Social media in healthcare – slowly moving forward…

Dagens Medicin (”Today’s Medicin”, a Swedish news magazine) arranged in collaboration with K-Street Advisors a seminar today entitled ”Social media in healthcare – a necessary evil or good?”. This is their fourth conference on the topic during the last two years or so. I have participated as a speaker on several of the previous occasions (see for instance my comments from the seminar back in Aug 24, 2011, and from Feb 23, 2012), and I am happy to say that things do move forward (although somewhat slowly…). Healthcare seems to become better and better on understanding why and how to use social media, and more and more brave examples arise. Some really good examples from our Scandinavian neighbours participated on today’s seminar. You just have to check Wasim Zahid on twitter (@WasimZahid) and Bispebjergs og Fredriksbergs Hospitaler on facebook. Two great evidences that healthcare can, and should, take the opportunity and utilize social media!

In addition to these brilliant examples of usage in health care we also learned today from Carl Thalén (K-Street Advisors) and from Roland-Philippe Kretzhmar (MNML Agency) about some of the basics around social media. Definitely useful information for many of us participants.

Carl Thalen, K-Street Advisors

Carl Thalen, K-Street Advisors

Theo Martins (Hallvarsson & Halvarsson) also gave us a good review of how social media could help you, but also definitely harm you badly if you do not act correctly, during a crises. Social media is fast…

Theo Martins, and the speed of communication

Theo Martins, and the speed of communication

Similar to the previous conferences on the topic (e.g. see blog posts from Aug 24, 2011, and Feb 23, 2012) we also received very good and insightful presentations from Jens Larsson (lawyer at the Uppsala County Council) regarding the legal issues around social media and healthcare, and Sara Natt och Dag on patient blogs. See for instance the ”ikroppenmin” blog – very emotional and strong.

And then of course my own presentation of social media strategies in the pharmaceutical industry.

Thanks to Anna Sahlin for the photo

Thanks to Anna Sahlin for the photo

I have said it very many times before, I am definitely not a social media guru. My 18 year old son Christoffer actually thinks that I am a ”social media illiterate”… Well, I would not say a complete illiterate, rather a ”happy user”. I have my Responsibility blog of course ( that I have connected to twitter (@CSRBengt). I have also taken part in Pfizer’s Can You Feel My Pain project on facebook, flickr and other social media platforms back in 2010 and 2011. Pfizer learned a lot from that initiative. Things that we benefit from today working with social media as part of our communication strategy. Check out our corporate facebook page and see if you think we are up-to-date. I was very happy to hear today from some of the other speakers that they looked upon the Pfizer facebook page as a very good example from Big Pharma. Such comments always makes me proud!

And then I also shared some experiences from the Dizza Tobak project. The web site is being updated right now, and will soon also contain a film describing the entire project from start to end. Until that happens, please review some of my old Dizza Tobak blog posts (see the catagory Dizza Tobak) and one of my absolute favourite contributions from Swedish teenagers in their fight against tobacco: Love this way to die?

A fun (although somewhat scary) development is that today so many of the participants on a seminar such as this one has smartphones and give you direct feedback via twitter (see hashtag #dmagenda). I was not surprised to see that Wasim Zahid for instance received very good feedback

Vågar man använda sociala medier till patientkonsultationer? Norske läkaren Wasim Zahid inspirerar. #dmagenda ”

but I was also happy to see that participants even gave me positive feedback

Bengt Mattsson, Pfizer, en frisk fläkt angånde läkemedelsbolagens närvaro i sociala medier. #dmagenda”

Bengt, CSR- och miljöchef på Pfizer är som vanligt klok när det gäller sociala medier. En ”självklarhet” för läkemedelsföretagen #dmagenda”

A good and inspiring day is a good summary of this Wednesday!

What have happened over the last 1590 days in our industry?

Roughly 1590 days ago (give or take a day or two due to leap years…) Pfizer Sweden started the (”The Environment and Responsibility Blog”).

It has been a very interesting journey. We, and especially I of course who has been writing all the blog posts, have gained a lot of experience in working with social media channels. I have also received a lot of feed back on the initiative itself and of course on the subjects I have discussed in the blog.

I have today reached a milestone: Blog post number 500 is now being written. This corresponds to a blog post roughly every third day. So what have been the major topics of these 500 blog posts?

One way to fairly easily get a good sense of the topics covered over the years it to read the blog posts in the Archive ”Händelser i loggboken” (blog posts that I have wanted to highlight in a special log for some reason). There are 71 blog posts in that archive (well there will actually be 72 including this one…).

I have selected 20 blog posts from the log to exemplify what have been on the agenda of the industry, of our stakeholders, of Pfizer and of myself during these 1590 days. Here we go, starting from this summer moving backwards into April 2008:

July 6, 2012 – reporting from Almedalen: So many blog posts written almost daily during my stays at the political gathering each summer in Almadalen… 
The final phase of the Dizza Tobak project…: The Dizza Tobak project – so much fun, and so important!
Action Item 7.2 in the National Pharmaceutical Strategy: My biggest focus during my LIF-assignment right now… 
LIF, Green Public Procurement and follow-ups: Green public procurement, and unfortunately the lack of follow-up from our customer, has been a topic for several discussions!
A Regulatory Update on Pharmaceuticals and the Environment : So many regulatory initiatives are being taken within the field of pharmaceuticals and the environment…
A Round-Table Discussion on Green Economic Incentives: If you have followed the blog during 2011 and 2012 you know that I strongly believe in green economic incentives!
Expert groups to the All Party Committee on Env Objectives: The work together with several stakeholders on the Swedish National Environmental Goal ”A Non-toxic Environment” was very stimulating!
MPA report on GMP and environmental requirements: The Swedish MPA report on GMP and environmental requirements really have gained a lot of national as well as international interest…
Årets Kvinnohjärta (”Woman’s Hearth of the Year”) 2011: I was so honored to receive the ”Woman’s Heart of the Year” Award!
Earth Hour 2011: There has been quite a few blog posts of WWF’s great initiative Earth Hour, and of course also upon other issues related to global warming (including Pfizer’s own very successful program on Energy and Climate Change).
ISO 26000: The largest ISO initiative ever, and the standard on social responsibility will for sure influence both ourselves and our stakeholders in the years to come.
Mer om problemen i Indien…: The issue around releases of active pharmaceutical ingridient from pharmaceutical manufacturing in India is probably the most common topic discussed in the blog. I have not only discussed the issue itself, but also all the initiatives that have been taken from different stakeholders (e.g. Swedish MPA on GMP, and LIF’s roundtable discussions on green economic incentives).
Pfizer Energy and Climate Change Award 2009: I was once again proud, now due to the Pfizer Energy and Climate Change Award that was presented to Pfizer Sweden for the Silverdal Office.
Årets läkemedelsprofil 2009: I was so honored to become ”The Pharma Person of the Year 2009″. I received the award for ”all my efforts to put environmental sustainability on the pharmaceutical industry agenda” – not to bad!!
Pfizer och “Ansvarsfullt företagande” (I): Since I very often receive questions about Pfizer, the industry and corporate responsibility I decided to write a long (actually to long) blog post on the matter…
Pfizer och “Ansvarsfullt företagande” (II): The blog post from above continues…
Intressentdialog – en röd tråd i vår hållbarhetsredovisning: There has been several discussions over the years regarding the importance of stakeholder dialogue (both internal and external stakeholders).
Drivkrafter för CSR- och miljöarbetet: There has been discussions of course regarding the driving forces for Corporate Social Responsibility and for Environmental Sustainability.
Viktigt arbete mot korruption – och för ökad transparens: The fight against corruption and counterfeited pharmaceuticals can never stop!
Samarbeten inom Sollentuna kommun: I have tried to talk both about local CSR collaborations, nationwide ones, as well as global initiatives. To have a complete sustainability program it is my opinion that you need all three parts.
EU:s GreenBuilding Award 2008 tilldelas Pfizer AB: I was of course very, very happy to receive, on behalf of Pfizer Sweden, the EU Green Building Award 2008 for our Silverdal Office, one of the most energy efficient buildings in Europe!

As you see from the above, I change the language in October 2010. Why? Well, back then I was given the opportunity to visit Uganda to follow Pfizer’s CSR programs on site. An experience that really did change my views on several issues for all times. We can really make a great difference – not only in the developed world, but also definitely in the developing world. That journey made me so proud of being a Pfizer employee!

July 3, 2012 – reporting from Almedalen

As you know from yesterday, I am now at the political summit in Almedalen. This morning was devoted to tobacco prevention and tobacco cessation discussions. I visited seminars arranged by in collaboration with other anti-tobacco organizations. You know from our work with Dizza Tobak, that I have very strong feelings around tobacco.

Tobacco is one of the biggest threats to health. And the seminars today focused upon kids’ rights to a tobacco free environment. We learned today that in Sweden,

- 6000 people die every year from tobacco

- 20% of all cancer cases are directly due to tobacco

- 16000 starts to smoke every year, and

- societal costs due to tobacco are approximately 30 billion SEK every year.

What can be done? Several proposals were discussed, e.g. increase the tobacco tax, a ban on all exposure, banning smoking in public places, and of course different information campaigns. And it cannot come as a big surprise after Dizza Tobak, that I am a big fan of campaigns. Elin Ramfalk from A Non Smoking Generation gave a very interesting example of how to spread information and engagement in the new internet world. Check out You’ll love it!

Elin Ramfalk talks about Agerareklam

Elin Ramfalk talks about Agerareklam

I was alo very impressed by another campaign presented today: Kräv rökfritt. It is not only a website, there is also facebook and twitter, and an exciting App. Once again, check it out – you’ll love it. What was extra fun is that later on during the day I saw the Kräv Rökfritt-kids in Almedalen. They do look cool!

Kräv rökfritt

Kräv rökfritt

The picture above is taken after lunch at Donners Plats in Visby when I worked together with several LIF colleagues, presenting vårdfrå As I wrote already in yesterday’s blog post: Follow that link, and learn about what Swedes think about healthcare issues…

I also visited a seminar on the need to move from a fossile fuel society to a society built on renewable energy. The seminar was arranged by Swedegas. They has invited participants from a number of different think tanks,  Anders Wijkman from the Club of Rome, Per Garthon from Cogito, Martin Ådahl from Fores, Boa Ruthström from Arena Idé, Kristina Persson from Global Utmaning and Christian Sandström representing Timbro. An interesting, and optimistic, debate. They all agreed that the transformation is not only necessary but also possible. A topic that was discussed was the political difficulties however. What is needed for the political system to deliver the decisions needed? I guess the question is still open…

And talking about politics: The party leader speech in Almedalen was given by our prime minister today, Fredrik Reinfeldt. And well, he did not help us to resolve the question above – will the political system manage to deliver the decisions needed?

More to come tomorrow!

Social Innovations in the Health Care Sector

I have today been in Luleå participating in a social innovation workshop arranged by Innovationssluss Norr (a collaboration between Norrbottens Läns Landsting, Region Västerbotten, and ALMI Företagspartner).

The invitation to my lecture

The invitation to my lecture

My contribution was a two hour lecture on social innovation within the pharmaceutical industry. I spent a lot of time discussing the development of services (e.g., Smart4Heart, and Well-at-Work). I have discussed these kind of service innovations previsously here at the blog See for instance the blog posts from Oct 4 2011, April 8 2011, and Nov 16 2010 for further details. One of the issues we discussed was how to find operating business models for these types of services. How shall they be financed? As part of the reimbursement system within healthcare or in another way? I reached out to the group and asked for help to find robust and sustainable business models.

I also gave a lot of insight in our CSR-programs and environmental sustainability initiatives. It is my strongest belief that these initiatives combined with social innovations and service developments in the area of illness prevention and creation of wellness, is a very integrated part with our medicines when we present our offer to society. Learn more about our sustainability initiatives on our Swedish website and on our global website. Please also read about Pfizer Canada’s ”more-than-medication” initiative and Pfizer Sweden’s tobacco prevention initiative (

Social Media – More Examples Of Usage Within Health Care

The Swedish news magazine Dagens Medicin, in collaboration with K-Street Advisors, arranged a social media seminar today (see comments from the seminar on twitter, #medsm12). We discussed the usage of social media within healthcare. I have participated in similar seminars previously, see for instance my comments from Dagens Medicin’s seminar in Malmö in August last year or Pharma Online’s seminar a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, a very interesting and fun day. In a field with such a rapid development, you learn new things pretty much every day!

Carl Thalen

Carl Thalen

Carl Thalén from K-Street Advisors gave us first a general introduction to social media, and he really managed to cleraly show that ”it is hot!”. 92% of all Swedes have access to Internet, and more than 4 millions are using facebook. In average we update our status on facebook 3 times a day… No wounder, huge ”digital footprints” could be created. Search your own digital footprint on Both fascinating and scary…

Theo Martins

Theo Martins

Theo Martins, also from K-Street Advisors, discussed how much of a paradigm shift social media actually is, or whether or not it is only a new communication channel (although extremely much faster and powerful). he pretty much came to the conclusion that it is really ”only” a new powerful communication channel, but he pointed clearly out that power has been transferred from companies and organizations to ”the people”. In traditional communication channels, being one-way communication mostly, the sender has all the power. In social media it is all about interactivity, and hence the balance of power shifts.

After Theo we got the opportunity to listen to Sara Natt och Dag, counselor and author.

Sara Natt och Dag

Sara Natt och Dag

She gave several very touchy examples of patient blogs. Extremely strong stories about people describing, often in great detail, their entire situation suffering from for instance lethal cancer. You can read some of these stories in Sara’s books (e.g. Sabina och Draken, built upon Sabina’s blog) or follow directly in the blogosphere, e.g. ”Jenny Marklunds tankar” and ”Lars – resten av livet”. Hearth breaking stories. Some of the discussions today in relation to these patient blogs were on the topic ”how should health care professionals act and react to these blogs”. especially interesting question perhaps if it is your patient…

AnnaSara Carnahan from Smittskyddsinstitutet (Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control) gave us an example of their use of social media: A new, rapid and hopefully more powerful way to follow the spread of the flu in Sweden. Read more about the joint EU initiative at

Jens Larsson, attorney from the Uppsala County Council gave us several legal perspectives on the use of social media. One of my take-aways from his presentation is that ”all the same old laws apply to social media as to all other types of information/communication”. Hence, yet another sign that social media is not a paradigm shift, rather a new set of communication platforms (however faster, more powerful and so on and so forth).

I then talked about some of Pfizer’s initiatives in social media. I gave examples from the Can You Feel My Pain Initiative, from Dizza Tobak and from You know all of these from my previous discussions about socila media here on the blog.

One of the great contributions to the Dizza Tobak initiatrive that I shared with the audience was the ”Love this way to die?”. Watch it, you’ll love it! I also took the liberty to show the drop-dead flash-mob initiative from Stockholm Central Station, where we showed that 18 people die from tobacco every single day in Sweden…

Pretty cool to image that the uploaded Dizza Tobak contributions have been viewed almost 380 thousand times altogether! Social media has an impressive reach!

We then listened to Jessica W Sandberg describing the How hetero initiative from Stockholm Pride. The campaign has won several awards, and that is not surprising! Strong and effectful! If you have not seen it, you just have to do the tests! Go to Based on my tweets I am apparently 77% hetero, which turns out to be roughly 15% more hetero than my gay brother. How hetero is a beautiful example how you can make your point effectfully using social media!

Theo then gave us some examples on how to handle crisis arising on social media platforms, and of course using social media in the crisis management, and Carl concluded the day by giving some recommendations on ”how to get started”. No rocket science really: Think first, then act. Begin with a pilot project, and secure that you have your strategy, your messages, and all of those things that are necessary for all other types of communication activities, ready before starting!

It is not a paradigm shift – it is however some really powerful new communication platforms!