From DIY Diagnostic Tests to Mobile Health Competitions

In a letter published in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock, physicians in Scotland described the use of a webcam, Skype, and an iPhone 4 to connect a provider in Calgary to an expert over 200 miles away in Aberdeen for assistance in performing a pulmonary ultrasound.

The idea behind most diagnostic tests is simple: Identify a telltale chemical and look for it in a blood sample. The PSA test for prostate cancer is the best-known cancer diagnostic, but diagnostics exist for other cancers too — ovarian and colorectal to name a few. And while the tests are not infallible, they can help find hard-to-detect, early stage cancers and monitor treatment.

Dave deBronkart, “e-Patient Dave,” was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in 2007. The median survival time for his condition was 24 weeks. Thanks to the help of an online network for patients with his disease, he quickly learned about treatment options and found support for his recovery. The treatment was successful, and now e-Patient Dave is cancer-free and has found a higher calling: empowering patients to have access to the best health care possible — by connecting with resources online.

eyeforpharma believes that the pharma industry must pay more attention to patient needs across the board, and that teen cancer patients are a great place to start. To this end, the organization is hosting its first annual Mobile Health Competition. The competition aims to highlight new and exciting mobile apps that help teen cancer patients better manage their conditions and improve their lives.

You cannot afford to take a “wait-and-see” approach or you may soon find yourself trying to catch up with competitors. Even if you do not currently have an active social media presence, your employees and customers are already using social media. Start now, start small and measure progress. Take precautions: develop a policy to govern your employees’ use of social media. Also use social media to monitor, enhance and protect your brand/reputation.