Monday, November 21, 2011

10 examples of US healthcare going viral with social networks

US innovators are finding ways to use social networks to improve healthcare, despite a variety of challenges.  

Writer Danny Bradbury of the UK newspaper, The Guardian, offers a number of familiar examples -- along with a few I was did not know.

Social media offers a focused channel for special interest groups to communicate – and those in the healthcare sector are among them. "Health is social," says Phil Baumann, founder of a US consulting firm with the same name that advises healthcare institutions on the use of social networks. He argues that healthcare is better when people can connect to share information and experiences. "Any media, any technologies that enable those connections and encourage collaboration will only lead to a better healthcare system."
Unfortunately, healthcare facilities could be using social media a lot more. A report by consultancy Deloitte on social networks in healthcare found that the sector ranked third last in terms of social network use, beating only pharmaceutical makers and that bastion of collaborative digital media petroleum refining. Although half of the healthcare companies in the Fortune 100 are on Twitter, none are official users of Facebook or blogs, according to Deloitte.  The article lists some of the challenges faced.  Read it at

Here’s a list of 10 social networks in US healthcare:

1.     Sermo - an online network exclusive to physicians.
2.     PatientsLikeMe - a social network enabling patients to share experiences and advice.
3.     CureTogether - millions of ratings comparing the real-world performance of treatments for hundreds of conditions.
4.     DailyStrength - social network of support groups for various ailments, from alcoholism to infertility.
5.     FacetoFace Health - this social network connects patients with similar ailments, enabling them to share their experiences.
6.     MedHelp - health management network and online support community.
7.     Ozmosis - social network for physicians, including a cloud-based social collaboration and clinical content management platform.
8.     RadRounds - a professional network for radiologists that also includes the ability to share and discuss interesting medical imaging cases.
9.     WebMD - part social network, part portal, this site provides insights and information about health issues.
10.  WEGO Health - a social network which aims to empower health activists and leaders.

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