Social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, have emerged as important resources for medical patients to find out information on conditions and treatments and interact with others who have similar medical diagnoses for support.
There are now many disease-specific groups, including diabetes, that have arisen on social networking platforms, creating a community for people seeking support and resources for their symptoms. Here are five ways social media is helping diabetes care.
Online forums, where diabetes patients share data, info and personal stories, are popping up on every social media site. According to Claire Cain Miller’s article in the New York Times, these online communities help to bridge gaps for the chronically ill. Through interaction with others via pictures, posts, tweets and videos, people with diabetes can connect with others from all over the world and develop lifelong friendships.
These social media communities also provide a support system for people who would otherwise not have any. People can ask advice from each other, lend their encouragement and support and develop relationships with others who suffer from the same types of ailments.
Medical practices in the time of Twitter incorporate social media that goes far beyond stethoscopes. Diabetes patients can now have instant access to sites that feature information provided by medical physicians.
Patient and Prescription Connections
About 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of adults could have the condition by 2050.
With so many people affected and so many diabetes online communities emerging, the drug companies have taken notice and have even created their own social media sites. These sites provide patients with information about treatment options, diabetes prevention, and more.
There are tons of apps available specifically designed for diabetes management that can save patients lots of time and effort. Fooducate helps people to keep track of the foods they eat and also identify which ones are high in sugar and fat. Glooko allows patients to instantly upload their glucose readings directly from their meter so that they have the info available to them at all times. Patients can also track goals and share the data with their doctor.
Recently, StripSafely organized a social media campaign that caused the FDA to reevaluate the post-market accuracy of blood glucose testing meters and strips. The campaign encouraged people with diabetes to contact the FDA and demand tighter testing regulations for glucose meters and strips pre-market for better accuracy standards. The strategy worked and got the FDA to re-think its testing and evaluation methods.
Social media sites can be utilized by patients with diabetes for a variety of purposes. From joining a support group to changing FDA protocol, social networking sites are helping diabetes care.