Social media and healthcare


The internet today has changed the world how the internet of things is making a presence in every aspect of our life from our houses, our vehicles, insurance and primarily our health. Internet is changing the way we look at things, the way we connect with people and the way we are aware of so much information.

Many social media tools are available for health care professionals today, including social networking platforms, blogs, microblogs, wikis, media-sharing sites, and virtual reality and gaming environments.

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations have begun to turn towards online social media to help get their message out and connect with patients. These social media platforms can be used to dispense helpful medical advice and share an organization’s latest news.

Patient-centered care is at the forefront of social media use within the industry. As healthcare moves into a new era of empowered patients, social searches, such as Google, Bing and Twitter, are becoming more important. Many say an increased understanding of social media within the industry can help drive innovation. Additionally, social media has helped further interaction among certain patient populations, such as those with cancer or diabetes.

According to a report submitted by GreatCall, 52 percent of smartphone users research health information on their mobile phones. The report also indicated that by 2017 mobile health, or mHealth, is expected to be a $26 billion industry. Currently, more than 97,000 fitness- and health-related mobile applications are offered to users for free or at a small cost. More than 4 million downloads were recorded per day, data which proves the rise of the social media industry’s impact on health care.

Medical assistants, who are often the first point of contact for patients as they complete their intake documentation, are learning more about mobile apps and how to encourage all their patients to use them, regardless of their age. The SparkReport study indicated that more than 80 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 were likely to share information about their health and experiences with different providers via social media channels. Almost 90 percent of those people said they would trust information they received through social media

By strategically combining health IT tools and effective health communication processes, there is the potential to:

  • Improve health care quality and safety.
  • Increase the efficiency of health care and public health service delivery.
  • Improve the public health information infrastructure.
  • Support care in the community and at home.
  • Facilitate clinical and consumer decision-making.

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