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Digital Pharma: Byte-sized roundup

pharmafile | December 11, 2009 | News story | Medical Communications 2009, Facebook, NHS, digi, digital pharma, google, iphone, sidewiki, year in review 

The Department of Health this week launched mental health programme New Horizons, following a consultation period that included a dedicated Facebook page, which aims to encourage users of the social network “help shape the future of mental health care”.

The New Horizons programme aims to get sufferers from conditions such as depression to stay in – or quickly get back into – employment, and will increase access to talking therapies.

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Sanofi-Aventis has become the second pharma company to address sidewiki, Google’s universal comment tool that allows anyone to post comments in a special sidebar on any website.

The pharma company’s US arm used the site-owner’s prerogative to claim the first sidewiki entry on its product website, making it clear it won’t be responding to sidewiki comments.

Sanofi’s entry reads: “Sidewiki is not a service provided or sponsored by sanofi-aventis U.S. Comments posted to this Sidewiki do not reflect the views and opinions of sanofi-aventis U.S. To contact sanofi-aventis U.S. directly, please visit or call 1-800-981-2491.”

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Google this week launched a ‘real-time’ search function, bringing it into line with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

The headline news is that it now incorporates posts to Twitter in search results that are updated on a live basis, but the search giant has also partnered with a number of other social media services, including Facebook, MySpace and FriendFeed.

Writing on the company’s blog Google Fellow Amit Singhal explained: “Whether it’s an eyewitness tweet, a breaking news story or a fresh blog post, you can find it on Google right after it’s published on the web.”

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The Department of Health has launched a ‘booze app’ in time for the Christmas party season. The first-of-its-kind iPhone application will allow revelers to track their alcohol consumption, find local NHS clinics and advice centres and get personalised feedback on their drinking habits.

The app is available from iTunes and the NHS website.

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Our A Year in Digital series, will continue on Monday with thoughts from Roche’s head of corporate internet and social media Sabine Kostevc.

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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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