Having played a significant role in recruiting patients to clinical trials for more years than I care to admit, I've learned a thing or two about how the medical community relates to the option of clinical trials for their patients. Here it goes:
When reflecting on my 10 years with BBK, I often think about the many ways in which the clinical trial industry has changed and grown, and the many ways our company has grown as well. About eight years ago, the move to multinational trial implementation as a key recruitment methodology became undeniable, and BBK had a strategic decision to make.
On April 7, 1945 the United Nations established the World Health Organization (WHO). Today we honor its 67 years of service to peoples everywhere. WHO has led us to so many advancements in health – from vaccines for polio and smallpox to elimination of infectious diseases such as yaws and onchocerciasis, diseases that most have never heard of despite their impact on millions of lives.
Two weeks ago, I was putting a social media plan together for this year’s ExL Pharma conference. I researched the appropriate hashtags, found industry people who were attending the conference to follow, worked with Matt Stumm, our creative director, to create a pre-conference blog, and all. I checked the ExL Pharma website and saw that a woman whose website name is ChronicBabe.com was going to present on patients using social media. “ChronicBabe.com?” I thought, "What the heck could this be all about? What a weird name for a website." Turns out the founder of ChronicBabe.com is Jenni Prokopy, and she has created one of the most insightful online communities for women with chronic health issues.
In true social media spirit, there was a lot of sharing and learning taking place at the 2012 Exl Pharma conference. Some key takeaways from the conference were immediate engagement with patients through text messaging, optimal ways to engage with patients through social media and patient retention tactics through reimbursements.
"Should I get my Tweets or Facebook posts IRB-approved?" "What happens when patients Tweet about adverse events and mention the trials their participating in?" "How can we control conversations about our company or clinical trials on social media?" During a roundtable discussion at the 2012 CHI SCOPE conference, these questions and concerns came up.
It's that sentimental time of year. Many publications and broadcasts are focused on “the year in review” and all of the remarkable advances that took place during 2011—in technology, medicine and beyond. So let’s give “social media” its due by focusing on patients’ ever-expanding access to useful medical information from a new and trusted resource: their peers.
Global expansion of internet access and subsequent increases in online traffic continue to empower patients around the world who seek medical information. A remarkable 35% of the global population access the internet for health information at least weekly, according to the Edelman Health Barometer for 2011.