The 10th annual ePharma Summit was held over the last few days in NY. I was interested due to some of the scheduled speakers but could not make it, so I dipped in and out of the virtual conference stream as possible and found some pretty worthwhile content in there. The most convenient way to follow was via #ePharma on Twitter, but the conference site also did a pretty good job of posting videos (although the audio was almost inaudible at times) and other information.
What ultimately prompted me to blog about it was a tweet (via @WendyBlackburn & @pjmachado) about a parody video produced by Kevin Nalty (@nalts) [see below]. It just struck me as creative, funny, and very strong work…and it made me think how great it would be if that kind of creativity could be unleashed to design social media/mobile/any type of health-related content aimed at informing, educating, and empowering patients. Yes, the creativity behind this video is being used for ‘good’, but minus the shackles it could be used for a much greater ‘good’. I think that social media, in particular, has a lot to offer on this front and it is unfortunate that the regulatory environment is such that this is largely not possible right now. There have been some efforts along these lines and there was even a preliminary paper just published on the use of Facebook to deliver HIV education. However, there remains a long way to go – and I’m not just talking about ‘official guidance’ in a single arena.
More anon, for now…I hope you enjoy the video.
Note: If you click on the video it may say it is restricted on certain sites as it contains content from Universal Music Group and must be played on You Tube…so you can click ‘Watch on YouTube’ to play or go to the epharmify Channel to view it.
I am really looking forward to the 4th Annual Digital Pharma East coming up on October 18th in Philadelphia. In addition to presenting, I plan to do some major stargazing while I am there. I don’t mean ‘star’ in the manner of the cult of celebrity. I am defining stars as people who have something really valuable and/or interesting to say. It feels a little mercenary to go with the express intent of cherry picking knowledge from experts given the themes around sharing – but I guess that’s just part of the allure.
I’m also very much looking forward to reconnecting with Berci Mesko (@Berci) who I have not seen in a couple years, talking shop with social media flag bearer Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) who will likely be pressed for time from Co-chairing the event, having a face-to-face chat with Phil Baumann (@PhilBaumann) whose mind works unlike any other I’ve encountered in this space, meeting Gilles Frydman (@gfry) who is the final piece of the ePatient trinity, as well as Shwen Gwee (@shwen) who has both tweet cred and does great work.
In addition to those folks, I may be most eager to see presentations by representatives from Comscore and Within3, along with Cluetrain Manifesto author Doc Searls and futurist Ian Morrison. Needless to say, I am planning to see every single presentation on the final day, which is dedicated to mobile/mHealth. The rest of the time, it’s just a question of which Stream. Finally, I am curious to see how the unconference activities and #SocPharm sessions play out relative to previous HealthCamp events I’ve seen.
As for me, I’ll be presenting “Social Media Research: Partnering with Academia”. The link to the slides on the Digital Pharma conference site will be provided here after the presentation and will be available beyond that at SlideShare as per. I’m curious to see the reception given that the composition of the audience is pretty different than who I have been interacting with recently. I definitely have a (relatively) longstanding interest in the subject as one of the first articles we published on the topic was “Legal and regulatory risk associated with Web 2.0 adoption by pharmaceutical companies” in the Journal of Medical Marketing. We’ve also published several other studies on interactions between different healthcare professionals and representatives from Pharma. Ultimately, I am banking on the fact that I actually do what I will be talking about and have some concrete takeaways for those interested in the topic. I’m also optimistic that using an audience response system and building in time for discussion will help make it legitimately interactive. We shall see.
Overall, I am looking forward to reconnecting and making new connections, planting the seeds for future research collaborations, and learning from area experts that are rarely available in this concentration. I hope to see you there, hear your thoughts, or cross paths via #DigPharm (or whatever the hashtag ends up being)!
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