Report Evaluates Role of Social Media in Chronic Disease Care

icons_smallA social media network can offer an individual education, motivation and support. According to a new report from the eHealth Initiative, it can also help individuals with chronic diseases achieve personal goals, correct high-risk behavior and better manage their conditions, thereby reducing the burden of chronic disease on the healthcare system. However, several challenges must first be addressed. These include:

  • Balancing transparency and anonymity;
  • Concerns about privacy and HIPAA compliance;
  • The digital divide among elderly and minority populations; and
  • Authenticity of online information since content is typically user-generated

Benefits include improved access to health information and providing a new tool for communication among caregivers and family members to discuss shared experiences. The full report is available here.

 

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