Without doubt, the future of social media is growing, influential and ever-powerful. As the digital divide shrinks worldwide, more and more people are joining the billions of conversations taking place in the realm of social media. Social media is the place to be. Whether you’re looking to keep in touch with friends, find the latest trends, or learn about what someone thinks, social media is where this is happening! The world of social media is highly influential. People are turning to social media to learn about and get information on important topics, such as healthcare. Traditionally, healthcare was something that people relied on healthcare professionals, such as doctors, to learn about. With the advent of the Internet, and more recently social media, people are using social media to learn about healthcare. Social media has evolved beyond a platform used to share pictures and connect with friends. Social media is now a powerful influencer for healthcare and medical advice.
Health Sciences North (HSN), a Northern Ontario hospital, is shining a light on the human side of healthcare as it reaching patients, hospital visitors, and the community at large. Located in Sudbury, Ontario, HSN has garnered Northern Ontario’s attention after the launch of their blog, Humans of HSN. Humans of HSN is an online blog modelled after the infamous Humans of New York, where pictures, videos and stories of HSN staff, volunteers and patients are shared. Each week, the blog features new stories of the many faces at HSN which are then shared across HSN’s social media networks. Doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals alike are sharing details of their lives outside of their hospital life. Whether talking about their personal passions, such as curling, or a once-in-a-lifetime family trip, patients and visitors of the hospital are given the opportunity to see beyond the person treating them.
Watsi is a non-profit crowdsourcing platform that enables anyone to fund life-changing medical procedures for patients in developing countries who might not otherwise have access to healthcare. At the time this case study was written, 22,102 Watsi donors had funded healthcare for 11,559 patients in 25 countries. Patients waiting to be fully funded included Vehn, a farmer from Cambodia who needs a hip replacement, Olga, a single mother from Guatemala who needs treatment for diabetes, and Dah Htoo, a 2 year old boy from Burma who needs surgery to repair burn damage. When Watsi founder Chase Adam was a Peace Corps volunteer, he was traveling through a small town in Costa Rica when a woman boarded the bus. Her son required medical treatment she could not afford; she showed his medical records and asked passengers for money to help pay for his treatment. The town was called Watsi and the idea of developing a platform to crowdsource funding for vital health care in developing countries was born. Soon after the platform launched, the idea gained traction on Hacker News, and eventually led to Watsi being the first non-profit startup funded and accelerated by Y Combinator.
When you think about customer engagement, it is quite easy to make the connection with customer satisfaction. In the for profit world the importance of winning new customers and keeping the customers to generate increased profits is a given. As expected, when I first searched for information on this topic I found plenty of examples of how for profit businesses were using social media for a business purpose. However, being from the Not-For-Profit world I wanted examples of how social media could be used to engage clients for the purpose of increasing their satisfaction with the services provided.
In the Healthcare industry the gap between the providers and receivers is narrowing. Technological advancements in particular Social Media is the catalyst of this. Crowdsourcing in health care has become a popular trend these days despite the meticulous requirements for specialization, limitations surrounding privacy and strict governance. It is an instrumental tool in finding patient care solutions and cost reductions that previously would not have been possible. Barbara Prainsack (Professor in Sociology and Politics of Bioscience Brunel University London / GB), delivers an excellent presentation at at TEDxSalzburg about how Crowdsourcing is becoming more prevalent in the Medical field. She stresses the divide between the two sides: the medical experts and those receiving the care is no longer tenable. Dr. Prainsack explains, this is as a result of the way in which we as society use technology to communicate, and the need for us to be advocates in our own health care. The age old adage “Two brains are better than one,” is literally meaningful in this context. The more brains, equals more ideas, equals greater chance to solve a problem or find a solution. Jeff Howe, author of “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”, pointed out that: “Crowds are more than wise – they are talented, creative, and stunningly productive.” The application of Crowdsourcing is extremely applicable within the healthcare industry. Whether it be doctors around the world collaborating on a patience diagnoses, or patients helping companies design prosthetics, so that they are able to lead better lives. I believe that crowdsourcing is intrinsic to our very nature. Although, we may or may not be professionals in the field it is the idea of making a difference, that is the real motivation for most people. One ingenious crowdsourcing initiative was the Columbia Design Challenge. Realizing the urgency to control the outbreak, the deans at Columbia Engineering and the Mailman School of Public Health sponsored a rapid-fire design challenge to confront the Ebola crisis. The idea behind the challenge was to not only come up with rapid low-cost, real-time solutions, from concept to deployment, but also engage the Columbia community—from all disciplines—to take action, collaborate, and have an impact on this critical global issue. For more on this extraordinary contest please listen to Anna Maria Tremonti’s Interview called “Competition for Solutions finds new ideas to contain Ebola through crowdsourcing truly ground-breaking.” – The Current : Feature series By Design (3rd November 2014) Listen 27:30 Dwayne Spradlin CEO of Health Data Consortium… Read more »
Title: CPR Makes You Undead Organisation Name: Heart & Stroke Foundation Industry: Health; Not-For-Profit Name of Contacts: Ketan Manohar (Copywriter of “The Undeading” Public Service Announcement); Eddy Nason, Ontario SPOR Support Unit Web References: CPR History; CPR Tweak; Heart & Stroke Foundation; Ketan Manohar; Naeem Walji; Agency 59; Viral Video; British Heart Foundation; Vinnie Jones; Hard and Fast PSA; HSF… Read more »
Organization(s): Chatham-Kent Health Alliance; Oculys Health Informatics Websites: Chatham-Kent Health Alliance; Oculys Health Informatics This week’s social media case study focuses on supply chain management. Supply chain management is, quite simply, the management of goods or services in order to fill (supply) a demand. For this week I’ve decided to look at a proprietary communication solution offered by Oculys Health Informatics and… Read more »