04 Dec Make healthcare social media about patients, safe care, but also make it fun
What’s the purpose of health IT? Is it to make healthcare operate more efficiently? Yes, to an extent.
Is it supposed to keep the cash flow rolling in for providers? Let technology developers get a lucrative piece of a $3 trillion annual industry in the U.S.? A lot of people seem think so, but the answer to these two questions is unequivocally no.
No, ideally, health IT should be about patients. It should support efforts to achieve the “triple aim” of producing safer care, improving population health and reducing the cost of providing care.
That same mentality should apply to healthcare social media, according to Gregg Masters, founder and CEO of Health Innovation Media, producer of videos and Internet radio programs about digital health. (Full disclosure: I’ve conducted two unpaid video interviews for Health Innovation Media and its predecessor, the Health Innovation Broadcast Consortium, most recently in February.)
Two weeks ago, Masters tweeted the following:
My thesis for ‘CEOs who tweet or won’t’ at @hcub2014?. If #hcsm hasn’t penetrated C-suite it will NOT enable triple aim. #hcub2014
— Gregg Masters (@2healthguru) November 19, 2014
Masters was preparing for a presentation he gave this morning at the 11th annual (and likely final, due to declining attendance) Healthcare Unbound conference in sunny gray, rainy San Diego. In showing this tweet to the sparse audience, Masters said, “If it doesn’t enable the triple aim, it’s irrelevant.” He was talking in context of healthcare CEOs tweeting.
Indeed, Twitter has proven to be a powerful tool for marketing and for personally engaging people who would otherwise be difficult to reach. Masters tried to get Aetna Chairman, CEO and President Mark Bertolini to speak on his panel, but Bertolini had another engagement in New York today. We know this because Masters showed an exchange with Bertolini via Twitter direct messaging. Would a random video producer be able to pick up the phone and place a direct phone call to the CEO of a $47 billion company? Doubtful.
Masters also reached out to Rick Valencia, general manager of Qualcomm’s healthcare unit, Qualcomm Life. Valencia, too, was booked, but told Masters, ”Feel free to tell the crowd I turned you down on Twitter.” So Masters did.
One person who was available for the panel was health IT and business consultant Joy Rios, managing partner of a firm called Practice Transformation. She said Twitter chats have been helpful to engage with people who otherwise would be inaccessible, including national health IT coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo. It’s great for networking and relationship-building, too, Rios said.
Malcolm Bohm, CEO, of LiquidGrids, a San Diego-based healthcare marketing firm, has found that Twitter works better for reaching a professional audience than consumers, though. Facebook is stronger for “patient activation,” Bohm said.
And, Bohm added, text alone often is not be enough to grab people’s attention on Twitter. ”Twitter and tweets have matured a lot,” he said. There is more opportunity to “create an immersive impression” with multimedia.
That is exactly what healthcare mobile app developer Humetrix is trying to do, according to President and CEO Dr. Bettina Experton.
“I have to be part of the dialog of innovators to try to make a change,” Experton said. “For us, YouTube is a big medium.”
In launching an app for emergency preparedness for teenagers, Experton, a native of France, participated in a preview of 2015 International CES in Paris. Reaching out to the local market, Humetrix spoofed French YouTube star Rémi Gaillard with videos chronicling the “Adventures of Rémi Canard,” in both English and French, changing the surname to the French word for a duck.