Advertisement

Social media, health care, and social networking

      Merriam-Webster defines social media as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).” This seems a million miles from hot snaring off a difficult polyp in the endoscopy suite, and yet in its own way, it is as powerful a tool as any that we will use. Social media is here to stay, and it won't be going away for a long while. It will never completely replace a physical consultation, but in our roles as trusted physicians as well as consumers, it is important for us to understand its impact, strengths, and weaknesses. The power of social media is also far more significant than a means of simply raising your profile on the Internet. Recent revolutions in Northern Africa and the Middle East were in part attributed to the power of the Internet along with social media and are often referred to as the Facebook Revolution. From a GI clinician's point of view, it is about maximizing the relationships among patients, health care providers, and the pharmaceutical and medical device industries as a whole. Social media can be used to increase compliance with medications, patient support, and education, and links with patient support groups; encourage institutional loyalty; and enhance the overall physician-patient interaction, which itself can often be time restricted. In light of the broad range of credible and otherwise less-credible information available on the Web, it is an important responsibility for us as valued specialists to take the lead and ensure that the majority of GI health information that patients will access on the World Wide Web can be of a high standard. There is also a wonderful opportunity by using social media to find a pool of motivated patients with chronic GI disease states or rare diseases to create a national research registry that could otherwise be difficult and expensive to organize. Fundraising efforts can also be enhanced. Social media can also provide endoscopists with a forum to network, collaborate, and share clinical experiences and challenges with their peers.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. (Accessed September 16, 2012)
      2. (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Facebook
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Twitter
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Healthcare Hashtag Project
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Society for Participatory Medicine
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • PEW Research Center Social Life of Health Information
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • PEW Research Center
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • iCrossing
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Pharma Marketing Blog
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • PEW Research Center
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Medpedia Project
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Mostaghimi A.
        Professionalism in the digital age.
        Ann Intern Med. 2011; 154: 560-562
        • Massachusetts Medical Society
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)
        • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        (Accessed September 16, 2012)