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Alliance Health Networks launched, a social networking portal of sorts aimed at tying together the firm's patient communities, which include CEO Stead Burwell envisions an “emerging universe of social health networks with each online community focused on a specific health condition, such as diabetes, arthritis or chronic pain, so people can come together to discuss, learn and share valuable insights with other people just like them.”

Merck KGAA launched an online magazine, at, featuring sciencey articles and multimedia features in German and English. The site will be updated on a monthly basis, the company said, covering Merck KGAA's “products, people, social responsibility, history as well as multifaceted stories behind the scenes of this global company.” Initial topics include the company's efforts with the World Health Organization to combat schistosomiasis.

Smartphones: not just for physicians anymore. Access to Facebook and Twitter via smartphones increased dramatically in 2009. According to comScore data, Facebook hits from mobile browsers shot up 112% over the past year, while Twitter traffic more than tripled, up 347%.
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