How are patients and healthcare professionals conversing with each other online?

Paul Grant


Healthcare professionals have discovered the immense value of public social media for peer-to-peer networking, collaboration, and for sharing health information and content on the Internet.


Likewise, patients have found (and in some cases founded) communities for sharing or learning about personal experiences with treatment, management of disease, and living ‘well’.


In recent years, technology developers have also contributed great advances in the ability to diagnose or monitor individual health issues, through mobile devices or other ‘smart’ sensors and applications.


Yet for some communities, access to such ‘connected’ resources is limited. There are those in rural locations, or perhaps without access to a computer, or generally without the know-how to find or use technology solutions, any of which may put them at a disadvantage in a modernized health care system.


Telemedicine and virtual access to specialists may offer an answer. Relatively ubiquitous solutions such as Skype have been successfully used in some parts of the world, yet issues around reimbursement and data privacy can confound countries such as the U.S.A. In India, the geography and population are powerful forces driving innovation around the cost of care. In Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service was established in 1928 to service an area of more than 750 thousand square miles. In recent years Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has formed a Connectivity Lab to ‘…build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.’

In this session Paul Grant will investigate healthcare professional conversations online, to uncover and learn from opinions and themes of interest relating to these topics of poverty, the digital divide, and underserved populations. The methodology will include the use of Creation Pinpoint®, an online listening platform for studying public social media conversations among a global population of validated healthcare professionals. Through this distilled view of the Internet, the perceptions and voice of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professional roles will be analyzed to identify those key influencers and potential solutions that may make a difference to problems around technology and health care access.

This presentation will provide an opportunity to understand how healthcare professionals around the world see these issues. Some will be activists for change. Others will have entrepreneurial ideas about technology or systemic change. Still others will offer key insights from the front line of remote care.

 We will together consider this important challenge, to stimulate and inspire new thinking.

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