How the Internet Impacts HealthCare
As technology keeps on improving every day, it has touched on every aspect of our lives. Healthcare has become even better thanks to internet technology and there are several reasons to prove so.
The Internet has become a main source of medical information
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a 2004 survey of 8 million seniors who use the internet, only 66% said they searched healthcare information online. In 2009 24 million Americans reported the same.
It goes without saying that more and more people are using the Internet to research their medical issues. This means not only looking up symptoms, but exploring treatments and medicines on the web. While it is never a good idea to skip out on the doctor completely, the Internet has made patients more empowered to make decisions about what to do next.
Social media is an interactive media and it is not limited to friendships and relationships. Hospitals are now interacting with patients through social media. They can discuss or even listen to different health topics.
HOSPITALS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO REACH PATIENTS
Hospitals are catching on to this trend and implementing programs to promote the use of social media. They can use it to manage their reputation through referrals and reviews and to brand themselves as providers of reliable information to consumers. According to an article by Med City, more than 1,500 hospitals in the U.S. use social media in some format. 2
Sites like YouTube, Facebook and Foursquare (where users check in at different locations) are some examples. Facebook seems to be the favorite, and hospitals use this social media outlet to reach prospective patients or post reviews about patients’ experiences there. Some hospitals are getting creative with how they reach their community. The Mayo Clinic has more than 76,000 listeners to its podcast. Different subjects are discussed in a format for people to download and listen to on their own time, which is appealing to many people who might be curious about different diseases, new advancements in health care, or human interest pieces about people experiencing different health issues. The Mayo Clinic is one example of an institution that offers advice and expertise from health care professionals for free. All of the doctors there are encouraged to take part in using social media.
It is also important to note that this technology has facilitated the easier sharing of medical images and records. This has made medical transfers easy especially where critical conditions are involved.
Sharing neuroimaging may be the next significant advancement in telemedicine. Having images of the nervous system can be very important in some patients’ cases, and those images should always go along with that patient’s medical record. That way, other doctors who treat him or her at a later date will have what they need to make a comprehensive diagnosis. Medical record software can make it quite a bit easier to send, store, and receive information about patients, as well.
With those records can come a medical image transfer, so all the images and information can go with the patient. Having records sent through the mail from a doctor or hospital often takes a lot of time, but sharing via medical imaging software is an excellent way to get records quickly. When treating a patient in an emergency, making sure records can be transferred fast can be vital. It could potentially mean the difference between life and death.