The revolution created by social media in healthcare relates to doctor-patient relationships, patient self-education, and improved patient outcomes. Patients can now obtain information on their conditions easily from quality sources and interact with others with the same condition. Doctors have the opportunity to reach thousands of patients at once with cutting edge treatments. Research centers can reach out to millions with a click to fill drug trials with suitable patients. Social media has revolutionized how the entire medical community communicates and how often. It empowers patients with information and support mechanisms not locally available.
While social media acts as a disrupter to advertising and news distribution, it acts as an aid to healthcare. Rather than providing conflicting or detrimental information, the public has quickly developed a discerning eye for quality health information online and from social media.
According to Get Referral MD, the majority,
- 56 percent, turn to WebMD first for online information, followed by
- 31 percent using Wikipedia,
- 29 percent using health magazine websites, and
- 12 percent using patient communities.
Of the social media sites,
- Facebook attracts 17 percent of those looking for health information, closely followed by
- Youtube at 15 percent and
- blogs at 13 percent.
- A mere six percent use Twitter.
Only 27 percent of the public doesn’t use online means to research health conditions. Knowing which sources patients consider credible gives medical professionals a starting point to disseminate quality information and refute the harmful information.
Here is an infographic by Canadian Pharmacy King which shows statistics that prove how social media has aided the healthcare industry. You can also find some tips and strategies that the healthcare industry can use to drive further benefits and positive outcomes. Afterall, who doesn’t want to connect with their consumers and isn’t social media perfect for that?
Infographic source: Canadian Online Pharmacy