Engaging patients through social media

THE rise of digital technologies has had a transformational impact across everyday life and business globally including healthcare. There has been exponential growth in use of the internet, social media and online communication. 

The uptake of personal computing, smartphones and tablets by healthcare stakeholders – including patients, healthcare professionals and payers – is well documented. 

Given the speed with which the volume of activity has grown, it is easy to lose sight of what impact these technologies are having on the delivery and outcomes of healthcare interventions. Furthermore, what impact are they having on the the quality use of medications and the effectiveness of existing business models?

A new IMS report, just released, looks specifically at the impact of social media on the use of medicines, including the role that pharmaceutical manufacturers are playing in leveraging social media platforms as part of their business model. It includes new analysis of the role of Wikipedia and its linkage to medicine use. It also assesses the current level of social media engagement undertaken by pharmaceutical companies.

The role of social media in healthcare and impact on patient engagement is moving to center-stage, propelled by mobile technology, patient demand and growing influence of the digital native generation. How ready the healthcare sector is for these empowered and digitally demanding patients will be a subject of discussion and assessment for some time.

Access the IMS report here. It was undertaken independently by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics as a public service, without industry or government funding.

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