Announcing the winners of the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards 2012 #hesawards

This year, in the third annual Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards, we see healthcare engagement going further than ever before to achieve outcomes in health and healthcare. This was the year that the commercial healthcare industry, and the pharmaceutical industry in particular, broke free from its shackles online. For the first time, deliberate, proactive online engagement features extensively among our winners. With Boehringer Ingelheim, corporate communications has become individual and personal through Facebook; while AstraZeneca moved into direct public engagement on Twitter, not merely listening to social media but provoking a response by asking questions.

It was a year in which we have seen the integration of mobile health tools, or ‘mHealth’, as the riches of emerging channels were exploited in Pfizer’s iPhone app; just one of the nominations to have put location-based services to good use. Meanwhile, Roche Diagnostics deepened their relationship with diabetes bloggers to achieve greater levels of engagement than ever before.

In fact, two thirds of our winners this year are commercial healthcare companies who are exploiting digital, social media and mobile channels. Here is proof that the leaders in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry can no longer be considered to lag behind the rest of the world in their adoption of emerging channels.

But it’s not all about the commercial healthcare industry. As with previous years, we have seen the success of partnerships between commercial and non-commercial organizations. And incredibly, in the year that Google Health was shut down, we’ve seen inspiring engagement taking place in public health services; two of our winners are health services of very different natures, from Swaziland to the UK, both incorporating new channels to transform local healthcare delivery.

Every winner has a unique story to tell, and after interviewing them we’ve told each of their stories in a set of special reports below. I hope you find these inspiring – I have certainly been incredibly inspired as I and the team at Creation Healthcare have researched and analysed the finalists. You might spot some common themes among the experiences of our winners and the lessons they have learned. We’ll explore these themes in future editions of our e-journal, Healthcare Engagement Strategy, and at our special Summit event on 26 June in London.

After months of research and analysis, we have selected six winners who have each pioneered in healthcare engagement over the past year, breaking down barriers and overcoming hurdles to achieve their vision. I am extremely grateful to everybody who sent nominations; to the global team at Creation Healthcare who shared ideas as we reviewed nominations together; and to all finalists who took the time to share their stories with us. Our Healthcare Engagement Strategy 2012 winners are:

AstraZeneca’s #rxsave Twitter chat: Open Dialogue Award
Boehringer Ingelheim Facebook Page: Facing Customers Award
NHS local digital service: Digital Health Services Award

Pfizer ‘Public Restrooms’ iPhone app: Time & Place Award
Roche Diagnostics, Diabetes Care with the Big Blue Test and the diabetes online community: Patient Engagement Award
Swaziland National Malaria Control Programme: Life Changer Award

Daniel Ghinn

Daniel Ghinn is Editor of Healthcare Engagement Strategy and CEO of Creation Healthcare, the online market research consultancy for healthcare. He is a prolific writer and speaker on emerging trends healthcare engagement in the digital age.