Twitter has often been hyped as a great way to support customers. The customers of pharma are physicians and patients. But pharma Twitter accounts offer very little in terms of patient support. Most are designed for corporate communications and unbranded marketing.
A branded, patient-focused Twitter account can be used in many ways to support patients. This article summarizes a survey that asked respondents to evaluate several ways in which Twitter could be used to improve patient support. Specifically, the survey asked how effective Twitter can be in carrying out each of the following patient support activities/communications:
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- Drug/device safety alerts (eg, drug recalls, medical device malfunctions, emerging safety issues)
- Prescription management, including pharmacy refill reminders
- Daily health tips from authoritative sources
- Publishing disease-specific tips
- Clinical trial awareness & recruitment
- Enhancing health-related support groups (e.g. buddy-systems for depression)
- Providing around-the-clock disease management
- Patient-sharing of health-related experiences
- Issuing dietary/lifestyle tips
- Delivering adherence and compliance messages
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