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#ASH17 starts tomorrow and we’ve already seen some 250 health care providers joining the conversation!

Overall, pre-conference engagement is up from last year, and especially vocal are the specialists in Internal Medicine and Hematology (←no surprises there!).  Myeloma is a highly anticipated topic this year with health care providers talking about developments in treatment and diagnostics.

Check out this visual breakdown of who’s talking and be sure to join us at the end of the conference for volume updates and the latest news from thought leaders of ASH 2017!

MDigitalLife

MDigitalLife

Get a deeper look into pre-ASH conversation with MDigitalLife’s interactive network map here: http://bit.ly/2kG6bgR

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.

 

Yesterday, Greg Matthews managing director of MDigitalLife lead a spectacular webinar on understanding physician/patient conversation online. Throughout his webinar he discussed the evolution of online interactions between patients and Healthcare Providers (HCPs) and what healthcare companies need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

Key takeaways included:

  • How to identify and learn from online patients, HCPs and advocacy influencers
  • How to reach patients, HCPs, and advocacy influencers online – safely and effectively – to get your message in front of the right audiences
  • How to leverage social analytics to more effectively launch new products, create custom, targeted content and identify the right KOLs, spokespeople and advocacy partners

If you were not able to attend take a listen to the webinar below.

A little more than a year ago, my colleagues and I started tracking media mentions of drug pricing issues. We assumed it would be an important but relatively laid-back endeavor. Discussions about the cost-savings of hepatitis C drugs was still ongoing, and cancer conferences were putting a spotlight on oncology prices.

Then, on Sept. 18, an intern at USA Today wrote a story about a company no one had heard of raising the price of a drug no one had heard of by an amount no one could have imagined. The headline read: “Company hikes price 5,000% for drug that fights complication of AIDS, cancer,” and it was the first introduction most of America had to Turing.

The name “Martin Shkreli,” Turing’s founder and CEO, never appeared in the USA Today piece, but his obscurity would vanish in a matter of days. Within two weeks, he was being mocked by Miley Cyrus on Saturday Night Live.

The Turing controversy turned our sleepy media-tracking operation into a borderline sweatshop. In the year that followed, we logged 1,300 stories of significance. But not all stories are created equal, so last month, we used our MDigitalLife offering to look at those stories in more detail, trying to answer the question of what pricing/value stories resonated with different audiences: the general public, media and physicians. You can see the results in the infographic below.

blog_valuerep_anniv_627x1000

That analysis generated seven learnings:

  1. There is no common source for news. The idea that different groups have different information sources isn’t novel, but the top 10 lists show clearly that while the Wall Street Journal is driving the media agenda (five of the top 10 stories, plus a near-miss for a Pulitzer), it’s not having a similar effect on consumers (zero of the top 10 stories). In contrast, two Huffington Post stories had an outsized impact with consumers, but media and physicians barely noticed.
  2. Physicians are aligned with patients. The stories most-shared by physicians were, in general, stories about the impact of various decisions and policies on patients, not broader topics.
  3. The media are fascinated by the system itself. Most of the top stories among reporters had to do not with a single example but with how the pricing system works from generally, underscoring the complexity, and–perhaps–an instinct toward hating the game, not the players.
  4. Bernie Sanders is a Facebook superstar: Sanders unlikely success in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination showcased the social chops of his supporters. While Sanders wasn’t ahead of the game on any pricing issue, he managed to go viral whenever he inserted himself.
  5. Orphan drugs got a pass. EpiPen, Daraprim and Valeant’s business practices got a once-over in the past year, but drugs for small populations (which tend to come with large price tags) garnered little attention, even as they made up an increasingly percentage of new drugs. That’s a phenomenon that also played out, albeit with some exceptions, with oncology drugs.
  6. Shkreli was catnip. Nearly 2 million people have watched this Vice interview with Shkreli on YouTube, making it one of the most-shared links in our database. First, Shkreli was a news driver. Then he was an icon of generally startling behavior, generating more ink. Finally, he was an all-purpose metaphor for think pieces. Regardless of the role he played, Shkreli was the thread that tied the year’s coverage together.
  7. We’re now in the year of EpiPen. As wild and multi-faceted as the Daraprim story was a year ago, link-sharing behavior around EpiPen stories is unprecedented. How that story evolves will determine in large part where the pricing narrative flows in the year to come.

Our database will continue to grow and inform what we do at W2O Group, internally and for our clients.  We look forward to continuing to listen to conversations in the health care space. Here’s to the next 1,300.

The recent Zika infection of 14 people in a Florida community near Miami – the first case of U.S. transmission from local mosquitoes – has further raised fears that the U.S. will face a large domestic Zika outbreak. With increased news coverage on the domestically transmitted cases as well as the upcoming Olympic opening ceremonies on Friday, August 5th in Brazil, a country hit hard by Zika, there is likely to be a large amount of public discussion about the looming domestic Zika threat.

Studies have shown that physicians are one of the most trusted sources of online health information, so it is likely that patients will be turning to their physician to understand how concerned they should be about Zika and the steps they should take to avoid contracting the virus. But what are physicians saying about the Zika virus?

At W2O Group, we set out to answer that question by querying the MDigitalLife Health Ecosystem Database, the world’s first database to link physicians’ online content to their national physician identifier records, to gain insights into the networks, relationships, and social activities of online physicians.

A Brief Review of Physician Zika Conversation Timeline

Specifically addressing Zika social conversation, there have been over 51,000 posts from more than 4,700 unique physicians since January 11, 2014. U.S. physicians contributed over 29,000 posts from 2,700+ authors and Non-U.S. physicians contributed more than 22,000 posts from 2,000+ authors.

Zika Timeline With Callouts Dark

Physician Zika conversation grew rapidly on January 11th of this year when the first Zika case in the U.S. was reported in Houston, TX. A doctor led the charge with this news as Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, shared the news via his personal twitter account as the news was released to the public. The Houston Chronicle quickly picked up the story (and included quotes from Dr. Hotez), followed by Sarah Begley’s piece in TIME and then similar pieces in nearly every other outlet. Conversation was driven higher on January 16th after Hawaiian officials announced the first baby born in the US with microcephaly linked to Zika and the CDC officially advised pregnant women to avoid traveling to areas where
Zika is spreading. Physician conversation continued to rise on
January 28, when Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, announced that “the virus was detected in the Americas, where it is now spreading explosively”. Conversation reached its current peak between February 1-3, when physicians posted over 3,300 times after the WHO declared the Zika virus and related links to possible birth defects an international public health emergency.

Watch Monthly Physician Conversation Evolve From 2014-2016 In The Interactive Map Below

ZikaGifAfter global physician conversation peaked with over 15,000 posts in February, conversation began to decline; US physicians maintained an average of 3,400 posts per month while ExUS Physicians contributed an average of 1,700 per month between March and July. U.S. Physicians did see a small uptick in conversation in April when the CDC confirmed the link between microcephaly and Zika. Additionally, there was a rise in conversation in July as the first case of US transmission was announced in Miami. We expect to see a significant spike in global conversation as we approach hurricane season in the U.S. and the Games kick off.

Conversation Over Time

Zika NGram Graph2

We tracked five different keywords throughout the course of the conversation to examine the evolution of the language used by physicians discussing Zika. During late 2015 and early 2016, a significant portion of the tweets contained some mention of “Brazil,” the origin of the outbreak. The volume of tweets mentioning the word “women” was proportional to the overall volume of the U.S. physician Zika conversation, underscoring the relevance of this conversation to women’s health. In April of 2016, tweets started emerging that contained the word “funding,” with many questioning the level of government funding to combat the growing outbreak. July saw the introduction of both “transmission” and “Florida” at a high rate, correlating with many reports examining the transmission of Zika and the rise of domestic cases in Florida.

Going Back to the Start

So who actually started the online physician conversation about Zika? The first post we recorded from a U.S. physician was by Dr. Peter J. Hotez, Founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital Chair in Tropical Pediatrics & President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, on August 3, 2013. Dr. Hotez’ initial post shared a study released in the Journal, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, which discussed the emergence and spread of Zika in Africa and Asia. The initial post picked up a small amount of traction with four retweets. This did not cause a blip on Twitter’s radar. Though perhaps more people should have been paying attention, since Dr. Hotez proved to be rather prophetic with his post in March 2014 on Zika.

Conclusion and Acknowledgements

Our analysis demonstrates how the online physician conversation about Zika has grown over time, and evolved both geographically and linguistically. It is our hope that monitoring this conversation can be helpful to both physicians and the public at large in keeping abreast of the current issues being discussed in the ongoing Zika outbreak.

This post was co-authored by Dr. Yash Gad, Chief Data Scientist for MDigitalLife.

As a part of a larger research initiative and partnership, we thank our colleagues from the lab of Dr. Wenhong Chen at the University of Texas Austin who provided insight and expertise that contributed to this article.

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Dr. Hotez first tweet on Zika was in January 2014.

With the cost of healthcare on the rise, it’s no surprise that players from across the health ecosystem are coming together to solve some of our biggest problems in terms of ensuring access to the right care at a reasonable price. That’s part of the work that Yousuf Zafar, MD has been focused on for the last several years.

It’s should also be no surprise that as leading thinkers like Dr. Zafar grapple with this thorny problem, that one of the tools fueling his research and spreading the results of his findings lies in YZafarsocial media.

Dr. Zafar is a GI Oncologist at DukeHealth and a health services researcher with a focus in improving care delivery for patients with advanced cancer. He has participated in multiple studies focusing on access to care, cost of care, and comparative effectiveness of care delivery between health systems. His primary area of interest is in the cost of cancer care with a special focus on its patient impact. His current work in this arena is focused on patient preferences regarding cost-related communication and decision-making.

Dr. Zafar was a very early adopter of twitter, having been active on the platform since 2007. “I use other platforms personally, but for professional purposes, twitter is definitely the best tool for me,” he told me in a brief interview yesterday. He’s been identified as one of the “Featured Voices” at the ASCO annual meeting in Chicago (#ASCO16), a good choice – the number of Dr. Zafar’s physician followers on twitter puts him in the 97th percentile of all US oncologists. He has been actively involved in the online backchannel of #ASCO16 this far. Below is a map of the physician-to-physician conversations on the first day of ASCO (June 3) – as you can see, Dr. Zafar’s twitter handle (@yzafar) is quite central to the conversation. [NOTE: Click up the number of nodes on the chart to see the full conversation; it’s even more dramatic when you “zoom out.”

That active involvement has resulted in additional visibility for Dr. Zafar and his work – and bringing increasing attention to the issues around healthcare costs is really important to him. “One of the things that has been great to see at ASCO is that we’ve not only been using social media to help connect physicians to the latest research, but also to help patients relate their own stories and experiences to that research,” says Dr. Zafar. In fact, Dr. Zafar tends to learn as much from patients and their experiences as they do from him. “It’s really tough for a clinician who typically only has a few minutes with a patient to truly understand all of the issues associated with their broader experience of care.” Social media has helped to fill that gap.

In one of Dr. Zafar’s abstracts, he summarizes the situation in a very powerful way:

“Long-term solutions must focus on policy changes to reduce unsustainable drug prices and promote innovative insurance models. In the mean time, patients continue to struggle with high out-of-pocket costs. For more immediate solutions, we should look to the oncologist and patient. Oncologists should focus on the value of care delivered, encourage patient engagement on the topic of costs, and be better educated on financial resources available to patients. For their part, patients need improved cost-related health literacy so they are aware of potential costs and resources, and research should focus on how patients define high-value care. With a growing list of financial side effects induced by cancer treatment, the time has come to intervene on the “financial toxicity” of cancer care.”

– S. Yousuf Zafar, MD (JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2016) 108 (5): djv370
doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv370)

That shared responsibility for driving change is very consistent with what we’ve seen in the online health ecosystem – the convergence of health conversations among clinicians, patients, caregivers, policymakers, the media and the industry itself. Our thanks to Dr. Zafar for his great work & for taking the time to talk to us. Be sure to follow him on twitter (@yzafar) and in the media.

For more information about the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem and to download the 2016 Social Oncology Project report, just click below.

TheSocialOncologyReport-Cover-HiRes

Click to Download the 2016 Social Oncology Project Report


Learn more about W2O Group:  About  Work  Contact

Over the last several years, we’ve had the opportunity to study several people in the online health ecosystem who play multiple stakeholder roles (e.g., Patient-Peschattnerhysician or Patient-Journalist). Today I’m featuring one of the rare people who actually plays 3 pivotal roles in the online health ecosystem – Elaine Schattner, MD.

When she was practicing, Elaine was highly respected for her clinical acumen. But she’s also a breast cancer survivor and a noted healthcare journalist (she’s a regular contributor at Forbes, among others). This has given her a truly unique perspective on the way that different populations perceive and interact with the healthcare system – and their own health.

The way that Elaine engages online reflects her multiple perspectives – and her broad interests. During calendar year 2015, she mentioned 1,327 unique twitter handles (including at least 171 doctors, 77 patients, 173 reporters and 134 media outlets). She also shared links to 570 different outlets (including sources as diverse as Medscape, Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, StatNews.com, Brainpickings.com and PeterUbel.com.)

And her audience is equally diverse. Among her more-than 11,600 followers are at least 1,200 physicians (putting her in the 99th percentile of doctors most followed by her US peers) and remarkably over 1,100 patients, caregivers and patient advocacy groups – more than any other US Oncologist. And it’s not just Elaine’s following that’s particularly strong and diverse; she also engages that audience broadly with the content she shares. During 2015, she was mentioned (or her articles linked to) over 3,600 times by nearly 1,000 people and organizations in the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database. And those engagements reflect her audience’s diversity as well:

  • 42% from fellow physicians
  • 35% from patients, caregivers and patient advocacy groups
  • 10% from reporters and media outlets
  • 13% from people and organizations in the healthcare industry

It’s a rare individual, physician or not, that can reach an audience of that size, breadth and relevance to the healthcare system. What is it that’s makes Dr. Schattner so successful in building and engaging that audience?

“On social media, as in real life, many people – in their social groups, or among colleagues – tend to nod their heads, to reiterate or rephrase what’s popular, or what they think their employer or network will favor. On twitter, that ends up generating a lot of retweets within groups of like-minded followers. But that kind of chatter doesn’t broaden anyone’s knowledge base; it reinforces silos. It’s neither interesting, nor helpful to science, or health, or anything really. I like to add new ideas to a conversation. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

– Elaine Schattner, MD

SchattnerMostFollowersSnapshot-300x203Dr. Schattner has been particularly impactful in the online conversation about breast cancer. Among the tens of thousands of participants in that conversation from the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem, Dr. Schattner is the 3rd most-followed, behind only USA Today healthcare reporter Liz Szabo (@LizSzabo) and #BCSM twitter chat co-moderator Deanna Attai, MD (@DrAttai) – and followed closely by #BCSM chat co-moderator and breast cancer survivor Alicia Staley (@stales). This is even more intriguing, because Dr. Schattner rarely participates directly in the #BCSM chat – a huge driver of conversation in the breast cancer community.

“I don’t often participate in twitter chats. They provide great value for many people, but don’t fit very well with my preferred mode of engagement. I tend to have more one-on-one or small-group conversations. When things move so quickly – as they do in twitter chats, it’s harder for me to be able to do really get to know people and to understand their perspectives.” – Elaine Schattner, MD

The rise of the social media has completely changed the way that the health ecosystem interacts. As health becomes an increasingly important topic in the 21st century, the ability to connect the stakeholders – all of them – is both valuable and necessary. Led by pioneering bridge-builders like Dr. Elaine Schattner, we can be confident that a shared understanding is both possible and on its way more quickly than we could have imagined.

“I’ve always been the kind of person who speaks her mind. I’m not afraid to say and write what I think, and as an independent journalist I am free to do so. I’m not afraid to challenge the opinions of powerful individuals, including physicians in positions of leadership, journalists and others. People know that about me, and maybe some respect me for doing so. Pretty much everything I say, or share on-line, reflects what I think matters for patients. Some may trust me for that reason, even when they disagree.”

– Elaine Schattner, MD

TheSocialOncologyReport-Cover-HiRes

Click to Download the 2016 Social Oncology Project Report


Learn more about W2O Group:  About  Work  Contact

Advocacy in the age of social oncology is no longer about simply “raising awareness” or boosting funding. According to Samantha Watson, who founded the The Samfund after her own experience as a young adult with cancer, those who are battling cancer, and those who did, are clear that they are looking for community and emotional support as much as they are financial resources.

While the analysis of hashtag communities that provided the backbone of this year’s edition of The Social Oncology Project found that advocates have huge influence in drawing attention to high-quality information resources, Watson’s experience suggests that information-sharing is just the tip of what can be accomplished through online networks.

Watson’s primary goal is providing grants; her group has given nearly $2 million to young adults dealing with cancer-related challenges, from medical care to financial assistance for adoption. But Watson said that the Samfund recognizes that they have a role to play in building online communities, too.

Watson discussed the new realities with us in advance of the ASCO meeting; if you want to carry on the conversation, please seek out Watson’s booth on the expo floor:

Samfund is mostly young adults. Is there a sense that this new generation of survivors is connected differently because of technology?

“Social media makes it much easier to reach people we could never reach via traditional media. Peer-to-peer efforts are critical for our fundraising. We have all of these people who are connected to Samfund, and each of them has online networks, so there is a ripple effect. We can share stories, and it’s amazing to see how so many people share them. We couldn’t do that if we were relying on newsletters and emails.

The online community has been huge. Half of our grantees are part of a private Facebook group. Watching them support each other has been huge. Social media gives them a place to assemble.

There will always be some problems that we, as an organization, can’t help with. But with our network, with our Facebook group, there is always at least one person, often more, who can chime in and say ‘I’ve been there.’”

You’ve written about crowdfunding before. How does that element intersect with this new type of communication?

“Crowdfunding is huge for our community. I was treated before social media, but an earlier version of crowdfunding helped me. It was totally lifesaving. When someone you know goes through an illness, the impulse is to ask what you can do to help. But for people who are far away, there hasn’t always been a good answer to the question ‘what can I do?’ That’s changing.

We still have to deal with how uncomfortable asking for money makes people. But that isn’t something that the young adult with cancer has to deal with. Setting up a campaign for someone is a great way for friends or family to help out.”

Are there drawbacks? Does building a national—but virtual—network isolate in its own way?

“We’ve tried really hard to get the best of both worlds. It’s important to have real-world experiences. But having a connection even with those far away is important, too. For someone who is skipping their meds and is geographically isolated, finding a community online is critical. We keep our eye on that a lot.”

What online resources have you or your grantees been able to tap into?

“We send every grantee all of our resources: our webpage and the private Facebook group and Instagram and Twitter. And we ask our grantees to help us out by sharing. We learned at our recent meeting for ‘Sambassadors’ that that is what is most important. In talking to them about what we do, no one mentioned the $1.6 million we’ve given out in grants. Instead, what they kept talking about was feeling hopeful again and feeling confident again, and how that came from being a part of a community.”

Download The Social Oncology Project 2016 here.

Download The Social Oncology Project 2016 here.

Today, we’re releasing the fourth version of our annual report, The Social Oncology Project, a comprehensive review of conversations about oncology happening on publicly facing social media.

Before I note some of the lessons we learned from this year’s report, I wanted to flag how the lessons we’ve learned over the previous three years colored our approach. Our initial impulse in surveying the online landscape was to understand WHAT was being said about cancer. That helped us better understand the ebbs and flows of topics discussed online and impressed us with the pure volume of conversations.

But what we found was that trying to make sense of every last tweet about cancer could be misleading. We found a lot of tweets, but there was a lot of low-value conversation. It was difficult to draw firm conclusions about WHAT was being said without knowing WHO was talking.

So this year, we’ve boosted the signal-to-noise ratio by looking at four specific groups of online influencers who have demonstrated influence and high-quality discussions: doctors, advocates, patients and media. Though the lines between these groups are not always bright, categorizing online voices with more precision offers a more complete picture of what is truly happening in social oncology.

By looking at these four groups, across five different cancer types and two specific topics (immunotherapy and value in cancer care), we’ve gleaned four key truths about the state of the online oncology conversation:

  • Connections > Volume. For every cancer we assessed, we plotted a network graph, showing how every member of the community was connected to every other. What we found was that it wasn’t always the person posting the most that had the most influence: it was the individual whose network knit together the more diverse coalition.
  • Video is King. We also looked at thousands of links shared within hashtag communities. And despite the fact that oncology is not necessarily a visually-driven medium, we saw YouTube emerge time and time again as a site that was frequently shared, especially by patient and advocates. In a world in which we all have video cameras in our pocket, video will only play a larger role in communication around oncology.
  • News Doesn’t Drive Education. When hashtag communities look for new information, they tended to either go right to the source (peer-reviewed publications) or vetted medical information from the government or large cancer centers. News stories drive relative few conversations, suggesting that what’s new isn’t necessarily what is important, especially for clinicians and patients.
  • Doctors Serve as a Bridge to Information. Physicians in the network, across nearly every subject we analyzed, were unique in that they pushed peer-reviewed data out across the network, not watered-down summaries of research. Navigating the scientific literature can be hard—not because non-physicians can’t understand it, but because separating wheat from chaff is not always straightforward—and by directing attention to key papers, physicians play a vital role.

All of this may beg the question of what’s next. Our conversations with thought leaders—some of which are included in the report and some of which will appear on the blog in the days to come—suggest that the next big thing is smaller conversations. Though large, hashtag-driven discussions are not a part of the fabric of online conversations, we’re hearing more about the way that smaller communities can come together for information exchange in private messages, closed Facebook groups or crowdfunding platforms.

While network size will continue to be factor in making sure that the right people find each other, we look forward to exploring a future in which a kaleidoscope of small, interlocked groups drive social oncology to new places.

Download The Social Oncology Project 2016 here

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The learning continues at a fast pace at the Baylor, Scott & White Digital Summit.  In our technology innovations panel this afternoon, we were joined by Chris Raps, VP & Americas Sales Director at NASDAQ; Beth Meyer, Director Strategic Marketing, Greatbatch; Colin McCarthy, senior manager of business development, Witricity; and Jeroen Brouwer, Marketing, Sales and Business Development Director, Philips.  Here are the key insights I heard as moderator of the panel.

#1 – Security and important paperwork lead to online solutions – we can’t afford to leave board books out in the open or the results of a formulary meeting or any other sensitive topic.  We can share content, do surveys, hold Q&As and basically operate with full security if we work with new, leading-edge solutions like NASDAQ has created for boards of directors.  I have to say that I never realized NASDAQ did more than run their exchange…..now we know they are very aligned with the interests of healthcare leaders.

#2 – We can power devices in new ways – Witricity and Greatbatch explained to us the power of wireless energy transfer.  Imagine having a pacemaker and it can be charged wirelessly via a simple wireless energy transfer device. Yes, this technology can allow us to get rid of annoying cords for our computer devices, but it is the impact it can have on medical devices and machines that is of highest interest for the future.

#3 – The last mile is happening – Jeroen talked about how Philips is innovating in home care, telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other key areas that all move care closer to the patient.  This is all part of a move to connect patients to the health system when and where they need it.

#4 – The automated coach – it’s getting more real for us to get coached in an individualized way, based on information received from the devices we use.  How we use devices can help us learn about behavior, how we are doing vs. our goals, how we can learn to change an important process or we can just get a personalized message.

#5 – The biggest hurdles in healthcare – Beth said it is the time to market and the cost associated with it.  In particular, she focused on the importance of achieving adoption of technology, which is driven by innovative value and personal experience.  Chris echoed that user experience also matters and, in the case of NASDAQ, being HIPAA compliant as well.   Jeroen said it is adoption.  He said that if you have the right proposition that can prove outcomes, then the health system will adopt your product.

And I would like to end with a quick summary of key insights from emerging companies that presented today. Here are a few insights.

Bloom Technologies provides data to inform prenatal health decisions.  What I did not know is that we spend $26 billion per year in the U.S. taking care of pre-term babies.  There are 15 million pre-term births each year and it is the #1 killer of children under 5 years of age.  Bloom Technologies is exploring how to improve this situation.

The U.S. average wait time to see a dermatologist is 29 days, something that 3Derm Systems takes very seriously to decrease wait times for patients and costs for doctors. They believe telemedicine can become the new standard of care

SwipeSense imagines a day where we have “hand cleanliness accountability”. We know how important it is to keep our hands clean, particularly in medical situations.

Echo Pixel believes medical imaging is incomplete, so they are building a 3D solution for physicians to see clinical situations, like atrial fibrillation. More clarity, better outcomes is the idea.  They want professionals to interact with patient images in an open 3D space.

Quartet Health is focused on behavioral health conditions. They are matching patients to behavioral health networks and helping both stay on track of the healthcare plan. This can reduce expenses across the board.  Their goal is to build a collaborative behavioral and physician health ecosystem.

Eko Devices believes it is time to create a next generation, bluetooth enabled stethoscope that decreases/eliminates pathogens, includes telehealth applications and transfers data.

Tute Genomics is focused on whole genome sequencing. They believe every patient needs an answer and time makes a difference to know what to do and their goal is to bring genome analysis to the masses.

AliveCor develops mobile technology for heart health.

WiserTogether is delivering solutions in which clinicians and patients communicate together using the best available evidence when faced with the task of making a decision.

Senscio Systems combines sensor development with artificial intelligence technologies to built intelligent systems to transform data into knowledge for decision making.

Proteus has created a sensor-enabled pill, a small wearable patch, and applications that can be accessed via mobile devices and other computers by patients and healthcare providers. Called Proteus Discover, it directly measures medication-taking and physiologic metrics to support patient self-management and to help physicians and care teams optimize therapy

And Rimidi has a diabetes management platform to empower providers and engage individuals to more successfully manage this disease.


Learn more about W2O Group:  About  Work  Contact

The two most disruptive and important industries that shape our society are healthcare and technology.  They are drivers of the world’s economy and how we live our lives.

Today, at the Baylor Scott & White Digital Health Summit we heard from Dr. Nick Van Terheyden, Chief Medical Officer of Dell; Dr. Sean Kelly, Chief Medical Officer of Imprivata; Fred Trotter, Founder of Careset and Alan Minney, North America Mobile Practice leader for IBM talk about what is changing the face of healthcare. Here are the highlights:

#1 – We have a long way to go – medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., we have 387 million people who have diabetes worldwide and 44 million people with some form of cancer.  We have a tremendous opportunity for technology and health experts to make a difference.

#2 – Our healthcare information needs to be available when we want it – as Sean Kelly said, we don’t talk about tele-banking, we just go online to get our banking information.  But in health, we talk about tele-medicine and make it sound mysterious.  As Nick added, “we don’t online, we live online”.  It is time for our health information to be available to us 365.

#3 – We need to build smart filters, not worry about big data – Nick pointed out that we can harness data of virtually any type today. That’s not the issue. Rather, we need to be focused on building the right filtering mechanisms so we get the information we need when we need it…..without any noise.

#4 – What is AI and how is it meaningful? – Alan described the importance of AI, Watson and IBM’s commitment to health right up through their CEO, Ginni Rometty.  Powerful.  Nick pointed out and the panel agreed that artificial intelligence (AI) won’t replace medical providers or what humans do today.  Instead, it will provide “augmented intelligence” and help us serve patients more effectively.

#5 – Failure is at the heart of innovation – lest we forget, Sean reminded us that “failure is the heart of innovation”.  Alan said it another way when he was discussing mobile technology and encouraged the audience to simply try….try pilots, dive in the river.  We have to try, fail, repeat and then succeed.  Technology and medicine are similar in this regard, as is science overall. It’s iterative innovation that really leads to breakthroughs.

#6 – Experience matters…alot – a great lesson for the technology industry was emphasized by the panel.  You have to work on the front lines with providers if you want to create innovation that matters.  Great ideas won’t get formed in conference rooms. The real insights will occur in medical clinics and labs.  Important reminder for all innovators.

And on this topic, I spoke with Dr. Peter Dysert, who is Chief of Pathology at Baylor Scott & White Health.  He makes a great point that there are really three fundamental ways to improve healthcare and the world of medical providers.  They are:

Communications – improve and facilitate our ability to communicate.

Habits – make the right thing to do the easiest thing to do.

Informed Decision Making – just show me what I need to see.

If every company and entrepreneur worked against Dr. Dysert’s filter, we would accelerate innovation far faster.

#7 – CMS and HHS are changing the rules – Fred illustrated for us how rules are changing in a mature industry in many ways, but one example was very impactful.  CMS and HHS are changing the rules of healthcare due to the Affordable Care Act in an unprecedented and untrackable manner.  And what this means is that we have to be on our toes to understand the changes, adapt to new rules and still provide the best care possible.  We’ve never had a more important time to being pay full attention to how government is evolving our world of care.

#8 — Apple & IBM have partnered for 100+ healthcare apps – two of the world’s leading companies are investing the time to partner and build apps for 14 industries, including healthcare.  We need this type of applied knowledge from world leaders, but don’t forget point #6, IBM and Apple.

#9 — Improving the knowledge of all doctors can improve outcomes – Fred said it well when he said “what are the problems that the lowest ranked doctor in your healthcare system today and can AI help this doctor”?  In other words, we really can improve care via augmented intelligence.  We just need to ensure that habits change to accept it.

#10 – Simulations matter – Sean said that we should not be reaching for sexy technology.  We should, however, be running simulations to understand how to use technology more effectively.  Dr. Dysert made an analogy to airline pilots. They do technology simulations constantly, so they know what to do on the spot. It’s becoming time for medical providers to do simulations with this level of intensity.

Overall, this panel is a great example of how healthcare and technology are learning together in a manner that, quite frankly, didn’t happen years ago.  It’s time for us all to keep intensifying our knowledge sharing, since patients are waiting……and always will be….for us to collectively transform healthcare.


Learn more about W2O Group:  About  Work  Contact

W2O Group is excited to partner with Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH) to launch their inaugural Digital Summit in Austin, TX today! The event was dreamed up as a way to connect executives at the BSWH with innovators across multiple industries to inspire them to improve patient and physician experiences by utilizing innovative technologies.

The summit will consist of speaker panels featuring proven innovators, health startups pitching for an accelerated path to a pilot at BSWH and an interactive session featuring hands on demos of innovative technologies changing the healthcare world.

To give you an idea of the companies participating in the summit, we asked a few of them to share some thoughts on what they would want the world to know about their organization and their work.

If you missed our first post be sure to read up on the other amazing organizations participating the summit.

SwipeSense

SwipeSense is the simplest hand hygiene monitoring system in the world. Our sensors work with existing dispensers, don’t require any hard wiring and provide individual accountability around hand hygiene. To date, SwipeSense has collected millions of data points in compliance and demonstrated significant improvement to patient safety across the US.

Hospitals have always struggled with their Hospital-Acquired Infection rates (HAI’s), and now their bottom line is under threat as well. A recent change in Medicare reimbursements pegged 1% of reimbursements directly to HAI rates, with 758 hospitals penalized in 2016.

The easiest way to decrease these infections is to increase hand hygiene compliance among staff members, and hospitals currently rely on pen and paper based methods to change their rates.

Manual observation is highly inefficient and costs hospitals thousands of hours of additional work, often with little to no results. SwipeSense transforms that by creating a sensor network around hand hygiene. The system keeps track of room entries and exits, along with hand hygiene rates for individuals to improve compliance. It is cheaper to implement than the current pen and paper method, with significantly better outcomes for patient safety.

3Derm Systems, Inc.

3Derm provides a teledermatology triage system that expedites appointments for the most urgent consults while screening out benign concerns. The system enables providers to capture a full complement of diagnostic quality two-dimensional and three-dimensional images at primary care and automatically delivers these images via cloud-based software to in-network dermatologists for remote review and follow-up.

In a study conducted at UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, MA), dermatologists identified an equivalent number of skin cancers using images acquired by the 3Derm system, as compared to in-person visits. Additionally, 70% of patients with benign conditions were identified at the point of primary care, dramatically reducing unnecessary referrals to dermatology.

Today, the average wait time to see a dermatologist has ballooned to 29 days, with patients on Medicaid or in certain areas of the country often waiting more than 100 days. (1) As one of the fastest metastasizing cancers, reducing the average wait time for melanoma diagnoses can result in a significant decrease in mortality.(2)

Based on current clinical use data, 3Derm projects millions of dollars of potential cost savings for large-scale fee-for-value health systems. These savings are delivered through reducing the number of in-person visits for patients with benign conditions, keeping patients in-network, detecting melanoma earlier, and improving patient satisfaction scores.

“We wanted to become the standard of care, not just an alternate telemedicine option for extreme cases. That meant measuring up to an in-person dermatologist,” explains 3Derm CEO, Elizabeth Asai. “After years of clinical testing, we are proud to present a solution tailored to the needs of health systems that exceeds this gold standard, while keeping the patient’s existing local care network intact.”

Based on current clinical use data, 3Derm projects millions of dollars of potential cost savings for large-scale fee-for-value health systems. These savings are delivered through reducing the number of in-person visits for patients with benign conditions, keeping patients in-network, detecting melanoma earlier, and improving patient satisfaction scores.

“We wanted to become the standard of care, not just an alternate telemedicine option for extreme cases. That meant measuring up to an in-person dermatologist,” explains 3Derm CEO, Elizabeth Asai. “After years of clinical testing, we are proud to present a solution tailored to the needs of health systems that exceeds this gold standard, while keeping the patient’s existing local care network intact.”

References: (1) Merritt Hawkins; (2) Annals, The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Quartet Health 

Quartet is a healthcare technology company that partners with primary care and behavioral health providers to ensure patients receive the care they need to get better. By bringing primary and behavioral healthcare providers together and improving patient outcomes via innovative care technology, Quartet is changing the state of behavioral healthcare in America.

Quartet gives primary care practices access to a host of behavioral resources for their patients through its platform. The company also curates a network of local behavioral health providers and provides technology-accessible, convenient access channels like telepsychiatry, online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and peer support, to patients.

The New York-based company recently raised a $40 million Series B led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), marking the first time GV has invested in a mental health startup. Additionally, the company welcomed the Honorable Patrick Kennedy, author of The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (2008) in Congress, to its Board in late 2015. Quartet currently works with a number of leading health plans and health systems throughout the country.

We are thrilled to be surrounded by organizations that are passionate about bettering healthcare and that are fueled by innovative people!

 


Learn more about W2O Group:  About  Work  Contact

W2O Group is excited to partner with Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH) to launch their inaugural Digital Summit in Austin, TX today! The event was dreamed up as a way to connect executives at the BSWH with innovators across multiple industries to inspire them to improve patient and physician experiences by utilizing innovative technologies.

The summit will consist of speaker panels featuring proven innovators, health startups pitching for an accelerated path to a pilot at BSWH and an interactive session featuring hands on demos of innovative technologies changing the healthcare world.

To give you an idea of the companies participating in the summit, we asked a few of them to share some thoughts on what they would want the world to know about their organization and their work.

Greatbatch  & Witricity 

Wireless data transmission has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, yet we continue to struggle with power cords and power transfer limitations. Unlike the consumer electronics and automotive industries, where wireless energy is reaching an inflection point, the healthcare industry has yet to harness its potential.  With over 51 million surgeries taking place annually in US operating rooms that are frequently challenged with a tangle of procedure hampering cords, significant opportunity exists to apply wireless to untether the healthcare space for physicians and their patients, enabling therapy delivery with fewer limitations.

The time is now for the development of wireless power transfer, which holds the potential to improve how healthcare is delivered in myriad ways. For example, many of today’s active medical implantable devices are large, require several hours to recharge, and have limitations due to the efficiency and level of power that can be delivered.  Wireless power transfer will enable these devices to become much smaller, expanding surgical approach options for physicians, allowing deeper implantations and higher power levels, as well as eliminating the need for follow-on battery replacement surgery in some applications. Patients will experience improved comfort with easier charging.

Another area of potential improvement includes operating rooms and surgical tools. Today, surgical tools either utilize large rechargeable batteries or are tethered to an unwieldy cord that frequently tangles, presents tripping hazards, poses an increased infection risk and can negatively affect the ergonomics of the tool.  With wireless energy transfer, surgical tools will utilize smaller batteries or none at all, making them much easier to handle and increasing usability while eliminating time spent managing cords. These improvements may ultimately improve performance, shorten procedure times and positively impact patient outcomes.

Finally, significant opportunity exists to enhance the medical experience for patients, who often seem “wrapped” in cords.  One particularly poignant example of this involves a mother who was unable to hold her newborn in the NICU due to the cord web surrounding him.  And while it’s not a panacea, embedding the technology in a range of monitors, often in concert with wireless data, could significantly lessen the physical ties encumbering a patient.

Power and disruptive innovation are core to Greatbatch’s roots. Wilson Greatbatch, the co-inventor of the first successful implantable pacemaker, founded the company in 1970 to develop long-lived batteries to fuel life-saving/life-enhancing medical devices. Today, Greatbatch is one of the largest medical device outsource (MDO) manufacturers in the world, providing innovative, high quality medical technologies for the cardiac, neuromodulation, orthopedics, vascular, advanced surgical and portable medical markets. Our vision is to enhance the lives of patients worldwide by being our customers’ partner of choice for innovative medical technologies and services. We believe that advancing wireless energy is central to achieving this vision, as it will bring transformational change to healthcare and empower physicians, healthcare professionals and their patients. Together with WiTricity and our partners we look forward to building the wireless surgical suite, patient room and therapy and mobility devices of the future.

Spot On Sciences

Spot On Sciences, Inc. develops and markets innovative medical devices to improve collection and storage of biological fluids for medical testing. The premier product, HemaSpot™,  is a simple to use device for self sampling and robust storage/shipping of blood samples at room temperature. HemaSpot™ uses a finger stick to collect and dry blood within a protective cartridge which can be easily mailed to a medical test site for analysis.

80% of healthcare decisions are based on diagnostic testing, but costs only 2% of total healthcare expenditures. Precision medicine is highly dependent on personalized medical testing and thus improvements in diagnostic testing has been targeted as one of top requirements for improving health and reducing healthcare costs.

However, current methods for getting a blood sample by phlebotomy is outmoded, costly, inefficient and highly inconvenient and difficult for patients- especially for homebound, elderly and patients in remote areas.

 Spot On Sciences enables a new model for collecting blood samples and generating health data:  move the sample instead of requiring the patient or the lab to move.  Our new blood collection devices HemaSpot, makes blood sample collection and transport very easy and efficient and delivers a high-quality sample to a lab for detection of numerous markers for infectious disease and health status.  Mobilizing blood samples and delivering data by mobile phone offers a simple but powerful method for increasing access to health information, especially for remote or low resource areas.

HemaSpot, an innovative and easy to use device, enables a blood sample to be self-collected from any location and at any time.  Using a finger stick by lancet, two drops of blood are applied to the HemaSpot device and the blood wicks into a pre-cut absorbent paper.  The cartridge is then snapped closed and the blood is dried by a desiccant within the cartridge, leaving the sample stable at ambient temperature with no refrigeration or cold chain requirements.  The enclosed cartridge prevents sample contamination and reduces biohazard risk from downstream handling; the robust cartridge can literally be run over by a truck and dropped into water without damage.  Sample collection takes less than 5 minutes and is immediately ready for transport to a lab – via mail, dropbox, or even by drone – for analysis.

Two devices are currently on the market:  HemaSpot-HF for whole blood and HemaSpot-SE for separated blood (cells separated from plasma) from a fingerstick.

By making it easy and convenient for consumers to provide a blood sample, access to medical testing is improved for the entire population and especially for underserved populations such as elderly, home bound, low income and from remote areas.  For healthcare providers, having timely and increased access to test results could significantly improve diagnosis and improve patient health.  The HemaSpot blood collection device is a simple tool and solution that can revolutionize medical testing and allow us to realize the promise of precision and personalized medicine.

Imprivata

Imprivata, the healthcare IT security company, provides healthcare organizations globally with a security and identity platform that delivers authentication management, fast access to patient information, secure communications, and positive patient identification. In healthcare, it all starts with the patient and their protected health information (PHI), so healthcare organizations go through extraordinary means to put IT security systems in place – designed to keep PHI in, but not let it out – creating barriers to protect PHI such as complex passwords and security policies that impede workflow.

Imprivata removes those barriers, allowing care providers to securely and efficiently ACT: Access, Communicate, and Transact PHI to address critical compliance and security challenges while improving productivity and the patient experience. With Imprivata solutions, hospitals can correctly identify patients at registration and providers can access PHI conveniently on-site or at home, communicate PHI using multiple devices, and transact PHI for important clinical workflows, including electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) order signing and medical device access.

Imprivata offers a platform of security products designed to enable healthcare to ACT with patient information both securely and with conveniently, including:

  • Imprivata PatientSecure, the biometric patient identification platform that positively identifies patients using palm vein recognition, creating a 1:1 link between a patient and their health record across multiple systems. PatientSecure improves patient safety and minimizes patient identification mistakes and duplicate medical records that traditional oral and paper-based patient identification methods cause.
  • Imprivata OneSign, an enterprise-level single sign-on (SSO) and virtual desktop access solution that streamlines desktop roaming and automates access in one seamless, secure system. OneSign improves provider productivity and eliminates the user frustration, time inefficiencies, and security issues that password-heavy access systems cause.
  • Imprivata Cortext, a secure, integrated communications platform for healthcare. Cortext improves care coordination by replacing the inefficiencies of pagers and solving the security and compliance issues that unsecure texting practices cause.
  • Imprivata Confirm ID, the comprehensive identity and two-factor authentication platform for remote access, EPCS, medical device access, and other clinical authentication workflows. Confirm ID offers the broadest and most flexible range of authentication options to eliminate the barriers to transacting patient information that traditional authentication technologies cause.

We are so excited to learn and be inspired by the companies that will be participating in the summit. Check back soon to learn about the additional companies that will be participating in today’s summit!

 

Greg Matthews Cropped CopyWelcome to another Going. Ahead. With Gage interview! I had the privilege of interviewing the founder and Managing Director of MDigitalLife, Greg Matthews, who shared insight on being a leader and how his team operates. I hope you all gain some valuable insights and enjoy the read!

What are you doing to ensure that W2O Group is at the cutting edge?

One of the things that I try to do is to make sure that we are always allowing ourselves time to do exploration. One of the things that was true when I walked in the door, before MDigitalLife existed, was that we were continuously working with our clients and really listening to them to understand their deepest business problems. We also made sure that we were focused on solving actual problems rather than coming up with solutions to something that didn’t exist.

My first year and a half here I basically followed Bob Pearson and Paul Dyer around really working on delivering the business they were selling to clients and I learned to ensure everything we do is based on a client’s need in their business. I also learned to make sure that you work with clients who are willing to do some experimentation with you if solutions don’t exist in the marketplace. It’s all about being able to do what we call pragmatic disruption of the status quo – those are the projects that we get a lot of value from and I luckily get to focus on a lot of work that fits into that space.

In a few words, describe what your team does for the company.

My team is focused on indexing the entire healthcare ecosystem online. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information – we basically want to organize the digital presence of all the health stakeholders in the world. It’s a ridiculously crazy goal, but we want to know who every single doctor in the world is and where he or she lives online. We want to know every advocacy organization and every patient that states publicly that they are dealing with a condition. When we know who those people are, we can get incredibly deep intelligence about how the health system actually works, how doctors and patients are working together, how the media impacts their ability to receive the best care, and which advocacy organizations are positioned to help their members. That’s what we are focused on doing for the firm by indexing that data and making it meaningful.

Are you finding that more people are more interested in being online and talking to each other about health, or do you find that because it’s online people don’t trust it?

It’s been interesting to see because I’ve been working in this space since 2007. Back then we thought that there was no way anyone would share private health information online because it was too personal. That has proven to be completely wrong. In actuality, 80% of adults in the US go online for health information and more than 1/3 of them are considered online diagnosers. These people aren’t just looking for information, but they are actually making decisions about the care and the treatment that they seek. After many surveys and watching their behavior, we’ve found that their number one source of trusted information are physicians and physician practices. Being able to help patients connect to those doctors is a core foundation principle that MDigitalLife was built on.

Are you seeing a specific age range online?

I think it has less to do with age and more about what are your needs as a person who suffers from condition X.

It’s interesting because usually we think about online activity as being something young people are using, but when it’s around healthcare, it tends to be less the case. A lot of that is because the people having very engaged active dialogues tend to be people who had a chronic condition themselves or are caring for someone who does. The people who have chronic conditions or are caring for them are typically not young people – they are middle-aged people. Everyone thinks the online doctors we are tracking are probably all residents or med students when in reality, 70% of the doctors we track are over 40 and are well established in practice.

Thinking of your most successful current employees, what characteristics do they share?

The number one most important trait to work in our team and our firm is curiosity. You have to have something inside you that wants to know, that wants to push further, and that wants to turn over every stone to find the right solutions for our clients. People that can bring that enthusiasm and fire every day tend to do very well. It can actually make up for a lack of experience or a lack of skills if your brain is always working on how to solve the problem better, or find the answer that doesn’t seem findable.

How do you empower your employees to do their best possible work?

I have a personal goal to do work only I can do. In other words, to use my time in the most valuable possible way, I want to be sure that the people that work around me are not burdened by menial work. We have very specific skill sets on my team and I want them to focus on the things that really make us unique. If Kayla Rodriguez can spend an hour working on a given task, I want it to be a task that is going to move the needle 10X than something that will move it 1X. 

How do you encourage creative/innovative thinking within the organization?

One of the things I try to do is offer people the opportunity to work with me on client projects and have an exchange of value around that. What I mean is to take someone who is a really good account associate/manager, but has not done work in social, physician communications or some specific thing that I do. I make sure I have that person on the project so I can personally mentor and coach him/her to do those specific skills in exchange for their generalist skills for the rest of the team. It’s been really interesting doing it this way. Both parties come away knowing where they can be the most successful.

What is the most difficult leadership decision you’ve had to make in the recent past?

This is definitely the hardest question on here because it really forces you to think deeply. I think the hardest decision I’ve had to make was where software fits into my vision for MDigitalLife. For me, I feel as though I had to put the brakes on the process because it wasn’t going in a direction to meet the needs for our clients. That has been really hard because stopping is not something I like to do.

What did you learn from that experience?

The most important thing I’ve learned is to be true to my vision and that there comes a time when compromise is actually a bad thing. Generally, people working together, collaborating and compromising is a good thing, but there comes a time when it reaches diminishing returns and I missed it. If I had to do it over again I would have made a different decision in 2014 – I would have recognized that we were going down a path with our software that made sense for a few of our clients, but that didn’t meet the needs of our healthcare clients at all. We’ve lost a lot of time as a result, but I’ve also learned a lot of valuable lessons in the process that can be applied to the greater good of our firm and our clients.

For more information on MDigitalLife, please visit their website: http://mdigitallife.com/

Something unusual happened in Congress in early July — an overwhelming bipartisan approval for a health care bill. But despite the 344-77 vote for the 21st Century Cures Act, the increasingly vocal opposition from oft-quoted critics of pharmaceutical, biotech and device companies should be taken as a warning sign for advocates who want to see this measure become law.

The bill is designed to boost drug discovery and help get patients with rare diseases additional access to treatments and cures, mostly through various reforms of the FDA approval process as well as additional funding for the National Institutes of Health.  (The Regulatory Affairs Professional Society has done a terrific explainer for those who want to dive into the deep details.)

More than 700 groups, from the Alzheimer’s Association to the American Society for Clinical Oncology, to patient-focused rare disease groups to companies and trade associations in the pharmaceutical, biotech and devices spaces, support the Cures bill. That support has shown up in traditional spaces such as Capitol Hill visits, as well as digital campaigns on Facebook and Twitter (#Path2Cures, #Cures2015.)

As it should be, the focus of these efforts has been on the benefits for patients with challenging diseases. Even rank-and-file House members have gotten into the act, such as in this short video from Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI).

The critics emerge

Yet now with the bill headed to the Senate, that kind of organized support may be even more important. Media-friendly experts such as Rita Redberg, editor of JAMA Internal Medicine, and cardiologist Steve Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, are being quoted in articles criticizing the Cures bill. The New York Times’s editorial board, often taking cues from the opposition groups, criticized the legislation last week, though it stopped short of saying the entire effort should be scrapped.

The challenge now for those who want to see the bill through the Senate – in addition to trying to avoid big arguments about petty differences as the process unfolds — is to continue to emphasize the real world impact the bill would make. Patients who could benefit from expanded access to “compassionate use” of drugs should be front and center. Groups who want to see “patient experience data” folded into regulatory decisions – because different patients may have different risk tolerances – should be talking more often. And, to reflect the widespread backing for increased research funding that is in the Cures bill (nearly $9 billion extra for the National Institutes of Health over the next five years), scientific experts should be explaining over and over the need for new discovery.

Where are the physicians?

A quick review of our MDigitalLife database—a validated list of U.S. doctors with digital footprints—suggests that physicians aren’t out in droves driving the conversation. That means some of the most trusted voices on the subject of medicine haven’t been heard from yet, and doctors could yet shape this debate. Communicators trying to line up new wrinkles for the continuing campaign to pass the Cures bill should consider engaging with physicians. As our colleague Greg Matthews has written, physicians are not only active on social media, they often influence news coverage.

Conversation about the Cures bill seems likely to spike again in mid-September, when a hearing or hearings could be held in Senate committees. We’ll continue to monitor and look for new and old voices influencing the debate as action develops over the fall. Senate leaders have signaled that they will write their own version of a Cures bill, which could extend the discussion about this legislation until early 2016.

Reporters covering the legislative process will likely focus on the lobbying effort and the political clout of the industries backing the bill. This makes the real world stories – and the use of paid, earned, shared and owned content online – even more important for a successful campaign in the months ahead. The next treatment or cure could be dependent on it.

By Gary Karr and Brian Reid

TSOP CoverDownload The Social Oncology Project 2015 here

Starting in 2013, my colleagues and I have published an annual report called The Social Oncology Project. The past two years, we have looked across all digital communications and surfaced literally millions of online conversations that mention cancer. The results were heady proof that there was substantial discussion about cancer happening online.

But as we thought about The Social Oncology Project 2015, we realized that aggregating millions of cancer conversations was a more empty exercise. Not all voices in the online ecosystem are the same, and merely surfing though a digital tidal wave of information, tallying mentions, taught us little about who was having those conversations.
This year, we tried a different tack. The first part of this year’s report focuses on one specific subset of the conversation: doctors. Through our MDigitalLife database, we know which conversations online are coming from verified, practicing physicians. And while medical professionals make up a minority of the online population, their voices carry particular resonance.
The second part of the report looks at the way that the physician community intersects with other communities we have begun to define: the patient community, the media community, industry and advocacy communities. That offers another level of richness and takes us further away from a focus on brute volume. It’s fascinating to note those individuals who have outsized impact on a given community and a margin impact on another. Take Naoto Ueno from MD Anderson: he’s a veritable online rockstar among his peers and digitally savvy patients, but he’s almost entirely off the radar of the media.
Understanding how information flows–or doesn’t flow–among these communities is critically important, especially to communicators. We live in a world of information overload, and we are using more and more filters, conscious and unconscious, to deal with that overload. The Social Oncology Project, for the first time, has begun to map out one of the most important filters of all: who we listen to and who we engage with. This is a crucial first step, and we hope that it will help to understand the most effective ways to communicate about public health.
We welcome your feedback.

Later this week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting will kick off. Earlier in the month, research from W2O Group was published by ASCO, examining the use of social media by physicians. It’s an endeavor that will be extended later this week when we release our third Social Oncology Project report.

Our research found, unsurprisingly, that there is a lot of chatter by physicians about cancer on Twitter.

Nearly 140,000 tweets mentioned one of dozens of cancer-related keywords, and more than 5,000 physicians took part in this rolling, public dialogue. But we should be well past the point of being amazed that physicians are taking to social media; it’s a rare professional organization that doesn’t see Twitter use as a key tool to educate physicians and other doctors. For both practice management and public health, engagement on platforms such as Twitter can no longer be ignored.

But in looking deeper, we found that all voices are not equal in conversations about cancer. While those 5,000 doctors all tweeted at least once, there was an elite group of 19 who recorded more than 1,000 cancer-related tweets over the course of the year. That’s a milestone that is impressive, but almost baffling: these are, generally, in-demand oncologists with demanding day jobs. Where are they finding the time to dash off dozens of tweets a week?

So we asked. And here are the answers.

website_photo[1]DR. DEANNA ATTAI, Assistant clinical professor of surgery at UCLA, president of American Society of Breast Surgeons:

We know there are huge knowledge gaps and we feel it’s our duty of sorts to try to close that. I think also for me–and this accounts for the volume–is that my audience is both patients/public and docs, where many docs don’t interact much with the patient communities. It’s a real challenge as I do have my true day job (patient care) as well as my new job (ASBrS president) but I just think it serves too great a need (perhaps an inflated sense of worth?) to just let it go. There is satisfaction is seeing patients have their questions answered, become empowered, and then get to witness them mentoring and educating others. And the the satisfaction for MD engagement is seeing docs transition from being social media skeptics to the “ah ha” moment when they recognize the value.

ago1KktK[1]DR. MICHAEL FISCH, Medical director of medical oncology for AIM Specialty Health:

I find that I am able to use twitter as a way to find useful information that cuts across broad topics in oncology. For example, given my interest in cross-cutting oncology topics, how else might I expect to keep up on this array of information? Twitter allows me to harness my colleagues to guide me, through their mentions and retweets, to high-value articles and influential pieces in the lay press. Of course, there is some initial “activation energy” that it takes to learn any new thing (like a new kind of smartphone), but once you have the basics figured out, things get very efficient.

7c2b2cf6756ab7535e0184962d9f6bea[1]DR. JACK WEST, Medical oncologist and founder/president of cancer education nonprofit GRACE:

The main motivation sharing information is that this is the information that I appreciate getting from other people. I have learned a lot from tweets I’ve come across, I want to share the things that I think are of value to other people. There have been many practical benefits as well, such as developing relationships with various thought leaders in oncology through twitter, finding at least one of the board members for GRACE (Sally Church) via Twitter, and even ultimately being selected as web editor for JAMA Oncology largely because of my online presence. But at the end of the day, the primary motivation is just to share information that you would want to receive yourself. We want to be valuable contributors to our community, in this case an online cancer community.

To track what Drs. Attai, Fisch, West (and thousands of other oncologists) will be discussing on Twitter during #ASCO15, please subscribe to W2O Group’s “Complete Response” newsletter, delivered every morning of the conference. Complete Response will curate and package the tweets and links most-shared by the most important group of ASCO attendees: oncologists. 

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Third paragraph of release should read: …as a part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 51st Annual Meeting, which is taking place in Chicago from May 29 to June 2 (instead of …as a part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 50th Annual Meeting, which is taking place in Chicago from May 30 to June 3).

“These new data show that social media is mainstream for a large number of oncologists. Social media use by cancer patients and oncology physicians has moved beyond early adopters and is increasing at scientific meetings”

Tweet this

The corrected release reads:

NEW ANALYSIS OF CANCER-RELATED TWEETS SHOWS EMERGENCE OF PHYSICIAN ‘SUPERUSERS’

— More than 5,000 Doctors Generated 138,000 Tweets About Cancer in 2014; Data to be Featured by #ASCO15 –

Much of the conversation among physicians on Twitter about cancer is driven by a small number of doctors, according to a new analysis of digital behavior of U.S. physicians that found that the top 1 percent of physician Twitter users, by volume, contributed more than a third of all tweets about cancer during 2014.

Physicians in the United States generate nearly 400 tweets a day about cancer on average—some 138,000 over the course of a year—but scientific meetings and awareness months can meaningfully boost the volume of conversation by as much as eightfold.

The analysis, based on MDigitalLife’s database of verified U.S. doctors and their Twitter handles, will be included as a publication-only abstract as a part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 51st Annual Meeting, which is taking place in Chicago from May 29 to June 2.

“These results show two related trends. First, the pool of physicians talking about Twitter online is growing, with more than 5,000 different doctors entering the dialogue during 2014. Second, there is a smaller group of superusers who are driving much of the conversations,” said Greg Matthews, Managing Director, MDigitalLife, at W2O Group. “In that sense, the physician community mimics many other classic Internet communities, and it will be critical to understand how those digitally connected doctors impact the way that information flows to patients and other professionals.”

The analysis also found that tweets about breast cancer were more common than any other cancer type, representing more than 19 percent of all cancer-related tweets, followed by lung cancer (9 percent) and prostate cancer (7 percent).

“These new data show that social media is mainstream for a large number of oncologists. Social media use by cancer patients and oncology physicians has moved beyond early adopters and is increasing at scientific meetings,” said Michael Thompson, MD, PhD, a co-author on the research and a hematologist/oncologist for Aurora Cancer Care and Medical Director of Early Phase Cancer Research at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. “The next step will be to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of huge amounts of data to improve the efficiency of implementing new therapies in clinical practice.”

The analysis used W2O Group’s proprietary MDigitalLife database, the world’s first and only database that maps physicians’ digital properties to their official government registries. This ensures attribution of data (earned media and data such as Medicare billing, referral and prescription data) is accurate. The W2O Group uses this asset to aggregate and analyze millions of data points to understand physicians’ attitudes, behaviors and connections on any topic.

The use of social media has become an increasingly important topic among oncologists; the 2014 ASCO annual meeting included a presented titled “Appropriate Use of Social Media in Medical Practice,” which suggested social media use could help physicians “engage patients [and] lay public on key topics.”

The analysis of 2014 tweets was done by Brian Reid and his colleagues at W2O Group, including Matthews and Kayla Rodriguez, with the assistance of Thompson.

About MDigital Life

MDigitalLife reveals how physicians around the world are using digital and social media to improve the health of their patients, the success of their practice, and to regain their voice as a critical player in the health system. Digital communication tools have become increasingly important in the health system, yet little effort has been put into quantifying the type and volume of online conversations. MDigitalLife is the world’s first and only database that maps physicians’ digital properties to their official government registries. This allows the team to aggregate and analyze millions of data points to understand physicians’ attitudes and behaviors on any topic. Additionally, MDigitalLife has incorporated physician demographic data (e.g., medical school and graduation year) and clinical behavioral data (referrals, prescriptions and Medicare billings). For more information on MDigitalLife, please visit mdigitallife.com.

About W2O Group

Founded and led by Chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, W2O Group is an independent network of complementary marketing, communications, research and development firms focused on integrated business solutions to drive change and growth through “pragmatic disruption” for the world’s leading brands and organizations. W2O Group’s network includes WCG, Twist, BrewLife and W2O Ventures with 11 offices in the United States and Europe. For more information, please visit http://w2ogroup.com.

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W2O Group’s 3rd Annual HIMSS Social Conversation Report: Not your mother’s #HIMSS15 social media analysis

What do you get when you mix tens of thousands of healthcare IT’s most influential experts with today’s increasingly social conference atmosphere? An incredibly unique and unmatched opportunity to identify key trends in digital health and health IT overall, and a perfect laboratory to study industry conversation and market shifts through social data analysis.

For today’s healthcare and technology business leaders, using social media to understand how market conversations are trending and how to reach and engage with top influencers is no longer optional. And when it comes to the intersection of healthcare technology and social media, the HIMSS Conference and Expo is undeniably where it’s at, and the power that lies in its corresponding social data and conversation analysis is truly greater than ever before.

HIMSS’15 convened more than 43,000 of the health IT industry’s forefront thought leaders, influencers, movers and shakers and garnered nearly 83,000 tweets – or more, depending on the timeframe of measurement used – all driving social engagement on and around the #HIMSS15 hashtag.

Having been locked in the basement since the event, our W2O analytics wizards have been diving in and churning through the plethora of social data from this year’s conference. Drawing out notable takeaways and offering expert analysis, our #HIMSS15 Social Conversation Report helps today’s business leaders and healthcare communicators target their engagement strategy, optimize their social investments and better understand the ever-changing digital health ecosystem.

HIMSS’15: Social conversation analysis

So just what was the beat on the HIMSS’15 social street? How has the conversation grown in relation to prior events? What individuals and companies have made the biggest leaps forward with their #HIMSS15 social footprints in relation to previous events? How are physicians and patients factoring in to the social conversation? Let’s find out!

Per the below, between 2012 and 2014, the HIMSS social conversation rose consistently year over year. While 2015 saw continued growth in social conversations overall, it also saw a steep decline in the number of unique individuals who were a part of that conversation. Further, the rate of year over year conversation growth slowed from 55 percent between 2013 and 2015 to 11 percent between 2014 and 2015. Could the astronomical rise of social conversation at HIMSS be leveling off? (Fig. 1)

Fig 1 Conversation Slow Down

Fig 1.

Note: Want to know how the top health tech brands performed in terms of social impact and influence at HIMSS 15? For a rich analysis on the most influential companies at this year’s event, as well as more detail around those key social influencers driving the conversation around electronic health records (EHRs), telehealth, mobile health and wearables, please reach out to W2O Practice Leader, Rob Cronin, here, or see below for additional information.

Another interesting fact that we came across in our analysis was related to the relatively small proportion of tweeps who were driving social engagement for the conference as a whole. In looking at the chart below, 50 percent of the HIMSS social conversation was driven by just 4 percent of the individuals engaging, and just the top 1 percent drove 30 percent of the conversation. This is slight a change from 2014, which saw 50 percent of the conversation driven by 3 percent of the individuals engaging in conversation, and the top 1 percent of individuals driving 3 percent of the conversation. This tells us that, though it has increased slightly, it is still a very small group of “power users” and engaged tweeps who are driving at least half of the HIMSS social engagement (Fig. 2). This is yet another illustration of the 1-9-90 rule of influence that W2O Group has measured and reported on across multiple industries (Fig 3).

Fig 2 - Few Individuals Drive ConvoFig. 2

Fig 3 - 1 9 90Fig. 3

There is no denying that connectivity between patients and caregivers is increasing as providers continue to embrace health IT adoption and include in the care delivery process. And as the industry moves to a value based care framework, whose success is rooted in interoperability and the expanded use cases for EHRs and health data, it is not surprising to see a rise in the number of clinicians becoming active participants in the health IT conversation. And as we’ve seen per the tremendous growth in our own MDigitalLife Health Ecosystem (#healthecosystem), more and more physicians are, in fact, becoming increasingly active in the healthcare social media space.

When looking at the HIMSS’15 conversation, we were pleased to see this trend was reflected here as well. In spite of the slowdown in total HIMSS social conversations overall as compared to past years (see first image above), as we see below, physician participation in the HIMSS conversation continues to steadily rise, both among physicians who have participated in the HIMSS conversations in past years, as well as among newcomers to the conversation. (Fig. 4)

Fig 4 - Physician RelevanceFig. 4

Additionally, the #HIMSS15 hashtag was used by nearly 350 unique practicing physicians. As a point of comparison, in the past year*, the #MGMA14 hashtag was only used by 22 unique practicing physicians, #ACHE2015 by 21 unique practicing physicians and #ACC2015 by 52 unique practicing physicians. The #ASCO2014 hashtag, however, was used by 441 unique practicing physicians; though the attendee make up of that event is primarily clinicians, a stark contrast to HIMSS.

Key takeaway? The fast growing and relatively high physician engagement rate at HIMSS shows just how invested clinicians are in advancing the health IT conversation.

As for the new kids on the HIMSS block, we looked at who “stepped up to the mic” this year in terms of the HIMSS conversation (see slide #6 in embedded deck below). A few highlights in terms of the individuals and solutions who increased their engagement in the HIMSS conversation the most this year are:

Individuals:
Michael Crone: New to the HIMSS scene. Business development at Emids. Engagement was primarily retweets.
Bill Bunting: Went from near zero to hero this year. Director of healthcare solutions at EMC.
HIT Conference Guy: Also a new kid on the HIMSS block. Active content curator.
La Lupus Lady – Well known patient advocate. Minor participation a couple years ago, but active this year.
Regina Holliday: Not new to the space, but Regina more than doubled her participation in the HIMSS social conversation since last year. Data access for all!
Vendors:
ClinicSpectrum: Medical billing services provider new to the HIMSS conversation. Took first place for vendor participation growth.
TruClinic: Telehealth platform. Active social participation.
Dell: The company stepped up its social presence at the conference, engaging attendees and encouraging them to stop by their booth.
Intel Health: Account has existed since 2008, yet this was their first time participating in the HIMSS conversation.
Mayo Innovation: First time tweeting at HIMSS as well. Demonstrative of Mayo Clinic’s increasing digital footprint and growing social reach.

In terms of the HIMSS tweeps who were mentioned most in the #HIMSS15 conversation, as you’ll see below, HIMSS, Healthcare IT News, Brian Ahier, Farzad Mostashari and Deloitte garnered more social mentions from individual accounts tweeting at the event. However, Regina Holliday garnered more mentions among leading digital health influencers – or, those who are the most influential socially across the healthcare IT landscape on Twitter — including: Wen Dombrowski, Dave deBronkart and John Sharp. These individuals, who are all actively engaged in conversations around the patient role in HIT advancement — are a further indication that patient engagement is becoming an increasingly integral part of the health IT conversation. (Fig. 5)

Which social handles were mentioned most in 2015?

Fig 5 - Most Mentioned Handles

Fig. 5

When looking below at hashtags that had the biggest spikes in use as compared to previous HIMSS conversations, #engage4health and #physicians saw growth in number of mentions. While the former supports the increased focus on – and importance of – patient engagement, the latter highlights physicians’ increasing alignment with and participation in the health IT conversation. Another hashtag to note is #dataindependenceday, the popularity of which is a testament to the strength of Regina Holliday’s message of enabling health record data access for all. It is also worth noting that #HITchicks usage grew this year, a hashtag that supports women leadership and female participation in healthcare IT and the HIT conversation. (Fig. 6)

Which hashtags had the biggest spikes in use?

Fig 6 - Most Mentioned HashtagsFig. 6

Additionally, #HITsmCIO was another new-to-the-scene hashtag this year. This @W2OGroup-initiated tag focuses on health system CIO engagement in social media, and was created to celebrate and educate on how health IT leaders are using SoMe to drive improvement throughout the industry. Including social powerhouses CHIME CIO of the year, Sue Schade, from the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (@sgschade), Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer at UPMC, Will Weider, chief information officer at Ministry Health Care (@CandidCIO) and David Chou, chief information officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (@dchou1107), the #HITsmCIO community is harnessing the power of social to drive innovation and quality across the healthcare continuum. For more details, including a summary of our first-annual reception held the night before HIMSS on April 12, 2015, please see here.

In terms of health IT solutions providers who stepped up their website-engagement-via-social game, Deloitte was highly successful at driving users from social media onto its own digital properties. Conversely, although Walgreens and IBM successfully garnered conversation, they were not nearly as successful at driving individuals to their respective sites via their #HIMSS15 social participation. (Fig. 7)

A few notable mentions include:
Healthcare IT News: The premier publication of HIMSS. Created substantial content during the conference.
HIMSS Conference: A highly shared, in-conference resource.
Deloitte: The content winner of the conference – by a long shot. Created highly sharable content that drove attendees to share infographics, blog posts, research findings and poignant social media posts.
HIT Consultant: Created a mix of sharable and rich conference-focused content throughout the conference.
• MedCity News: Conference-focused editorial content drove shares.
YouTube: A mix of interviews and promotional videos were shared more this year.
Forbes: Bruce Japsen, John Osborn, Larry Husten, Louis Columbus, Matthew Herper and Nicole Fisher drove numerous articles shares within the health IT community.

Which domains were shared the most in 2015?

Fig 7 - Most Shared DomainsFig. 7

Another trend we followed was around the domains which garnered the greatest gains – in terms of social shares per user – from 2014 to 2015. Translation: we looked at the site properties whose number of shares increased the most from previous years to 2015. Once again, Deloitte was highly successful at driving shares of owned digital properties, but also improved significantly since its efforts in 2014. Other significant improvements include, HIT Consultant, MedCity News, HIMSS, Healthcare IT News and HealthIT.gov. (Fig 8)

In looking closer at Health IT.gov, the federal site shared more content – including more of its own content and links to its own site properties – and took on a more active role as an industry educator and social engagement leader at this year’s event. Another account who stepped up their game, in addition to Deloitte and HealthIT.gov, was HIT Consultant, who was very successful increasing the amount of content shared that drove traffic back to its online properties. Lastly, Cerner was notably the only EHR vendor included on both our list of top shared domains and biggest domain share increases from 2014 to 2015. This showcases a great opportunity for EHR organizations across the board to improve and refine their content and social engagement strategy to connect with this influential audience.

Which domains saw the greatest increase in number of shares in 2015?

Fig 8 - Domain Share IncreaseFig. 8

It wouldn’t be HIMSS without an announcement around meaningful use! The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their draft meaningful use rule – that reduces the requirement that providers have 5 percent of their patients electronically download, view and transmit their medical record to a single patient – days before HIMSS, and as expected, this drew a lot of conversation on the topic. Regina Holliday, Sherry Reynolds, Mandi Bishop, Susan Brown, Charles Webster and Wen Dombrowski, among many others, were all active participants in the meaningful use conversation at HIMSS 15, with CMS, the ONC and Brian Ahier adding to that list of those who were also mentioned the most in relation to MU at HIMSS. (Fig. 9)

Meaningful use: Who drove the conversation?

Fig 9 - MU Convo DriversFig. 9

As noted previously, patient engagement was another topic gaining traction in the HIMSS 15 conversation this year, and we wanted to know who the most active tweeps were from an engagement standpoint, as well as who was mentioned most by others in patient-related conversations.

Not surprisingly, patient engagement strategist and health technology consultant, Jan Oldenburg, drove the conversation around patient engagement, followed closely by patient data rights advocate Regina Holliday. Clinicspectrum and Get Real Health were two of the solutions providers most active in the patient engagement conversation. (Fig. 10)

Patient engagement: Who drove the conversation?

Fig 10 - Patient Engage Convo DriversFig. 10

Not only has the conversation around patient engagement as it relates to HIT increased at this year’s event, but patient-related topics are also heavily rooted in discussions around health records and health data information ownership, with patient engagement being increasingly aligned with notions of transparency and access. In looking deeper at the health records/patient empowerment conversation, overall, we see that conversations about health records continues to rise, and is actually one of the key conversations related to patients at HIMSS’15.

As can be seen below, access, support, rights, own and need are all among the top terms used in the patient and patient engagement conversation at HIMSS’15. Additionally, the number of conversations about these topics rose incredibly fast since 2014, and with data and records appearing near the top of the list as well, it becomes clear that patients are increasingly associating empowerment and engagement with health data and EHR/EMR records access. While there was a slight dip in the number of people talking about patient engagement from 2014 to 2015, it still remains the single most discussed topic surrounding the patient perspective/experience. (Fig. 11)

Patient empowerment and data ownership: A growing trend

Fig 11 - Patient Empowerment TrendFig. 11

While survey also ranked very high in terms of growth, there are always a good amount of these documents released at events, and this year was no different. One such survey that received a lot of social engagement was Deloitte’s Survey of US Physicians, which provided data-driven insights on how physicians view the healthcare system healthcare reform. Last, but certainly not least, as can be seen in the continued increase of electronic as part of the patient-focused conversation, the divide between the business of health IT and those whom it is built to truly benefit is definitely shrinking.

And there you have it! Well, most of it, as we saved some of the real meat for those data geeks and organizations looking for a deeper analysis on key trends and eye-opening takeaways – including influencer and engagement metrics around mHealth, wearables and telehelath – as well as more insight around which companies were the biggest winners – and losers – in the social engagement and social influence game. For a deeper dive into the research and to set up media briefings, please contact:
• Rob Cronin, Practice Leader, Technology and Digital Health (@robcroninNY)
• Jen Long,
Group Director, Technology and Digital Health (@jensparklong)
• Jenny Laurello,
Senior Manager, Technology and Digital Health (@jennylaurello)

W2O Group’s HIMSS’15 Social Conversation Report

And for more @W2OGroup research, including our analysis of socially active hospital and health system CIOs (#HITsmCIO), please see here and visit our MDigitalLife Health Ecosystem to learn more!

“You have to get your on-base percentage (OBP) up, or else you better be making every single play defensively.” – New York Yankees Announcer.

When I heard this quote during a Yankees game, I couldn’t help but realize Major League Baseball (MLB) and W2O Group firms approach their “sports” similarly.

We both leverage analytics to identify, assess and “recruit” people to enhance our offensive capabilities.

While the MLB recruits top athletes to build winning teams, WCG, tWist and Brewlife use analytics to “recruit” active and trusted industry thought leaders who share a topic of interest with our clients. We analyze online conversations and trends that are relevant to our clients’ businesses to understand who is contributing to dialogue and influencing the most people on the subject. As a result, this informs our decisions and strategies with the intent of building relationships to form a winning “team.” Answers to key questions help us build the best team, including:

How active are these thought leaders on social channels? What is their reach and relevance? What types of content do they create and share? How many people share their content, or value them as thought leaders?

Our goal is to find and subsequently build relationships with people who are respected in a particular field and may be interested in engaging with and sharing content we develop with our clients. Their support positively impacts overall company performance and, over time, its corporate reputation. We refer to this process as influencer engagement, and use it to hit homeruns for our clients.

For a recent influencer engagement program, our Analytics and MDigitalLife teams compiled and leveraged data to build a team of online thought leaders (including physicians) among specific areas of health: epilepsy and mental health. Over a three-month timeframe, our Media & Engagement team built relationships with them via Twitter by engaging with their content and sharing program-specific content on behalf of the client. The influencers eventually engaged, which opened relationship opportunities for the client. Results of this program exceeded key performance indicators, such as number of identified influencers who engaged, and content reached thousands of relevant followers, including physicians. The most rewarding moment, however, happened when the chairman of the Department of Neurology at a major medical center retweeted our content; that was like having the Derek Jeter of our sport hit a homerun!

baseball

Just like baseball teams look for a return on investment from their players, we (as well as our clients) strive to provide a return on engagement from identified thought leaders. In other words, the more players or thought leaders that the MLB or W2O Group firms respectively can “get on base,” the more OBP or engagement will increase.

At the end of the day, analytics are the foundation of strategies and decisions across multiple organizations, beyond MLB and W2O Group firms. Incorporating insights that data reveal can be the difference between successfully building a winning team and failing to accomplish this goal. Build your offense with the goal of reaching home plate to help shape your reputation before you’re forced to defend why you’re a thought leader.

As organizations become increasingly analytics-driven, how will you use analytics to hit homeruns?