Here are the five innovative ways in which social media is revolutionising the healthcare industry.
By Kunal Kishore Dhawan
Medical care services prevalent today are not quite the same as previous eras would ever have encountered. Apart from improvements in clinical protocols and infrastructure available to healthcare providers today, one of the fundamental technologies that have emerged to assist modern healthcare services is social media.
Today hospitals and doctors are all on the social media bandwagon. The boost of online media as of late has given medical care service providers more adaptability than ever in making sense of strategies and to elongate their reach and to support the patients.
Medical care services, especially hospitals, are utilising online networking channels to build up a rapport, establish contact with their patients, answer inquiries regarding practices, perform community outreach, and launching public awareness campaigns.
Let’s discuss five innovative ways in which social media is revolutionising the healthcare industry.
Majority of healthcare providers and doctors are utilising social media platforms to research on medical gadgets, biotech information, and pharmaceutical data. They can browse social media pages of device manufacturers and pharmaceutical organisations for the same.
Physicians can even utilise online networking channels as an instrument to connect with other professionals within their fields. They can also track online journals of different specialties to get familiar with their practices. Due to the footprint of social networking being found in every domain, this enormous data can be utilised throughout the world for the good of humanity.
Accordingly, doctors, pharmaceutical organisations, emergency clinics are employing these platforms for the given reasons:-
1. For distributing the latest research
2. To post case data, pictures, and results (after permission)
3. To educate medical services consumers
4. Marketing of new medical devices
5. Give patients any updates that identify with the practice itself
6. Share patient testimonials and surveys
As progressively more individuals use social media for their medicinal purposes, online giants like Facebook, LinkedIn and others will indeed have plenty of data to utilise for scientific research.
Source of Medical Awareness
Further with such a massive amount of accessible data about different maladies and other general well-being problems, there is an excellent opportunity to utilise online networking platforms as a source of information as well.
For instance, in case that medical care service providers know about a looming epidemic, they can make provisions for precautionary measures and make practitioners available. They can furthermore suggest appropriate educational information to stall the effect of inaccurate information and guidance. Sharing news concerning health hazards or outbreaks is an efficient method for the healthcare organisation to utilise the data in a matter of minutes.
One such awareness program is the ice bucket challenge campaign for crowdfunding and spreading knowledge about the rare disease – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In the year 2014, the charity campaign went viral which even marked the participation of more than 17 million people comprising of well-known people from Bill Gates to George W. Bush.
Millions of individuals used the social media platform to posted video to accomplish the challenge and give a donation to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. As per the ALS Association, the campaign gathered a huge amount of more than $115 million from which 67%, of the funds, were entitled to research and another 20%, were granted to patient and community services.
Medical care industry additionally acknowledges these platforms as tools to spread knowledge among via diverse methods like sharing a general message about flu shots and tips to avoid a cold.
Direct Online Meetings
Twitter has been held onto for online medical meetings. The meeting coordinators would create KOLs tweet and hashtags in which even patients are locked in. The rarer the ailment, the more the patient gets awareness through this medium.
Development in the space of KOL social networks is foreseen around healthcare meetings and staff-driven learning in general. Such systems will spread knowledge in their networks and examine symptoms that are at present discussed face to face but in a secure and docile way.
It is going to revolutionise the way KOL management and data presentations are produced and maintained.
Quicker Communication and Support
Everybody knows how critical regular checkups are for our wellbeing. However, people also neglect appointments.
However, by these social media platforms, medical care organisations would now be able to utilise these channels to send notifications and allow straightforward scheduling for people, along with delivering personalised reports catered to the requirements of the person.
With this data on the web, it decreases the number of calls that patients would make to the practitioner’s office, which in return assists them to commit more time towards the essential work of treatment. Online networking platforms are designed to grant patients the facility to obtain information real- time and interact with others.
Instant Patient Feedback
To accumulate feedback and improve quality, feedbacks on social media can offer physicians and medical care service providers prompt responses from patients to help comprehend common consequences of meds, and a general accord from patients on new procedures in this sector.
Utilising this real-time and swift feedback accessible via online portals enables healthcare service providers to study patient responses thoroughly and adapt and change. Besides, by using the reviews on these platforms, healthcare organisations have the chance to assess the likelihood of additional administrations in the industry.
Besides, by using the reviews on these platforms, healthcare organisations have the chance to assess the likelihood of additional administrations in the industry. One such model is – Artificial Intelligence helping physicians to triage patient care.
For instance, an AI-powered solution can facilitate operations at scale by allowing reading of radiology images from rural regions, wherein the images uploaded by the radiographer at the remote area.
Doctors who utilise AI to anticipate if a patient has a high close term risk for encountering any disease would then be able to organize resources and attention on the patient covering diagnosis and treatment plan. AI will eventually improve care as well as upgrade the patient-doctor relationships.
(The author is CEO of Navia Life Care. Views Expressed are his personal.)