Social media, med-tech still have luke warm relationship

May 27, 2011 – 8:45 AM | By Omar Ford | No comments yet

Earlier this month my wife and I had a beautiful baby daughter, and as you can imagine, the demands for pictures are flooding in.

 This can be pretty problematic for us seeing as how we don’t really have a Facebook page, where we can disseminate pictures to all those who are requesting a glimpse of our lovely daughter’s visage,  in one click of a button. Everything with us, is done by email or text messages.

But there’s a reason for that, and a good one.  See we don’t really want our message out for the whole world to see. My wife and I are pretty private people, and we only want a select few to really know about the intimate details of our lives – including the birth of our daughter. 

That’s our excuse. But what’s med-tech’s?

 See according to a new survey co-sponsored by Schwartz Communications and the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council, social networking hubs in Massachusetts are on the uptick, but 46% of companies interviewed in said survey say they use social media to spread their message a “little” but not a lot. You can read the article here.

What’s the hold up?  One of the problems cited by surveyed device makers is the absence of FDA guidelines on social media.

Now I’m not slamming med-tech companies, but I think they need to approach this boldly and without fear. The realm of social media is pretty fertile territory for med-tech companies these days and those who are holding out are only going to get left behind.

Take for instance OncoSec (San Diego), a firm that is leveraging technology that can efficiently deliver a chemotherapeutic or cytokine agent for the treatment of cancer.

I reported on the company in the May 6th edition of Medical Device Daily.  We discovered that someone tweeted the fact we wrote about the company.  There was also a note about MDD writing about the firm in businesswire.

Because of this, MDD received several calls with questions about the company. Someone wanted to know how they could receive treatment from the firm’s device. Others had more general questions. I think in one day I received close to five inquiries. Now usually I don’t get that many responses unless there are mistakes in the story.

But my point, is that social media helps magnify the scope of the med-device company’s message. 

So while my wife and I might prefer to celebrate the birth of our daughter privately without photos plastered on Facebook; or updates posted on Twitter where many would have instant access – do med-tech companies really want to  discuss or promote their products on a small scope?  In the long run, if companies want to grow, that really doesn’t make any sense.

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