Vingmed is introducing a device designed to treat essential tremor and tremor-dominant Parkinsons disease in Finland. It allows ultrasound waves to be targeted very precisely to the area causing the tremor without incisions, implants, or radiation. The treatment is currently available at Turku University Hospital.
So far, not much is known about essential tremor, although it is clearly more common than the better-known Parkinson’s disease. Many people with tremor think that they cannot be treated. The aim was therefore to raise awareness and to let the public know about the new and effective treatment, especially people suffering from tremor.
Our solution was to engage the people who really know what it’s like to live with the disease as messengers. The starting point of the strategy was to give a voice to those whose experience gives hope to others. We worked closely with patient organizations, the Movement Disorder Association and the Essential Tremor Association.
In collaboration with patient organizations, we ran an awareness campaign for Vingmed called Me Vapisijat (We who tremor). With this campaign, we wanted to make tremor more accessible and mundane, as it is. One of the campaign slogans was “There are many of us who tremor. Don’t be alone.”
We provided platforms for patients and experts to interact and make their voices heard. When communicated together, the power of the message is multiplied. We created a campaign website, mevapisijat.fi, which was also translated into Swedish. We also produced a podcast called Vapinapodi, hosted by an active member from the Movement Disorders Association, who is a sufferer of tremor herself. The podcast also allowed interaction, as patients, doctors and relatives shared their experiences together in the episodes. In addition to media communication, we marketed the campaign website with banner ads and search engine advertising. We also used paid advertising on social media.
“Ahjo recognized the importance of cooperation between patient organizations. This made our campaign particularly effective and enabled us to reach the right audience with our message. We were very pleased with the campaign and its rich content. The people of Ahjo quickly overcame the various challenges that came along the way. They were a pleasure to work with.”
– Jyrki Lönnfors, Managing Director, Vingmed Oy