What Role for Social Media and Mobile

Health professionals  lookout for information

Doctors prefer information from official and institutional sites but also laboratory sites. The mainstream news sites and social media came last of their web consultations in a professional setting. Health professionals primarily use to exchange them.

 image source: mymedleadsblog.com

image source: mymedleadsblog.com

A preference for Internet social networks and forums: a reliability problem?

 40% of online consumers use social media and large public sites to find health information.  Health content on the Internet, nearly 8 out of 10 contained are derived from lambda surfers. 80% of these conversations come from Facebook (51%), Twitter (29%), Doctissimo Forums (7%) and those of Aufeminin (2%). These sites are the most visible: for a current query on the search engine, a link to Wikipedia appears on the first page in 100% of cases and a link to the site in 84% of Doctissimo research. But the reliability of user generated content on all of these sites may be subject to debate. However, the WHO website is referenced on the front page and in 30% of cases and the Ministry of Health in 9% of cases. 


A necessary adaptation of social media?

On social networks, no specific strategy has been conducted in the health sector or for any other field. A platform is imposed for use, and the uses necessary to turn to the platform. Health in social networks is an emerging field. If regulation and reflection on these issues arise, social networks will perhaps ensure to change their model.

Currently, hospitals are interested in the use of social networks such as relationship management tool with patient. These platforms could indeed allow improving their relationships with patients.

A strong confidence peers, loss of trust in professionals.

There is an asymmetrical relationship of medical information: the doctor has a medical knowledge that the patient usually does not. People are on the lookout for information to address this asymmetry. This is the perfect tool. Everyone has more confidence in information that is lived by his peers that information carried by an institution, even official and recognized.

This is comparable to social influence in buying online, operated by site e-commerce through recommendations and scoring systems by the buyers themselves. This is the translation of the word-of-mouth via digital tools and services: a reputation phenomenon to which Internet users rely. Knowing that anyone can transmit information via the net quantity, it is not necessarily appropriate for users to grant such trust their fellow men, the quality is not always appropriate.

Governments need it and can it effectively regulate health in social media?

Ideally, a regulation should be made in cooperation with state institutions to effectively regulate personal health data exchanged. The web and social networks can be a real step forward for the health, provided to ensure the security and confidentiality of the data. But for now social media are not in that perspective. The digital revolution has led to a transformation of our society. Theoretically, the desirability of moderation and regulation of these activities would be established by the public authorities, professionals and stakeholders. Lack of moderation indications present on the web could eventually fail to patients who would logically be brought to read misdiagnosis or false information. A control system would thus allow the necessary convergence of expert knowledge of physicians and lay knowledge of how to framed patients. The goal would be co-construct the content, constituted firstly by companies, organizations, experts, and the other by the general public. But regulation of information does the health possible today?


image source: defence.pk

image source: defence.pk


The mobile to the health service?

Smartphones, tablets and micro-PC invaded our lives in recent years. This development logically concern the health field, in one way or another. Some applications already exist: for example it is possible for a doctor to analyze the curves of an electrocardiogram with the help of a software accessible via their smart phone. Currently around 100,000 m-health applications are available. For now, only 15% of m-health applications are for industry professionals. Other addressing citizens who see these applications a way to reduce their medical expenses (according to a PwC study 59% of users believe that these services have replaced doctors visits or nursing). Applications that appeal most consumers are those of fitness.



A matter of trust

These applications mainly provide support services today with the decision, diagnosis or prescription, and do little or no “connecting”. A step in which we are still very far because of the confidentiality of data. These should be masked and encrypted by software. This example shows a flaw: trust in the Internet tool is not as strong as we believe in privacy. The successful development of mobile systems therefore requires the guarantee of a secure system. We now know that the right to be forgotten is not respected by these platforms, and it is difficult to move permanently delete information. Thus, safety standards must be integrated into software for industrial computing. This should create a space of trust, essential to the development and success of these new tools to exploit. To effectively share health information, it is still necessary that health professionals can access, regardless of their exercise location (hospital, clinic or Liberal) and regardless of the software used .

Future developments

Several future implementation concern the following areas: applications for health professionals, applications for the general public and patients and pro-patient applications (applications whose data fed manually or automatically are shared between the patient and the doctor ). It is also planned to set up a health applications labeling of the year, conducted by a panel of scientific societies and patient associations. These ideas would be a major focus, ultimately, the development of the market for m-health.

With the increasing number of providers who engage in the market for these applications, as well as the improvements that the sector will benefit for years to come , revenue should reach $ 26 billion.