Social media as a reference for patients             Visit the pharmacy for                Apps on smartphones can play a ...
FIP Centennial Social Mediamedical appssite Thousands of           age leaflets and do not visit the p...
FIP Centennial Social Media>   by a pharmacists, for example. “A patient                     the counter cannot simply wal...
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Artikel in Pharmaceutisch weekblad over apps en sociale media


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Artikel uit het Phamaceutisch Weekblad waarin enkele opmerkingen van mij over apps en sociale media in relatie tot de apotheker. Verschenen in de internationale editie, september 2012

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Artikel in Pharmaceutisch weekblad over apps en sociale media

  1. 1. Social media as a reference for patients Visit the pharmacy for Apps on smartphones can play a key role in compliance. Using a game, patients set goals for themselves and share their scores on Facebook. Internet expert Martijn Hulst: “The pharmacy is the ideal place for providing medical apps.” Text | Edwin Bos ‘Download the app for further instructions ago. This lets runners measure their perfor­ important role in monitoring patients and about this medicine.’ This is already reality mance and compare themselves to other improving compliance, for example by in the United States: the doctor prescribes runners in their own neighbourhood. And adding a game element. “Astra Zeneca, for an app. Their growth is explosive: apps as we can measure or sleep cycle by laying a example, has developed an app for people medical aids that communicate directly with smartphone next to the pillow.” with COPD or asthma. They can set them­ the web via a smartphone. They measure One of the newest developments, explains selves goals and, once they have achieved key health indicators such as blood pres­ Hulst, is a pill housing a chip that records them, win a trophy. Patients can see each sure, blood sugar or heart rate. the body’s vital functions. The chip is made others’ trophies via Facebook.” According to Martijn Hulst, an expert on of fine sand and is digested fully. “The chip Like Hulst, pharmacist and professor online trends and internet marketing for reports from the body via Bluetooth. This Marion Schaefer of the Institut für Klinische care institutions, more and more people development is still in very early stages, but Pharmakologie in Berlin is seeing more and are monitoring themselves this way. “Nike may have major consequences.” more medical aids appearing in the form of installed a chip in running shoes a few years According to Hulst, apps can play an apps. She lists an app that sends out an alarm in case of a severe heart rhythm dis­ rder. GPS can be used to immediately o locate the patient. Pharmacists answer questions in Twitter consult She is less enthusiastic about the possibi­ lity of using apps to improve compliance. Many pharmacists in the Netherlands have opened a Twitter account for their pharmacy in “An interesting application, but only for the past two years. The extent to which this account is used to seek out contact with patients patients who are already fairly compliant. is unknown. There are also pharmacists who indicate they primarily use Twitter to follow health insurers, for example. Mediq, the largest pharmacy chain in the Netherlands, launched a twitter consult for ques- Patient forums feature tions about health and medicinal products one year ago. Via @MediqSpreekuur, any Twitter full reviews of medicinal user can ask a Mediq pharmacist questions. If a visitor requires privacy, Mediq handles the question via the ‘direct message’ option. This hides the messages from third parties. Four products pharmacists take turns responding to questions. Independent pharmacists have also started providing such services. According to trend watcher Martijn Hulst, a pharmacist should first ask himself what he You will also never connect an entire patient wants to achieve with this kind of Twitter service. “Find out whether you can provide it to- group via an app.” According to Schaefer, gether with a GP, for example.” who will give a lecture on social media A way to make money with social media is currently lacking, although there are Dutch phar- during the FIP, apps can provide insight macists – some with online stores – who use Twitter to market self-care products and offers. into compliance. “As well as information20 One pharmacist has a QR code in the pharmacy that links to a special offer. The customer can PHARMACEUTISCH about how a patient is feeling.” PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD WEEKBLAD see the offer immediately on his smartphone and cash in at the desk. Another pharmacist uses YouTube to provide additional instructions on medication use. Patients can view a film at home on how exactly to use their inhaler medication. The film Patients are increasingly connected with PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHARM ACEUTI SCHWE features the pharmacist himself. EKBLAD each other via online platforms and com­ PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHAR munities. The most common example is the MACEU TISCHW EEKBLAD PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHARMACEUTISCH 28 s e p te m b e r WEEKBLAD 3 9| 2 01 2
  2. 2. FIP Centennial Social Mediamedical appssite Thousands of age leaflets and do not visit the pharmacy if Schaefer also sees these social networkspatients visiting this rapidly growing inter­ they have questions about their medication. primarily as places to discover what ques­national online community exchange “They have far greater trust in each other.” tions patients are faced with. “If a patient PHARMACEUTISCH 21 Pharmaceutisch Weekblad WEEKBLAD PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLADexperiences about diseases and medicinal However, Hulst feels pharmacists would asks a question on an internet forum, heproducts. be well served by looking into the topics may not have received enough information “There are even complete reviews of discussed on these types of internet forums. from his pharmacist.” Schaefer emphasizes Pharmaceutisch Weekblad PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHARM ACEUTI SCHWEmedicinal products”, says Hulst. According “Patients who do come to the pharmacy that complaints patients post online about EKBLADto him, these patients hardly read the pack­ likely have the same questions.” medicinal products have not been checked > Pharmaceutisch Weekblad PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHAR MACEU TISCHW EEKBLAD Pharmaceutisch Weekblad PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHARMACEUTISCH 28 september WEEKBLAD 3 9 |2 01 2
  3. 3. FIP Centennial Social Media> by a pharmacists, for example. “A patient the counter cannot simply walk away from a may simply have had a bad day when he or patient saying: ‘I have three questions on she described the complaints.” Facebook. Do you have a moment?’” In contrast with Schaefer, Hulst is of the Remuneration opinion that pharmacists are missing According to Schaefer, pharmacists cur­ opportunities in the social media field. rently have no active role to play on social Pharmacists can play a much greater role as networking sites. “Pharmacists already have a reference for patients in the online world. Marion Schaefer is giving a lecture during difficulties obtaining compensation for their “My impression is that patients first ask the FIP: Social networks as source of infor- knowledge, so why would they offer it for their doctor if they have questions about mation about medicines – session 4E: free online? You have to stay businesslike.” medication. Given the position held by Social networks – friend or foe in medi- Schaefer is also of the opinion that phar­ pharmacists in the Dutch Medical Treat­ cines information?; Saturday 6 October macists have no time to play an active role in ment Act, I think the pharmacist should 9.00-12.00. social media. “A pharmacist working behind more actively fulfil said role.” However, pharmacy care is chiefly a local Health 2.0: patients receive online support affair. How can a pharmacist use social net­ working in a local way? According to Hulst, Martijn Hulst is one of the pioneers in the field of Health 2.0, the new social development in a pharmacist should regularly search for which patients participate in internet groups and receive online support from care providers. the name of his own pharmacy on these As an advisor in marketing communication in health care, he has been working at the inter- sites. He also feels it is important that section between internet and care provision for the past decade. In that time, he supported pharmacists not only present themselves, various organisations, such as hospitals, care groups and pharmaceutical companies. but also actively address visitors: I am offering you this service. For more information: Pharmacists on networking sites mostly A chip reports from the body via Bluetooth appear to provide links to, for example, extra information about medication (see box). Both Hulst and Schaefer agree there is no real dialogue with the patient. Taking into account the spectacular increase in the number of medical apps, Hulst sees an important new role for the pharmacist: distribution of apps. Hulst expects manufacturers such as Astra Zeneca will provide their apps via the phar­ PHARMACEUTISCH 23 Pharmaceutisch Weekblad WEEKBLAD PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD macy as well as the standard app store. “The pharmacy is the ideal place for infor­ mation about the use of medical apps.” < Pharmaceutisch Weekblad PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHARM ACEUTI SCHWE Internet expert Martijn Hulst: “Pharmacists should not only present themselves on social media, but also actively address EKBLAD visitors: ‘I’m offering you this service’.” Edwin Bos is news editor of PW. Pharmaceutisch Weekblad PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHAR MACEU TISCHW EEKBLAD Pharmaceutisch Weekblad PHARMACEUTISCH WEEKBLAD PHARMACEUTISCH 28 september WEEKBLAD 3 9 |2 01 2