Monday, April 30, 2007

Notes from the Healthcare Blogging Summit: Jay Bernhardt, CDC

The Summit got off to a late start due to a scheduling mix up and at 9 AM, attendance was sparse! Hopefully, it will pick up as the day goes on.

I am writing this and posting as the day goes on...

Jay Berhardt, MD, Centers for Disease Control, gave a keynote presentation. spoke on Social Networks and New Media for Health in the 21st Century. Jay is the Director of the CDC's National Center for Health Marketing. Jay is also a blogger (see Director's Blog).

DISCLAIMER: The following is a synopsis of jay's personal views, not CDC policy.

The government is not tracking the digital divide as well as it once did. This is a key concern when we talk about new media and help.

US is 15th out of 30 developed countries in terms of broadband access -- about 20% of Americans subscribe to broadband, whereas countries in Europe are at about 30% adoption. This also has implications for health-related social policy adoption.

Is social media affecting health? Yes, says Bernhardt, but not easily quantified today. Especially if measured by better health outcomes -- no evidence that we are healthier today because of the Internet.

How can social media revolutionize health (not healthcare, but health)?

Social media cannot overcome a problem with your genes. What about using SM to change our environment? Yes, there is a lot of activity in this sphere -- social justice, equity of access, and opportunities, etc.

Social Media and Decision Support -- social media can increase the impact of information to inform healthy decisions.

Health is a social construct -- e.g., "people like me" are most trusted according to the Edelman Trust Baromter. No demographically the same, but have the same opinions, etc.

To succeed, social media must be BIG on the 3 P's and 3 E's: Personalized, Participatory, Presentations (ubiquitous content through multiple channels), Engaging, Entertaining, Emotional. Need to engage in these E's if you want to cut through the clutter.

Product placement in RSS Feeds is coming! "It's there now," shouted out several people in the audience.

Jay cited a couple of examples: fluwiki, organizedwisdon

What's CDC doing? Jay defines marketing as delivery of value to consumers. Goal is to have consumers actively use information in such a way to improve health.

His marketing group uses podcasts, RSS, E-Cards, Webinars and blogs, graphical bugs, E-games (toe in the water), widget (very big into this). A good model is the field of financial services, which is far ahead to the health industry in adopting these technologies.

What About Future?
Health-related social media will continue to grow.

Information credibility is harder to judge these days. Trusted experts will have a resurgence. Sources like CDC and clinicians that "I know."

CAUTION: the health information divide is continuing to grow as well. Mobile media may help bridge the gap. 2.5 billion people live within mobile access spots, even though they may not own a mobile device. People have a relationship with their mobile devices.

1 comment:

Laura said...

High speed broadband access is so important in the health field for so many reasons, from just information to diagnosis and monitoring in areas far from medical facilities. The problem is that many communities who need it most are underserved because there is no public policy requiring affordable, high speed broadband for all. There are some good policy suggestions plus some discussion of the "telemedicine" issue on http://www.speedmatters.org.