Monday, May 21, 2012

A Look at Social Media in Health Care -- Two Years Later

From the article:  "Two years ago I wrote an iHealthBeat Perspective, titled, "Social Media in Health Care: Barriers and Future Trends." Let's take a look at how far we have come and whether my predictions are on target….But none has been more influential or quoted than the 2011 report from Susannah Fox from Pew Internet on "Peer to Peer Healthcare." These survey results showed the ubiquitous use of social media by those with chronic conditions and a trend toward routinely reaching out to others through social networks for advice on managing illnessHospitals and health systems have moved beyond initial experiments with social media to integrating these tools into their marketing and patient engagement efforts. A relative newcomer to social media in health care is pharma. This was not on my radar two years ago but has emerged as a real, if not controversial, force. My predictions for the next two years are that mobile apps will enable connections between health care providers and patients in unique ways provided the legal barriers HIPAA imposes can be overcome. Hospitals and providers will make social media a key part of patient engagement to improve care and boost clinical trial recruitment.Health monitoring through smartphones will become common for those interested in maintaining their health and managing chronic conditions to the point that self-monitoring data will become a routine part of medical appointments. Online communities will become more integrated with health care delivery so that they will be "prescribed" by physicians, as will mobile apps that have been vetted. The app world has widely expanded how social media can impact care; with public-private partnerships and online community-provider partnerships, the future holds much promise." Read more

See also
Peer-to-Peer Healthcare, a report prepared by Pew Internet, February 2011.

Thaker, Samir, I., et al. How U.S. Hospitals Use Social Media Annals of Internal Medicine, May 2011. 

Bennett, Ed Hospital Social Network List. Found In Cache, October 9, 2011.