With the advent and explosion of social networking and social media, we now have many tools at our own disposal. Nowadays, many people can search, via google or any other search engine, about their signs and symptoms before visiting a physician. This expands beyond doctor appointments. Ordinary people without a medical education can look up virtually anything they have questions about.
One such example is my mother. She recently had a colonoscopy performed, and before her consultation with her gastroenterologist, she researched everything relevant to the procedure. This not only eased her mind about the procedure, but also prepared her for the visit with the physician. She was able to understand the jargon better and left the visit with a more clarified vision of what was expected.
The reason why I mention this, is because this is the most common useage of the our new-age technology in connection to health. Today, I am here to advocate another use, which is through forums and social networking/media. This idea actually came to me when I was perusing facebook. One of my friends had posted a status post asking about a rash that emerged suddenly on her leg. Immediately, dozens of people were commenting, making suggestions, and recommending courses of actions. Her friends in healthcare, such as nurses, physicians, etc. were quick to respond as well. This got me thinking, and I believe using public forums, such as what was described, would allow us all to make the conduit between social media and health. For my friend, she was able to learn from her healthcare friends that it was an allergic reaction to a new soap. This allowed her to forgo a trip to the doctors, saving her time, money, and saving her from contributing to the excessively growing healthcare costs.
I will finish off my post with a video I stumbled upon. For those of you who are following the course twitter, this is the same video I posted there. The video describes the trending healthcare statistics and the improvements in the world. I believe my aforementioned use of social networking and media will greatly contribute to the projected improvements in health.