#P4DC – Social Media & The Monster Under the Bed: the Latest Thinking on Fearing vs. Embracing Social Media

In January 2013, a day-long working session was held with several members of Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Solutions Companies and several voices from the Diabetes Online Community (Kerri Sparling, from SixUntilMe; Kelly Close and Adam Brown, from Close Concerns; Manny Hernandez, from Diabetes Hands Foundation; Bennet Dunlap, from Your Diabetes May Vary; and Jeff Hitchcock, from Children with Diabetes).

The goal was to identify the greatest unmet needs within the diabetes community and to discuss ideas for how, together, we can address these needs, better assist the community and transform the future of diabetes care, both globally and domestically. Following an energetic, inspiring and passionate discussion, the P4DC Coalition was born and committed to addressing the following “unmet needs” in diabetes:

  1. Validation of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) and its role in better diabetes management/ improved health outcomes
  2. Addressing the stigma of diabetes with educational initiatives that increase the understanding and awareness of Type 2 and bridge the gap between Type 1 and Type 2 communities
  3. Supporting underserved communities with initiatives that give back directly to people with diabetes who do not have adequate access to care

Following on the footsteps of the amazing results obtained through the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign earlier in 2013, the P4DC Coalition began working on a Conference Panel Discussion which took place July 10, 2013 at the Children with Diabetes Annual Friends for Life. The panel discussion featured prominent diabetes experts:

  • Korey Hood, PhD – Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco
  • Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDE – Associate Professor at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Barbara Anderson, PhD – Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Baylor College of Medicine
  • Jeremy Pettus, MD – Internal Medicine Physician, San Diego, CA

Nearly 80 participants tuned in to the livestream or tweeted following the #P4DC hashtag (turning it into a trending topic during the event). Some of the highlights by the end of the event:

  • Social media is here to stay…the question is how to use it safely and effectively.
  • Virtual support seems to be just as good as in person. You can look at it like this: online is basal, offline is a huge bolus! (Korey Hood)
  • Barriers in HCPs recommending social media to patients/how to get more people online:
    1. Time (how long it’s been around). For many, the DOC and social media are new to patients/HCPs.
    2. Get online and look at different sites. It’s less scary than it looks – the monster is more scared than the kid (i.e. face your fears). An empowered group of patients will be able to affect HCPs.
    3. People with diabetes should share with their physicians the sites they read/visit and the value they get out of them in order to make physicians more comfortable in recommending social media to their patients. Changing patient behavior is easier than changing provider behavior – it’s a bigger bang for your buck.

You can watch a video of the entire session here:

This panel was a great first step in a long term effort to validate the DOC and get more people to join the conversation.