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 members, improve access to real-time support and improve the agility of conversation data for precision medicine research and development to name several. There are over 30 hcsm global communities on Twitter, some of these include Canada (hcsmCA), Europe (hcsmEU), Africa (hcsmAFRICA) 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 the transcript and open to the public for research purposes on Symplur Global Health Analytics.
An abstract for future health in South Africa from an e-Patient perspective
Re-imagine healthcare in South Africa. The way we search for information is going to change, in the near future we will connect. Digital platforms that connect users in communities and demographic can be used to educate doctors about global technology. The 21st-century e-Patient also researchers their own condition in detail and follows global trends but resources are currently fragmented. Improving access to care using digital tools like video consulting could reduce stress on our public facilities if users are empowered with education and understand the basic requirements to generate quality data. Online communities provide a central channel to send out emergency messages to the public which might improve disease control and improve smart governance. Dedicated ecosystems with collectives could also help to cluster demographic conversation more precisely than the public social networks. Digital communities could also easily enable peer-to-peer support for both HCP’s and patients.
A comprehensive list of all the global geographic hcsm communities is available on Symplur.