The power of social media was realized in full force during the recent Boston Marathon bombings. Emergency responders, the media and those on the streets of Boston, Watertown, and Cambridge demonstrated how social networking with a collaborative and concerted focus can be used with great success.
We often hear, "Seeing is believing," underscoring a basic truth: that belief is something that must be earned. But belief doesn't happen overnight. Whether we're talking about belief in a person, a religion, an institution, or a brand, belief takes time to accrue. Belief must be built. And once it's established, belief is a force that drives behavior at the deepest level.
Back in mid-2007, in the midst of conducting in-depth research and analysis of the evolving digital health landscape, Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet and American Life Project recommended I read a publication co-developed by the late Tom Ferguson, MD, titled ePatients: How They Can Help Us Heal Healthcare. This prophetic white paper introduced many of the digital trends we take for granted today, including the use of the Web and digital tools for health research, the rise of patient-powered social networks and more.
Many years ago I showed some draft copy to my creative director. I was very pleased with it and thought that it was great advertising copy. After he agreed that it was great advertising copy, he asked me to take out "all of the marketing." It made the copy a thousand times better and gave me an important lesson that has stayed with me: write like a real person. Be persuasive, but speak in the language of the customer - because if you talk like a door-to-door salesman, you'll be about as welcome.
It's a sad reality that, on a global basis, medical resources aren't allocated in any kind of organized or equitable fashion. Treatments and tools that are commonplace in many societies are virtually non-existent in others.
The healthcare industry is dramatically changing. It's happening because of technology, politics, economics, and empowered consumers. Today's consumers are connected, juggling multiple devices, on the go, and want their voices heard. They crave information and connections-practically in real-time. This is every organization's new business reality.