If you still need convincing - look no further than this piece 24 Outstanding Statistics & Figures on How Social Media has Impacted the Health Care Industry that features a host of examples. As they put it
In a generation that is more likely to go online to answer general health questions then ask a doctorAnd that’s the point our population and customers are changing and they are using the internet and social media as a major source and guide to their care.
A few choice data points:
90% of respondents from 18 to 24 years of age said they would trust medical information shared by others on their social media networksThis may be the younger generation but in many instances they are becoming the healthcare support infrastructure for their parents and will use the same methodology to for their parents care as their own
31% of health care professionals use social media for professional networkingI am willing to be this is increasing and I only have to look at my own twitter feed and lists of doctors I am connected with, follow and use as major source and guides
41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facilityIgnore this at your peril - 2 in 5 of your patients are looking at social media to guide their healthcare selection.
And the opportunity and impact will increase as we see the penetration of mobile devices increasing
International Telecommunications Union estimates that global penetration of mobile devices has reached 87% as of 2011So for those of you already online the impact and effect will increase. Those of you not….well that train has left the station. This graphic by Howard Luks (@hjluks) captures the extent of the opportunities