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Social Media and Medical Practice II

Part II

……..Adoption of new software follows a process similar to adoption of most new technologies, a slow gradual awareness of a new way to do things, discovery by larger and larger groups of users accelerating exponentially during a rapid growth phase, with a gradual flattening of the growth curve as the product matures.

Social media has  filled a space in our private lives, with rare adoption in the business world.  In most businesses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other social domains are restricted or blocked by corporate firewalls,  private, or public.  Internal business communication is usually accomplished via telephone, video conferencing, email and/or instant messaging. 

Marketing for business relied heavily on internet search engines, with search engine optimization maximizing ‘hits’ on a users websites, along with large email group mailing. The most recent iteration of search engine algorithms has been changed from finding the most active landing pages to one in which the actual content can be analyzed for the quality of hits and analyzing the structure of the web page, backlinks, and other trickery that falsely elevates the importance or popularity of a particular web site.

Facebook is now evolving new categories, from  personal to a clone of a typical business landing page, but offering two way communication within the API  for potential customers or just interested readers.

Physician patient usage of social media is strictly limited by privacy restrictions and reluctance of most physicians to discuss personal health information online. Some physicians encourage email communication and dedicate time each day to communicate with patients conveniently.  A limiting factor is there is no reimbursement methodology for time devoted to email.

Social media will find a role for internal medical group communication for departmental or interdepartmental communication. Twitter in particular allows for direct p2p communication and the addition of mobile APIs allows communications on the ‘run’.


The Mayo Clinic and other large groups use Facebook for Patient Education, Marketing,  Mayo Clinic actually uses several Facebook pages for EmploymentGeneral Information, Health Policy, and a General page on Becoming a Mayo Clinic “Fan” on Facebook.

Social Media APIs (Application Platform Interface’s) ……….


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