Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
Before the smart phone or mobile health apps registered as medical devices, the use of the humble email in communications between GPs and their patients has long been considered as a controversial topic.
According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal Europe, opponents worry that doctors aren’t able to properly gauge the health of their patients by reading their emails. They say important signals can be missed such as facial expressions, tone of their voice or body language and so on. There are also concerns about security of email communications, inviting trouble over doctor-patient confidentiality.
In the other camp, supporters say email can be used to help build relationships between doctors and patients, as it makes healthcare practitioners more accessible and allows a more thorough exchange of information than traditional visits to the GP.
I would have to side in support of the latter. The use of email doesn’t eliminate the need for personal contact with your GP if it is required, plus there is plenty of interaction that can take place that doesn’t require face-to-face contact. The use of email allows for greater efficiencies, convenience and care that cannot be ignored in the 21st Century.
What’s your preference? You can submit your vote here.
The WSJ Europe explores the pros and cons of email communication between doctors and patients in full here.