Learn from the new patient communities

One of the true benefits of social media is how it allows you to connect with people like yourself. Sites like patientslikeme.com hit it off even before the social media wave. But social media is giving patients a unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from peers. And these new communities popping up is also an excellent learning opportunity in what medical communication is all about. It’s about getting answers to the most important questions you have. About getting support from people who understand what you’re going through. And it’s about getting new knowledge to help you cope with the situation and talk to family and friends – maybe even being able to answer all their questions. A great example is the Danish group “Fællesskab for unge og voksne med pacemaker og ICD” – Community for youth and adult with pacemaker and ICD. In a relatively short period of time, the group has attracted more than 2,000 members and have gained quite a lot of media interest. Having a pacemaker, especially when you’re young can truly be a life-changing experience. Even doctors and hospitals have noticed the group and are now using group members as mentors for new patients and as speakers.

If we can accomplish something similar with our medical marketing and communication efforts we’ve come a long way. However, too often medical communication doesn’t get the balance right. Providing irrelevant knowledge, lacking in understanding of the patient’s situation, or just repeating well-known facts. So do yourself a favor. Dive into the many new groups on social media and learn from them. But remember to be open about who you are.



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