy, georgetown, white paper by Joel • November, 17 2010

Ogilvy Washington and the Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University have released a terrific white paper, “Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging” that explores how social marketers rely on networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as channels to raise awareness of public health-related issues, facilitate behavior change, and ultimately help people live healthier, safer lives.

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AMA Issues Social Media Guidelines

Tags: ozmosis, social media, AMA, guidelines, physician by Joel • November, 10 2010

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted social media guidelines earlier this week at its semi-annual policy making meeting.  This is a positive step forward by the AMA and demonstrates the importance of social media to its members.

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Hands On Social Media Workshops and Simulations

Tags: social media, healthcare, KOL, Pharma, workshop, life sciences, physician by Joel • June, 30 2010

I am delighted to announce the launch of a new hands-on, social media workshop series offered by Ozmosis Business Solutions. These workshops are available initially for BioPharma companies, with customized sessions for both payor organizations and health systems to follow later this summer. As we look back at the impact social media has made on healthcare, the opportunities for healthcare organizations to engage healthcare providers continues to expand.

Social Media's Impact on Healthcare - HCNM Keynote

(You can view or download the presentation)

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Social Media and Its Impact on the Healthcare Industry

Tags: social media, HCNM, Pharma, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, medicine, health systems, FDA, CDC, physician by Joel • May, 25 2010

Today, 650 hospitals have an active presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and numerous healthcare organizations have turned the corner to engage in conversations online.  As we look back on the impact social media has had on the healthcare industry over the past year, we see dramatic growth in social media adoption by health care consumers, providers, and organizations. 

For example, health systems such as Henry Ford have begun to broadcast surgeries and answer clinical questions live via Twitter, new communities like WiserTogether have made it easier for patients to share novel practices around specific conditions such as pregnancy, and services such as iGuard have changed the way we think about drug safety. The FDA’s public hearings in November also gave hope that the cloud of regulatory uncertainty would soon be lifted and the Dose of Digital Wiki now lists hundreds of active pharmaceutical social media programs.

While the industry has taken a giant leap forward into the brave new social media world, we've only scratched the surface of what is yet to come. So what does the future hold?  Join me June 14th in Chicago, as Shahid Shah (CEO of HITSphere) and I explore the past and future at the 2nd Annual Healthcare New Media Marketing Conference.  Our talk kicks off a terrific event, and I am honored to join the distinguished group of speakers Q1 Productions has assembled.

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Announcing the launch of Ozmosis Business Solutions

Tags: social media, healthcare, Pharma, solutions, regulation, risk readiness by Joel • May, 10 2010

It's an exciting day for all of us at Ozmosis as we officially launch a new business unit. Ozmosis Business Solutions - an outgrowth of our core business - is focused exclusively on serving the social media needs of our clients throughout the healthcare industry.  

Ozmosis Business Solutions

When we started Ozmosis three years ago, Facebook had fewer than 20 million active users and Twitter was relatively unknown until the SXSW conference that March. Today, they have close to 600 million active users between them and their users spend an astonishing 500 billion minutes on Facebook per month and share more than 50 million tweets a day.  

Healthcare organizations have been actively utilizing social media. More than 650 hospitals have an active presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Scanning the Dose of Digital Wiki shows how forward thinking major pharmaceutical firms are with their own social media programs. However, most of their efforts to date have been patient centric. Whether organizations are trying to educate their respective audiences or provide better customer service, they can also engage the more than 60% of physicians who consume user-generated content created by and for healthcare professionals.
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The Limits of Manufacturer Accountability in Social Media

Tags: Pharma, Bayer Schering Pharma, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Oglivy, Sanofi-Aventis, FDA by Joel • March, 29 2010

In its call for public comments on the promotion of regulated medical products using the internet and social media, the FDA sparked renewed interest in the role the agency's guidelines might play in pharma's embrace or avoidance of social media.  While many manufacturers have moved forward with innovative programs (See the Pharma and Healthcare Social Media Wiki) there are still organizations unsure or simply unwilling to engage online in an uncertain regulatory environment.

It's easy for some to accept that fear and hesitancy are warranted when billion dollar blockbuster drug franchises and patient safety are at stake.  Yet, those of us who believe the power of the social web can improve both the bottom line and the public good will continue to push pharma to engage more openly and effectively online.  As an example, Digital Pharma Europe is being hosted by Bayer Schering Pharma in Berlin this week.  While I cannot attend in person, I will follow along via twitter (use #digpharm) and am encouraged by the fact that Bayer, among others, is taking social media seriously in Europe.   Joining with Bayer in their respective comments to the FDA, manufacturers demonstrated they can come together to provide a near unanimous opinion on issues relating to the use of social media (See our summary of PhRMA comments here).

When it comes to defining what they should be held accountable for online, PhRMA, Abbot Labs, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, and Sepracor seek to limit accountability to content that is company owned and controlled.  Novartis proposes that companies “should only be held accountable for those online communications which they directly own or control", while Pfizer distinguishes between company-controlled web properties and company-controlled content, saying that “statements by unregulated persons on manufacturer-hosted (or -supported) online forums are not statements by the manufacturers themselves.”

If the FDA adopted these recommendations today, would manufacturers more fully embrace social media?  One would hope so, but in the absence of formal guidance, manufacturers still hesitate to engage openly with patients and providers alike.  Behind closed walls on manufacturer sponsored or controlled private sites for patients and providers, some allow real conversations to take place.  However, on the public sites they control, such as branded and unbranded Facebook pages, most manufacturers restrict commenting and often disable posting all together.  If patients and providers can't engage the brand or company in an open conversation online because the manufacturer fears being held accountable for their statements, how much value does a presence on Facebook really provide?  Clearly, we need to encourage more open, engaging and credible conversations in these settings.  Without such an approach, we will continue to see manufacturers stumble in their social media efforts, as recent events illustrate.
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FDA Framework for Regulating Social Media Promotion

Tags: social media, BioPharma, Pharma, FDA, physician social networks by Joel • March, 16 2010

On March 16th, Ozmosis submitted its comment to the FDA's docket on the promotion of regulated medical products using the internet and social media, joining over 150 other submissions by drug manufacturers, health systems, consultants, agencies, advocacy groups, and private individuals.

The level of interest in this subject should surprise no one.

The world of medicine has changed dramatically since the FDA's last hearings on internet use. In 1999, less than 50% of physicians used the internet for professional purposes. Today, Google reports that virtually all physicians (92%) use the internet to gather medical information in a clinical setting, and according to Manhattan Research, 89% of U.S. physicians now describe the web as "essential to their professional practice." With the groundswell for social media resources among physicians continuing to rise, Manhattan Research also shares that 71% of U.S. physicians are interested in or already use physician social networks for peer-to-peer interactions.

However, many pharmaceutical manufacturers hesitate to engage with physicians through social media due to the uncertain regulatory landscape. While there have been notable exceptions, as highlighted in our FDA comment, this missed opportunity is a detriment to patients, providers and manufacturers alike. We strongly encourage the FDA to provide clear guidance to avoid further delay.

So what would appropriate guidance for manufacturer participation look like? At Ozmosis, we have established a set of principles that, if applied to the broader web and social media landscape, would be to the benefit of manufacturers, physicians, and patients alike.

On Ozmosis, physicians use their real identities and share their professional affiliations, resulting in a more trusted and transparent exchange of clinical information. Since physicians always know with whom they are communicating and sharing knowledge, the insights and discussions that take place on Ozmosis are highly valued and insight rich. Any regulatory framework put forth must ensure the same level of trust, transparency and accountability our physicians already benefit from every day.

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Improving Physician and Pharma (Life Science) Company Interactions

Tags: Pharma, life sciences, ePharma Summit 2010, mobile by Joel • February, 23 2010

The 9th Annual ePharma Summit was recently held in Philadelphia the week of February 8th, otherwise known as “Snowpocalypse”. Those of us who braved the blizzard were rewarded with a terrific set of discussions on the role digital and social media can play to improve the working relationship between physicians and pharma.

In our last post, Practicing Medicine in a Mobile Powered World, Jason shared a vision of how a physician’s workflow might look in the not too distant future. As Jason described, this is a world where the pharmaceutical information and services physician’s require are available when the physician needs them, inserted into the clinician’s workflow in a manner that improves rather than hinders their ability to diagnose and treat patients effectively.

Today, physicians need the following when it comes to assessing pharmaceutical information at the point of care:

1. Fast, simple, reliable answers to product questions

2. Peer-to-Peer interaction and trusted feedback

3. Access to rep like services provided on their terms

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Practicing Medicine in a Mobile Powered World

Tags: mobile, medine, Epocrates, point of care by Jason • February, 04 2010

Apple changed the world when they launched the iPod.  When the iPhone came out, a new standard for smart phones was set, healthcare apps appeared, and the devices were quickly adopted by physicians (here is a great list of apps for physicians and medical students).  So, given Apple's track record,could the Apple iPad help revolutionize healthcare?  It may be wishful thinking, but I believe mobile technology has and will continue to change the way medicine is practiced. 

64% of U.S. physicians own smartphones and this number is expected to increase to 81% by 2012, according to Manhattan Research.  There are some significant advantages to today's mobile platforms, and for many physicians, our mobile device has become essential to our practice.  Consider a typical patient encounter…

A 66 year old patient of mine comes to the office with symptoms of depression.  She has a complicated medical history with heart failure, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol (believe it or not, there is nothing rare about this type of patient, they make up 10-20% of a typical panel and a much larger portion of the medicare population.)  Here she is, with a relatively straightforward problem (depression), confounded by multiple medical issues and the host of medications that come with them.  In addition to the seven (7) medications she is currently taking, I need to add an antidepressant to treat the mood. Yet, with all of these medications I am concerned about drug-drug interactions and wonder if there is an optimal drug to use.  Today, I use Epocrates on my iPhone to see that there are a few I want to avoid.  In less than 2 minutes I figure out the best option with the least potential interactions – 10 years ago I had to check multiple sources for the same information – a process that took me 10-20 minutes.  With the time I save, I can move on to help another patient.

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