Meeting Business Needs by Meeting Patient and Caregiver Needs: Using online communities to be an empathetic partner

Julie Wittes Schlack
Innovation and Design, Communispace Corporation, United States

Michael Jennings
Communispace Corporation, United States


In the Web 2.0 world, the four P's of marketing have been replaced by a proliferation of C's: Customer, content, connection, community, collaboration, change, context, and creativity.

In many respects, the online sharing of health-related information has led this grassroots revolution, with “old school” technologies like ListServs enabling physicians to share best practices with one another, and large public forums like enabling patients and caregivers to exchange stories and advice with their peers. But until recently, fearful and uncertain about how to be compliant with regulations governing adverse event reporting and off-label usage, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies have been conspicuously absent from the web 2.0-enabled conversation.