HEALTHCARE: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA?
Healthcare and social media are natural partners. Medical professionals are increasingly using social media to communicate with patients. Health policymakers are starting to see the potential of social media marketing for establishing a strong healthcare brand. Since social media is becoming more important in every sector of the economy, healthcare should not be excluded.
The benefits of social media in healthcare are:
- Disseminating information: The use of social media to educate the public about recurring health concerns has become standard practise. In a time of rapid global change, the public’s access to information on the most up-to-date medical guidelines, problems, and warnings relies on social media. Posting directly to social media platforms is one method of disseminating information.
- Professional medical network: As a healthcare professional, social media is a great way to find new clients and grow the business. In a remote rural area, a local doctor may see a patient with unusual symptoms that require immediate consultation with a specialist. Social media could be a good way for doctors to get in touch with each other and share information. It could also help them build a professional medical network that isn’t limited by geography.
- Awareness: Self-diagnosis and seek assistance have become more common among internet users. Although some of the content may be misleading, the vast majority of it serves to bring attention to important health issues and encourage individuals to get help before it’s too late. Healthcare providers have an excellent opportunity to raise public knowledge of in-demand medical topics including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and geriatric medicine by using social media. Patients may learn more about doctors, hospitals, and experts with the use of social media.
- Public health campaigns: Social media have the potential to provide more information, even if they shouldn’t ever replace traditional data sources for public health data sources and disease monitoring. Online messages promoting healthy lifestyles, illness risks, and interventions make up the relevant social media data. The social media trends might help researchers, epidemiologists, and medical experts assess changes in attitudes toward sickness information and prevention and treatment. Social media data may also be used to gauge how well public health campaigns and communications are received.
- Emotional support: Social media are intended to promote human ties. When a patient is through a difficult time due to a condition, knowing that many others have or are experiencing the same difficulties provides emotional support. There is evidence that social support has a positive influence on health, with some studies showing that patient compliance and health are enhanced when they get support from family and peers. Additionally, hashtag campaigns for money and organ donations on Twitter and Facebook have benefited individuals. Moreover, social media encourages the beginning of conversations about mental health issues.
The healthcare industry may benefit greatly from the accessibility, transparency, and open discussion that are all made possible by the use of social media. Finding medical information on the web is a common online activity.
Rozaima M Kassim