How medicine is embracing social media? | Social media in healthcare

social media in healthcare

Social media in healthcare

Social media has created an interactive platform where many issues concerning health are handled. The rate at which people use social media is alarming, and a bigger chunk of the population are always on social media either giving or receiving information. In 2016, there was 68.3% of internet users who were social media users. It is estimated that in 2018 there will be more than 2.67 billion social media users. Social media in health care sector has been the newest advancement in the digital health sector.

Many sites are emerging to handle the different segments of the market, but the most popular site is Facebook, which is a site for all both young and old alike. According to U.S. Traffic Rank, these sites are Twitter and Linkedin that follow Facebook as favourite sites.

Based on the survey done by QuantiaMD social media site, more than 65% of physicians use sites for professional reasons, and this number is increasing.

There are groups at Mayo Clinic formed to discuss the various issues of life one being the medical issues, which are trending in the current society. People can share their experiences, and these experiences could be a remedy to others suffering from a similar condition. There is a QA part where questions are asked, and the specialist provides answers. The beauty is that you can receive views from different practitioners before making conclusions.

Comparing notes is vital as an example is given of a patient who managed not to undergo an operation various opinions that proved to be better. A doctor had suggested surgery but on further investigation got the best solution to his problem.

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Research done by Media Bistro revealed this surprising truth about social media and health. 40 percent attest to the fact that social media has a great impact on their health. Information shared by the medics can be trusted unlike what they receive from other consumers. In addition to that, 54 percent can rely on information on social media. 90% of the youth below the age of 25 connect with medics to solve their medical issues and Clinics can get views on how people rate their services.

Health issues are becoming a major concern for many individuals and problems like diet, and weight loss are trending in the current society. Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group in their research revealed more than 20 percent of people follow health advisers online, such as 21 DAYS OF CHANGE (This is a diet app that helps to manage weight and keep fit). Social media in healthcare also provides a platform for medics to interact and develop their skills. Research shows that more than 50 percent of physicians can improve their skills and services as they interact with others on social media.

Participation on social media is more than 100 percent since it is a social place and people tend to use this platform to express their feeling as well see what others are.

People share their feelings about every type of health issues, discuss their thoughts on diabetes, weight gain or cancer and get support. So, what platform would be better and easier than Facebook which can facilitate the interactions between doctors and patients?

Many people are always online, and therefore it is easy to get answers online. However, participation may be limited to the fact that one is not sure they are talking to real medics or not and if the sensitive information will not be published. Apart from individual doctors’ online participation major clinics are also appreciating and using the social media in the different capacity. Big hospitals like Mayo are on social media to take care of their patients and carry out research.

In recent years social media are improving their services and have begun to evolve in favour of excellent safety for physicians so that all users can protect their private information. The World Health Organization has requested Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to establish a new domain suffix. This will be used only for validated health information. This also means that the whole content of websites will be monitored and regulated.

It should be stated that despite the challenges social media plays a vital role for both people and doctors to interact with one another and solve various medical issues. Surely, social media in medicine is a powerful movement that facilitates greater progress toward public health goals. It promotes individual and public health and brings a personal growth, development, and improvement.

Social media is a popular place nowadays, and especially Facebook is very shareable, and in the case of wise usage, the social media platforms will bring advancements in the health sector.

Image credit: www.istockphoto.com

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