Monday, February 27, 2012

Health Care Microtargeting: Just A Matter of Time

The Disease Management Care Blog is proud of its native ability to resist the highly tailored "microtargeting" of advertisers. It can confidently say this because it uses its own independently formed preferences to take advantage of on-line sales, movie placements, Twitter prompts, cable TV commercials and internet radio ads. It's not its fault that it attracts certain targeting and rejects the DMCB spouse's assertion that there's no discernible difference between Chopin and Smirnoff.

Smart DMCB readers undoubtedly feel just as secure about their native immunity to outside influencers. But that doesn't mean they won't be impressed by just how industrialized microtargeting has become when they look at this Feb 27 C-SPAN Washington Journal on Targeted Political Ads. The same decades-old science that matches a particular product to a certain profile for automobiles, accessories and aspirin is now being used as never before in the 2012 political campaigns.

The DMCB thinks there may be a silver lining here.  As this gets better every day, microtargeting is undoubtedly destined to be adopted by the disease and population health management industry. Over and beyond its ability to use details from insurance claims and electronic health records, microtargeting can also vacuum up and digest data on the magazines we subscribe to, the cable shows we watch, the credit charges we amass, the computer "cookies" we accumulate or the social media we embrace to triangulate on consumers' health profiles.

For example.... the analytics modeling could fit a known behavior (like having a lot of flat screens in the home tuned to reruns of the gluttonous Man vs. Food ) with certain conditions (like undiagnosed diabetes). It could also be used to link key health consumer attitudes (like wanting to sign up for your PCP's newly minted patient centered medical home) with a certain behaviors (such as being unable to resist viewing online images of cute puppies). Or what about leveraging the most obvious association: possessing high native intelligence and reading this blog.

Silliness aside, to the DMCB's knowledge, tapping into our public, demographic and on-line footprints for "health care microtargeting" hasn't been really commercialized - yet. It searched the published medical literature and didn't find much that was useful (though given its academic pedigree, that shouldn't be surprising), but, thanks to Google, it did find this blog post (as if we'd expect otherwise) by "Sirensong. She points out that geeks are on it, so the DMCB suspects its just a matter of time.

If any readers are aware of anything more to this, please share.

Image from Wikipedia

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