Twitter is certainly growing and Facebook is the 2010 most searched for website and the most searched term, however many doctors are worried about them being used in the medical industry. They tend to stick to phone calls and face-to-face interactions.
There are serious concerns over the security of data privacy and protection and perhaps some of the concerns are right. Most of the social networking giants have had security problems. Facebook & Twitter have had their fair share of problems but that hasn’t stopped them from having mass growth. Of course it all changes when sensitive information is being exchanged, you probably wouldn’t want your conversations with your doctor broadcasted would you?
Then again, when you take a good look at what is eventually going to happen, the medical industry is quickly moving towards technology. Some doctors can even use an iPhone app instead of a stethoscope, how crazy is that?
Can you imagine it on a morning when you wake up and you aren’t very well, you reach for your laptop, login to your portal and communicate with a healthcare professional. That would be brilliant. It would be even better in countries where the health system is so big. Sometimes it can be difficult to actually see your doctor and that is where some kind of social media setup would help.
According to Cliff Peale of Cincinnati.com, Dr.M.LeMasters has said that you need to be very cautious because once the data is out there, is can basically go anywhere. To an extent she is correct but with secure domains and encrypted passwords it could work. If the health services were to set up some kind of verification system similar to that used when paying for something by credit or debit card online, then it will work pretty well.
This sort of system could be further evolved for Pharmaceutical companies. If there were dedicated people that sat inside an area with figures of what medicines were being prescribed or 1 person per practice, then it could help to improve health care throughout the world. Remember these are just initial ideas and we at OSM will always welcome your suggestions too.
Do you think doctors are right to have concerns around social networking? How do you think social networking could evolve to help, doctors, patients and pharmaceutical companies? Let us know in the comments below.