About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

7 comments on “Social Media in Healthcare : We’re Getting There But Have a Ways to Go

  • I find your article very interesting. I have noticed the same thing, as I have been looking for examples as guidance as I build my interactive social media teen health resource called “Real Talk with Dr. Offutt”. I started on Blogger, and then added Twitter, Tumblr and Pheed, and am planning to experiment with YouTube as well, all for the purpose of reaching out to teens about relevant teen health topics. I strongly believe that social media has tremendous potential for public health and patient education. These tools encourage discussion and disagreement and allow for us to address misconceptions and erroneous information about medical issues.

    • Thank you Laura. There are many folks speaking about the upsides of a digital presence, and the issues surrounding being an HCP in the digital/social age –however — there are far too few who actually put forth information useful to our patients. In that regard, kudos to Dr Wendy Sue Swanson, Dr Natasha Burgert, and Dr Ronan Kavanagh for their efforts.
      Howard Luks

  • Hello Howard:

    Yes, we have to improve our efforts to both reach patients and other healthcare professionals utilizing today’s Social Medial Tools.

    Humans are innately social, as you say. And, today, patients are innately Mobile, and drawn to video.

    Just ride the Metro in Miami, where I live, i bet it is the same in Manhattan More than half of the riders have their faces glued to their smartphones, including me.

    Now, I don’t know if the Google Plus people, when they created their platform, did it expressely for patient engagement, but I believe both Google Plus and Google Hangouts are, potentially, a game-changer in this respect.

    Google Plus allows for the creation of Communities, which can be constructed a la PatientLikeMe.

    And the judicious use of Google Hangouts can make it fun, educational, and engaging for patients to learn, and be educated, while glued to their smartphones.

    I hope you use this platform of Google Plus and Hanguts, Howard, to engage the orthopedic community, not of your neighborhood, not of your practice, not of this country.

    But of the World.

    The internet is a world wide broadcasting station. And Google has given us the keys to a damn TV studio on our desktop with Google Plus and Google Hangouts.

    Do we want to use them?

  • Hello,

    I find this article to be truly enlightening. Beyond Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., I have noticed an increase in healthcare apps that are now available for free, and I think this is a great way to share information. I have been working with a group that created an app for medical credentialing, called MyMedicalCV, and it is amazing to me how tools such as this one can make your life more organized. There are many other noteworthy apps that I have encountered in my research, and I believe apps are just as beneficial for knowledge sharing as any other form of social media. If anything, people are not aware of the benefits that healthcare apps can provide them with!

  • So true. I especially appreciate this point:

    There is no shortage of physicians and other health care workers who tweet, blog or write about the benefits of social media in healthcare to themselves, their colleagues and their patients —BUT — far too few healthcare providers have set out to actively engage, and more importantly, educate the segment of the social media audience who most likely stands to benefit the most from what social media in healthcare has to offer : The patient.

    We can’t just talk ‘at people’. We need to engage with them. Yes it’s harder. Yes it takes more time.
    But the potential upside is much higher too.

    I address exactly this in a recent blog post of mine:


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