Is social media in healthcare on the rise? As a technology, social media is primed to become the next big tool for improving public health and educating patients, according to data presented at the 2009 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media.

During the conference, themed “Participation Powers Prevention,” Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet & American Life Project offered these facts and figures on social media in healthcare:

  • 79% of adults in the U.S. use the Internet, up from 46% in 2000.
  • 56% of adults have accessed the Internet wirelessly via laptop or mobile device.
  • Of healthcare patients who look for health information online, 89% are wireless and 88% use broadband.

Fox also offered two successful social media examples from the healthcare world:

1. Patients Like Me: This website, created in 2004 by 3 MIT engineers, provides patients with access to the tools, information and experience needed to take control of their diseases. The site’s goal is to allow patients to share information about their own experiences to improve the lives of others diagnosed with the same or similar life-changing diseases. Visitors can join specific disease communities, search for patients who share their illness or partake in one-on-one discussions.

2. Center for Connected Health: This community site is a resource for healthcare providers, policy leaders and healthcare executives. Buy Generic Cialis Online It provides them with the ability to engage in discussion of best practices, new ideas, controversial topics, industry events and research. Visitors can either partake in current healthcare discussions or start their own.

Be Sociable, Share!