Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Health Care Social Media Review: EndoGoddess Edition

I am proud to bring you this Wednesday's edition of a week's review of topics over the past week in health care social media news.

After this past week's tragic Colorado movie massacre, a vibrant discussion of the role of social media in healthcare emergencies occurred on this past week's Sunday night #hcsm twitter chat with a link to the transcript here. A central question raised: what are emergency best practices for social media? Overall, it was unanimously agreed that social media is an excellent channel for communication during an emergency. It was also agreed that trusted sources should produce accurate information outputs in real-time that others should retweet. It was also discussed that texts from a trusted source are highly valuable during an emergency or crisis situation.

'The human spirit' is vital for good healing and good health, especially during tragedies. Social media can effectively connect communities and 'the human spirit' during tragedies as is beautifully illustrated here by a tribute from my city, Columbus, to Aurora noted in the above youtube video tribute. The Harmony Project of Columbus Ohio gathered 150 voices and countless volunteers in 24 hours to record the Beth Nielsen Chapman song "How We Love" to benefit the families of victims in Aurora, Colorado. All of the proceeds from the single, which can be downloaded at www.harmonyproject.com/howwelove, go to GivingFirst.org and are directed to families in Aurora. This labor of love demonstrates that we are all neighbors, that important tributes can come from our voices, and that in times like these, what is important is how we love.

Although the TextsFromHillaryClinton Blog is not new, I did find myself turning to it this past week despite no new posting: perhaps for some comic relief but also because following leaders such as Hillary Clinton during a national crisis just feels natural to me. As humor is often based on some degree of truth, perhaps we all naturally turn to our phones (particularly social media and SMS texting) during emergencies thereby pointing to the potential power and importance of social media during a crisis whether it's a national crisis, natural crisis, or health crisis

As political ads are a constant feature prior to the November election, especially in my state of Ohio, it is no surprise that democracy in healthcare has been a part of the #hcsm discussion landscape recently. In the past, patients have not been at the table to decide what new technologies and improvements should be funded…unless they happen to be a hospital executive, pharmaceutical executive, or health insurance executive. However, a new crowd-funding platform called MedStartr allows people patients that are using medical technology and those who love them to decide what new technologies they’d like to see further developed by voting with their donations: democratization of medical technology. This was a central theme notable in the first ever health care crowd-funding twitter chat on Monday night this week featuring the hashtag #HCCF moderated by MedStartr's co-founder, Alex Fair. (Shameless plug: a screenshot for my crowd-funding project for EndoGoddess is pictured above and a link here).

Despite a week that included a national tragedy and ongoing political battles, health care social media maintained a reflection of the tenacity, innovation, and passion of the human spirit...it's who we are and healing is in the air. :)