If this level of creativity could only be used for ‘good’

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.

@kevinclauson

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.

ULP Digital Pharma Nine Notables

Two-thumb typing on telephone at twenty to thirty thousand feet while things are still fresh in my mind from Digital Pharma East.

Digital Pharma was the first Pharma-centric conference I’ve attended.  My usual professional meeting haunts are either focused on HCPs or are a blend of healthcare industry and technology.  I wasn’t completely certain what to expect other than I would likely be among the minority as a ‘representative’ from academia and pharmacy.  That’s plenty of preface, onto the Notables

Notable Keynote
As much as I enjoyed keynotes by Ian Talmadge, Dr. Bertalan Mesko (@Berci), etc., the one that completely floored me was delivered by Dr. Ian Morrison (@seccurve).  It was the perfect blend of style (his seamless comparison of Pimp My Ride to the state of US healthcare) and substance (holistic view of drivers of medication non-adherence).  Spot on observations, great timing, and natural, unforced humor.  The clip on his site does not do him justice. 

Notable Conversation
@LenStarnes is just a really interesting cat. I found him to have a fascinating global perspective, wealth of experience, and he is a darn good storyteller in his own right as well as being a fellow ZX81 owner.

Notable Attendee
Phil Cranch (@cranchtweet), MSPharm, MComm at The Crystal Agency.  He was the only other self-identified pharmacist there who I saw and tied for my fave Aussie.

Notable Anniversary
Congrats to the folks at Pixels and Pills who are a very precocious, collective one.  Remarkable energy, nice approach, no doubt headed for great things.

Notable Recruit
You just watch, I am totally going to figure out a way to poach @Shwen Gwee and get him back to academia where he belongs. Academia needs more driven people who are also savvy.  Don’t worry; I’ll still let him help the ExL Pharma folks.

Notable Transparency
None. I detected no transparency of note. I get that it’s canine-devour-canine and all that, but still a bit disappointing.

Notable Mobile Experience
I can’t help but think if I had talked to @CynthiaNorth 6 months ago that it would have cut off about a month of prep time for our mHealth research protocols and that we, in turn, would have added perspective and experience that would have enhanced their patient adherence piece.

Notable Connection(s)
My post. My rules. Multiple parts to this Notable. @PhilBaumann of Health is Social may just end up being the first social media healthcare futurist. I feel like Dr. Mike Sevilla (@doctoranonymous), despite his notoriety, is underrated as a presence especially given his remarkable longevity. Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) simply gets the need for rigorous research in this area and authors a thoughtful, relevant blog.  After speaking to Gilles Fry (@gfry) a few times, I finally figured out a one-word descriptor for where he resides on the ‘Rage Against the Machine’ to ‘Endearing Curmudgeon’ continuum: Fierce.

Notable Omissions
See above re: rules and limits. Somehow digilicious by @JaeSelle did not fit into the Nine despite a potent combination of sculptor, visual enthusiast, and embracing the inner geek.  And where was @jonmrich curator of the Social Media Wiki?  Great googly moogly that thing is useful.  I planned to thank him for those efforts and to tell him to cheer up.  Health literacy, while not omitted from the conversation, was limited to cameos.  Civility seemed to be omitted at a handful of sessions.  Barely activated patients and hesitant healthcare professionals would have made fine additions to some panels to give a fuller picture.  I did not omit any of the stargazing targets.  However, I’ve obviously omitted at least one great connection, one great conversation, and one great find.

@kevinclauson

Stargazing at Digital Pharma East

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)!

@kevinclauson