Health and Digital Communications: The 2012 Report
HealthConnect Report2012Table of Contents03 Intro & Bios04 Introduction to HealthConnectKey Findings05 Primary Uses05 Social Media06 Patient to Patient Communication07 Mobile Applications07 Self-Health Management08 Doctor-Patient Facilitation09 Content Management Solutions10 Health Activism11 Current Discussions12 Investing in Healthcare13 Obstacles14 Best Practices - Industry Focused15 Best Practices - Client Focused16 Predictions for the Future17 Recommendations from thirdocean18 Resources19 Sponsors
HealthConnect Report2012Intros & BiosWHO IS thirdoceanthirdocean is an agency based out of Toronto, ONfounded in 2011 by Karim Kanji and Carolyn Van.We offer social media marketing communicationsand community management. We pride ourselveson being experts in the social media space, effectivemarketing communications, facilitating onlinecommunities, being able to create engaging andinteractive content, seeding conversations andcreating positive sentiment towards the brands wework with.thirdocean’s services compliment traditionalmarketing initiatives and digital communicationsinitiatives - providing an increase in audience reach,measurable results and the ability to keep on top ofan audience’s pulse.Results matter to us as much as they matter to you.thirdocean helps you work towards greater businessresults using social interaction and digitalcommunication. We craft together solutions thatsolve your specific needs.Website: www.thirdocean.comEmail: email@example.comTwitter: @wearethirdoceanWHAT IS XCONNECTXConnect is a thirdocean project designed to exploremovements and shifts that new media are setting offin various industries.WHAT IS HEALTHCONNECTTechnology advancements for the healthcareindustry are readily available – at home self-healthmanagement solutions, mobile apps and cloudcontent management systems have all beendeveloped to provide better care. However,government regulations and funding are among someof the hurdles these stakeholders face when lookingto implement these solutions.HealthConnect seeks to bring together healthcareprofessionals, industry experts, vendors and otherkey stakeholders to facilitate and encourageconversation and positive technological changes thatwill benefit the healthcare industry.Many of the resources and articles used in this reportas well as full coverage of our 2012 HealthConnectevent can be found atwww.xconnectto.com3
HealthConnect Report2012Introduction to HealthConnect4Social Media and new technology have had a significant impact on recent changes across all industries.They affect how:• Consumers interact with organizations • Organizations interact with each other• Information is communicated across all levels • Data is collected and made availableThe health industry is no different. Although many health organizations have entered the social media worldbehind other industries, there are efforts in play to benefit from these new solutions.There are significant opportunities available for the healthcare industry in social media and new technology.Allowing for patients to take their own health management into their hands, doctors on different continentsbeing able to interact in real-time and streamlining information sharing between a series of hospitals are a smallexample of what is available. However, privacy issues and government regulations in the healthcare industrylead to a conservative outlook on implementing new solutions.HealthConnect seeks to look at how patients, organizations, healthcare professionals and IT professionals usenew technology and social media to benefit the healthcare industry. It will look at industry opportunities andobstacles, discussing what each stakeholder can do to maximize the solutions that have been made availableto them.
HealthConnect Report2012Key Findings5PRIMARY USESOverall, the healthcare industry is extremely relianton technological advances. New research methodsand collaborative opportunities, alternative patientcare options and better management systems forextremely private information all result from these newadvancements. Social media and new onlinetechnology options provide any healthcare systemwith an opportunity to provide better care.SOCIAL MEDIAConsumer access to social media has exponentiallyincreased and many industries are now establishingthe best ways to use these platforms to benefit keystakeholders. The healthcare industry cannot afford tobe left behind as social media can act as acomplimentary tool to traditional healthcare programs.
HealthConnect Report2012Key Findings6PATIENT TO PATIENT COMMUNICATIONSocial Media platforms are designed to connectpeople and provide an opportunity to interact withindividuals globally. This advancement has led to theability for patient to patient communication, whichcan be advantageous for individuals with chronicillnesses who are feeling socially isolated due to theirillness.Crohnology is an online community developed bySean Ahren’s for individuals suffering from Crohn’sor Colitis disease. The objective is to have patientsdiscuss their illness, treatments and experiences, andfeel a sense of connection to others with the samesymptoms. Approximately 1 in 172 Canadians sufferfrom Chron’s, many of whom may otherwise feelisolated with their disease if it were not for the onlinesupport they receive through this community.
HealthConnect Report2012Key Findings7Key FindingsMOBILE APPLICATIONSTo date, there are over 13,000 consumer health apps available iniTunes. This statistic is evidence of what is available forindividuals and the healthcare industry. The emergence of mobileapplications has led to the opportunity for doctors and patients toconnect without face to face interaction as well as patientsmanaging their own health program.Velo Mobile, an app initiated in Central America and beingintroduced to North America, is a mobile application that allowshealthcare professionals to connect with patients over textmessage. As cell phone penetration is estimated to be nearing100% globally, Velo Mobile is using SMS messaging to allow forDoctors and Healthcare professionals to connect with patients,book/cancel appointments and ask basic health questions.SELF-HEALTH MANAGEMENTOnline communities and mobile applications provide a great opportunity for end-users to take responsibility fortheir own health management. With so many available apps to count your calories, remind you to exercise, takeyour pills and even test your blood sugar level it is almost inexcusable that one does not work toward a healthylifestyle.MyFitnessPal is an app where someonecan manage their healthy active lifestyle.If someone is looking to lose weight, countcalories, track exercise, MyFitnessPal isa solution that encourages healthy activeliving. This app goes so far as providingrecommendations on a weekly basis as towhat someone may need to cut out of theirdiet (i.e. too much sugar, saturated fatsetc.). Health apps such asMyFitnessPal give individuals a greatopportunity to manage their health athome before illness strikes.
HealthConnect Report2012Key Findings8DOCTOR – PATIENT FACILITATIONSeveral apps have been developed to assist indoctor – patient facilitation. These apps have beencreated to assist patients in finding the shortestpossible wait time to see a physician, allow fordoctors to connect with their patients withouthuman to human contact and manage regular visitsfor patients with chronic illness. Overall while patientwait times are expected to increase between 2012and 2013 , mobile advancements are providing asolution to combat these wait times.HealthAware is an application, targeted atwomen 30+, that aims to better facilitate bookingyour appointments. The application assists anindividual in finding the right kind of healthcare pro-fessional a patient needs, evaluating wait times andassisting in booking appointments. The App is agreat example of streamlining Doctor – Patientfacilitation to provide faster, more efficient service.
HealthConnect Report2012Key Findings9CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONSSolutions for the healthcare industry are not only for the end user.Cloud Content Management Systems allow hospitals and otherhealthcare professionals to connect in a more efficient way. Actingas an excellent project management tool, CMS solutions are able tofacilitate workflow, ensure correct sharing of documents andmanage essential timelines.WebPal is a Cloud Content Management System developedby Palomino System Innovations Inc.. Palomino hasimplemented this CMS into several healthcare organizationsto manage workflow and provide a better avenue fordocument sharing. CEO, Markus Latzel spoke to KarimKanji of thirdocean on XConnect about implementing thesolution into a series of 5 hospitals in Nova Scotia who wereworking with a decentralized system that did not allow forsufficient patient document sharing. Palomino was able tostreamline their Content Management Solution so allhealthcare providers were able to access the informationthey needed.
HealthConnect Report2012Key Findings10HEALTH ACTIVISMSeveral patients see the social space as a way toget their voice heard. As one person, versushealthcare providers or the insurance firms, it can feellike a lonely road when dealing with illness ordisease. Many patients and sufferers use Facebookand Twitter as a way to rally other patients andsupporters together to influence the course of theirresults.In May 2012, Courtney Render used the hashtag#CureforCourtney to help generate funds for a stemcell treatment to treat her Hodgkins Lymphoma.Within 2 days her campaign went viral as sheattempted to raise $600,000 for the cost oftreatment, a cost otherwise prohibitive to the family.
HealthConnect Report2012Current Discussions11Social Media has become a great avenue for patients, healthcare professionals and IT experts to connect anddiscuss the future opportunities available with new technology.#hackinghealth – Hacking Health is anorganization that facilitates conversationbetween healthcare professionals and ITexperts. They recently ran hackathons inToronto and Montreal to get professionalsinteracting face to face while facilitatingonline discussions throughout the year tokeep conversation and inspiration flowing.#hcsmca – Is a twitter hashtag – andcommunity – that connects healthcareprofessionals through online conversation.Contributors include doctors, nurses andvarious other industry experts discussing andsharing information on how HealthIT, socialmedia and technology can better theindustry.#HITsm – Is a regular Twitter chat held onFridays where industry professionals in thehealthcare and IT sector can collaborate.These groups come together to discusstopics including; opportunities and obstaclesfaced when introducing new technology tothe health care sector.#HCTO – HealthConnect a month longresearch study and event that is part of aseries called XConnect. Organized bythirdocean, HealthConnect brought togetherindustry professionals and interested partiesto discuss how social media and HealthITinfluence the healthcare industry.
HealthConnect Report2012Investing in Healthcare12FINDING THE RIGHT GUIDANCEFor many mobile and social start ups in the healthcare industry, finding the right guidance to navigatethe industry space is important. Learning about theregulations and obstacles a start up may face, alongwith receiving recommendations from experts alreadynavigating the field increases the chance theirtechnology will be successful. An estimated $700million had been invested into healthcare by mid-year2012, indicating there is open opportunity available.MaRS in Canada and Rock Health in the UnitedStates are excellent resources to those start upsnavigating the medical space. Rock Health offers upto $100,000 in investment to projects along with anoffice space, mentorship and expert guidance fromindustry experts at organizations such as the MayoClinic. These incubation programs allow foradvancement in medical technology that mayotherwise be hindered due to government or industrystipulations.
HealthConnect Report2012Obstacles13GOVERNMENT REGULATIONSRegulations for healthcare in first world countries arein place to protect citizens. The Canada Health Acthas over 150 stipulations in place to protect its citi-zens from poor healthcare, poor food production andmaintain citizen rights. However, theseregulations also place burden for new technologyentering the field.INDUSTRY RELATIONSMany of the Content Management Systems hospitalsand doctors are working with are older technology,despite the amount of new technology available. As avendor for the Healthcare Industry, such asHealthAware, it is often very difficult to penetrate theindustry due to Industry-Vendor Relations.Introducing new vendors to an old system takes timeand funding many small new vendors do not have.PRIVACYRegulations such as the Freedom of Informationand Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) are in place,again to protect the rights of citizens in Ontario. Thehealthcare industry is bound by these regulations asit relates to sharing patient information. It is put uponthe patient to allow for this information to be shared.Farid Kassam, during HealthConnect, mentioned “asconsumers, we have a lot more control onprivacy sharing.” In order for medical professionals tobe able to access some of the great newtechnological advancements, it is necessary forpatients to share that information.FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS46% of the Canadian budget has been spent onhealthcare, yet we still find budgetary constraintsacross the board. Paying for professionals andfacilities is the top priority, but currently the focus istreating illness and disease. We mostly rely onoutside support for managing our own health. AsFarid Kassam at HealthConnect said, “Doctorsshould be paid to keep us healthy!”INVESTMENTSIncubator and accelerator programs are currently thebest way to solve funding issues for startuporganizations in the healthcare field. Many VentureCapital firms are very hesitant to enter the space due toregulations in place. Nikolai Bratkovski ofHealthAware spoke to the need to capitalize on theprograms that are available while at the same time alsoeducating these investors on why the healthcareindustry needs their funding.INSURANCESocial Media is an excellent tool to connect patients so they are able to speak about their illnesses or diseases,discuss certain treatment options or how they reacted to each treatment. The insurance industry is slowlyentering this market as a customer engagement tool. However, it is not yet proven what risk thisinformation-sharing tool can have on impacting the cost of insurance. With more information being sharedonline, will it affect what a patient pays to stay healthy?
HealthConnect Report2012Best PracticesIndustry Focused14EXECUTIVE EDUCATIONAs Dr. Karim Jessa mentioned atHealthConnect, “Doctors are geeks!” Manydoctors and other healthcare professionals are opento embrace new technology. They want to be at theforefront of this movement. It is education at the toplevel of management that is necessary. Whether it is aseries of hospitals that need a streamlinedContent Management System so they are able toshare information, or embracing a new apptechnology that allows diabetes patients to use theiriPhones to test their blood, education of the benefitsneeds to be communicated at the top level.CONNECTING WITH COLLEAGUES#hcsmca and #HCTO allow colleagues within theindustry to connect with each other. Healthcareprofessionals should be capitalizing on theopportunities available to interact with otherindustry professionals, they may not otherwise meet,over the social media space. Just as we haveidentified many individuals with chronic illness whomay otherwise feel isolated without onlinecommunities, doctors in remote areas or withinspecific specialties may feel isolated from their peerswithout an online connection.PATIENT ENGAGEMENTA WEGO Health Activist study indicated that Pfizeris the most engaged pharmaceutical company onsocial media. Using the tool as patient engagementto begin with, Pfizer has taken the lead in interactingwith patients. Using social media not as a sales tool,but as a way to connect with your patients isexcellent. Although 47% of participants in the WEGOHealth Activist Study have negative impressionsof the large pharmaceutical companies online, ithas identified that steps are being made at levelsof healthcare to connect top level organizations toend-user consumers.
HealthConnect Report2012Best PracticesPatient Focused15STEWARD OF SELF-HEALTHThe App industry and online communities allowfor individuals to take health matters into their ownhands. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle or maintainingyour illness from home has never been easier. It istime for individuals to start acting as stewards of theirown well being.CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITYConnecting with a community who shares the sameview or is undergoing the same experience can beincredibly beneficial to someone who is feelingtrapped by their illness or grieving. Connecting with acommunity, as opposed to venturing into the onlinesocial space alone can also give an individual thestrength and support they need.UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONSHealthcare professionals are effective atcommunicating the biomedical parts of an illness, yettheir knowledge of a patient’s options or their abilityto speak to the social or psychological part of yourillness can be limited. As an individual, research andunderstand what alternative options you may have.Know what benefits each app or online communityprovides you with before choosing one specificavenue to gain further information.VOLUNTEERING INFORMATIONThe online space has given everyone an opportunityto share more information than they would have 20years ago. People are willing to give their address towin a trip, or their age to get free makeup. Individualsneed to feel more willing to share their informationwith the medical industry. Volunteering informationcan lead to new research and discovery, as well asprovide insight into how the healthcare system canbe better managed to react to patients. As Dr. KarimJessa mentioned during HealthConnect “The patientloses when the industry lacks the information need-ed.”
HealthConnect Report2012Predictions for the Future16As many areas of the healthcare industry are now entering the social media space, there is significant opportu-nity for advancement and adoption.APPLYING APPSNew technology provides endless opportunities;there are almost 13,000 available apps for patientsand medical professionals that are not fully integratedinto the system and over 30,000 Health IT solutionsavailable . As developers continue to challenge thestatus quo, the number of opportunities will onlyincrease. The global possibility for healthcare toembrace this new technology, not as a negativechange, but a positive solution will lead to betterapplication.USING TRADITIONAL AND CURRENTTOGETHERAs Abigail Keeso mentioned in her interview withXConnect, “I see these online communities acting ascomplementary therapy to traditional medicine. I thinkthey allow patients to feel empowered to take control oftheir health.” As the industry and patients begin toembrace the possibility of the online space andtraditional healthcare as a compliment to one another,there is a greater opportunity for continuous care.USING TRADITIONAL AND CURRENT TO-GETHERGovernment funding, Venture Capital Firms, AngelInvestors, and others all need to recognize whatopportunities are available for new innovation inhealthcare. There needs to be a shift from thenegative connotation associated with change in theindustry, to evaluating the solutions new media andnew technology provide to better the care given.MOBILIZATION OF PATIENTS TO ENCOURAGEBETTER TREATMENTAs social media becomes inherent in everyone’s dailylives, seeing patients maximize the efficiency ofsocial media to impact change will increase. As we haveseen over 2011-2012, Helene Campbell, a 20 year oldwoman from Quebec in need of a lung transplant hasbecome an international advocate for organ donation.Social media has allowed her to connect with individualslike Ellen DeGeneres and communicate her story to theworld.MASS COMMUNICATIONSocial Media can also assist with emergencysituations as an outbound communication resource,in particular during times of medical surge capacity.The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) made thedecision to provide updates over Twitter so userswould have better access to their travel informationand make more informed decisions on their transitplanning.During a critical illness outbreak emergency services such as hospitals, urgent care centers or phone support,i.e. Telehealth Ontario, can be flooded by patients due to the fear that health scares can create. Usingplatforms such as Twitter to communicate prevention methods, critical updates and to interact withindividuals who may have questions can help in reducing the sudden influx of patients and better managecommunity concerns.
HealthConnect Report2012Recommendations fromthirdoceanKISSKeep it simple.Medical technologies are being unnecessarily designed too complex. The design and functional-ity of medical devices and apps needs to change. And fast. Here’s why: Caregivers (doctors, nurses, specialistsand family members) are not, in most cases, properly trained on how to use various apps, devices, and othermedical technologies. Designing of these tools and programs needs to be kept in mind. It’s no longer safe toassume that just because a medical professional is highly trained that they will know how to use these devices.Keep the patient needs in mind: Keep things simple and effective so that care can be delivered fast and effi-ciently.BEHAVIOURAL INTERVENTIONThe success of apps such as BANT (designed by the University Health Network and The Hospital For SickChildren in Toronto) can be traced in part to understanding how and why people behave. BANT is not yourregular diabetes measurement app. BANT also includes the ability to connect with a community as well as earncool gifts via their rewards program. An early case study showed that use of this app increased the chances ofteens testing their sugar levels by almost 50%.I WANT MY DATAProvincial legislation must be enacted and enforced to ensure that patients own and control their health recordsand information. Professional healthcare providers must make available patients’ records so that they can beginto “own their health” rather than leaving it up to the system. The more we, as consumers of our own health,take care of ourselves, the better we will be able to use the system. Simple tools like cloud documentation orUSB sticks can facilitate this.PATIENT INSIGHTS AND PATIENT DRIVEN EFFORTIn all industries, customers need to feel empowered and have the ability to have their insights heard.However, while customer needs are key - it’s not the only need that exists. We all wish it was that simple.Balancing customer needs with government and client goals is a not easy. In the healthcare services industry,patients must be given opportunities and the tools to share, collaborate and track their insights. While we aresure that almost nobody would argue against this, the unserviced opportunity seems to be the “how” - and notonly the “how” but “how best to”. Healthcare professionals should have reliable and valid sources of constantlyupdated information populated by health care patients to assist them with direction in research and health carepatients should have user-friendly and safe tools to input their insights and progress.17PRIVACY VS. BETTER CARETo think that today’s patients will oppose to having their information shared amongst healthcare professionals- is an assumption based on past human behavior. If patients knew that having their information shared wouldlead to better health care they may at the very least entertain the idea. Nowadays, people are slowly but surelyunderstanding the correlation between user and customer data and end products and services. The year 2012and beyond equips us with the technology and tools that allow us to seamlessly facilitate the sharing of thisdata.