Does Healthcare IT Need Some Celebrity Endorsement?

Posted on March 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Yesterday, I was part of the Dell Healthcare Think Tank event at SXSW. It was a great event that covered a broad range of topics over 3 hours of discussion with some really amazing people like Dr. Eric Topol and Mandi Bishop to name just two of the many. If you missed it, they’ve posted the 3 part recorded live stream.

At one point in the Think Tank discussion, someone suggested that maybe we needed Kim Kardashian to endorse a national patient identifier in order to get it the attention it deserves. The example of Dennis Quad was cited as the model. Basically, a celebrity who is impacted by some ineffective part of the healthcare system. Although, I don’t think anyone would have an issue identifying Kim K, so the national patient identifier and Kim K might not be a match.

There’s no doubt, celebrity has power that can be leveraged to get healthcare messages out. We all know what damage Jenny McCarthy has done with her comments about vaccinations. Something to remember about the double edge sword of celebrity power.

With this on the top of my mind, I was intrigued by this image that came floating across my Facebook page:
Colts Cheerleader Promoting Health

This seems like a mix of celebrity (I think NFL cheerleaders qualify) and sex mixed together to try and improve health. There’s no doubt this ad will catch the eye. I’m not sure this is the best executed campaign. I’m sure some people will try watermelon and tomato from this ad, but does it really promote healthy eating?

One thing is for sure, the right celebrity focused on the right topic can bring a lot of exposure to a topic. We saw that with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as well. Could we push some healthcare IT issues forward using celebrities? Which topics and which celebrities?