Why Are People Willing to Share Health Information on Social Media Sites?

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Their is a trust that is implicit between a patient and the people who take care of them that their data is safe and secure and not gonna be released to the brighter world. If they choose to release it on social media or some other mechanism then of course that's their choice, but patients trust us with their information and it's good literature that says if a patient doesn't trust a doctor or a certain organization with the security of their health care data be it electronic or not by the way it doesn't to be only electronic those are someone's else.

That's so important to them that they will actually find a different health care provider, so this is a core principle that we have to respect and it's not just above the law of course we have to respect the law too, but it's about how patients trust and feel about their positions.

The ability to use social media to help patients in a specific way I think it's huge, we haven't figured it all out yet I'm not saying that we had, but first of all I'd think it's the way they help each other, the way that there are support groups, their's information flow not always right but, it's still valuable where patients actually can help each other, sort of crowd sourcing if you will, in dealing with their disease, but number one remember that's their choice they put that information out there on their own, is not that we as health care provider released it inappropriately or even on purpose, so now we have a very sophisticated social media capability which we use for our internal work for our customer, in relating to our customers, we actually took that capability we call the command center, we actually built a command center for the American Red Cross and during Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross was adjusting what it needed to do, based on the information that came out of social media.

Whether a lot of comments in this area on Twitter or Facebook or choose your vehicle of choice around food shortages where there are other comments and other places around clothing problems or whatever, so it wasn't the only thing they used of course but they found it really useful to be able to guide some of their people to ask questions that they might not have asked otherwise, right? So there is a lot of power in that data, people have been using social media data and even Google Search data for some time now to look at attract flu epidemics.

So there's a lot of power on a societal level as well as just the individual patient level.