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July 28th , 2016

Community Technology and Health Care

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As social media has spread across the world, it has morphed into different forms yet the primary function is the same, as a basic social community technologyand gathering place. This has even become the face of health care in the world where social media has taken it to a higher level of patients/patient interaction, as well as patient/doctor communication.

These communities are the next evolutionary step of these social health gatherings, but with wider reach. Instead of asking a family member, friend or acquaintance to recommend a good doctor, or to explain how they are coping with a particular disease, they can interact with a larger online community for this advice and health-related information.

Health social media communities offer help and shared experiences to their users that go beyond our typical geographic locations. This social media form allows people to connect with individuals and organizations that have or are going through the same illnesses or health dilemmas they are personally confronting.

These new health based social media communities are excellent platforms for exchanging referral advice about doctors and clinics and are also great places for shared experiences and other health related information. Personal knowledge about the side effects of medications, for example, is one aspect of the benefits obtained from this information sharing community. This knowledge helps boost a patient's confidence in their medical community and gives them the shared feeling they are not facing this health issue alone.

This social platform also helps patients ask more informed and pertinent questions, and it also narrows the knowledge gap between patients, doctors and clinicians. Patients are more informed and feel less overwhelmed when confronted with "doctor speak". When the shared information is accurate, it empowers patients to participate in a deeper and more positive way with their doctors as well as in their treatment process.

As health based social media sites continue to evolve as one of the main communication platforms between patient communities around the world, they should be approached with caution. These sites offer new possibilities that are very rewarding and positive to the patient and offer positive results that are not achieved through research trials or formal health care systems, yet also misinformation is passed along as well.

With a little discretion though, these communities offer great benefits to those afflicted. They give the patient the ability to deal with their disease or illness on their own terms, at their own pace, and never alone. Having a community at your side to offer you help and encouragement is one of the greatest benefits that social networks can offer. Investing your business in the close social relationship established by these social communities offer many benefits for your business. Not only are you investing in their physical health, but your are investing in their peace of mind too.