During a recent meeting in Berlin of the international Steering Committee for Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day (WNCAD) on November 10, 2010, Grace Goldstein of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation had the opportunity to hear a fascinating presentation by Silja Chouquet, owner and CEO of whydot GmbH, an agency that specializes in social media consulting, coaching and training. Her fields of expertise are the creation of patient-focused social media communications and marketing campaigns. Ms. Chouquet’s passion for helping patients was evident when she talked about how neuroendocrine cancer patients could use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-newsletters, and online forums, to connect with each other and to bring about greater awareness of their rare cancers.
In her blog, whydotpharma, she writes: “The Internet holds the power to profoundly change the way healthcare is delivered. Millions of patients, caregivers and physicians turn to the Internet every day to look up the latest information on important health topics and find support from like-minded people.” Pharmaceutical companies, she says, have a unique opportunity to show patients how much they care by being open and transparent. Ms. Chouquet believes that “a pharma company wishing to use social media to improve patient outcomes can only do so successfully if it manages to build trust, credibility and collaboration with the online community first.”
On behalf of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, Ms. Goldstein would like to thank Ms. Chouquet for “her extremely generous offer to help the carcinoid/NET community with social media for Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day.” Ms. Goldstein notes that Ms. Chouquet has “a very large following within the European and international social media and healthcare communities and her outreach to the rare disease community will have a huge impact in helping obtain greater exposure for Worldwide NET Awareness Day.”
Ms. Choquet is cofounder, with Andrew Spong, of the Healthcare Social Media Europe community, an organization of more than 140 healthcare bloggers, Twitterers, and social media users in Europe and the United States. These dedicated individuals share “a conviction that social media has the potential to augment the targeting of medical research, improve the quality and delivery of care, and advance patient education and empowerment.” They are holding the first hcsmeu conference on March 31st in Berlin. The event is free and, says Ms. Chouquet, “We would be thrilled to have as many interested people, in particular patients, attend the event.” See their website for details.
You can also follow the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation on Twitter @CarcinoidNETs.