I have heard countless young companies talk about hockey stick growth patterns but over time you learn how rare they actually are. So when mentions of blockchain technology formed a clear hockey stick in our social media trend data, we started paying attention. It is clearly time to take a closer look at some places where this technology may be grabbing a foothold.

Management of Patient Medical Records

What if all patient records from all health providers were available in a unified and unmodifiable form? What if access to these records was controlled by each patient or their legal guardian? What if this system drastically reduced data management costs while improving overall security? This system is possible for a medical records system controlled by a blockchain. Based on this vision, numerous companies have raised a lot of money to try and make this happen.

Unfortunately I see a blockchain based system of this type as being at least a few years away. In the mean time new regulations are forcing hospitals and other medical facilities to move to digital records in the next five to ten months. This is a big problem for those pursuing blockchain solutions for health records and is one of the reasons why I do not see blockchain playing a major role in this aspect of healthcare in the short or even the medium term.

To understand why it can take years to create a blockchain solution consider this list of huge challenges:

  • Identity Management
    • To strictly manage control of medical records so that only authorized people can see them we have to be sure that people are who they say they are.
  • Permissions Management
    • We have to have a flexible system for allowing access to records that can handle a huge number of standard and emergency scenarios.
  • Data Management
    • While we want to protect individual’s records, aggregate data across a population can have a huge positive benefits for the industry. Providing a secure solution that protects individual’s records but also accurately reports on populations is not easy but blockchain solutions are in the works such as Project Enigma at the MIT Media Lab.
  • Systems Integration
    • Existing software systems using a staggering variety of protocols and formats for their data. Getting agreement on standards and then creating adapters to conform to those standards is a gigantic enterprise that will require large scale industry cooperation.

So the big prize of Health Care Records on the blockchain seems out of reach for the foreseeable future. Where are the real opportunities for blockchain?

Identity Management

Plugging in a blockchain-based plug-in module to reliably handle the identities of patients and health care professionals could be huge for the industry. Fortunately, this is true for almost every industry and not just healthcare. Accordingly, there are hundreds of companies, large and small, working on this problem.

Last May a huge step forward was taken when Microsoft, Uport and several other companies formed the Decentralized Identity Foundation ( to create consensus standards for identity management. Since then another 25 companies have joined the effort including IBM, Accenture and Hyperledger. This unified effort seems to be the best hope for a blockchain-based identity system within a year or so although there is competition from the ICON foundation among others.

Organic Material Supply Chain Management

Tracking the movement and delivery of drugs, organs, blood, tissue and the like is a huge problem area in healthcare. Billions are lost from fraud, theft, and spoilage. Here a blockchain-based solution can serve to track the movement of shipments by adding records to the blockchain at each step of the delivery process. The unmodifiability of the records provides a reliable means to discover exactly where the problem occurred when goods are lost or stolen.

A few months ago we learned that IBM is spearheading a blockchain-based supply chain solution in food delivery along with partners including Walmart, Dole, Kroger, Unilever, Hersheys and other big names in agriculture and food processing. This suggests that blockchain is ready to make a difference today by improving the efficiency and security of the world’s food supply.

It turns out that the leaders of top pharma companies were not ignoring this trend. According to an IEEE report, most are involved with or else thinking about starting pilot projects along these lines. The first public announcement of a blockchain drug supply chain pilot project came on September 21 when Genentech and Pfizer revealed that the MediLedger Project is underway using JP Morgan’s Quorum blockchain.

Of particular note is additional technology provided by a startup company named Chronicled. They provide a portable temperature logger that puts temperature data on the blockchain as well as a tamper-proof sticker that makes recording the movement of drug shipments dirt simple.

A wonderful thing about this use case is that with enough automation at the various shipment checkpoints there may be little need for the people moving the materials to change the way that they perform their work. This makes technical adoption easy.


At this point it is entirely reasonable to maintain a skeptical attitude towards blockchain-based solutions in healthcare, however the chance for disruption is very real. My assessment is that Supply Chain Management will be the initial ‘killer app’ for blockchain in healthcare, but there are other interesting projects worth knowing about as well. We will present some of these in a future blog post.

If you want to know more about this topic I suggest starting with the recent presentation by the HIMSS Blockchain Work Group entitled ‘Navigating the Blockchain Landscape’ (

If you have your own hot story about anything in the healthcare industry, let W2O Group help you build your very own social media hockey stick.

Big news this week in the pharma world was the decision on where the medicine regulatory body the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will move to, when it decamps from its London base to Amsterdam, due to Brexit.

The EMA is a key body in Europe for the evaluation and approval of new medicines for both human and animal use, and over two decades has built up a team of around 900 experts in Canary Wharf. The Agency must be situated in a country which is a member of the EU, hence the need to move. Throughout Europe there’s been substantial interest in landing the new Agency location, 19 EU countries each put forward a new city in the running: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Lille, Milan, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Valletta, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb. Amsterdam was one of the favourite choices among agency staff.

That so many countries were interested in being the new home for the EMA points to the value of the location of the Agency in building up a pharmaceutical hot spot. The winning location, Amsterdam, should expect significant pharma investment as companies ensure they have local offices to ensure regular engagement with the Agency.

The actual decision was made by a complex voting procedure, involving several rounds of ballots by Ministers in the remaining 27 EU countries. The final round was between Amsterdam, Milan and Copenhagen.

For the UK it is mostly bad news, as firstly, the Agency has predicted that a lot of its London based staff may be reluctant to move, so there will be job losses (although this may give potential for the UK based pharma companies to hire experienced agency staff), and also a loss of technical competency in the Agency, as replacing them would delay drug approvals and patient safety checks. Secondly, the UK will lose its easy access to the most important regulator for approving new drugs, which may also mean the UK is not chosen as amongst the first European countries for drug launches. This will likely mean UK patients find it increasingly difficult to have access to medicines available across the Channel, as is already the case for many cancer drugs.

For mainland Europe it’s good news, as once the actual move is over, there’s the potential to improve on the London based EMA, in a location that is better suited for everyone who isn’t in London, with likely better access for European patients to the latest in what medicine has to offer.


As representatives of healthcare and life sciences industry, in the broadest sense, we spend a lot of time talking between ourselves about our relevance and value to society. We know what this is. To us, as a market, it is obvious. So why does no one want to talk to us about it? Don’t they see what we see?

The discovery and commercialization of groundbreaking therapies requires more than a positive declaration so to tell our story to the world we need to pose some fundamental questions and be prepared to take some bold steps to catalyze a new conversation:

  • Are we telling a story that piques and grips society’s interest by resonating with their values?
  • Are we truly part of the community and participating in the conversations that matter to them?
  • Do we know how to have those conversations without looking like an outsider?

Are we using the right language and images to convey our story effectively and ensure true understanding?

And we must be better storytellers to all our audiences, not just our peers. We need to look at different ways to engage and communicate. We need to understand what drives all audiences. Not everyone is moved or interested in the same stories.

We have to speak in the language of society rather than the industry. Declaring ‘patient-centricity’ is not enough, we need to be inclusive not exclusive. People shouldn’t have to Google our acronyms to understand our ‘speak”. We need a mix of lay language and medical terms and approaches to show up in all the communities we impact.

To do this we:

  • Must create a why that resonates across the whole industry to build our reputation in terms of value and relevance in society.
  • Need to move beyond the science and show how we are addressing critical societal needs
  • Need to expose our failures, as they are as critical as our successes in demonstrating that the power of science will deliver what patients’ need next
  • Have to be confident in showing our innovation.

Only if we can innovate in the way we speak and act with society, can we start to drive change.  We are at the start of an “industrial revolution”, so let’s look to other innovators that led the revolutions of the past. And learn how they changed hearts and minds:  People like Curie, Stephenson, Jobs, Berners-Lee, Zuckerberg and Lane-Fox.

We’re lucky enough to have the following innovators joining us for the W2O networking event on the 10th of November, following the FT Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Conference in London to discuss the value and relevance of the healthcare and life sciences industry in today’s society:

Seats are limited – RSVP today. Look forward to seeing you.

The Event Details:

When: Friday, 10th November 2017

Where: The Landmark London Tower Suite

Time: 14:00-16:00 GMT


  • 14:00: Networking & Refreshments
  • 14:30: Opening Remarks
  • 14:40: Speaker Presentations
  • 15:20: Panel Discussions
  • 16:00: Networking & Cocktails
Over the past several days, we’ve been sharing bits and pieces of an extensive research project into all things “interventional” in preparation for the Cardiac Research Foundation’s Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (#TCTDenver) conference, which kicked off Sunday in Denver, CO. Steven Cutbirth’s prior posts are linked below:

While I’ll be making a full presentation tomorrow (November 1) at 1:05PM MDT (Room 501 at the Colorado Convention Center), I wanted to share some of the interesting things we’ve learned about the online behavior of interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists.

For one thing, it’s not just for the kids – 72% of the online interventionists in our MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database are over the age of 40. They post regularly and actively – more than half of US interventionists post at least weekly, and more than 2/3 of interventionists from outside the US do so.

They use the “open forum” of twitter to debate the topics most important in the field. One of the hot topics I’ll cover in my presentation involves the discussion & debate around TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), a minimally invasive procedure that can, in some instances, alleviate the need for open heart surgery. The topic is hot enough that there are more than twice as many presentations on this year’s TCT agenda (>131%) as there were two years ago. But the increase in twitter posts over the past two years is even more pronounced: There have been 4.5x as many TAVR-related twitter posts than their were during the year leading up to TCT in 2015 (>441%).

It’s not just what the interventionalists talk about that’s interesting here; it’s also whom they’re engaging in the course of those conversations. One of the most telling signs of an influential online physician is is that she tends to mentioned regularly by her peers. Over the past year, there are literally thousands of interventionalists around the world who’ve connected in conversation – but these are the 10 interventionalists who have been mentioned most often by their peers:

The interventionalists who are responsible for this remarkable growth in meaningful conversation are also convincing their colleagues to join them online at a fast clip. Interventionalists have adopted twitter 14% faster than their brethren in oncology – who are known as active social media adopters among specialists. Two weeks ago, Amit K. Gupta, MD posted an article on TCT’s “Heart Beat” blog entitled Why All Interventionalists Should Be on Twitter. It looks as though his colleagues already agree!

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more here.


(This is the third post in a series leading up to the TCT 2017 Conference, find the first post here and second post here.)

The TCT meeting is one of the most engaged medical meetings for Interventionalists (Interventional Cardiologists, Vascular Surgeons, Interventional Radiologists and other relevant specialties) on social media. In 2016, we tracked 3,500+ TCT tweets from over 500 Physicians in the MDigitalLife database, up 80% from the 2015 conference. We expect to see another sizable increase in conversation as physicians increasingly employ social media as a means of connecting with colleagues across geographic and specialty boundaries. (See the below graph showing increase in physician conversation on twitter since 2009.)

Paying attention to the online conversation is vitally important. As our friend Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) says when asked why folks should be a part of the online conversation:

  1. Think Publicly – When you think out loud, people see you.
  2. People Will Want to Talk – When people see you, they want to talk to you.
  3. When People Talk, Things Happen. – Couldn’t agree more Doctor V!

Whether you’re an Interventionalist attending TCT or you have a stake in interventional cardiovascular medicine as a patient, advocate or industry employee, you would be wise to pay attention to, and engage with, the conversations happening online next week. To that end, we’ll focus the remainder of this post on a few key tips to get started on social and engage in TCT conversation.

How Do I Get Started on Twitter?

First off you need a twitter account. If you already have one, awesome, go ahead and skip to the next section. If you need to set up an account, then we’ve got you covered here. First, go to and create your account. Be sure to create a handle that incorporates your real name or company name, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative with it! Make sure to use an appropriate high-quality photograph of yourself and write a clear, simple bio that includes a little of your personality so people can get to know you. And it’s generally helpful to link back to a page that gives people more info about you (for example, or the organization you represent. Lastly, if your organization requires, or you feel more comfortable doing so, you can include the magic words: “all opinions are my own”.

How Do I Connect with the TCT Community online?

The simplest way to find the TCT conversation is to search for the hashtag #TCT2017 or #TCTDenver. In the past the community used variations of #TCT2016, but @TCTConference confirmed this year the official hashtag will be #TCTDenver. Most likely there will be some folks who still use variations of the old hashtags so you can use a custom twitter search to pull in all posts using any variation of #TCT like this: #TCTDENVER OR #TCT2017 OR #TCT17. If you follow that link or enter the search query into twitter’s search bar you will see a stream of relevant TCT posts sorted by time.

Beyond using the official hashtags, you can also use custom hashtags to engage in sub-conversations around specific procedures or conditions. To give you an idea of the hashtags Physicians used in conjunction with #TCT2016 we pulled a list of most frequently used hashtags below:

Utilizing hashtags on this list is one of the best ways to connect with others around topics you are passionate about. To that end, be sure to check out the recent post from Amit K. Gupta, MD: Why All Interventionalists Should Be On Twitter. Dr. Gupta has shared some excellent tips for interventionalists! If you’re attending TCT in person, sharing relevant photos is an excellent way to establish yourself as a key member in the online conversation. When tweeting, be sure to attach your photo and if you choose, tag up to 10 people in the photo who may be interested in the topic you’re sharing (does not count toward 140-character limit). This will notify them of your post and increase your chances of engagement. And be sure to check the TCT social media policy before sharing photos and videos from the meeting.

Lastly, you can follow this twitter list to see what the TCT social media faculty are sharing and read our first two blogs (Blog 1 & Blog 2) which go into more detail on some great accounts to follow throughout TCT.

 Don’t miss the Social Media in Cardiology Series at TCT 2017!

If you are attending TCT this year, be sure to join the “Social Media in Cardiology” series on Nov. 1. Our own, Greg Matthews (@chimoose) will be speaking on Social Media: The New Platform for Influence in Interventional Cardiology at 1:05pm. Greg will use next-generation analytical tools to reveal current trends of exchanges between interventional cardiologists within social media, which interventional cardiologists are most influential among their peers, and the most debated interventional topics online in 2017 to date.

And Look for our 4th installment in this series, previewing exclusive data from Greg’s upcoming session next week.

Follow Steven Cutbirth on twitter @SvenC; Follow MDigitalLife on twitter @MDigitalLife; Like MDigitalLife on Facebook 

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more here.

One of the challenges we often see in our medical device clients is driving utilization of their devices after a physician has been trained. Recruitment of new users is usually not difficult, the consistent use of the products is where it gets tricky.

The Habit Loop Composes of a Cue, an Action and a Reward

If you haven’t read The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, you need to. The research of Duhigg led to a simple construct of how habits operate and what can you do to disrupt and change them. Think of any habit you may have and you can deconstruct them into these three elements.

  1. Cue: this is the trigger someone experiences that starts the cycle (I’m hungry and I see a Snickers bar)
  2. Action: this is the expression of the routine, whether mental, emotional or physical (I eat the candy bar)
  3. Reward: this is where your brain reinforces the loop if the reward is worthwhile (I taste the gooey sweet chocolate and caramel, feeling less hungry)

My salivary glands are chugging away as I’m writing this last line. I’m sure you wish physicians were salivating for YOUR products.

Habits and Routines are the Foundation of Predictable Results

While we are trying to change or instill a new habit, their current habits are what make clinical outcomes predictable and reliable. It’s sticking to routines and practicing their procedures over and over again that make our physicians fantastic at what they do. If we had the choice, no one will choose a newly minted physician over one that had performed a thousand procedures.

But They Also Prevent Positive Change

Herein lies the conundrum; while habits and routines are an absolute reason why physicians become really good at what they do, they can also be a barrier to something newer and potentially better. They have to develop a new habit or worse, displace an existing one. This is what many medical device companies face when introducing a new product, and even more so when establishing an entirely new procedure.

Forming or Adjusting Habits

Whether you are trying to form a totally new habit with a new procedure or adjusting habits by altering a routine, the thought process is largely the same:

1. Keep changes to a minimal – Right off the bat, make sure you deviate as little as possible from the existing procedural workflow. Every change requires effort. Keep the change small if you can.

2. Motivate to adopt a new habit – Leverage the initial motivation and openness of your customer, if they are already taking a step to be trained, continue to help them see why this change is valuable.

  • Highlight the issue – think about doing an unbranded education to bring attention to the disease and the patients you are trying to help. It could be a patient population suffering from a specific issue that is not very well known or previously not addressed because there were no good solutions, until now. Unbranded is key as your device brand cannot take on disease education and being the solution at the same time.
  • Feature the bright spots – as you scale, there are going to be stories that showcase the new future. Find them, shoot those videos and start to syndicate the bright spots so they surround your target audience as social proof.

3. Address each step of the habit loop – Give your customers explicit examples for each step and put in place a system that reinforces them.

  • Define the cue – Establish what the trigger is. Who is the patient? What physical or emotional scenario will spark this chain reaction? What are some tools that will help uncover these triggers more often? How can you flag these triggers in a way your customer cannot ignore?
  • Teach the action – Make training explicit and memorable. How does it work? What does your customer need to do to become proficient? How can you speed up the proficiency curve? What systems can you put in place so the action step is easy?
  • Architect the reward – Help your customer experience success. What does success look like? How do you highlight success in a repeatable way? How do you make that experience even more impactful? What system can you put in place so the reward keeps paying dividends?

New habits don’t come easy, especially when you’re trying to replace old ones. Trim down your marketing plan and focus on new habit formation so more patients can benefit from a potentially better option and your training efforts don’t go down the drain. Habits take time to form, so continue to tweak your habit-forming system and give it some time to take shape and become institutionalized. Let’s go form some habits!


This is the second post in a series leading up to the TCT 2017 Conference, find the first post here.

This week we are continuing our series analyzing the upcoming TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics) conference in Denver. In case you missed last week’s blog, we reviewed the TCT 2017 Social Media Faculty, speaking in the “Social Media in Cardiology” series on Nov. 1 from 12-2pm. In our first blog, we focused on the speakers’ online presence, level of influence and their connections to the online health ecosystem.

What are the TCT Social Media Faculty Saying Online?

This week we are focusing on WHAT those speakers say online, specifically on twitter. We used our proprietary MDigitalLife database to pull all tweets from each author over the last year (10.1.16 – 9.31.17) and crunched the numbers to characterize their online activity. First off, we look at the key events driving conversation.

 TCT Social Media Faculty Conversation Peaks at Cardiology Scientific Sessions

As we often see with twitter conversation, annual meetings drove the major spikes in conversation. The TCT SM faculty were most active at ACC 2017, posting over 3,200 times with some form of the ACC hashtag – #ACC17 (1,563), #ACCFIT (606), #ACCEarlyCareer (482), #ACCIC (460), #ACCWIC (172) in March 2017 alone.

Annual Meetings and Cardiology Procedure Hashtags are Used Most Frequently

In the above chart, the blue bars represent the % of TCT SM faculty* who posted with the corresponding hashtag over the last year; the gray shaded bars represent the cumulative total number of posts using the hashtag by all TCT SM faculty combined. You can quickly see that #RadialFirst was used the most, even though it was not shared by 100% of speakers. For those unaware, #RadialFirst refers to physicians stating that the best path to the heart is through the radial artery, so it’s not a surprise to see Interventional Cardiologists using it frequently. Overall, the most commonly utilized hashtags are related to cardiology scientific sessions/annual meetings and procedures/conditions relevant to interventional cardiologists. If you want to connect with the faculty, these are the hashtags to follow and engage with!

TCT SM Faculty Share Cardiology, Health News & Major News Outlet Domains Most Frequently

 Only two domains were shared by all TCT Social Media Faculty, &, indicating a high importance on research and video content. was shared the most with 775 times, followed by with 406 shares. was shared by 85% of the faculty, but Shelley Wood, Managing Editor of TCTMD, did inflate the share numbers with 300+ shares of TCTMD links. The remaining top domains are health and major news outlets. Keep an eye on these domains to stay abreast of topics relevant to the TCT SM faculty.

 US HCP’s Lead the Way in Mentions by TCT SM Faculty

US HCPs, specifically Cardiologists and Interventional Cardiologists, were far and away mentioned most frequently by TCT SM Faculty. The two exceptions in the top 13 were British MDs: Mamas Mamas, an Interventional Cardiologist at Keele University, & Dr. Pascal Meier, Editor-in-Chief Open Heart (BMJ).

At the top of the mentions list is Dr. Sheila Sahni, Interventional Cardiologist & Director of Social Media and Engagement at #UCLAWomensHeart, with 4,164 total TCT SM Faculty mentions and 100% of TCT SM Faculty mentioning her over the last year. Still, the entire group of top mentioned handles is a who’s who list of top HCPs in the cardiology space. Anyone interested in connecting to the online interventional cardiology conversation would be wise to follow and engage with these HCPs and the TCT SM Faculty on Twitter.

Don’t Miss the Social Media in Cardiology Series at TCT 2017!

If you are attending TCT this year, be sure to join the “Social Media in Cardiology” series on Nov. 1. Our own, Greg Matthews (@chimoose) will be speaking on Social Media: The New Platform for Influence in Interventional Cardiology at 1:05pm. Greg will use next-generation analytical tools to reveal current trends of exchanges between interventional cardiologists within social media, which interventional cardiologists are most influential among their peers, and the top 10 most debated interventional topics online in 2017 (to date).

Look for our 3rd installment in this series on TCT’s Social Media in Cardiology focus next week. In the meantime, you can connect with the social media faculty and follow along with their conversations on twitter via the @MDigitalLife’s Twitter List.

Follow Steven Cutbirth on twitter @SvenC; Follow MDigitalLife on twitter @MDigitalLife; Like MDigitalLife on Facebook 

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more here.

*Stephanie Gutch is on twitter but has not posted, so she was not included in the TCT SM Faculty percentage calculations.


As the weather turns to fall, we’ve shifted our focus to the upcoming TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics) conference in Denver. For those who aren’t familiar, TCT is “the world’s largest… educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine. For over 25 years, TCT has been the center of cutting-edge educational content, showcasing the latest advances in current therapies and clinical research.1

This year we are pleased to announce our very own, Greg Matthews (@chimoose) will be speaking on Nov. 1 at 1:05pm as a part of the “Social Media in Cardiology” series. In his session, Social Media: The New Platform for Influence in Interventional Cardiology, Greg will use next-generation analytical tools to reveal current trends of exchanges between interventional cardiologists within social media, which interventional cardiologists are most influential among their peers, and the top 10 most debated interventional topics online in 2017 (to date).

Greg will be joined by a who’s who of social influencers in the TCT 2017 Social Media Faculty:

In order to prepare for TCT’s social media sessions, we used our proprietary MDigitalLife database to better understand the TCT social media faculty and their networks online. Below are a few quick hit stats to help characterize the group.

As a group, the social media faculty have over 350K unique followers on twitter:

Over 12,000 Unique HCPs follow social media faculty members on twitter:

Individually, the social media faculty have impressive followings among key stakeholders: 

Michael Gibson has the largest overall following by far, and as would be expected, leads in MD, Patient, Advocacy, Industry and Media followers as well. After Dr. Gibson, there is a bit more parity among the next speakers, with John Mandrola, Greg Matthews & Sheila Sahni all followed by over 1000 HCPs.

And finally, TCT social media faculty follow key Cardiologist accounts most frequently:

  • Charles M Gibson (@CMichaelGibson) | Cardiologist (followed by 11 social media faculty)
  • Gregg W. Stone MD (@GreggWStone) | Cardiologist (followed by 11 social media faculty)
  • Robert Harrington (@HeartBobH) | Cardiologist (followed by 11 social media faculty)
  • Sheila Sahni (@DrSheilaSahni) | Cardiologist (followed by 11 social media faculty)
  • Robert W. Yeh MD MBA (@rwyeh) | Cardiologist (followed by 11 social media faculty)
  • William W. O’Neill (@BillONeillMD) | Cardiologist (followed by 10 social media faculty)
  • Sunil V. Rao (@SVRaoMD) | Cardiologist (followed by 10 social media faculty)
  • Jeffrey Popma (@PopmaJeffrey) | Cardiologist (followed by 10 social media faculty)
  • Ron Waksman (@ron_waksman) | Cardiologist (followed by 10 social media faculty)
  • Emmanouil Brilakis (@esbrilakis) | Cardiologist (followed by 11 social media faculty)

We will continue this series with posts reviewing all TCT social media session’s topics and an in-depth preview of Greg Matthew’s session “Social Media: The New Platform for Influence in Interventional Cardiology” over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, you can connect with the social media faculty and follow along with their conversations on twitter via the @MDigitalLife’s Twitter List:


Every website is identified and accessed by its own Internet Protocol or IP address, which used to be just a string of seemingly random numbers such as / You can thank “Uniform Resource Locators” or URLs for a more intuitive and human way to access websites, in this case:

“Top Level Domains” (TLDs) are the “.com” part of a URL, the .suffix swapped with a few letters that help identify that website as belonging to a particular industry, specialty, or organization. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) enabled new TLDs in 2012, and since then a few have caught on, such as .edu and .gov.

The big news for healthcare companies and their marketers is the release of .health. Registration through dotHealthLLC for qualified organizations is available through November 30th, after which the TLD is released to the general public. Big names in payors, providers, and pharmacy such as BlueCross BlueShield, Pfizer, the Mayo Clinic, and CVS have already registered and are using the .health TLD.

Major thanks to .Health for sponsoring our SXSW events this year! Headed down to ATX this year? Join us!

Although fewer users are typing URLs, over 1200 TLDs ranging from .pet to .date to .vodka have already been registered by ICANN, and Google claims they have no influence over search results, using them can nonetheless help organizations better identify and protect themselves, and confirm credibility—three needs vitally important to healthcare companies and their HCP, patient, and caregiver audiences.

Benefits also include:

Stake the claim on name and reputation. At the very least, healthcare companies need to realize that if they don’t claim their own .health TLD, someone else likely will. Similar to .com squatting and pirating from the Web 1.0 age, competitors and unscrupulous buyers could conceivably take your domain after November 30th. Now is the time!

Stake the claim on the new and burgeoning .health domain. More than 1500 companies have already registered using this TLD, thousands more to come. So your clients should have first-choice on website name, and take full advantage of this initial industry-only grace period to be ahead of their competitors and differentiate.

Stake the claim on entire disease areas: The opportunity to associate your healthcare company with disease areas is ripe; for example, owning,,, etc. are for those who register early and often. Same rules apply to unique and salient aspects of brands, treatments, etc.

Establish immediate category recognition and company credibility: Akin to .edu and .gov, where users immediately know the kind of website they have visited and feel comfortable with their authority, .health could benefit your franchises and their brands. dotHealthLLC assures a thorough vetting process to build and maintain trust.

Differentiate and gain attention in a crowded market: Specialized companies can use .health to demonstrate their relevance and commitment to healthcare, such as,, and, etc. Affixing .health instantly connects your capabilities to a $3.2 trillion annual vertical.

We therefore recommend our healthcare clients register their own .health TLDs as soon as possible by typing this URL:, The jury is still out on future .health adoption and credibility, but if the early signs and industry trends continue, then this TLD will become a prerequisite for success in 2018 and beyond.