Bayer work a blueprint for new consumer health site

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DazMedia hopes to leverage its interactive work with Bayer on Betaseron, an MS treatment, into other product and condition areas for a new website: Real World Health. The site is expected to launch during the third quarter, and may include condition areas such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and/or HIV.

Based on the television studio-style programming and town hall meetings created for Betaseron – and the response from MS patients and their family members – DazMedia sees a niche for its particular kind of content, according to Daz Connell, CEO of DazMedia. “Patients need to have access to this kind of information from a nationally-recognized thought leader in their area,” says Connell.

For Betaseron, DazMedia used physicians picked from Bayer's 14 US sales regions to create “The Real World of MS,” a series of programs filmed last year in TV studios with a live audience.

Each of the 14 programs was hosted by a physician elected (by Bayer's reps) from one of the 14 sales regions for Betaseron. Audience members were MS patients, family members and caregivers, according to Connell.

To reach patients with the videos online, DazMedia used a mix of keyword buys, a journal ad in Momentum (an MS patient journal), and Bayer's Betaseron patient database of roughly 70,000 individuals.

“Bringing these folks together showed that the audiences were starving for information,” said Connell. “They brought in huge binders and telephone-book sized notebooks full of questions.” Studio audience size for the programs was up to 50 per show, according to Connell.

In addition to physicians, the program also brought in nurse practitioners to discuss sexual health, exercise, diet, and managing finances, as they relate to MS. The programs were distributed online through Betaseron.com.

Connell describes the receptions prior to the filming as akin to “grass roots local chapter meetings” for MS patients and their families, where husbands and wives of MS patients could share experiences with other husbands and wives, for example, said Connell.

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