released today by pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research, stating that the number of U.S. adults who are Health 2.0 consumers has risen to over 60 million. Manhattan Research defined Health 2.0 consumers as those who have conducted one of the following activities in the past 12 months: read health-related blogs, message boards or participated in health-related chatrooms; contributed or posted health content online such as: writing or commenting on a health-related blog, adding or responding to a topic in a forum or group, or creating health related web pages, videos or audio content; used online patient support groups, message boards, chatrooms, or blogs.A report was
One of the interesting trends highlighted in the report was the rise of "niche therapies", which Web technology is helping to enable. The report notes that "while mass media campaigns were successful in raising awareness of conditions of interest to a broad base of individuals, promoting niche drugs requires precision targeting and fostering one-to-one relationships with patients." This is where the Web has come into play - in particular social media, search marketing and behavioral targeted advertising.
The report states that healthcare companies are starting to experiment with online video and other rich media promotion, although it also warns that the regulatory challenges inherent in the healthcare system apply to new media too.
How are web technologies being used by Pharmaceutical companies? They are using social networks like Facebook, advertising on niche health blogs, creating YouTube channels, and monitoring content online (e.g. Wikipedia). Also, the report notes that "a growing number of patients are rating prescription drugs and treatments on sites like iGuard.org, DailyStrength.org, PatientsLikeMe, and WebMD." For example, the report states that there are currently almost nine thousand reviews of Zoloft and over five and a half thousand reviews of Seroquel on the site DailyStrength.org.
Another emerging trend is use of mobile. The report says that consumers who use their cell phones and PDA/smartphones to look up health and medical information is now at over 10 million U.S. adults.