In today’s digital age, information is always at our fingertips. Whilst this might seem like a universal good thing, in the health space it has also given rise to a wave of health misinformation. When we can’t easily discern health facts from fiction it can lead to real consequences.
Let's delve into this issue, including the scale of the problem, and what a path forward for healthcare marketers may look like.
What exactly is health misinformation, and why should we be concerned?
Health misinformation is simply false, inaccurate, or misleading information about health. However, the real issues arise when people act on this misinformation, leading to delayed or incorrect medical treatment, and misuse of medical resources.
It can even add fuel to the fire of public health crises, as seen all too recently with the hesitancy on social media around vaccine safety.
At the recent Pharma Communications conference, Monica Campos, Public Affairs Director at Cofares, highlighted the magnitude of the issue, pointing out that one recent anti-vax documentary garnered over 19 million views and 18,000 comments across social platforms, despite providing no robust scientific evidence to substantiate its claims.
How healthcare marketers can cut through the noise
The online health information landscape is complex and rapidly evolving. With the continued rise of influencers, it is becoming increasingly challenging for healthcare marketers to navigate these new waters. But hope is not lost! Here are proactive steps healthcare marketers should be taking to engage with their audiences.
The surge in health misinformation necessitates a proactive response from healthcare marketers. As misinformation permeates digital spaces, marketers must build trust through credibility, reliability, and intimacy, telling impactful stories, simplifying complex information, and staying adaptable are not just strategies but imperatives. It's about connecting with individuals where they are, empowering them with knowledge, and fostering a commitment to truth and transparency in healthcare communications.