Diagnosed by Social Media

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Please wait whilst we tweet your symptoms.

Got a cough, sore throat or stomach cramps? What about muscle spasms, headaches and sore limbs? Bloating in the abdomen, nose bleeds and weeping sores? There are many symptoms you can type into a search engine for health advice. The search results will take you to a website where you browse through various ailments until you find an illness that resembles your symptoms.

Not wanting to be left out, hospitals, specialists and general practitioners are increasingly turning to social media to complement their repertoire of health services.  A recent survey found that a large percentage of health care providers are now using Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Blogs to encourage healthy habits.

In the United States which generally sets technology trends, 5,754 registered hospitals or 21% of them are actively using social media.  The use of Facebook is the most popular and hospitals are encouraging people to “like” them.

Twitter is used by two-thirds of hospitals who tweet about upcoming events, encourage wellness checks and screenings as well as provide helpful links and information to common ailments and conditions.

Other healthcare organisations are also getting creative with their use of social media using it for employee and clinical trial recruitment, education initiatives and patient monitoring.

Social media is also being used for anxiety disorders. AnxietySocialNet (ASN) offers users support groups, chat, online diaries, and Q&A message boards, with content sharing for pictures, articles, and video.

According to the recent Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices report, one out of three physicians surveyed disclosed that a patient had tried to connect with them on Facebook and one-quarter of physicians accepted the friend request.

So the next time you get a runny nose, post your status on Facebook, tweet your doctor and then wait for their response via the Youtube clip that pops into your health channel.

You can read the full report on social media and healthcare at the following link.

Article Source: Marketing Health at Media Post Publications


Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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