Archive | Social Media RSS feed for this section

Great #BigData JAMA Image Missing Some Data Sources

JAMA image data

When I saw this article and image in JAMA, I was really excited.  It’s a good collection of structured and unstructured data sources.  It reminded me of Dr. Harry Greenspun’s tweet from earlier today which points out why this new thinking is important.

 

But, it also made me think about this image and what was missing.  The chart shows all the obvious data sources:

  • Pharmacy
  • Medical
  • Lab
  • Demographic
  • EMR / PHR

It even points out some of the newer sources of data:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Online communities
  • Genetics

But, I think they missed several that I think are important and relevant:

  1. Structured assessments like the PHQ-9 for depression screening or the Patient Activation Measure.
  2. Communications data like:
    • How often do they call the call center?
    • What types of questions do they have?
    • Do they respond to calls, e-mails, SMS, letters, etc?
    • Have they identified any barriers to adherence or other actions (e.g., vaccines)?  Is that stored at the pharmacy, call center, MD notes?
  3. Browser / Internet data:
    • This could be mobile data from my phone.
    • What searches I’ve done to find health information.  What have I read?  Was it a reliable source?
  4. Device data (e.g., FitBit):
    • What’s my sleep pattern?
    • What am I eating?
    • How many steps do I walk a day?
  5. Income information or even credit score type data

These things seem more relevant to me than fitness club memberships (which doesn’t actually mean you go to the fitness club) or ancestry.com data which isn’t very personalized (to the best of my knowledge).

In some cases, just simply understanding how consumers are using the healthcare system might be revealing and provide a perspective on their health literacy.

  • Do they call the Nurseline?
  • Do they go to the ER?
  • Do they have a PCP?
  • Do they use the EAP?

We’d like to think this was all coordinated (and sometimes scared into believing that it is), but the reality is that these data silos exist with limited ability to track a patient longitudinally and be sure that the patient is the same across data sources without a common, unique identifier.

The #QuantifiedSelf and “Walking Interview”

If you haven’t heard, “sitting is the new smoking” in terms of health status.  And, unfortunately, you can’t just get up and exercise for an hour and then go sit all day.  That brief spurt of exercise doesn’t change the fact that we sit for 9+ hours a day.

If you think about our shift in work from a very manual work environment to a service and technology work environment, we’ve made activity during the day harder and harder to achieve.  Between e-mail and meetings, most of us are stagnant to accomplish our work.

That got me thinking about the #QuantifiedSelf movement and all of the activity trackers (e.g., FitBit, BodyMedia).  We know companies definitely look online to see people’s social media activity as part of the interview process.  Will they begin to ask about their activity data as a proxy for health?

On the flipside, perhaps the person interviewing should really be asking to see their potential boss’ activity data.  I’d be as interested in knowing what happens during the day.  It would provide a lot of insight into what happens in terms of meetings, face-t0-face activity, and be a good proxy for the real work experience.

Of course, the other option would be to introduce “walking interviews”.  People talk about walking meetings.  I’ve even done a running meeting going for a jog with a potential partner to discuss how we work together.  (It was the only time we could find to meet at a conference.)

Walking interviews would tell you a lot about someone’s health.  You could go up some stairs.  You could walk a few miles in an hour.

Since we know that health, happiness, and wealth are all correlated, this type of insight for the interviewer and interviewee seems very valuable.

JustStandInfoGraphicV3

#WHCC13 Interview: Content + Community + Competition = Keas

I had the opportunity to sit down this morning with Josh Stevens who is the CEO of Keas.

“Keas is the most engaging wellness program in the workplace. Keas promotes healthy behavior and teamwork with interactive media that delivers relevant, individualized content to hundreds of thousands of employees. Keas has a proven track record of supporting corporate HR in increasing retention, productivity, teamwork, collaboration, and competitiveness. By rewarding people for achieving simple exercise and nutrition goals, employee health is improved and overall healthcare costs are decreased.”

He is a passionate believer in using fun and social to drive change in healthcare with a focus initially on wellness and then moving upstream to other challenges like disease management.

As CEO of Keas, the market leader in corporate wellness, Stevens is responsible for leading the development and market adoption of the company’s breakthrough wellness platform and applications.

Stevens has over 20 years of experience in product, sales, marketing, and is a recognized leader in driving high-value product experiences that deliver customer delight and investor’s valuation growth.

Prior to Keas, Stevens was Vice President of e-commerce at YouSendIt, Senior Vice President of strategy and business development at TicketsNow, and General Manager of e-commerce at AOL. Prior to his GM role at AOL, Stevens held a variety of leadership positions in business development, product marketing, product management, and corporate strategy.

Some of you may have seen Keas over the years. They were founded by Adam Bosworth who was responsible for Google Health at one point. They’ve gone through a few evolutions, but it seems like they’ve hit on a working model leveraging several principles that we discussed:

  1. Being intellectually nimble
  2. Developing holistic and integrated solutions
  3. Using content, community, and competition to drive engagement
  4. Building social networks around health
  5. Integrating into the consumer’s experience to be seamless (e.g., single sign on)
  6. Recognizing that change is dependent upon corporate culture changing also
  7. BYOD (bring your own device) meaning that they can integrate with anyone with an open API
  8. Realizing that while some people (like me) might want to focus on data in a Quantified Self manner, we’re only 15% of the population

While Josh isn’t a healthcare native, that seems like a good thing. I’ve seen a lot of people try to come into healthcare from the outside. Most of them fail because they get overwhelmed by the regulation or frustrated by the challenges or stick too much to what they personally think should work. In the hour we spent together, I didn’t get that sense.

I’m looking forward to learning more about Keas and trying out the tools myself. One of the most fascinating points was that they get people to engage 15 times per month. I told him that that was a ridiculous number in healthcare. We went on to talk about his hiring a team from the gaming industry and that they were used to being tied to repeat visits not simply getting people to download the tool.

IMHO – if you could get 50% of people to engage twice a month with a tool (and sustain that engagement rate), you would be a hero.

As I’ve talked about in my posts about CVS and as I tweeted earlier today from the conference, companies need to engage the worker at the workplace to transform healthcare. Josh gets that key point.

“Today’s employees spend most of their daily lives at work and companies can have a huge impact on improving overall health by creating a culture of wellness at work. That culture starts with Keas’ fun, engaging platform, which helps employees become healthier, more productive and more engaged at work, and in life.” (press release)

A Web Strategy Is NOT A Digital Strategy

I was monitoring a pharma conference over in Europe this morning.  I found a few of the dialogues really interesting.  One of them was about a company creating all these websites to allow consumers to engage with them.  There was then some debate.

On the on hand, I can agree that you can do some creative things with the channel, and therefore, I should be too down on someone who is very web centric.  (i.e., focus on the strategy)  On the other hand, digital is much bigger than web.

I’m sure there’s a lot of views here, but let me share mine in terms of what to consider from a digital strategy:

  • A website or series of sites along with a mobile web optimization for devices
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social (e.g., Facebook, Google+)
  • Communities
  • Video
  • Mobile apps
  • Device integration (e.g., BodyMedia)
  • Software integration (e.g., EMRs, PHRs)
  • Blogging
  • Twitter
  • Gamification
  • Telehealth
  • Remote monitoring
  • Big Data
  • Predictive algorithms
  • Location based services (e.g., FourSquare)
  • Use of SMS

While there are a lot of complicated images out there trying to show everything around digital strategy, I found this one pretty simple and concise.

Digital Strategy

Only 50% Of Healthcare Companies Respond To Twitter Messages – Test Results

12 Of 23 Companies

As I mentioned a few weeks ago (2/2/13), I wanted to test and see if healthcare companies would respond to consumers via Twitter. To test this, I posted a fairly general question or message on Twitter to see the response (see below). Of the 23 companies that I sent a message to, only 12 of them ever responded even after 6 of them received a 2nd message. Those results are shared below. What I also wanted to look at was the average time to respond along with which group was more likely to respond.

  • PBMs – All of the 3 PBMs that I reached out to responded. (This could be biased by my involvement in this space since two of them e-mailed me directly once I posted a comment.)
  • Pharmacies – Only 2 of the 4 retail pharmacies that I reached out to responded.
  • Disease Management Companies – Only 1 of the 3 that I reached out to responded. (I was surprised since Alere often thanks me for RT (re-tweeting) them, but didn’t respond to my inquiry.)
  • Managed Care – 5 of the 7 companies that I reached out to responded. (For Kaiser, they responded once I changed from @KPNewscenter to @KPThrive.)
  • Health Apps or Devices – Only 1 of the 5 companies that I reached out to responded. (This continues to surprise me. I’ve mentioned @FitBit on my blog and in Twitter numerous times without any response or comment.)
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers – Only 1 of the 3 companies that I reached out to responded. (This doesn’t surprise me since they are very careful about social media. @SanofiUS seems to be part of the team that has been pushing the envelope, and they were the ones to respond. I thought about Tweeting the brands thinking that those might be monitored more closely, but I didn’t.)

I will admit to being surprised. I’m sure all of these companies monitor social media so I’m not sure what leads to the lack of response. [I guess I could give them the out that I clearly indicated it was a test and provided a link to my blog so they could have chosen not to respond.]

Regardless, I learned several things:

  1. Some companies have a different Twitter handle for managing customer service.
    1. @ExpressRxHelp
    2. @AetnaHelp
    3. @KPMemberService
  2. Some companies ask you to e-mail them and provide an e-mail.
  3. Some companies tell you to DM (direct message) them to start a dialogue.

From a time perspective, I have to give kudos to the Prime Therapeutics team that responded in a record 2 minutes. Otherwise, here’s a breakout of the times by company with clusters in the first day and approximately 2 days later.

Company

Response Time (Hrs:Min)

Prime Therapeutics

0:02

Aetna

1:12

LoseIt

1:19

Healthways

2:07

Walmart

3:01

Express Scripts

8:35

Kaiser

29:22

BCBSIL

47:32

OptumRx

47:39

BCBSLA

48:18

Sanofi

53:30

I guess one could ask the question of whether to engage consumers via Twitter or simply use the channel more as a push messaging strategy. The reality is that consumers want to engage where they are, and there are a lot of people using Twitter. While it might not be the best way to have a personal discussion around PHI (Protected Health Information) given HIPAA, it certainly seems like a channel that you want to monitor and respond to. It gives you a way to route people to a particular phone number, e-mail, or support process.

As Dave Chase said in his Forbes article “Patient engagement is the blockbuster drug of the century”, this is critical for healthcare companies to figure out.

The CVS Caremark team told me that they actively monitor these channels and engage with people directly. I also talked with one of the people on the Express Scripts social monitoring team who told me that they primarily use social media to disseminate thought leadership and research, but that they actively try to engage with any member who has an actionable complaint. They want to be where the audience is and to quickly take the discussion offline.

If you want to see the questions I asked along with the responses, I’ve posted them below…

The Prescribing Apps ERA – Will Clinicians Be Ready? #mHealth

Dr. Kraft (@daniel_kraft) recently spoke at FutureMed and talked about the prescribing apps era.  I’ve talked about this concept many times, and I agree that we are rapidly moving in that direction.  And, there’s lots of buzz about whether apps will change behavior and how soon we’ll see “clinical trials” or published data to prove this.

From this site, you can get a recap, but here are the key points that he made:

1) Mobile Phones (quantified self) are becoming constant monitoring devices that create feedback loops which help individuals lead a healthy lifestyle.  Examples include; monitoring glucose levels, blood pressure levels, stress levels, temperature, calories burned, heart rate, arrythmias. Gathering all this information can potentially help the patient make lifestyle changes to avoid a complication, decrease progression of a particular disease, and have quality information regarding his physical emotional state for their physician to tailor his treatment in a more efficient manner.

2) The App prescription ERA:  Just as we prescribe medications prescribing apps to patients will be the future. The reason why this is important is that apps created for particular cases can help the patients understand their disease better and empower them to take better control.

3) Gamification: using games in order to change lifestyle, habits, have been mentioned before. A very interesting concept was that created in the Hope Labs of Stanford. The labs created a game in which children would receive points after there therapeutic regiment, once points were optioned they could shoot and attack the tumor. Helping with the compliance rate of the treatments

4) Lab on a chip and point of care testing

5) Artificial Intelligence like Watson and its application in medicine.

6) Procedure Simulation: Several procedures done by medical professionals follow (not 100%) a see one, do one teach one scenario.  Probably very few people agree with this concept and that is why simulation has great potential. In this case residents, fellows in training can see one, simulate many and then when comfortable do one.

7) Social Networks and Augmented Reality

At the same time, a recent ePocrates study hammered home the point that while this is taking off physicians don’t have a mechanism for which ones to recommend and why.

According to the Epocrates survey, more than 40 percent of physicians are recommending apps to their patients. In terms of the apps being recommended, 72 percent are for patient education, 57 percent are lifestyle change tools, 37 percent are for drug information, 37 percent are for chronic disease management, 24 percent are for medical adherence and 11 percent are to connect the patient to an electronic health record portal.

Physicians also have several different sources for identifying which apps to recommend to their patients. According to the survey, 41 percent get advice from a friend or colleague, while 38 percent use an app store, another 38 percent use an Internet search engine, 23 percent learn of an app from another patient or patients, and 21 percent use the app themselves.

That said, the survey also notes that more than half of the physicians contacted said they don’t know which apps are “good to share.”

As I’ve discussed before, this is somewhat of the Wild West.  Patients are buying and downloading apps based on what they learn about.  They’d love for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other trusted sources to help them.  But, those clinicians are often not technology savvy (or at least many of the ones who are actively practicing).  There are exceptions to the norm and those are the ones in the news and speaking at conferences.

IMHO…consumers want to know the following:

  1. Which apps make sense for me based on my condition?
  2. Will that app be relevant as I move from newly diagnosed to maintenance?
  3. Should I pay for an app or stick with the free version?
  4. Is my data secure?
  5. Will this app allow me to share data with my caregiver or case manager?
  6. Will this app have an open API for integration with my other apps or devices?
  7. Is it intuitive to use?
  8. Will this company be around or will I be able to port my data to another app if the company goes away?
  9. Is the information clinically sound?
  10. Is the content consumer friendly?
  11. Is it easy to use?
  12. Is there an escalation path if I need help with clinical information?
  13. Will my employer or health plan pay for it for me?
  14. Is my data secure?

And, employers and payers also have lots of questions (on top of many of the ones above):

  1. Is this tool effective in changing behavior?
  2. Should I promote any apps to my members?
  3. Should I pay for the apps?
  4. How should I integrate them into my care system?
  5. Do my staff need to have them, use them, and be able to discuss them with the patient?  (Do they do that today with their member portal?)

mhealth_infographic_large

How Quickly Do Healthcare Companies Respond To Twitter Comments? (Test)

I was intrigued by this test done over in the UK to look at how quickly retailers responded to comments via Twitter (you can see an infographic about similar US data below).  Obviously, more and more consumers are using social media.  And, we know that comments can go viral quickly especially when they’re negative.

“A recent Spherion Staffing Services survey shows that when consumers have a good customer service experience, 47 percent are likely to tell a company representative; 17 percent will express their opinions via social media; and 15 percent will write a review. The same survey from 2010 showed that only 40 percent of consumers were likely to share a great experience with a company representative—proving that consumers are becoming more vocal with companies they interact with. If consumers have a poor experience, 36 percent are willing to write a complaint directly to the company, and one in four will express their opinions on social media. Nineteen percent, the same statistic as last year, will choose to write a review online.” (December 2011 Study)

Of course, some people actively monitor their social media feeds while others view them more as a PR channel.  It also depends on whether the feed management is outsourced or insource and whether it’s monitored by marketing, operations, customer service, sales, or some combined team.

Here’s a good post on measuring response and activity within Twitter accounts.

So, what I’ve decided to do is a Twitter test similar to the one above.  I’m going to post the following to different categories of healthcare companies and see how quickly they respond.

  1. To retail pharmacies:  Are you using social media to handle customer service?
  2. To PBMs:  Are you using social media to handle customer service?
  3. To Managed Care: Where’s the best place to find out about your Medicare products?
  4. To mHealth companies:  Can you share examples of how employers are promoting your products?
  5. To pharma:  Are you doing any value-based contracting with PBMs?
  6. To device companies:  Can you share examples of how employers are promoting your products?

Who do you think will be the fastest to respond?  Will the bigger companies simply have more resources to monitor and staff their teams or with more digital companies be more in tune with social media?

KeepingUpWithTwitter_2

CVS Caremark Adherence Study – Is Facebook The Solution To Adherence?

A new study funded by CVS Caremark as part of their ongoing research into medication adherence was recently published.

“Association Between Different Types of Social Support and Medication Adherence,” December 2012 issue of American Journal of Managed Care

In this, researchers reviewed 50 peer-reviewed articles about studies which directly measured the relationship between medication adherence and four categories of social support, including:

  • Structural support – marital status, living arrangements and size of the patient’s social network
  • Practical support – helping patients by paying for medications, picking up prescriptions, reading labels, filling pill boxes and providing transportation
  • Emotional support – providing encouragement and reassurance of worth, listening and providing spiritual support
  • Combination support – any combination of the three support structures detailed above

According to the study, greater practical support was more often linked to improved medication adherence, with 67 percent of the studies evaluating practical support finding a significant association between the support and medication adherence.

It drives some interesting questions as you dig into the actual research.  I sent several questions to Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark, and heads the research initiative that conducted the study.  Here are his responses:

1. How will this research change CVS Caremark’s approach to medication adherence such as your Adherence to Care program? 

CVS Caremark’s Adherence to Care program is all about engaging patients more consistently and directly to ensure they are following their medication regimes. We understand that our patients’ social networks and communication preferences are diverse, and we know that multi-dimensional interventions help to change behaviors. Given these factors, this research can be an important reference point as we develop new approaches to our adherence programs, challenging us to look beyond traditional engagement strategies in an effort to most effectively support patients on their path to better health. We are planning to test some interventions along these lines in 2013.  As a pharmacy innovation company, we want to make sure we are anticipating patient needs and remaining relevant to them especially given the changing face of social communication and networks.  

2.  The data points required to assess these support factors aren’t readily available in the eligibility file or claims file.  Are you collecting that data at the POS or during the enrollment process and using it in any way to determine the correct intervention cadence or level of effort at an individual level?

While this may not be the standard today, it is clear from the research that a patient’s social network and resulting support can be important factors in helping them take their medications as directed. This research can help us and others in the industry think about how best to incorporate new approaches to identify and leverage social networks for greater medication adherence.  For now, we will rely on POS as a way to collect this type of information.

 

  • 3.  To me, it appeared the data was less conclusive than I would like.  There were lots of conflicting data points and qualitative data.  Do you plan to refine this testing within your population to look at differences across disease states and relative to other factors?

 

This study relied on a comprehensive analysis of current literature linking medication adherence to social support networks – so we recognize that there are limitations in being able to draw concrete conclusions on certain factors, such as disease-specific conditions. Regardless, we still believe these findings – which look at clinical, peer-reviewed studies – contribute to the knowledge base in our field. As with all of the research we conduct, we challenge our teams to consider how we might be able to use the information to find practical supports for patients, while at the same time contributing to awareness about the implications of adherence on the broader health care landscape. The best way to understand this research is as hypothesis generating, which we can use in the design of real interventions that we can then test definitively in subsequent studies.

4.        Some of these social factors might be correlated with depression.  Was there any screening done to look at how depression as a co-morbidity might have affected adherence rates?

The methodology of this study relied on literature review and analysis of fifty peer-reviewed research articles which directly measured the relationship between medication adherence and forms of social support. A full review of the medical conditions associated with these studies can be found in Appendix 1. While depression, alone, was not one of the conditions featured in these studies, several did look at mental health conditions and the linkage between adherence and social networks. We did not however stratify by existence of depression—it may be a factor we have to take into account in future studies.

5.   The one thing that I read between the lines was the need for a caregiver strategy.  This has been missing in the industry for years.  Does CVS Caremark have an approach to engaging the caregivers?

 

Our study found that practical support such as picking up prescriptions, reading labels and filling pill boxes – all within the realm of a given caregiver’s role – were the most significant in driving greater adherence. Considering this finding, and acknowledging the role caretakers have in the lives of our patients, there is certainly space for us to develop solutions that engage caretakers more effectively. Recent analyses of “buddy” programs do suggest such interventions do work- -we just need to consider how to scale it.

 

  • 6.        With all this talk about social networks, it naturally leads you to a discussion about Facebook (or Google+).  Neither of them have big focuses in the healthcare space.  In your opinion, will these tools offer an intervention approach for changing behavior around medication or will that be occur at the disease community level in tools like PatientsLikeMe or CureTogether where there’s no social bond but a connectivity around disease? 

 

 The role of social media has changed the way we communicate and connect with one another dramatically over the past decade. What we can say, based on this particular study, is that the more practical the support, the more significant the impact on medication adherence. Perhaps further studies looking into solutions that effectively combine online/social media platforms to complement practical support would help clarify their impact on medication adherence.

If interested, here are some of their other presentations on adherence:

FitBit Review Summary – Device, Apps, And Suggestions

In the spirit of the Quantified Self movement and in order to better understand how mHealth tools like FitBit can drive behavior change, I’ve been using a FitBit One for about 6 weeks now. I’ve posted some notes along the way, but I thought I’d do a wrap up post here. Here’s the old posts.

Those were focused mostly on the device itself. Now I’ve had some time to play with the mobile app. Let me provide some comments there.  And, with the data showing a jump in buyers this year, I expect this will be a hot topic at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

  • The user interface is simple to use. (see a few screenshots below)

  • I feel like it works in terms of helping me learn about my food habits. (Which I guess shouldn’t be surprising since research shows that having a food diary works and another recent study showed that a tool worked better than a paper diary.) For example, I learned several things:
    1. I drink way too little water.
    2. I eat almost 65% of my calories by the end of lunch.
    3. Some foods that I thought were okay have too many calories.
  • In general, the tracking for my steps makes me motivated to try to walk further on days that I’m not doing good.
  • The ease of use and simple device has helped me change behavior.  For example, when I went to go to dinner tonight, I quickly looked up my total calories and saw that I had 600 calories left.  Here’s what I ate for dinner.  (It works!)

Meal

But, on the flipside, I think there are some simple improvement options:

  1. I eat a fairly similar breakfast everyday which is either cereal with 2% milk and orange juice or chocolate milk (if after a workout). [In case you don't know, chocolate milk is great for your recovery.] Rather than have to enter each item, FitBit could analyze your behavior and recommend a “breakfast bundle”. (and yes, I know I could create it myself)
  2. Some days, I don’t enter everything I eat. When I get my end of week report, it shows me all the calories burned versus the calories taken in. That shows a huge deficit which isn’t true. I think they should do two things:
    1. Add some type of daily validation when you fall below some typical caloric intake. (Did you enter all your food yesterday, it seemed low?)
    2. Then create some average daily intake to allow you to have a semi-relevant weekly summary.
  3. The same can be true for days that you forget to carry your device or even allowing for notes on days (i.e., was sick in bed). This would provide a more accurate long-term record for analysis.
  4. The food search engine seems to offer some improvement opportunities. For example, one day I ate a Dunkin Donuts donut, but it had most types but not the one I ate. I don’t understand that since there’s only about 15 donuts. But, perhaps it’s a search engine or Natural Language Processing (NLP) issue. (I guess it could be user error, but in this case, I don’t think so.)
  5. Finally, as I think about mHealth in general, I think it would be really important to see how these devices and this data is integrated with a care management system.  I should be able to “opt-in” my case manager to get these reports and/or the data.

The other opportunity that I think exists is better promotion of some things you don’t learn without searching the FitBit site:

  • They’re connected with lots of other apps.  Which ones should I use?  Can’t it see which other ones I have on my phone and point this out?  How would they help me?
  • There’s a premium version with interesting analysis.  Why don’t they push these to me?

I also think that they would want an upsell path as they rollout new things like the new Flex wristband revealed at CES.

And, with the discussions around whether physicians will “prescribe” apps, it’s going to be important for them to be part of these discussions although this survey from Philips showed that patients continue to increasingly rely on these apps and Dr. Google.

Philips_Health_Infographic_12%2012_F3

Finally, before I close, all of this makes me think about an interesting dialogue recently on Twitter about Quantified Self.

Finally…A Use For Klout Scores?

Klout Score

Do you know your Klout score?  I know mine – 51.  Is that good or bad?  I guess it’s all relative.  Mine is only based on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The bigger question is should I care.  I’ve struggled with why to care, but it finally hit me the other day.  There are a few circumstances where I might care:

  • If my purpose was to get a job as a social media consultant.
  • If I was trying to be a community manager.
  • If I was trying to get a job in PR or as a reporter…or maybe if I tried to monetize my blog.
  • If I was trying to get some role driving awareness of a product or topic.
  • Maybe as an individual consultant.

As an average person working for a company, I’m not sure it matters.  Of course, you can argue with the “scoring” process, but the reality is that people do want some benchmark to compare themselves to for what they do online.  The interesting question is whether companies will care.  And, is there a minimum that you should have just to be able to say you understand and use social media?

Here’s a few recent articles discussing the topic of Klout.

It’s competitors are Kred and PeerIndex which I only went to because of this post.  But, I signed up for them to see what my scores where there.

Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 2.29.09 PM PeerIndex Score

My question would be how do you adjust this for people (like me) who don’t use Facebook or should that fact alone exclude me from certain things like being a community manager for a product that needs a Facebook presence?  Perhaps.

So, if you’re hiring a mHealth or social media team, you might want to know their Klout (or Kred or PeerIndex) scores (on average for the team).  I’d say it’s like gamification.  I wouldn’t want someone just using that buzzword with me.  I’d want to know the last game they got sucked in to.  Why it kept their attention?  And, then I’d ask them things like why they think Steam is gathering gaming apps in their and whether it’s critical path for them in gamifying their app.

Diabetes Innovation – mHealth; Quantified Self; Business Model

I’m not a diabetic, but I’ve been researching the topic to understand the space and what innovation is occurring around diabetes. This is a space where there are lots of applications, tools, devices, communities, and research. The ADA estimates the total US cost at $218B with very high prevalence. If you expand that on a global scale, the costs and impact is staggering.

  • Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
  • Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
  • Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people
  • Prediabetes: 79 million people*
  • New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.

So, what’s being done about it? And, what opportunities exist? I think you’ve certainly seen a lot of innovation events being sponsored by pharma and others.

You’ve seen a shift from drug to engagement for a few years as evidenced in this old post about Roche – http://www.diabetesmine.com/2009/10/a-visit-to-the-roche-new-concept-incubator.html

You’ve seen a proliferation of diabetes apps. (A prime opportunity for Happtique.)

From my traditional PBM/Pharmacy focus, you’ve seen several efforts there:

Obviously, Medco (pre-Express Scripts acquisition) thought enough of this space to buy Liberty Medical.

I pulled some screen shots and examples into a deck that I posted on SlideShare. I’d welcome people’s thoughts on what’s missing or what are the key pain points from a diabetes perspective (e.g., not integrated devices).

While I was doing my research, I found a few interesting things worth sharing.

Several interesting studies:

Some good slide decks:

Additionally a few videos:

I also posted some diabetes infographics on my blog – http://georgevanantwerp.com/2012/12/13/more-diabetes-infographics/

And, while I started to pull together a list of diabetes twitter accounts below, you can follow @AskManny’s list with 360 people already tagged in it. https://twitter.com/askmanny/diabetes

My starting twitter List:

More Diabetes Infographics

I’m sharing a few more here, but you can also go to Pinterest to see some shared there – http://pinterest.com/diabetesforum/diabetes-infographics/.

Diabetes_Info_Graphic

diabetes infographic

Help for Depression

Top Diabetic Bloggers And Infographic

I found this site listing some of the top diabetic bloggers and also found this infographic there.

http://www.sharecare.com/static/sharecare-now-diabetes

Using Gilligan To Drive Colonoscopies

While I do applaud the creative concept here, I wasn’t overly impressed with the creative itself.  At the end of the day, the question for me is results.  Did it pay for itself?  Did it get more people to get colonoscopies (in the target audience) than otherwise would have?  I’m unsure of that.

Here’s what I did find in a HealthLeaders article…At the end of the day, I’d want to compare that to a program we did at my last company for UHG in this area.

The campaign also netted 44 colonoscopy appointments. Of those 44 appointments, 13 were current Good Samaritan patients and 31 were new to the hospital. Forty-three of the 44 scheduled an appointment through the call center and one booked online. Of those who called, 27 cited the radio spot as how they found out about the service. More than half of the patients were in the target group of 50–59 year olds, with 24 female and 20 male.

The Real Bears YouTube Video – Creative Attack On The Soda Industry

This video is a little slower going than I had imagined, but it makes a series of tough points about the soda industry and its impact on our healthcare.  See http://therealbears.org for more information.

Infographic On Using Twitter To Track Health Trends

I was looking up some information on using Twitter in healthcare prompted by the announcement around MappyHealth winning the HHS innovation award and found this that I thought I would share.

The Transtheoretical Model And Setting Goals

There’s a good article in Time (9/17/12) called “Goal Power” by Dr. Oz.  I found it interesting on a few fronts.

“Getting people to make meaningful changes in their lives is much more complicated than explaining to them what to eat for dinner, how often to exercise and which kinds of tests they should get from their doctors.  The psychology of health is every bit as complex as the biology, and to create seismic shifts in behavior, we have to probe the subconscious.”

1. The topic of goals and objectives and their importance relative to healthcare behavior change is a repeating theme.

  • A month ago, I was at a presentation by Dr. Victor Strecher who founded HealthMedia.  He was talking about the importance of getting people to articulate their goals or objectives for changing.  (E.g., I want to become healthy to see my daughter get married.)
  • I had a pharmacy client who was looking into this as part of an adherence program a few years ago.

2. The topic of behavior change and behavioral economics has been a very popular theme with Nudge and many other publications and programs over the past few years.

3. Obesity, which is part of the focus of his article, is widely becoming recognized as the greatest public healthcare challenge of the 21st century.  And, it is a very complex issue tied to sleep, stress, social network, and many other factors.

4. He introduces the transtheoretical model (also known as the Prochastka model or the Stages of Change), which is widely known in the academic and health areas, into the public domain which surprised me.

(Here’s the abstract from what one widely quoted paper on this.)

The transtheoretical model posits that health behavior change involves progress through six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. Ten processes of change have been identified for producing progress along with decisional balance, self-efficacy, and temptations. Basic research has generated a rule of thumb for at-risk populations: 40% in precontemplation, 40% in contemplation, and 20% in preparation. Across 12 health behaviors, consistent patterns have been found between the pros and cons of changing and the stages of change. Applied research has demonstrated dramatic improvements in recruitment, retention, and progress using stage-matched interventions and proactive recruitment procedures. The most promising outcomes to data have been found with computer-based individualized and interactive interventions. The most promising enhancement to the computer-based programs are personalized counselors. One of the most striking results to date for stage-matched programs is the similarity between participants reactively recruited who reached us for help and those proactively recruited who we reached out to help. If results with stage-matched interventions continue to be replicated, health promotion programs will be able to produce unprecedented impacts on entire at-risk populations.

5. He references two of the big studies that looked at social pressure an its influence on health.  Something that peer-to-peer healthcare and social network tools can create for us by developing support communities and “buddies” to support our change.

  • 2012 study in the journal Obesity about weight loss.
  • 2008 study in the NEJM about smoking

6. He references Dr. Nicholas Chrisakis who co-authored the book Connected which is being manifest in the company called Activate Networks.

Overall, for those of us that work in the healthcare field, these are all critical topics that we constantly talk about.  It’s nice to see it brought to the “popular press”.

How And Why I Use Twitter

I often get stopped by people I know who say things like:

  • I see a lot of your tweets in LinkedIn.
  • You use Twitter. Why? I don’t really want to tell people that I’m going to eat dinner or some other miscellaneous fact.
  • Can you really get anything out of 140 characters?

So…let me share my perspective on how my use of Twitter has evolved and what I get out of it.

It took me a few tries before I found out how to use Twitter effectively.

  1. First, I tried just using it to share thoughts or opinions across a variety of topics. I didn’t find that valuable and wondered why anyone would follow me to know that.
  2. Second, I tried using it to pose questions about healthcare topics that I was interested in. That worked ok because it synched with LinkedIn, but I didn’t have enough Twitter followers for that to make a difference.
  3. Finally, I decided to just use it as a “notebook” to capture facts while I read or to bookmark articles that I found interesting. (Of course, some of this became possible as every web article now offers a “share” feature.) This works especially great when you’re at a conference and is even a good way to follow a conference that you miss.

The next thing that I had to figure out was just understanding the technology.

  1. Reading things in Twitter is ok, but a lot of people post links. Often times, it’s not that effective to be constantly going out to the links to see what they say. In comes Flipboard to save the day. (see older post here)
  2. To make things more searchable, you have to use hashtags where you put a “#” in front of a key expression or search term.
  3. Most people don’t get a lot of followers although you hear about all the celebrities with millions of followers. (see HubSpot presentation below for general Twitter statistics)

I figure it must be working for me now. I have over 1,000 followers which according to this site is true for less than 1% of people on Twitter. But, I don’t think followers is the best indication (especially since almost ½ of followers might be bots and you can buy followers). I know that it’s working for now since I can post a question and sometimes get an answer. I can connect with companies and meet people. I’ve even heard from people at conferences that they follow my feed. Probably my best experience was when I read an article early in the morning, posted a quick summary, and then had a national reporter call me to ask me for the source so he could write an AP article…all before 8 am.

Just to check, I went out to the StatusPeople application which tells you how many of your followers are bots versus simply inactive. I was pleased with the results.

Digital Dimension Of Healthcare Paper – Global, mHealth, Halvorson

I was just skimming the Digital Dimension of Healthcare whitepaper which has as one of its authors – George Halvorson from Kaiser.  There’s not a lot of new information in here if you’re well read on the space, but I like their framing of a fourth space for health delivery along with their two dimension matrix of opportunities.

The other piece that I’ll pull out here is the Six Principles that they identify:

  1. Set the direction, and commit to it
  2. Balance patient confidentiality and information sharing
  3. Empower patients
  4. Adapt payment systems
  5. Reduce barriers to regulatory approval and licensing
  6. Accelerate the healthcare evidence base

36 Rules of Social Media

In the September 2012 Fast Company magazine, there was an illustration of 36 Rules of Social Media.  Let me pull out a few that caught my attention:

  • Everyone says they don’t want to be marketed to…Really, they just don’t want to be talked down to.
  • Always write back.
  • People would rather talk to “Comcast Melissa” than Comcast.
  • If fans distribute your content without your permission, offer to help.
  • If you don’t see financial results, you wasted your money.
  • People don’t want to shop where they socialize.
  • Don’t use ads to accelerate boring content.  Use ads to accelerate successful content.

But, I think the one that summarizes it the best is – If you’re bored by social media, it’s because you’re trying to get more value than you create.

McKinsey Quarterly On B2B Social Media

The recent McKinsey Quarterly had an article called Demystifying Social Media which I thought was a good read with a good framework to use (see below). 

In short, today’s chief executive can no longer treat social media as a side activity run solely by managers in marketing or public relations. It’s much more than simply another form of paid marketing, and it demands more too: a clear framework to help CEOs and other top executives evaluate investments in it, a plan for building support infrastructure, and performance-management systems to help leaders smartly scale their social presence. Companies that have these three elements in place can create critical new brand assets (such as content from customers or insights from their feedback), open up new channels for interactions (Twitter-based customer service, Facebook news feeds), and completely reposition a brand through the way its employees interact with customers or other parties.

 

Good Mobile Health Quote From Intel

I saw this quote in my morning mHealth e-mail and wanted to share it.

“To change behavior, mobile health applications need to go beyond self- tracking, providing tips or access to an online community. Such applications need to address disconnects between long-term intentions and moment-to-moment choices. The most effective tools will creatively instantiate well-evidenced behavior-change principles with data mining, social networking, location awareness, and other capabilities of mobile technologies.”

- Margaret Morris PhD, Senior Researcher, Intel

Bad Pitch

I was just reading an email pitch that I received from a healthcare social networking vendor talking about their system for engaging patients and physicians.

Maybe, it’s just me but that seems to imply some understanding of how to engage people and use social media. First, they didn’t use my name in the email. It just said “Hi ,”. Then, at no point in the pitch did they say anything about why they reached out to me. And finally, they then asked me to tweet specific pre-formatted tweets that they had created. If I wanted that, I would follow them and do a RT.

And to top it off, they don’t offer a way to follow-up to learn more. It was just shameless self-promotion. #Fail

Wellpoint Quote On Drug Copay Cards

This topic seems to be heating back up based on several posts on Adam Fein’s blog (Lipitor, adherence) and an article in Drug Benefit News where this quote appeared along with an AIS blog post questioning the PBM’s dislike of copay cards (from the same article that Adam mentioned).

“Copay offset programs [offered by brand-name drugmakers to compete with generics] mitigate the effectiveness of our tiered benefit design programs and [are] going against what we’re trying to accomplish for our members’ health and for employers.”

— Peter Clagett, vice president of pharmaceutical strategies and PBM oversight for WellPoint, Inc.

 

How Does Pharma Measure ROI?

I found this chart from Cutting Edge Information a good summary of what metrics pharma uses in measuring ROI.  (This was in the most recent PharmaVOICE magazine.)  I would assume copay cards address most of these with a 4:1-6:1 ROI being quoted in the Visante study by PCMA

“Twight” (Twitter Fight) Between $ESRX and $WAG

This is either a massive validation of the perceived value of Twitter or a crazy distraction, but either way, it’s interesting to those of us who study the industry and/or study marketing and communications. 

As part of the ongoing dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts, Twitter has become one of the latest tools.  (see June post and September post)  In an effort to sway public opinion and thereby pressure Express Scripts and its clients, Walgreens turned to bloggers and Twitter to push their messaging…but these were in some case paid comments which was surprising.  They already have strong messaging in their IChooseWalgreens website and whitepapers on the Value of Walgreens.  I also thought they were demonstrating some success in converting people to their discount program which was part of their overall growth strategy shared at their shareholders meeting

After Walgreens (with almost 84,000 followers) created a promoted hashtag of #ILoveWalgreens, Express Scripts (with 1,645 followers) countered back with several Tweets about the dispute (see below).  I guess the question is whether with millions affected and decisions made by the businesses and not consumers…does this forum matter?  But, journalists and analysts follow them so it’s important to keep the messaging up.  (Other articles on this are here, here, and here.)

Conveniently, I found this infographic on how Twitter is changing healthcare.  At the same time, this is an interesting fight because it’s a blend of B2C and B2B crossing paths.  More to come since I’m sure this fight is long from over.

Who’s the 1% in healthcare?

As we all have known, healthcare costs are driven by the minority. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the top 1% account for 22% of healthcare spending in the US or about $90,000 per year. (USA Today article)

So, what are the characteristics of these people:
– White, non-Hispanic
– Female
– In poor health
– Elderly
– Users of publicly funded healthcare

Only about 20% of the high cost consumers stay in that bucket for two straight years…which I think is good. But, I guess you have to look at what percentage die during that period since a lot of costs are concentrated at the end-of-life.

Obviously it’s critical to develop solutions to engage and manage these patients earlier in the process. As data gets better, our predictive algorithms around conditions will improve and we’ll be able to intervene and prevent or delay cost in the system. The key of course is doing that in a way that fully engages the healthcare team and the caregivers.

Medicare and Medicaid Social Media Use For Healthcare

As people look at ways to engage the Medicare and Medicaid populations, I continue to talk about the facts from the Pew research that shows how these demographics use technology.  I was glad to see some research from PWC that also reinforced this.  As you can see in the three charts below, the Medicare population uses technology similar to the average respondent while the Medicaid population uses social media for healthcare more. 

Using Social Media For Underwriting

As healthcare moves towards an individual market where prior conditions can’t be excluded, will health plans be able to use social media data in underwriting? It seems logical. If I can understand your behaviors, I can asses your risk for life insurance, and I can predict some healthcare costs.

  • Do you talk about going to the gym?
  • Do you talk about drinking and smoking?
  • Do you share pictures of food and is it healthy?
  • Are you checking in at places like McDonalds or places like the park?
  • Do you have an active social network?
  • Are you going to the dentist and getting flu shots?

As companies like salesforce.com integrate social media through things like Radian6, can this type of tagging and data use be far behind?

The other question is whether is should get used?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,453 other followers

%d bloggers like this: