The HealthCare Social Media Review – 28th Edition – Connectivity

May 8, 2013
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What does social media really do? Connect us all! With social media channels, geographic location is less and less important.  For healthcare, this connectivity opens whole new avenues.  Patients can network and support each other.  Doctors can discuss diagnoses and treatments with each other. Elderly parents can be monitored, the results sent to their doctors, caregivers and family and all can be in touch via social media.  For this edition of the HealthCare Social Media Review, I will focus on this connectivity.

What does social media really do? Connect us all! With social media channels, geographic location is less and less important.  For healthcare, this connectivity opens whole new avenues.  Patients can network and support each other.  Doctors can discuss diagnoses and treatments with each other. Elderly parents can be monitored, the results sent to their doctors, caregivers and family and all can be in touch via social media.  For this edition of the HealthCare Social Media Review, I will focus on this connectivity.

healthcare social media

 

 

 

 

A post about a new start-up that just launched last week, Sense.ly uses artificial intelligence, virtual reality and speech recognition to create a nurse avatar that meets with a patient, monitors their condition through remote diagnostic equipment and records the results, alerts the doctor or otherwise instructs the patient as to the next step.  The relationship is ongoing and can help patients with chronic diseases self-monitor or get the help they need.healthcare social media

 

Connectivity via Twitter is becoming more and more apparent.  Symplur has a great post about Analyzing Twitter Conversations From Medical Conferences with a great infographic showing the Social Analytics from the international Doctors 2.0 & You conference in Paris last year.  The twitter audience at the conference was actually larger than the physical audience!

Kevin Campell writes on The Doctor Weighs In about the power of Twitter for impacting disease.  Kevin uses the recent “Twitter Market Dip” to show the impact of the social media channel and then relates it to healthcare and asks why aren’t more doctors using this powerful tool.  Good question indeed!

And if you feel that you need more social media channels to get your point across, or you need to expand the ones you use, Nicole Ghanie-Opondo writes a post in Public Health and Social Media entitled, How Do You Know When To Expand Your Social Media Channels?  Great information and advice for all you social media managers out there.

healthcare social media

Mobile technology and social media has allowed global healthcare to grow astronomically.  “There are now more than six billion wireless subscribers in the world, and more than 70% of them reside in low- and middle-income countries,” writes Jay Evans in his post Unlocking the Potential in Mobile Phones for Cancer Care in the MedicMobile blog.  Resources and support could allow access to cancer care for people that would otherwise have no possibility of treatment.

David Williams wrote an excellent post on his HealthBusinessBlog about Medical Device Connectivity.  David interviews Stuart Long, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of Capsule on why medical device connectivity is important, data quality in EHRs and how data is used in hospitals. In the post, Stuart says,

“Medical Device Integration (MDI) helps assure data accuracy by eliminating manual transcription errors while relieving caregivers from burdensome manual tasks, enabling more quality time with patients.  The bottom line is increased patient safety and care.”healthcare social media

Healthcare social media guru, Kevin Pho, writes a post on ZocDoc’s Doctor Blog entitled Physicians: Why Your Future is Online (and How to Own It) that emphasizes the importance of social media in connecting with patients and providing them with the relevant news and information that is important for them to participate in their own healthcare.  Kevin states,

“I strongly believe that if physicians are scared of transparency or if they ignore it, they’re not going to thrive. With one in five patients now visiting rating sites, transparency is inevitable in healthcare. It’s natural for patients to want to go online and learn about a potential caregiver, and others peoples’ encounters with that individual are part of their knowledge bank.”

On Colleen Young’s Health Communications site, Fanny Gillet and Colleen Young collaborated to transcribe and edit the #HCSMCA (HealthCare Social Media Canada) tweetchat in their post, Chat 126: Can Social Media Be Used to Influence Healthy Behaviors and Track Diseases?”.  The general consensis was:

“Generally speaking, when it comes to behavior changes there is no miracle and most hcsmca-ers agreed that social media can’t be “the solution”. However, according to some chat participants, social media can provide useful peer support. By sharing real stories people may feel less alone and be influenced by the positive behaviour changes of others in their networks – “if you/they can do it, so can I.”Image

I don’t think a post on healthcare connectivity would be complete without a mention about the Quantified Self movement.  Quantified Selfers self-track using sensors and devices that connect to smartphones in order to monitor their activities and stay healthy.  Kent Bottles wrote an excellent post on the Quantified Self in The HealthCare Blog.  Kent explains the QS movement, asks whether it will take off in healthcare and offers some great anecdotes:

“A California teacher used CureTogether, an online health website, to study her insomnia and found that tryptophan improved both her sleep and concentration. As an experiment, she stopped the tryptophan and continued to sleep well, but her ability to concentrate suffered. The teacher discovered a way to increase her concentration while curing her insomnia. Her experience illustrates a phenomenon that Wolf has noticed: “For many self-trackers, the goal is unknown…they believe their numbers hold secrets that they can’t afford to ignore, including answers to questions they have not yet thought to ask.”

I hope you have enjoyed this edition; I enjoyed writing it!  I think connectivity – patients-medical team-medical devices-social media-HIT-mobile technology is the future of healthcare.  What do you think?

Amelia Burke-Garcia will host the next edition of the HealthCare Social Media Review on the Socialibriumm Experiment on May 22, 2013




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