In 1880, the average adult was expected to live about 40 years. Projections for the year 2080 show the average lifespan may be as high as 100!
Clearly, medical science is making tremendous breakthroughs on nearly every modern healthcare front to add as much as 60 years to our life expectancy. But along with the ‘oh so glamorous’ scientific breakthroughs that regularly make worldwide news headlines, there exists another set of ‘less glamorous’ yet ongoing advances, including widespread dissemination of public health information via social media platforms and websites.
In other words, if you don’t know what to change to live longer, all the breakthroughs in the world won’t do you much good. For this, we have social media to thank. Social Media’s benefit to modern healthcare is only restricted by one’s imagination and there is certainly a lot more health organization can do to get on board.
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The Six Top Social Tools for Hospitals
According to Modern Healthcare, the most popular social media platforms in use by hospitals today for public health education, general communication and promotion of services include these:
Of these six tools, blogs and YouTube videos are considered the most critical for sharing healthcare news and tips. LinkedIn is important for industry networking and recruitment.
Foursquare permits patients and practitioners to check in when they visit a particular facility and share that with their networks.
Finally, Facebook and Twitter are great all-purpose networking platforms to gather information, conduct informal surveys, interact with colleagues and patients and keep a finger on the pulse of trending healthcare news.
In this infographic post, learn more about the quiet ways modern healthcare is being revolutionized by the use of social media.
Infographic source: Canadian Pharmacy King
Maintaining an Internet Presence is Crucial
NBC News’ Telemedicine division reports that as many as 80 percent of all Americans state they use the internet to search for health information.
The most popular health information topics include these:
– Medical issues.
– Treatments and procedures.
– Vitamins and nutrition.
– Exercise and fitness.
– Drugs (prescription and OTC).
– Health insurance.
– Mental health.
– Alternative care.
– Particular doctors or venues (hospitals, clinics, et al).
This last highlights why healthcare providers feel it is no longer sufficient to just maintain a website online. It is the use of social media, particularly Facebook and Google (which together are the two most popular online destinations), which facilitates a patient to connect with a healthcare facility or doctor’s office via the internet.
It also indicates that, for many people, using the internet to search for health and medical information for themselves, a child, a loved one or a family member is one of today’s top uses for the internet itself!
For modern healthcare, the popularity of the internet as a source of healthcare and medical information is also a green light to reallocate marketing and advertising budgets accordingly.
The current prediction shows that healthcare companies have plans to spend heavily (to the tune of $1 billion or more over the next half-decade) to connect with individuals seeking the type of healthcare information they can provide.
What the Future Holds for Social Media Use in Modern Healthcare
When you get sick, you probably visit the internet first to see what you can do from home to try to identify your symptoms. But then you probably try to make an appointment to see your doctor…or at least that is what you used to do.
Today, what is now being called telemedicine is on the rise. So are websites devoted to ranking providers on new patients’ behalf. Online social communities increasingly provide support for patients with chronic conditions.
For doctors, new apps provide fast answers to urgent questions about drug interactions, patient records and more.
Clearly, healthcare-based social platforms are a welcome addition and are here to stay.
This post was originally published on TheInnovationEnterprise