A n interesting academic paper has just passed my nose: “Take Two Aspirin And Tweet Me In The Morning: How Twitter, Facebook, And Other Social Media Are Reshaping Health Care” by Carleen Hawn.
Here’s the abstract:
If you want a glimpse of what health care could look like a few years from now, consider “Hello Health,” the Brooklyn-based primary care practice that is fast becoming an emblem of modern medicine. A paperless, concierge practice that eschews the limitations of insurance-based medicine, Hello Health is popular and successful, largely because of the powerful and cost-effective communication tools it employs: Web-based social media. Indeed, across the health care industry, from large hospital networks to patient support groups, new media tools like weblogs, instant messaging platforms, video chat, and social networks are reengineering the way doctors and patients interact.
As Carleen ends her great paper with [I downloaded the pdf version, one of the benefits of the academic student life ] a wonderful paragraph:
Many doctors-and, for that matter, insurers-may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into this brave new world, Dr. Eytan concedes. But, he argues, “social media technology will help patients hold our feet to the fire-which is good!” So next time you sit waiting in your doctor’s office an hour past your scheduled appointment time for a minor medical problem, or miss his phone call when he calls you with your lab results, or can’t even get through the receptionist to talk to him, think about sending him a tweet on your iPhone or BlackBerry: I’m leaving u, you might write. Going to HelloHealth.
You can pick up the whole paper if you have access to Health Affairs, Mar/Apr2009, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p361-368, 8p in your local library