Menlo Park, CA – With the launch of Apple’s Healthkit, mobile app developers are quickly integrating their technologies with the iOS upgrade. The shift comes as healthcare takes center stage in the latest boom of new devices, wearables and quantified self apps.

The latest rumor to be entering this space is online social giant, Facebook. According to a recent Reuters report, Facebook is looking to create mobile apps dedicated to building social communities around specific disease states as well as develop social groups on preventative care that will focus on healthy lifestyles.

Facebook seems to align well with online learning and support. Healthcare related topics ranked as the #1 search on its platform according to a Vision Critical report. With questions about technology and privacy aside, our friends and family are who we reach out to for health advice. Facebook just happens to be the place where you can have access to all of them at the touch of a button.

So what does this mean for healthcare marketers? While there are many restrictions when it comes to advertising on these networks, the best use of a social network like Facebook is to simply join and participate in the conversation. Users tend to talk about their own health online regardless of what they think about privacy. Because the network is already tied to demographic context, social listeners can gain a wealth of insight to benefit population health and to further support their brand awareness.

Photo Courtesy of Bloomua / Shutterstock.com

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.