Something slipped by me a few weeks ago. When the FDA gave the thumbs up for silicone breast implants on November 17, the press release was also accompanied by a video link. Is the FDA readying itself to enter the You Tube generation?
I’ve been doing some speaking gigs on the use of new media recently. And while actually, the FDA video accompanying the news release is probably not You Tube stuff, it is a very interesting innovation, and one I hope the FDA continues. Use of video in this context raises some interesting opportunities in new media with respect to labeling and risk management as well as marketing, to name a few.
For example, a great deal of effort is put into public service announcements (PSAs). These are sometimes expensive efforts that are often quite good, but get played at 3 AM on a cable channel somewhere during a monster movie and heaven only knows if it is reaching your target audience.
Why not instead make PSAs available on the Internet so that they can be downloaded and spread through e-mail among an audience that is actually invested in the topic? For that matter, why not have risk management elements, such as special instructions for the use of a drug or warnings related to its use, put into video and even podcasting to accompany a label?
As the science of labeling is so centered on comprehension of reading and concerned with reading levels, it is time that this science turn its research head toward the use of oral teaching. It should be determined whether comprehension of instructions and warnings might in fact be supported by use of new media, rather than relying simply on written label instructions.
How about some video for download on patient assistance programs and how they work?
For that matter, why not use videos on the Internet to recruit for clinical trials? There is a nationally run clearinghouse of available clinical trials that is hosted by the National Institutes of Health called ClinicalTrials.gov. What if you could augment the information with a video providing further information – a researcher talking directly to patients about the why’s and how’s of participation in a particular clinical trial? People might respond very positively to the notion of a research expert (who, of course, has been expertly media trained) talking directly to an interested patient.
The growth of new media is exploding exponentially. To not be participating in that growth means a loss in reaching targeted audiences. Though highly regulated industries such as the pharmaceutical industry, face some specific challenges when considering the use of new media, these are a few examples where some forward thinkers might apply new media to the benefit of all. It will be interesting to note if, in the future, the FDA continues to accompany some press releases with video. It could be the beginning of something great.
By the way, if you are interested in one of my speaking gigs, e-mail me!