NICE's Twitter account

Digital Pharma: Byte-sized roundup

pharmafile | December 4, 2009 | News story | Medical Communications Abbott, GE Healthcare, HES, NICE, Twitter, digi, digital pharma 

Last week it was the ABPI that joined Twitter this week it’s UK cost effectiveness watchdog NICE, which launched an account to coincide with its annual conference.

On its website NICE described the initiative as a “pilot on the use of social media site Twitter to communicate with new and existing audiences” and says it wants to see if Twitter can provide a cost-effective route to promote its work.

The Institute was also candid about finding its feet on the microblogging platform, tweeting: “[It’s] early days, NICE is a bit new to the twitosphere, so it’s a bit of an experiment. ” It joins a growing number of UK healthcare organisations to sign up to Twitter, including the NHS Evidence public library.

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Abbott has set up a French chronic illness and work blog. Alongside general chronic disease information, including specific sections on rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis – two conditions treated by the company’s anti-TNF drug Humira.

The Maladies Chroniques & Travail site includes patient videos, a review of the web and links to useful websites.

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Creation Interactive has launched a set of awards that aim to reward someone or something in the digital space that stands out for its engagement and is primarily encouraging nominations via Twitter.

The Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards will encompass organisations, website or individual Twitter users, but there are no predefined categories and no entry fee.

Nominations so far include: The Health Care Social Media Europe group, Pfizer UK’s Real Danger anti-counterfeits campaign, Sanofi-Aventis TV and Boehringer Ingelheim’s John Pugh.

The consultancy’s director of digital engagement Daniel Ghinn told me they’re now keen to hear from more people outside the healthcare industry – “people affected by healthcare engagement like patients, carers, consumers”. To this end they’ve launched an iPod touch competition for nominations (details here).

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Lilly has unveiled a new US depression programme Missing Pieces, whose website allows users to select information that is most relevant to their experience of the condition. The site also features a ‘disease comparison’ section, where people can compare their experiences and knowledge of depression.

The cornerstone of the Missing Pieces programme and website is a simple action plan to help guide patients from their depression diagnosis to recovery.

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UK medical technology company GE Healthcare has given the press section of its website a multi-media makeover.

Alongside video and picture content, the site also links out to the company’s presences on the social media websites Twitter, YouTube, FriendFeed and Flickr.

The updating of its online press office follows the company’s recently launched @RNSA virtual roadshow. The week-long event ends today, and will be available as an archive until March 2010.

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And finally, Pfizer’s US animal health subsidiary has launched sponsored Twitter account DogOnBoard, which offers tips for families travelling with their canine pets and has been set up to introduce Pfizer’s motion sickness treatment for dogs Cerenia.

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Dominic Tyer is web editor for Pharmafocus and and the author of the Digital Pharma blog. He can be contacted via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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