Thursday, January 11, 2007

In Black and White: A French Blog Discussing an Animated Series about HIV

In my recent web wanderings, I came across a blog that discussed the Incendia Health ( animated series LIVE WITH IT (  It was all in French, so I spent a little time trying to recall my high school french to translate it.  Below is my attempt at a translation (if I really screwed something up, let me know).  It's quite an interesting blog.  But more importantly, it serves as a reminder (at least for me) that what we do, however insignficant it might feel sometimes, does make a difference in the lives of real people dealing with real diseases.





Translated from French, from the blog:


“Amours, vertiges & chlorophylle: Carnets naifs d’un homme face a la vie et au VIH”


January 10, 2007


In Black and White


When I have a little spare time, I pass it surfing the Internet.  Every day masses of information about research, treatments, and strategies for the prevention of HIV are published.  Despite the volumes of information, sometimes it can be difficult to find.  At moments, it is necessary to be strong to digest it all without being blown away. But with time, one becomes hardened and one becomes accustomed to reviewing it and reflecting.


I felt a bolt of lightning strike me when I came upon this one particular publicity campaign. While its darkness can be unrelenting, there is nowhere better than a dark place to see a burst of light.


In its three episodes, “Live With It” approaches topics of refusal, anger and culpability associated with HIV with great tact. These topics are significant and very powerful. I myself attend a support group, similar to that where each of the three characters in the clips find themselves at the end. There, we see in the clips, the environment is less dark and heavy. The first time that I set foot in my support group was an enormous step for me. My trick was not to reflect much before going there. On several occasions I saw individuals arrive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


With the passing of time, the stories are revealed. Behind this invisible virus the accumulations of quiet wounds hide.   This aspect is particularly well captured by these clips.




Wow... This is extremely strong (and the graphics are very beautiful).



I agree with Indilou’s comment.



Rather well done. Even though it remains to be seen how things will end up for the characters, it is often the first step that counts!



Thank you so much for this link, which seems to resemble your life quite closely – especially in its tone, sensitivity and efficacy of delivering the message. I can’t find the words to express what I feel. You know, several times I tried to put myself in your shoes, a traditional process one goes through to identify with someone that is similar to them (so as to try to understand them).   In the end, I have never quite been able to get there: my imagination alone is enough to make me back away in panic.  I think that my denial begins there.



I am a bit like Alméria.   

I don’t have the words

And even if my English is poor

I understood it well

I recognized it

I saw it
I met you there

and I embraced you.   


COMMENT 6  (from PIERRE YVES, The Blog Host)


To Éric and Indilou: It is insane what one can do with a simple flash animation. The creators did a really remarkable job.


To Buel: I believe that the impact of this campaign, while perhaps small, will be essential.  In fact, it is a first step.


To Alméria: Thank you for the compliment. Everything is relative. To see your denial is to already have surpassed it. I believe that the worst denial is that of our society.  This story here finishes well.  But I have heard so many other horror stories, here, in France, everywhere…


To Jeanne: I would really like to see these clips translated into French. That should not be so complicated. While waiting, there are really interesting English tutorials on the following BBC website:


The British accent is quite smart. ;-)


... And there is a petition to sign at the bottom of the positive links list (I fixed the link) because while the situation is not too rosy here in France, it is even more catastrophic in the southern hemisphere.

buzz this

for those that love the firefox browser

buzz this

Puppies Against Cancer

buzz this

A very interesting agency website... worth a look.

buzz this

Simple, useless, but interesting.

buzz this

Which Consumers Share Medical Information? Sharing Is Linked To Consumer Attitudes Toward Medical Community And Basic Trust

Which Consumers Share Medical Information? Sharing Is Linked To Consumer Attitudes Toward Medical Community And Basic Trust


By Bradford J. Holmes and Julie Hanson


The virtue of consumers who share their medical information, through applications like personal health records, is clear. These pioneers ease communications among themselves, payers, and physicians and enable their own path toward better health and wellness. Yet, while some people are ready to share their medical information, others are unsure or say they are downright not interested. To understand why some consumers are willing to share their medical information, and for what benefits, market researchers must take notice of the varying attitudes of those willing and not willing to share their medical information.




Consumers are motivated to share their medical records by a variety of benefits, ranging from lower costs to increased coverage and even access to personal health programs. But a chunk of the population remains unsure about sharing, no matter what the incentive.


Forrester found that:


  • Saving money motivates many to share. Nearly half (47%) of respondents say they would be willing to share their medical information for lower insurance premiums
  • This should come as little surprise, as cost is a rising concern for healthcare consumers. In fact, the respondents willing to share their medical information also say that healthcare costs are a major financial burden for their household and that they would be willing to use their health benefits more carefully if they got to share in the savings.
  • Increasing health benefits encourages others. Second to cost savings, consumers say they would be willing to share their medical information for increased access to preventative health programs and enhanced coverage. Healthcare consumers are increasingly active in their health management by completing health risk assessments and enlisting in disease management programs. In fact, 22% of consumers have completed a health risk assessment, and often did so not because their doctor told them to, but because of their own personal interest in completing the assessment.


For more information, contact Forrester Research.

buzz this

Give a child a video game -- and maybe a job

Give a child a video game -- and maybe a job

Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:02 AM ET


By Lisa Baertlein


LOS ANGELES, Jan 11 (Reuters Life!) - Mathematics, science and video games? A U.S. university professor is urging schools to consider using video games as tools to better prepare children for the work force.


For although many educators scoff at the idea of video games in schools, the U.S. military has titles that train soldiers, teenagers with cancer use a game to battle their illness virtually and physically and some surgeons use video games to keep their hands nimble.


David Williamson Shaffer, an education science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says schools should use games to prepare children to compete in the work force, where juggling technology is a daily requirement.


"People think that the way we teach kids in schools is the natural way we should learn," said Shaffer, author of the book "How Computer Games Help Children Learn."


"But young people in the United States today are being prepared for standardized jobs in a world that will, very soon, punish those who can't innovate. We simply can't 'skill and drill' our way to innovation."


Shaffer argues that youngsters heading into the work force will, from day one, have to compete with skilled workers from around the world with years of technological experience.


For this reason, children should be given the chance to use their innate skills of simultaneously listening to music while playing games, watching videos, surfing the Web and messaging friends from computers or cell phones, while learning about things like biology, history or physics.


He said the current educational system was designed in the late 1800s to prepare people for life in industrial America not today's technologically-steeped world.


Shaffer said this new approach might also help the United States compete against fast-developing countries like India and China which are turning out engineers and scientists at a faster rate.


Governments in Britain and Singapore have already backed efforts that use video games and other technology to develop new teaching methods.


Proponents of such efforts say video games engage kids in a way that is relevant to their lives, allowing them to learn by doing as they experiment with new social and cultural worlds.


Like the U.S. military, some large U.S. corporations have already adapted and use video games to train workers.


Shaffer and his team have developed a range of games that help students learn to think like engineers, urban planners, journalists, architects and other professionals. A list of their games is at .


In March, Shaffer and his team will start working with a school in Madison, Wisconsin, and later this year with a Chicago school.


"There are bad games out there, just as there are bad books. So adults who care about what children learn have to educate themselves about games -- and, more important, start to think about learning in new ways for the digital age of global competition," he said.

buzz this


by Joshua Slatko

Source: Med Ad News (December 2006)

Many pharmaceutical product Websites have significant flaws that limit their appeal to a broad audience. Health-care marketing company Campbell-Ewald Health studied 58 consumer Websites across nine therapeutic categories: allergy, asthma, cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology, men’s health, mental health, urology, and women’s health.

The study found that many Americans cannot fully understand the information on pharmaceutical Websites. Product sites frequently overlook Spanish-speaking consumers as well as caregivers. Additionally, product sites do a poor job of tracking returning traffic or allowing users to personalize their site experience. Product sites also perform poorly in search-engine searches, because marketers have not built sites to appropriate Internet standards.

The reading level of pharmaceutical Website marketing copy is a major concern for pharmaceutical marketers. The average branded pharmaceutical Website requires 12 years of education to read the content, meaning that only 55% of the U.S. population can fully understand the information provided on these sites.

"We looked at sections of the copy and, more often than not, examples would require at least 13 years, sometimes 17, sometimes even 20 years of education to read," says Lori Laurent Smith, senior VP, Campbell-Ewald ( "It is hard to say that a company is consumer-focused and friendly when the reading level of its copy is greater than what almost half of Americans can comprehend."

Campbell-Ewald based their conclusions on Gunning-Fog and the Flesch Reading Ease, two commonly used tests for analyzing the reading level of content. "To put it in perspective, a 12 on Gunning-Fog is around the reading level of The Wall Street Journal," Ms. Smith says. "A Fog index of six is around the TV Guide. A Fog index of eight is around Readers’ Digest. And most pharma sites are coming out at 12."

Other potential misreadings of the audience are common. According to Campbell-Ewald’s study, more than half of users who search for health-care information do so as caregivers. But most pharmaceutical product sites are oriented toward patients and potential patients only.

"More than half of the people looking for health-related information are doing so on behalf of someone else," Ms. Smith says. "But on most product sites, the tone, the copy, and the imagery are geared toward the individual as if they were the patient or considering the medication."

More than 75% of the pharmaceutical Websites studied failed to address the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. According to the 2000 U.S. census, 11% of U.S. residents spoke Spanish at home. But Campbell-Ewald’s researchers found that three quarters of pharmaceutical product Websites did not have a corresponding Spanish translation version.

"The Spanish-speaking consumers are often overlooked or ignored by pharmaceutical Websites," Ms. Smith says. "About 75% of the Websites we looked at did not have any type of translation whatsoever. Considering the amount of money that pharmaceutical companies are spending on measured media, in some cases upwards of $100 million, not having a Spanish language translation on their product Websites is somewhat surprising."

Only half of the pharmaceutical Websites were developed using generally accepted Internet standards. Established by the World Wide Web Consortium, these standards ensure usability for all consumers, including full accessibility for disabled Internet users. Pharmaceutical Websites are missing out on significant traffic from search engines because they are not built to the most universal Internet standards.

"Quite a lot of pharmaceutical Websites scored poorly on search engines because their sites are not built to the standards," Ms. Smith told Med Ad News. "What those standards ensure is that all content is available to all users regardless of the platform. We typically see an increase in search-engine optimization for sites that have been built to those standard compliancy measures."

The effect of this loss of traffic is significant. According to the Campbell-Ewald report, 95% of consumers looking for health information reported use of a search engine in 2005.

Ms. Smith encourages pharmaceutical companies to tone down the selling aspects of their Websites and concentrate on serving as resource centers. "As many as 73% of health-information seekers reject data they find on the Web," she says. "One of the reasons is that the information is too commercial, or more concerned with selling products than providing accurate information. The person who hears about a product from DTC advertising or word of mouth wants to understand what the product is and how it works. They do not want to be bombarded with coupons and offers."

There is some good news for pharmaceutical Websites, according to Ms. Smith. Websites have done a good job of providing users with tools, quizzes, and lists of information to bring to doctors.

"Marketers are acknowledging that patients and caregivers are online doing research," Ms. Smith says. "There does seem to be an infatuation right now with providing tools in order to facilitate a user bringing information to their doctor’s office."

The study found some differences among therapeutic categories. Products exclusively for men’s health or women’s health focused on providing very different types of information. Men’s health drug sites, for example, provided more facts on the treated disease as well as explanations of how the medication works in the body. The women’s health sites outperformed the men’s in explaining side effects and offering information on alternative treatment options.

Overall, mental-health products did the best job of providing information for caregivers. Cardiovascular products, which is a critical category for infirm and elderly patients, ranked among the lowest for caregiver support.

The Websites that performed the best in the study included,, and These sites are clear, easily understood, and engaging. Users can navigate these sites easily. [IgniteBlogger Comment: was created by Ignite Health,]

The diabetes drug Byetta is jointly marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( and Eli Lilly and Co. ( The cholesterol drug Lipitor is marketed by Pfizer Inc. ( The central nervous system drug Seroquel is marketed by AstraZeneca (
buzz this

Evolution of Revolution Health portal: Inches closer to launch

Evolution of Revolution Health portal: Inches closer to launch


Courtesy of ePharm5TM

Researching and reporting pharma business and marketing innovation

© 2006, HCPro, Inc.


For a subscription, please go to:


Consumer-friendly Web health portal Revolution Health, one of AOL cofounder Steve Case's latest ventures, is promoting a preview of its site to selected e-mail addresses in order to test and prepare it for the official launch in February (ePharm5, 10/7/05). The portal will allow consumers to rate doctors and have access to user-friendly health tools for calculating body mass, health risks, and other health-related metrics, as well as a Q&A section, a goal planner, and expert advice. The portal's corporate communications department respectfully declined to comment until the portal goes live. Stay tuned for more information from Revolution Health and ePharm5 closer to the launch.

buzz this

The Pediatric / Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association, Inc. and The HealthCentral Network Form Unique Alliance: 'Patient Centered' Web sites for Acid Reflux Sufferers

The Pediatric / Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association, Inc. and The HealthCentral Network Form Unique Alliance: 'Patient Centered' Web sites for Acid Reflux Sufferers

PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corporation :

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pediatric / Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association, Inc. (PAGER) ( and The HealthCentral Network, Inc. (, announce an alliance to develop enhanced internet resources for parents whose children are diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux (GER). This relationship unites PAGER's leadership in GER education and supports The HealthCentral Network's extensive online tools and community for people seeking to manage health concerns.

Often misdiagnosed as "colic" or "stress tummy aches," several million babies and children in the United States suffer from symptoms of GER. "At PAGER, we believe that information parents share with each other can be just as valuable as medical advice, a philosophy shared by The HealthCentral Network and their focus on the 'patient expert voice' as a source of wisdom and practical tips," said Beth Anderson, Founder and Executive Director of PAGER. The mission of PAGER includes promoting greater awareness of pediatric GER within both the medical community and the general public.

"PAGER's web site at is already an extremely popular site for acid reflux information on the internet, and working with The HealthCentral Network will allow us to provide an even richer and more supportive experience for our parents," said Anderson. Through this relationship, The HealthCentral Network will make multimedia capabilities and new tools available to PAGER, such as CareCentral, a customizable caregiving application to keep extended families and friends up-to-date and connected throughout the extraordinarily draining experience of caring for a child with acid reflux.

Initial joint projects also include an expert parent blog by PAGER Assistant Director Jan Gambino, collaboration on content with The HealthCentral Network's medical experts, and expansion of PAGER's revenue base through The HealthCentral Network representation with advertisers.

The HealthCentral Network's GER web site,, builds upon a base of comprehensive medical information to help people of all ages manage acid reflux and learn from other patients who have first-hand experience.

"PAGER has developed outstanding peer-to-peer support for parents, initiated cutting-edge research into the causes of pediatric GER and has improved recognition and diagnosis of the condition through media campaigns. The HealthCentral Network seeks to promote and augment these resources to our web site visitors," said Chris Schroeder, CEO and President of The HealthCentral Network. "This relationship is a great marriage of expertise, which addresses the medical, emotional, and practical needs of GER parents by using our cutting-edge web technology to enhance their online experience. It perfectly expresses The HealthCentral Network's unique commitment to create 'patient-centered web sites' and strong relationships with patient associations."

About The HealthCentral Network

The HealthCentral Network, Inc. ( has more than 30 general health and highly specific condition and wellness web properties, each committed to offering a voice in everyday and personal language people can understand and connect with at critical points in their lives. Each site provides timely, interactive, in-depth, and trusted medical information, personalized tools and resources, and connections to vast communities of expertise for people seeking to engage in, manage and improve their health. The award-winning, multimedia experience combines medically- reviewed articles from doctors and researchers, as well as news, information, video and extensive engagement from people who have great experience and empathy in specific health areas. The Company recently expanded its health and wellness offerings with the acquisition of, a leading healthy eating and active living Web site, and produces the Medical Breakthroughs television, seen around the country. The HealthCentral Network received top recognition from The International Health and Medical Media Awards with a 2006 FREDDIE Award for and was awarded the Health Care Standard of Excellence WebAward from the Web Marketing Association.

Founded in the late 1990s, The HealthCentral Network, Inc. was acquired in 2005 by a team of blue-chip investors, including Sequoia Capital, Polaris Ventures, The Carlyle Group and Allen & Company. With a management team that combines decades of experience in interactive media and medical, science and news journalism, The HealthCentral Network aims for the highest standards of quality, relevance and community for patients and their caregivers.


PAGER is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1992 to provide information and support to parents, patients and doctors about pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER). PAGER's mission includes promoting awareness of GER within the medical community and the general public, and promoting research into the causes, treatments and eventual cure for pediatric GER. PAGER believes that GER may not be a single disorder and there may be many treatments that work for different children. Members of PAGER include families of children (newborn to teens) with GER and related disorders, professionals who care for the children, researchers, and others interested in helping families. The PAGER web site at receives 750,000 page views monthly and has almost 300 pages of content.

SOURCE The HealthCentral Network, Inc.


buzz this

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mayo study: Interactive video games can help curb obesity

Mayo study: Interactive video games can help curb obesity
Courtesy of ePharm5TM
Researching and reporting pharma business and marketing innovation
© 2006, HCPro, Inc.
For a subscription, please go to:
Using video games that require kids to get up and move could be used to fight obesity, according to a Mayo Clinic study in the December issue of Pediatrics. The researchers measured kids' energy expenditure when they sat and watched TV, sat and played a video game, played an interactive video game, or when they walked on the treadmill while watching TV. When playing video games that required them to dance or physically move, the children's energy expenditure significantly increased, especially among the obese children. The researchers said that since kids' screen time for TV and video games now averages eight hours per day, more interactive games could help reverse the obesity trend. Also, the Mayo researchers want to conduct further studies in randomized trials. 

For the study, go to: Pediatrics.

buzz this

Monday, January 08, 2007

iVillage Properties To Launch iVillage Total Health, a New Online Destination Created for the Over 60 Million Women Searching the Web for Health Information

iVillage Properties To Launch iVillage Total Health, a New Online Destination Created for the Over 60 Million Women Searching the Web for Health Information

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

and NBC Universal Business Editors NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 4, 2007--iVillage Properties, a division of NBC Universal, today announced the launch of iVillage Total Health,, a new consumer online destination that will offer health information designed for women and their families, covering issues ranging from serious medical conditions to minor issues like the common cold. The announcement was made by Deborah Fine, President of iVillage Properties.

"As the number one online destination for women, iVillage's audience is accustomed to serving as their family's chief health officer," said Fine. "Today, we are proud to launch iVillage Total Health, a 360-degree offering that draws upon the assets of iVillage Properties, NBC Universal and GE Healthcare to give 'Dr. Mom' the health information and tools she needs to best manage her family's healthcare. Over the coming months, we look forward to adding increased functionality, more community tools and additional editorial offerings."

iVillage Properties' commitment to women's health stems from a decade of experience as the online destination where millions of women seek unique content, advice and support and connect with each other about everything from fertility to fitness. In 2005, the Company significantly expanded its resources and capabilities when it acquired two health businesses, Healthology, a video rich medical site geared toward medical professionals and HealthCentersOnline, a Consumer Health Portal with patient information on conditions, diagnostic tests, treatment options and prevention. Today, iVillage also has access to the vast resources of both GE Healthcare and NBC Universal and will combine select offerings with its own to make iVillage Total Health one of the most formidable health offerings in the marketplace.

Starting today, users will find on iVillage Total Health some of the most credible and trusted health information available from HealthCentersOnline; the latest on medical research and developments; personalized tools such as the Symptom Solver and Healthy Living diet program; 13 new condition centers on topics from Heart to Asthma as well as videos from Healthology and health-related content from the vast NBC Universal video library. iVillage Total Health will also tap into the existing robust iVillage Community and feature hundreds of message boards and blogs so women can connect, share experiences and support one another. In addition, GE Healthcare technology will provide exclusive 3-D sonogram images that will be incorporated into the iVillage Pregnancy Calendar. Content from iVillage's existing Well-Being, Diet & Fitness and Pregnancy & Parenting channels, as well as the Properties' magazines, Lamaze and BabySteps and its Newborn Channel, which broadcasts programming to more than 2.6 million new parents in over 1,000 hospitals nationwide, will also be incorporated. iVillage Total Health will also feature hundreds of message boards and blogs offering advice and support.

To support the launch of this new online health destination on-air, the Today Show will regularly feature health segments with co-branded experts and iVillage Live, the brand's newly-launched interactive TV show, will feature regular dedicated health discussions based on the site's content. IVillage Total Health will also work closely with NBC Universal's 10 owned and operated stations to share health-oriented video content, promote each other's respective web sites and enhance the user experience.

About iVillage Properties:

iVillage, a division of NBC Universal, is the first and largest media company dedicated exclusively to connecting women at every stage of their lives. Ranked the #1 online destination for women with 16 million unique visitors (comScore MediaMetrix), offers an authentic community infused with compelling content from experts on parenting, pregnancy, beauty, style, fitness, relationships, food and entertainment. The site's interactive features, including thousands of message boards and blogs, allow women around the world to connect, share ideas, and seek advice and support about everything from fertility to fashion.

Established in 1995, iVillage's brand extensions include iVillage UK, iVillage Parenting Network and owned sites,, GardenWeb, HealthCentersOnline & Healthology. The company, acquired by NBC Universal in May 2006, is based in New York.

CONTACT: iVillage Properties Jane Lehman, 212-600-7838



SOURCE: iVillage Properties

buzz this

Thinking outside the box...

buzz this

Sometimes you just find something cool...

buzz this