A Tweet a Day Keeps the Doctors Away
The influence of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media giants has spread across modern society faster than the Black Death swept across 14th century Europe. Speaking of pandemics, how does healthcare fit into the world of social media? Welcome to social health.
Social health is the mash-up of social media and healthcare, and it’s starting to gain traction. In fact, a third of all consumers use social media for matters regarding their health. Thanks to social networking sites and the increased availability of broadband and mobile technology, people are forming online patient support groups, becoming better educated on medical topics and diagnoses, and sharing doctor and product reviews – wherever and whenever they want.
However, people still tend to trust their doctors over peers and family when it comes to getting accurate medical advice, giving providers a great opportunity to jump into the social-health fray. And many have. In a 2012 study by the, 24 percent of doctors said they used social media at least once a day to look for medical information while almost two-thirds think social media enhances their ability to care for their patients.
There are many benefits for providers who take part in social health as well, such as giving doctors a way to connect with consumers in between visits and allowing healthcare organizations to receive immediate feedback on products and services.
Concerns about privacy and security have surfaced alongside the rising popularity of social health. Consumers are worried that their medical records will go public while health information technology specialists must try to protect patient privacy and act within the bounds of HIPAA and the FDA as they participate in the online social sphere.
This is just a peek into the vast realm of social health. Check out the infographic below for even more valuable insights about this incredible new online movement.
“How the Medical Industry is Using (and Could Use): Pinterest,” MedCity News, February 2012
“Peer-to-Peer Healthcare: Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Obvious,” Pew Internet, May 2011
“Social Media "likes" Healthcare: From Marketing to Social Business,” PriceWaterHouseCoopers LLP, 2012
For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.