Patient engagement and community building are the unexplored mediums
Social Media Week (SMW), a worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media, was recently held simultaneously in 12 cities including Berlin, Chicago, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Rome, Rotterdam and Mumbai.
It focused on the impact of social media in the healthcare sector and a panel discussion on the topic was held on the third day of the Social Media Week. It revolved around the various challenges faced by healthcare and pharma sectors to reach out to their audiences through social media. The panel discussion also touched important aspects of ‘patient engagement’ and on how to make patient education more interesting.
Priti Mohile, Managing Director, MediaMedic Communications spoke about healthcare searches and conversations on social media. She mentioned that while people increasingly search for health related information, they hesitate to converse openly about their illness. Cultural and traditional aspects of our society play an important role in whatever is expressed on social platforms. Hence, interpretation of such data needs special expertise.
She also said, “There is now a shift observed when we track such conversations, the younger generation who is on social media tends to be more open. Moreover, entertaining, fun-filled stuff is more readily consumed on social media.” She also gave examples of some international case studies carried out by her company on Progeria.
Dr Aniruddha Malpani, Medical Director, HELP, spoke about the change that has taken place in social media in India. He also emphasised that the doctor’s key focus should be patient education. Doctors should take the initiative to reach out to their patient and help them understand their health conditions. He also encouraged doctors to have their own websites and interact with patients more. Dinesh Chindarkar, Co-Founder, MediaMedic Communications anchored the session. The Social Media Week in Mumbai helped pharma and healthcare professionals get insights on newer innovative ways to reach out to their target audience, build awareness in simple yet attractive format. The Indian Express and The Financial Express were the official media partners for Social Media Week 2014.
EP News Bureau – Mumbai