What is Healthcare Social Media (hcsm)?
hcsm is an acronym which represents Health Care Social Media. hcsm is a global collective of geographic virtual communities on Twitter. Virtual communities on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook (e.g. Patient support groups) connect people with common objectives. These collectives can be utilised to educate the members, improve access to real-time support and improve the agility of conversation data for precision medicine research and development to name a few. (Read more here). There are over 30 hcsm global communities on Twitter, some of these include Canada (hcsmCA), Europe (hcsmEU) and Australia (hcsmANZ).
In the past, health care has worked in silos which made it difficult for patients to navigate the system. Health data is fragmented because we have numerous processes to collect it and a myriad of websites which don’t release the patient’s information. Policies have also restricted data sharing. New technologies like mobile applications could empower patients with the right tools to improve their health outcomes and improve access to care but interoperability and equality are some of the basic needs we need to address first.
hcsmSA moderates a monthly TweetChat to discuss health issues in South Africa with a diverse community of members that share their perspectives relating to our future health systems. These members include doctors, scientists, startups, entrepreneurs, patient advocates and organisations, charities, journalists, IT developers, design companies, marketing companies, pharmaceutical companies, academic sector, nurses, caregivers etc. The meetings are recorded on transcript and open to the public for research purposes on www.symplur.com.
An abstract vision for future health in South Africa
The way we search for information is going to change, in the near future we will connect. Connected health can be used to educate doctors about global technology where there is often a gap between patient and doctor, often the patient researches their condition in more detail and follows trends more closely. Improving access to care using digital tools could reduce stress on our public facilities if users are educated to use the tools and understand the impact of quality data. Online communities provide a central channel to send out emergency messages to the public to improve disease control, they also bring together a collective to research a specific demographic more precisely and empower patients with peer-support.
Follow the hcsm geographic communities on these hashtags below. A comprehensive list of all the global geo-communities is available on www.symplur.com
#hcsm – Global
#hcsmGH – Ghana
#hcsmla – Latin America
#hcsmanz – Australia / New Zealand
#hcsmasia – Asia
#hcsmca – Canada
#hcsmeu – Europe
#hcsmin – India
#hcsmny – New York
#hcsmse – Sweden
#hcsmsv – Silicon Valley