PHC practitioners comment on social media use in health care

In England, a physician terminally ill with cancer has turned to social media to chronicle her view from both sides of the bedside and to try to improve the health care system for patients.

Here in British Columbia, a campaign to save people from dying of sepsis - widespread inflammation caused by an infection - used YouTube videos and Twitter chats to meet its goal of saving 150 lives in 150 days. By the end of the 150 days, the tally of lives saved stood at 151.

Social media is meeting medicine and the prognosis is favourable.

B.C. health care professionals and technology experts are working on ways to use social media to improve health care.

And the province is home to innovative start-ups that are using social networking tools to help patients connect with fellow patients and medical experts, and take control of their own health.

“I practise in emergency medicine and it's incredible that, over the last year, when I practise, many patients come in and say 'I found this on social media,' ” said Dr. Kendall Ho, an emergency medicine specialist and founding director of the University of B.C.'s eHealth Strategy Office.

Gillian Shaw reports

Click here to read the full story