Medical social networking sites are attracting people to their sites by having supportive communities that engage people with relevant content, meeting their needs and helping them with their questions. Effective global health communities are measured by the following:
The greater amount of members registered on the medical social networking site, the more effective the health communities become.
Content attracts and engages people to health communities, providing valuable input, enabling understanding and support.
Traffic is one of the most important elements in the success of a community. It won’t matter if the medical social networking site is the best functional site, the frequently viewed pages within the community increases the community visibility to the greater mass.
The higher the responsiveness of members within the community, the more effective the community becomes. The time taken for community members to respond to each other’s comments is a measure to determine the effectiveness of communities. If there is too much of a delay in responses, people start to look elsewhere and the community falls.
The higher the level of interaction, the healthier the community becomes. The greater amount of participants discussing topics, the more effective the community becomes. The amount of posts or comments does not indicate interaction, as several posts could have come from one participant.
The above are key indicators for effective global health communities. However, people need to be attracted and motivated to return to medical social networking sites, and contribute in communities that are animated and vibrant. The following medical social networking sites offer great opportunities for healthy and effective health communities:
Medical Social Networking Sites For Doctors…
1. DoctorsHangout.com: This forum based platform is a great place for doctors to go and meet other doctors, medical students, and residents from around the world, sharing hobbies and interests, look for long lasting connections or establish new professional contacts. Doctors exchange clinical experiences, review cases and share clinical knowledge. However, this site does not provide the usual social networking features such as creating profiles, uploading pictures etc.
2. DoctorsLounge.com: Allows doctors to research symptoms, get additionally opinions and connect with other doctors. Registered member have written over 10,000 articles and answered more than 30,000 medical questions, within the blogs and forums. The site allows for medical journals and conference events to be listed.
3. Doctors.net.uk: Aimed at doctors and medical students, this forum based platform allows for downloading lecture notes, watching videos and more. On the site, medical students are able to connect with doctors from around the world, and share knowledge. Doctors register by using theirGMC registration details and students register by providing details of their medical school and course. This site is the most active network of GMC authenticated doctors in the UK and is a trusted channel for information, communication and education, used by more than 40,000 doctors every day.
Medical Social Networking Sites For Nurses…
4. AllNurses.com: On this blog-based platform, nurses come together to get answers to questions asked by other nurses, and find out about news, specialties and careers. This site is more of an information discussion by nurses.
5. Nurse.com: Connect with other nurses globally and find networking opportunities. The site promotes nursing news, jobs, nurse continuing education and a thriving nurse community.
6. NurseConnect.com: This social community of nurses enables nurses to read reviews, connecting with other nurses, to advance careers, and participate in conversations, sharing stories. The site promotes finding friends and former nurse colleagues, networking to a new nursing job, rate and review top hospitals and schools, get nursing career advice and tips, and catching up on the latest nursing topics.
Medical Social Networking Sites For Illness Sufferers…
7. MedicalMingle.com: This forum based platform, allows registered users to comment on posts and network with those working in the health sector.
8. MedXcentral.com: This forum based platform allows illness sufferers to all value on illness specified blogs, and can ask questions, share knowledge, find support and even get career help.
9. HealthBoard.com: You can use this social media site to connect with people from all different medical and health fields. Great opportunities to learn more, share your knowledge and meet new friends from a variety of locations.
General Social Networking Sites Are Not Effective…
Facebook: Illness related communities groups found on Facebook are not as informative as specific dedicated community health groups. However, Facebook is an effective social networking site, where users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, join common-interest user groups, organise events, categorize their friends into lists and much more.
LinkedIn: Another social networking site, professionals come together in groups, where groups may be private and only accessible to members, or open to the general registered member of LinkedIn.
Social-medicine.org is putting the social back into all things medical. Designed to help individuals dealing with particular illnesses, help share their thoughts, experiences, and knowledge with others who experience the same condition. It is designed to be a social, fun and a relaxed way to learn and share information. Its emphasis is on connecting people and has all the social networking features and functionality expected.
Social-medicine.org is differentiated from the other medical social networking sites as it primarily focuses on illness sufferers within the health communities. The below social networking sites offer most social networking functionality, however these sites don’t support communities for illness sufferers and are seen to be more profession driven rather than focusing on the ill.