Health and online going to explode in 2014 as we see even more people driven towards what’s called The Quantified Self – using the likes of Nike Fuel bands, Fitbit (as well as mobile phone apps) to measure their fitness and health. There are now even some devices for measuring quality of sleep. If you thought it was annoying when people posted their running details to Facebook, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The point being people are taking more and more interest in their health – and at some point will want to start sharing that info with doctors
The Quantified Self movement isn’t going to go away as sites like this show. The point is that from a healthcare comms professional point of view, there’s going to be more information and data available at points for stories and engagement. Also for consideration: http://www.getqardio.com/ - London based start up, shown at CES
A running/cardio device that gives medical grade ECG monitoring.
Can be downloaded and shared with doctors, chemists and family/friends.
The challenge for the healthcare comms professional has never been greater due to the number of platforms, channels and differing attitudes. The next few slides show us different generations and how they prefer to engage and communicate – some will pick up a phone, others would rather go and find a solution online themselves. The challenge for comms is working out how to reach as many people as possible because you can no longer rely on traditional media to do it for you
How people use online and engage 1
Pitney Bowes survey on how people go online and how they prefer to solve issues – considerable trend towards online solutions
As already mentioned, there’s never been more options to look at or consider in the comms toolbox
But for the coming year, there will be two main issues to look at. One is that the information needs to be good for press and public alike and it needs to be quick and timely. KLM now tell you on Twitter how long you can expect to wait for a response – been seen as a great communication tool
The other big trend in comms across sectors for this year is Paid Media and Healthcare comms is no different with organisations having to pay to make sure that people see their information before false or inaccurate information. Expect to see more and more comms budgets allocated for online advertising to combat spoof or false info sites
This isn’t advocating getting rid of people and putting everything online. Instead, this Scottish Government ICT stat from November 2011 points out that if information can be shared online, it can reach more people quickly than a doctor can. Hundreds of people can visit a website in one minute but a doctor can only see one or two people in the same timeframe. If online is used – and promoted more often – for generic or topical illnesses, it frees up the medical team for more urgent queries. Equally if people – including press – can get info online, it saves them calling the comms team
Content shouldn’t be a challenge for most healthcare providers but there does need to be a bigger willingness to share the big data – but this needs to be planned as some of the data may present certain Trusts in a negative light, therefore there still needs to be strategic and practical comms advice
As more and more staff who are comfortable with the idea of being online and on social, using Google Alerts and the likes of Mention.net to check for mentions of themselves, there is always going to be the risk of a doctor retaliating – or even insisting on befriending on the likes of Facebook to make sure there is no criticism made of them. Equally, there are reports of private networks now where medical staff meet to discuss issues – some not always relevant to healthcare or wellbeing (basically bitching sites) – if these are made public it could be a comms nightmare
Simple tips for 2014 – think more visually for reaching press and public. These work from the GP level to the most senior level. Allegedly NHS24 staff couldn’t access YouTube when the Elaine C Smith video about breasts went out.
A look at who does it well
https://portal.livingitup.org.uk/page/about-us Living it up - http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Digital-health-care-628.aspx
Ø Based in Scotland, £10million project Ø Connects people to events locally Ø Way of engaging with them on their health, beyond a clinic Ø Takes healthcare into the community