Like Digital Health, Social Media is not about the exploitation of technology but about its service to the community. Moreover, I like to state that Social Media is actually contributing to digital health. Within the healthcare landscape it is facilitating a new platform for patient-doctor communication and global participatory discussions.
The success of the collaboration between these two, Digital Health and Social Media, can be seen in the variety of adoptions:
- Communication is Key
As I already shortly stated, Social Media has enabled patients and physicians to interact with each other without having to be in the same room. Also, an online platform such as WebMD offers a place for both the consumer and physician to have moderated health-related conversations. Again on other platforms, patients have the opportunity to upload detailed information regarding their condition and receive information from patients with that same or a similar condition. This all makes the health information you need far more accessible, anytime, anywhere.
- Learn and Educate
Following hcsmonitor One third of the health consumers uses social media platforms. They search for a various of reasons varying from researching symptoms, to reading reviews on treatments. For this reason medical practices and providers commonly get involved in these social media platforms, therewith educating the public.
A popular tool nowadays within training in the healthcare industry are online applications. This can be for collaboration to share cases and opinions for health professionals but also training with regard to patients. Think about physio training exercises, sharing these and training together with others.
- Build or Break your Reputation
As we already see in many other industries your social media presence highly influences your business. In the healthcare business this is trend is not yet as present but definitely will be. More and more active social media users state her hospital / doctor / treatment choice online and are themselves also influenced by social media. Health brands are now able to build their name and online reputation, therewith leaving their stamp in the healthcare community.
- Recruit your Patient
Through social media recruitment for patients for clinical trials has become much easier, less expensive and less time consuming. The created social media communities make this possible and clinical investigators and contract research organizations see positive responses with regards to this new method of recruiting.
This short article about social media and digital health makes clear that it is no longer about exploitation of the technologies but about serving the community. By creating these online and mobile options, healthcare and therewith life becomes easier, less expensive and more informative.
From my perspective this is exactly what we need in Healthcare. So… don’t be scared and embrace your new health community.
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