Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

It may be taking a while, but our philosophy concerning privacy of our Healthcare data is shifting toward public sharing. There are many reasons why this change is important and welcome: it can foster networking and support; provide useful information for researchers; and tear down the silos that have long defined Healthcare.

Our brains are wired for lock-in: once we accept one way of doing or thinking, we tend to stick with it – defend it, even when it’s clear we need a re-fresh. That’s where we are today with respect to Healthcare privacy. Not everybody’s on-board with going public, but there’s definitely a trend for public (or publics) sharing.

But here’s one point that shouldn’t get lost: once society makes the shift toward public sharing of health information: it doesn’t mean all of it must be. In fact, some things do need to be private.

In a world of Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare and mobile pictures and video and whatever else will come along to steal away any semblance of privacy, we shall have to fight hard to protect what we value.

There are moments of pain and suffering in our lives that simply need the bathing and healing powers of silence and privacy.

Privacy is like our integumentary system: it’s an ingenious semi-permeable membrane which balances the need for oxygen with the need for protection.

Strip away our integumentary system and we die – either by shock or infection. Simple as that.

So as we hear more loudly the Open Philosophies of needed innovators like Jamie Haywood, we’ll also need to rescue privacy from the storm of adoption.

Revolutions are never free of side-effects…nor adverse events.

@PhilBaumann – @HealthIsSocial – Newsletter

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