HEALTH

Wet Ones website features Bill Nye, addresses germs

BY Michael Johnsen

SHELTON, Conn. Playtex Products on Tuesday launched the Wet Ones Healthy Hands Zone website, an educational resource developed by Bill Nye, science educator and author of "Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs."

The website will house video demonstrations of and instructions for science experiments that teach children about germs and keeping hands clean, as well as information about preventing the spread of germs.

“Scientists estimate that 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted through hands, so it’s especially important to be vigilant about keeping hands clean,” Nye said. The Wet Ones Healthy Hands Zone resource features four science experiments families and teachers easily can conduct on their own.

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HEALTH

Survey: Most consumers turn to blogs, Facebook for health info

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — A social media go-to-market strategy is fast becoming a must-have for companies these days, especially those companies operating in the healthcare arena. It’s no longer enough to push patient education out through a branded online page, not with the growing prominence of social media sites. Today, companies need to seed that education across Facebook and Twitter and/or actively engage bloggers and heavy users to successfully get that education out to the masses online.

 

An Accenture survey released Tuesday found that U.S. consumers seeking medical advice are turning to medical websites, social media sites, online communities and informational websites in far greater numbers than the websites of pharmaceutical companies. According to the survey, of the more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers who go online for health information, slightly more than 1-in-10 regularly turn to a pharmaceutical company’s website to seek information about an illness or medical condition, compared with 92% who more frequently look to other online resources.

 

 

That patient traffic helps illustrate the fundamental shift from a predominantly one-way company-to-patient dialogue to enabling a patient-to-patient — and even a patient-to-healthcare-professional dialogue — through the evolution of social networks and online communities.

 

 

“Pharmaceutical companies that embrace innovations, such as social networking and communications via mobile devices, and integrate and align their communication strategy across multiple channels will be positioned to have a much greater influence on their patients’ choices and, consequently, realize significant increases in revenue, profitability and sustained competitive advantage,” stated Tom Schwenger, global managing director for Accenture’s Life Sciences Sales and Marketing practice.

 

 

There also is a fundamental shift on where those patients are accessing that online research. According to the Pew Internet Project’s latest survey conducted in association with the California Healthcare Foundation, 17% of cell phone owners recently have used their phones to look up health or medical information, and 29% of cell phone owners between the ages of 18 and 29 years have done such searches. Almost 1-out-of-every-10 cell phone owners also have downloaded a health-related app to help them track or manage their health. There now are more than 250,000 apps available for the iPhone4, more than 30,000 such apps for smart phones running Android and several thousand for those who have Blackberry devices.

 

 

Cell phone users between the ages of 18 and 29 years are more likely than older cell phone owners to use mobile health apps: 15% do so, compared with 8% of cell phone users ages 30 to 49 years, for example. African-American cell phone owners are more likely than other groups to use such apps: 15% do so, compared with 7% of white and 11% of Latino cell phone users. Urban cell phone owners are more likely than those who live in suburban or rural areas to have a mobile health app on their phones. There are no significant differences between men and women, nor among income groups.

 

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Matrixx taps Andrea Pennington for cold, flu awareness campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Matrixx Initiatives on Tuesday announced a partnership with health expert and former medical director for the Discovery Health Channel Andrea Pennington to help educate consumers on ways to keep healthy during cold-and-flu season. Pennington has appeared on numerous television programs, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Today," CNN, "CBS Morning News" and "Fox News."

 

Pennington’s work with Zicam will focus on raising awareness about how consumers can successfully treat their colds and feel better faster. "Most people have no idea how much power they have over their health," Pennington said. "Simple, small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on wellness. Embracing positive lifestyle changes now can help protect people during cold-and-flu season and promote a lifetime of wellness. I look forward to working with Zicam to help people live a healthy lifestyle."

 

 

Through media interviews and online articles at Zicam.com, Pennington will provide practical tips for people looking to defend themselves and their families this cold-and-flu season. Pennington also will offer consumers advice on how to incorporate sensible strategies that encourage wellness throughout the year.

 

 

As part of its campaign to educate consumers about how to get rid of a cold faster, Zicam also has launched a light-hearted online video featuring TV icons from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The Zicam "Mom Squad" features Florence Henderson (“The Brady Bunch”), Meredith Baxter (“Family Ties”) and Estelle Harris (“Seinfeld”), who have joined forces to dispel the myths Americans have long harbored about treating the common cold.

 

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