Social Media is playing an increasing role in healthcare. That’s not surprising since 73% of adults who use the Internet use some of the social media platforms. Physicians also spend twice as much time consulting online resources than traditional print. Statistics also show that between 70 and 75 percent of U.S. citizens look to the internet for healthcare information.
We look at five cases in which social media impact healthcare:
Preparing for Crisis
The best thing one can do about a crisis is to be prepared for it. This is just what happened during the Boston marathon bombings. Doctors were alerted through social media and prepared themselves for the surge of patients.
Online tools, including social media, can help in the dissemination of medical information. For example informative YouTube Videos, they range from videos that show children how to properly put on bike helmets to full dental procedures.
Presenting medical procedures to the current and potential patients through live stream videos is another way of educating the public. For example, in November 2013, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center live tweeted a full knee replacement surgery. This allowed 3,800 people to follow the surgery through Tweeter.
It is believed that the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society prevented 12 suicide attempts through the use of Facebook. They ask their patients to follow certain professional Facebook pages. The nurses then follow the posts and intervene at any sign of trouble.
Nowadays, patients have more information at their disposal than ever before. According to a report from the IMS institute, 42% of people have used social media to search for information on healthcare issues. Patients can now create support groups, make their voices heard and find information about rare conditions. It’s also easier for Doctors to reach a wider audience.
One thing is for sure; social media’s role in healthcare will increase. Online tools can help bring patients closer together to other patients and doctors.