Time was when someone would keep his/her healthcare concerns under the hood, so to speak. A health complication would be kept within the family; the unwritten doctor-patient privacy act was upheld.
Now? We seem to be ready to blab more about it. or, to put it another way, patients are more than ready to take to social media to discuss health-related issues in the open. Some examples
- I once interviewed a CCL survivor, Andrew Schorr, who formed a community and a radio show around social media collaboration. Pat
- Elliott was one of the earliest people I knew who believed that community involvement with regard to one’s health information was to be welcomed.
- Robert Scoble was onto this health privacy-is-dead issue three years ago, curating a series of comments. One of them: There are much larger health benefits to be gained by allowing your healthcare provider to openly share you information between providers/organizations.
This latest report by PwC recognizes this, and gives you a more granular look at how the private concerns of those seeking healthcare have become closely intertwined with their social media behavior.
- Nearly a quarter of people in the US (24%) post something about their healthcare experience.
- 16 % share health-related videos and images!
It gets more interesting, in the face of concerns about invasion of privacy and health information.
- Some 30% of people are willing to share their health-elated information with other patients, using social channels.
- Also, 80% of 18-24 year-olds are likely to share health information through social media. 80 percent! You could find out more here at the PwC site.
This ought to have huge implications for healthcare companies, and even medical practitioners who have been concerned that their connecting with patients could run afoul with health information privacy, or HIPAA, laws. Physicians have been behind the curve. Sermo, their online community, has just 130,000 users, but one study found that while 87% of physicians use at least one social media site at a personal level, only 67% are using at least one site for professional reasons.