|I have only come here seeking knowledge,|
Things they would not teach me of in college. ~The Police
Last week I attended the Roche Social Media Summit in San Diego. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel - and being the huge Sting / Police fan that I am, I was sure to snap a picture of the wall that held the lyrics above. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the lyrics resonated my thoughts about the summit.
One of the first speakers we heard from Thursday morning was Dan Kane, Roche’s Vice-President of Marketing. He discussed the reasons Roche does these Social Media Summits. The bottom line, according to Mr. Kane, is to get to know us better - to see us and to really understand us. It can’t be just about the products, they need activated and engaged patients, and then they need to interact with those patients. I’ve always agreed with that whole-heartedly. I’ve spoken before about my belief that pharma can learn a lot from patients and patients can learn a lot from pharma. Attending the Diabetes Advocates Forum in the spring made my belief stronger. And taking part in the Summit last week drove it home again. Both sides of the healthcare equation, the pharma side and the patient side, should seek and gain knowledge from each other.
We discussed the ways that Social Media has become more than just a way to connect - it has become a power to bring about needed changes. We were able to hear from, and give our personal perspectives to, the JDRF and the IDF. We previewed some upcoming products Roche is working on, and were able to ask questions and make suggestions about what we saw. We learned about things Roche has implemented after hearing the opinions and needs expressed in previous Summits. (This was my first year attending, but I can tell you that the DOC was well represented in years 1 and 2.) We broke into four smaller groups to brainstorm for One Great Idea, and I was please that a Roche representative joined each of the four groups. We discussed Health Care Reform, and I learned of some deeper issues I hadn’t thought of. And, we had a wonderful wonderful session with Dr. William Polonsky. I met him a few weeks ago at TCOYD in Albany and I believe he will be at Friends For Life next week as well. The poor man is going to think I’m stalking him!! (He is totally stalk-worthy - he really knows the challenges we face and has great advice for getting though them.)
Event recap posts are always a challenge for me to write up, because my head always seems to be filled with more inspiration and knowledge than I can convey. But I will try to add more details about the Summit in some follow up posts. In the mean time, many of the other Summit attendees have already gotten some great posts written about our time in San Diego.
***Disclaimer: As a participant in the Social Media Summit, Roche paid for my travel to and from San Diego and my meals and lodging while there. However, to continue my Police theme, I’m not Wrapped Around Their Finger. My opinions are my own and I was not asked to blog about the Summit.