Inciting Patient Engagement and Action: Is MY cancer different?

We are intrigued by the launch of Is My Cancer Different?  and its potential impact on both patients and the business.

Is My Cancer Different? is an unbranded educational website that promotes a movement of sharing, with the intent of prompting patient dialog with their oncologist.  The simple -but compelling- question is designed to raise awareness that each person’s cancer is different and to get patients to ask their oncologist to see if their cancer might respond to a more individualized cancer treatment.

You can click on the image below to visit the Is My Cancer Different? website and learn more from their numerous- but simple -patient and physician testimonial videos.

The site supports Clarient, a GE Health Company’s new molecular test that may help doctors identify which treatment can best target a person’s particular breast cancer.  Interestingly, Clarient chose to share the official website launch during the 2011 Social Health Summit #SXSH  that we attended, along with many other pharma/healthcare social media enthusiasts, ePatients, and Patient Opinion Leaders (POLs). [Be sure to read Shwen Gwee’s recap: The 6 P’s of Healthcare] Continue reading

Patients Beware: 1 out of 3 Subject To Hospital Error

Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury—the famed 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study, To Err Is Human, estimated that avoidable medical errors contributed to 44,000–98,000 deaths at US hospitals annually.  Using the lower estimate,this suggests that more people die from medical errors than from fatal car crashes, breast or pancreatic cancer, or HIV/AIDS.

In November 2010, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General found that in  1 in 7 (13.5%) Medicare admissions experienced adverse events during their hospital stays. Further, for 1 in 70 Medicare admissions, the patient experienced an event that contributed to their deaths, which projects to 15,000 patients a month.  And that’s just Medicare!  (Sadly, Physician reviewers determined that over 40% were preventable. )

Also in November, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine NEJM reported on the first large study in a decade to analyze harm from medical care and to track it over time.  The study, conducted from 2002-2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and the number of incidents did not decrease over time.  The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections.  The Harvard Medical School authors focused on North Carolina because its hospitals, compared with those in most states, have been more involved in programs to improve patient safety. [NYT Article]

So despite JAMA’s 2008 protest article suggesting that the medical error numbers were exaggerated, it appears that the situation is much worse than To Err is Human suggested. [Alternatively, an investigation by the Hearst media corporation, estimated preventable medical mistakes and infections to be responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.]

The bottom line, patients have a basic expectation when they receive health care… that they will not be ‘harmed’ in the process…BUT hospitals can be dangerous.  Even good, hardworking people can (and do) make mistakes.  E-patients must be aware and engaged in everything that happens in the hospital. .. Your second set of eyes can make quite a difference. Continue reading

Keep Your Brand Healthy And Thriving: Complimentary eBook

With 2011 galloping along and 2012 planning just around the corner, we’re excited to share our Brand Champion Health Check  — a complimentary eBook designed to help marketers and business leads assess their company and brand’s health, and to consider what actions will power successful growth.

While the eBook centers on the Pharma and healthcare industry, it is also highly relevant to any consumer brand.

Champions know that staying in top health is critical and that early detection is key to avoiding costly down time and poor performance – can even mean the difference for survival. However, unlike the many patient health screens available or the ease by which consumers can go for their annual physical, marketers do not have ready access to a thoughtful, comprehensive health check-up.

The Brand Champion Health Check screens three parameters

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Seven Life Or Death Lessons from e-Patient Dave.

Reading “Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig” is like having a long, wonderful chat, and even a few chuckles, with e-Patient Dave himself.

This is Dave’s story, not only of surviving stage-IV cancer, but of the birth of a cancer survivor now focused on opening the world’s eyes to what is being called “participatory medicine”.  Patients who are—Empowered, Engaged, Equipped, Enabled, Educated—acting as effective partners with their clinicians.

“Participatory Medicine is a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners.”

-Society for Participatory Medicine, April 2010

 

Seven Life or Death Lessons from e-Patient Dave’s story:

  1. Lesson 1:  It’s up to each one of us. We have a choice. It’s our responsibility to know and accept a certain measure of responsibility for our individual recovery from disease and disability…
  2. Lesson 2:  When your instincts say to scram, scam.  Or if  your doctor  thinks your feelings are your problem, you might want to find someone else — Net, It’s worth traveling far to find a doctor you work well with— We are each responsible for  our choice of doctors.  Make it a conscious decision. Continue reading

Pharma Marketers: Eight Things We Might Learn From Zappos.com

Here’s my take after reading Delivering Happiness:  A Path To Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh CEO, Zappos.com, Inc. While it’s true that Zappos lives in a less regulated business environment than the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, Tony’s standards for communicating with consumers are now part of the context of our work. Patients have come to expect Zappos- level experiences.  This blog accepts that challenge:  what might a pharma company or hospital might look like if Tony were CEO…

Eight marketing insights for Pharma (or any healthcare or consumer business for that matter):

1. Are you sitting at the right table? If not, it’s never too late to change! It’s easy to get caught up and engrossed in what you’re currently doing, and forget that you even have the option to change tables. It’s also easy to overlook that the game starts even before you sit down in a seat… Don’t let inertia win, be sure you’re playing in the right game—one that you can both win at and fulfills your goals.

 While Tony learned this lesson during a phase of heavy poker play, he switched tables quite a few times during his life, and certainly for Zappos, they switched tables when they shifted the company strategy to focus on customer service and experience as a brand differentiator. It caused a shift in their business model from one of drop-shipping to one of carrying their own inventory so that they could be in control of their customers’ experiences…What’s the game your pharma co is playing? Continue reading

A New Reality in DTC Advertising?

The last few months, I’ve been deeply entrenched in “Execution” for an important client. So needless to say, I’ve been thinking A LOT about what it takes to move from strong strategy to superb execution, and more specifically, what it takes to achieve what I call “High Return Execution” (HRE).    Look for more thoughts on HRE in the upcoming weeks… (And my sincere apologies for the resulting lack of blogging and staying connected with many of my friends’ blogs these last few months)

Today, I want to share a personal experience.  Last week my team led an advertising shoot for a prescription product’s new multi-channel campaign we are intimately involved with.  There was much to feel good about – the creative idea tested very well and is strong. We also had a terrific creative and production team, a wonderful photographer who we’ve all worked with before, and we were shooting in a venue that turned out to be magical…not to mention the beautiful picture- perfect, dry sunny days … [How can you  complain about spending two days on an unspoiled 200 acre ranch in northern California?]

But as I flew home from the shoot, reflecting upon the previous few days, I kept feeling there was something even more special … something that I rarely feel after shoots … and then I realized … Continue reading

Marketers: What Would A Pharma Marketing Champ Do? 9 Imperatives for 2010 (part 4 of 4)

Muhammad-Ali: 1976 World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. | Photo: Frank Tewkesbury/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
This is the final post of a four-part series.

What Would Steve Jobs Do?

What Would Google Do?

What Would Jake and Rocket Do?

These are champs.

What would a ‘new marketing’ champ do in Pharma and Healthcare?

Here are 9 imperatives I see for Pharma Marketers as we enter 2010 and a new decade:

  1. Adopt human-centered thinking across everything you do. Both Steve Jobs and Google share a relentless focus on knowing and pleasing their core customer – the consumer. No detail is ignored if it brings value. Importantly, these champs don’t think of consumers sporadically or when it’s convenient, but in every decision and action they take.  The customer experience is front and center from beginning to the end.Pharma and Healthcare marketers: are patients at the center of everything you do? Really? As Steve Jobs might ask, are you taking full responsibility for your patient/e-patient user experience? Are you thinking about every touch along the treatment pathway, that is no longer a straight linear line, but made of multiple touches, information and influences often hitting at once and with circular repetition? (You may also want to read: Is Your Brand Patient-Centered? 5 Critical Success Factors) Continue reading

2010 Outlook: 10 Ways to Win With Patients and Improve DTC Efforts

[Full article: 2010 Outlook: Doom and Gloom For DTC? 10 Points for Winning with Patients, published in DTC Perspectives, December 2009]

Despite many gloomy predictions for DTC advertising and the pharma industry overall, there’s never been a better time for marketers to forward their brands and consumers’ lives with new thinking about what constitutes patient marketing in the 21st Century (DTC 21).  Ten prescriptions can help improve focus and strengthen DTC efforts in 2010.  Important media and technology trends are also “musts” to actively consider for those who want to bump impact and value.

  1. Adopt an updated definition for DTC that considers the full picture of how consumers will interpret and interact with a brand TODAY. This calls for attention beyond “big bang” marketing spends, and begs for identifying meaningful levers to drive education and growth. DTC is no longer just an awareness or acquisition vehicle to move “eyeballs” through a linear marketing funnel; it’s every influence and touch needed to bring new information and education, help convert, instill loyalty and inspire advocacy.  Continue reading

Pharma: Is Your Brand Patient-Centered? 5 Critical Success Factors.

[As originally posted in MedAd News, November 2009]

Almost every pharma company likes to think of itself as
“patient-centric,” but prescription brands can become
patient-centered only by putting consumers at the heart of their business model through every stage of product development and deployment and by focusing relentlessly on patient experience and outcomes. This means integrating tough consumer questions and learning into every phase of commercialization. Consumers increasingly demand direct communication and they expect the kind of standards to which they are accustomed in other industries. This is a major challenge, with substantial rewards awaiting those who find their way.

Adopting five critical success factors improves success. Marketers must put patients at the center of every decision right from the beginning; translate clinical benefits to real
world health grains; encourage a more collaborative relationship between doctor and patient; improve patient and caregiver experience through the treatment pathway; and take nothing for granted, understanding that even small details can be meaningful to patients and families.

A newcomer might wonder why pharma needs reminding to center on the patient; it’s a stated part of virtually every company mission. Traditionally,
patients were not viewed as the primary customer—physicians were, and in some ways still are. New drugs were positioned to get maximum uptake and support of the primary gatekeepers: healthcare professionals, who were thought to know their patients. New products reaching their primary end points without safety issues were launched to physicians. While consumer companies can more easily design desired product features and benefits into the development process, drug
recovery is fraught with special hurdles, plus limitations of what benefits new
prescription or biologic entitles deliver in clinical use. As a result, many compounds fail before FDA approval.  Continue reading

Pharma: Ask Not What Social Media Can Do For You, But What Your SM Can Do For Patient Health

Last week, I and a few hundred other SM-aniacs, spent  2-days in the #FDASM ‘bunker’-so nick-named for its lack of windows and web/cell phone coverage. (Many more also attended via a free webcast and live twitter.)

Shortly after the program began, I heard a faint voice in the back of my
mind. At first I couldn’t place the voice or make out the words.  But it grew louder with each presentation. On the train home, I recognized the voice as JFK’s, and the words as his inaugural speech “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do”.

If you haven’t read JFK’s short but powerful speech, do yourself a favor and read now.  I think you may be struck by the parallels between the challenges he faced and the vision he articulated to meet them, and the challenges we must rise to as pharmaceutical and social media professionals trying to keep up with empowered e-patients in a web 2.0 world, soon to be web 3.0.

Here are some of the challenges JFK articulated in his speech that seem particularly relevant to our challenges of engaging and educating patients and doctors using rapidly evolving technologies and strategies. I’ll also do my best to link back to the many speakers and presentations from #fdasm.  Continue reading