Social Media is a universal term for instruments designed to support online social interactions. To be more specific, it refers to tools that help people have conversations online, on topics that matter to them. These conversations can be through Blogs, Wikis, Social Networks and many others. To me, another good example of understanding the impact of social media came when I saw an article about a patient diagnosed with “urinary incontinence”, one of the most under diagnosed, completely misunderstood areas at that time where there are adequate treatment options available to lead a normal life. Thanks to the digital world such conditions today are managed better.
With our technology today, patients may find superior information on their conditions. These patients may then confront their doctors about what they uncovered. Social media allows for patients to have a better understanding about what his or her condition consist of. Information available to a patient, education available for a patient, options available to a patient to participate in decision outcomes are some of the parameters that lead to patient empowerment. Social media allows patients to have a better understanding of their illnesses as well as doctors being more educated about medical conditions and the resources available to mange those. Healthcare happens when both patients and doctors using social media work together. Social networking can lead to good health from treatments and diseases by educating and making individuals more involved with their health. Not only does social networking aid patients but it can help greatly reduce healthcare costs. With that being said, social media is extremely influential in patient-centered care.