We Are All Health Consumers Now


By Sven Larsen (@svenplarsen)

Have you heard that expression?

It’s become a bit of a mantra since Regina Herzlinger used it in the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW last year. And it seems to be taking over discussions in 2012.

What do we mean by that? Pharma digital thought leaders (and friends of the blog) Shwen Gwee and Sara Holoubek have been tapped as two of the speakers for HealthMinder Day, a new pre-conference track devoted to Health and Wellness at this years BlogHer conference. For Shwen, this is well travelled territory. He pioneered the Social Media Health track at SXSW a couple of years ago and chaired a similar suite of programming at last years BlogWorld conference. Ditto for Sara, who was the driving force behind getting a Health and Wellness Hub added to this year’s Social MediaWeek New York programming.

And, of course, we’re rapidly approaching TEDMED, the health centered spinoff of TED (perhaps the world’s most prestigious conference).

The key takeaway is that health and wellness issues have become so front and center in our society that they are dominating the discussion wherever thought leaders meet and forward thinking ideas are exchanged. We think it’s a great thing that the topics our industry have debated for so long are now part of the larger discussion and we’re excited to see some of the new solutions that come out of this broader debate.

We also think the challenges for Pharma conference organizers and Pharma thought leaders are clear. For conference organizers, the need to look beyond the narrow confines of our industry is becoming even stronger. With mainstream conferences embracing the healthcare discussion, programming and speakers have to be more inclusive and innovative. For thought leaders, the challenge is slightly different. They need to make sure that they participate in these broader discussions, understanding that their is a need (we would even go so far as to call it a duty) for Pharma experts to educate and inform the general public about the complexities and challenges facing our industry.

How are you participating in the discussion? How is your company dealing with the fact that “We are all Health Consumers Now”?




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