Social Media and Technology in Health Care: ePharma Summit Goes Beyond Pharma

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Social media and mobile intersect at ePharma Summit

Patients and health care consumers are engaged in their health and the internet has allowed them to be empowered in their health care.

They are actively searching and accessing information online and they are using their Smartphones to stay connected and to manage their health.  Whether they engage online or with the click of an app, technology is transforming health care.

Power of Technology

The power of technology is allowing a partnership between patients and providers.

Technology allows patients to manage their health.  Patients can track their medications, engage in digital games for better health, and have a virtual visit with their health care provider.  (These are only a few ways technology is transforming health.) Additionally, Kaiser patients can access their medical information on a mobile device.   The mobile health app market continues to soar and will grow to $392 million over the next five years.

Social Media Networking

Some health care organizations and health care professionals continue to question the value of social media networking and remain in their own silo.  At the very least, they should be listening to the conversations that are happening in real-time.  They can benefit by looking outside their silo to find out how others are successfully engaging in social media.

Social media is about connection, communication, collaboration and community.  By engaging in social media, organizations can create, foster and strengthen relationships.

Patient Engagement

Social media networking sites are a powerful and phenomenal platform to educate patients, raise awareness of health issues and it offers a forum to collaborate and connect.  It gives a voice to patients and it allows for the conversation to get started with their doctors and other health care professionals.

Some health care organizations and health care professionals are successfully embracing social media have developed an online presence.  As they continue to boost their social media activity, patients and health care consumers will benefit in significant ways.

Social networking has changed the landscape in health care.

Technology has paved the way for instant communication and feedback.

ePharma Summit

The ePharma Summit strategically offers a multi-dimensional layer of sessions, symposiums and case studies.  The ePhama summit goes beyond Pharma and taps into social media and technology.

Some of the sessions at ePharma I’m looking forward to include:

  • Join the Conversation, Don’t Create It: Pharma’s Role in Social Media
  • Leverage the Conversation: The Role of Patient Social Networks in Pharma Marketing
  • Time to Get Comfortable: Video is Here to Stay – Johnson & Johnson
  • Utilize Social Media as a Part of a Fully Integrated Campaign
  • Fill in the Blanks: Move Forward with Social Media in Lack of Regulatory Guidance
  • Promoting Medical Mobile Apps from a Pharma Regulatory Perspective
  • Technology is the Medium, not the Message


Quantifying Ourselves through Technology: How What Technology Wants Can Inform What the Healthcare Consumer Wants
Kevin Kelly, Founder & Senior Maverick, Wired Magazine and author What Technology Wants, introduced a brand-new view of technology as a living, evolving organism with needs and tendencies. He suggests that by listening to what technology wants we can better prepare for the new technologies of the future. In this cutting edge talk, Kevin bridges the gap between technology and philosophy. He shares his knowledge as an avid self-tracker and leader in the “Quantified Self Movement” and discusses how technology is engaging these “patient participants.”

Trends & Technologies to Watch in 2012 & Beyond

Innovation is at an all time high, with new technologies being introduced daily. With so much activity happening, it’s tough to evaluate all of them to see which are likely to become the next big thing. Robert Safian, Editor & Managing Director of Fast Company, will provide you with an overview of which technologies he thinks are going to be the most popular in the next year, and our panelists will share the implications they will have on the pharmaceutical industry.

When and Where

The ePharma Summit is February 6-8, 2012 in New York City.  If you would like more information, please visit  If you would like to register, please use my discount code XP1706HI30 to save.

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