Arizona Telemedicine Blog Book - Page 9

study examining the use of social media in telemedicine, at least not to my knowledge. But there is talk. In an article by Dr. Joseph Kim, he offers that social media is in fact a form of telemedicine – an informal and casual one that lacks reimbursement, but a form of it nonetheless. Not Just for Connecting with Patients So what’s going on with health care on social media beyond patient-provider connections and consumer use? CEO of Creation Healthcare Daniel Ghinn said: “Public social media, including Twitter is changing the way that health care professionals are learning and collaborating professionally.” According to research by Creation Pinpoint, health care professionals post to Twitter approximately 152,000 a day, and there have been 208 million tweets by them since 2006. seems to me that this use of social media is a direct example of Dr. Kim’s notion that social media is a form of telemedicine. The research showed that health care professionals are not just talking to patients; they’re talking to each other – networking, sharing research and resources. And in telemedicine, the scene is much the same. As the person who manages the Arizona Telemedicine Program’s (ATP) social media channels, I can say quite authoritatively that telemedicine providers and related companies are actively participating on social media channels. Tracking Outbreaks Not only is social media a great networking tool for telemedicine and an effective way of reaching consumers, it’s a way to learn about what’s working for providers and what’s not. It’s also probably the fastest way to find out about anything and everything happening with telemedicine around the world. Perhaps one of the most exciting impacts of social media on healthcare is a new way to track the spread of fast-moving illnesses like the flu. An article in The Business of Federal Technology puts it very succinctly, saying, “flu spreads fast, but tweets spread faster.” Given this unique condition where social media has become a voice about the wellness of populations, health organizations and federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are using predictive analytics of social media data to monitor and track possible disease outbreaks. It Telemedicine and Social Media ATP Joins the Conversation Prior to September of 2013, ATP was not active on any social media. I joined the ATP team to kick-start the process. Today, we have a strong presence and have fostered valuable relationships o