There’s a tricky balance for those of us who believe that the Internet can save lives. The challenge is juggling the needs for health promotion while also reflecting the realities and restrictions of current health care delivery systems. It’s time we harness the brilliance of social tools. I know that social, evolving technology will help us reduce suffering and improve health care delivery. It’s my contention that the more we leverage the lessons we learn using social tools to listen and educate patients seeking healthier lives, the more relevant science-based data and physicians will remain in improving care and the choices North Americans make when patients.
Patients’ active, thoughtful self-care and investigation online should not only be commended, it should be celebrated, integrated, and prioritized. There is a new set of responsibilities unfolding for physicians. Health care cannot and will not be limited to 15 minute-visits in the office. I’ll discuss how families seek and use health information online, how physician-communities are changing how we learn and I’ll showcase a bit of my work as a pediatrician online authoring content, using social tools, and leveraging the assets of traditional media.