By: Shannon McCormick, Media Relations Coordinator, MediaSourceEvery year new consumer trends emerge that put more power in the hands of the every man and make our lives a little easier. This year one of the biggest trends is DIY health. DIY health is not being your own doctor; you cannot self-prescribe medicines or perform your own surgeries. You can, however, become a more aware patient and approach your physician with a more informed opinion on your condition. It is important for all medical institutions to take note of this shift and plan accordingly.Medical institutions must work harder than ever to gain the attention and trust of potential patients in the new DIY era. Social media outlets, new media tools like multimedia releases and online applications must become the new communication tools are more and more consumers are looking to replace the doctor visit with a quick search on their smartphones.Current healthcare apps focus on preventing, examining, improving, monitoring and managing your own health. Some of the most popular apps include PocketPharmacist, Pill Identifier and Instant ECG. Apple’s App Store currently offers 9,000 mobile health apps and is growing rapidly.Patients must remember that even with all of these apps they cannot cut the doctor component out of the process. Patients may be more informed, more in shape and eating better but they must still use all of this knowledge in cooperation with their physician.The larger medical institutions have already joined the DIY conversation and are positioning themselves as thought leaders so that when consumers check their phone or computer for medical info they know that their advice is coming from a respected source. This respect is especially reinforced if they see the institution on their local news. Some institutions are even hosting live Twitter chats with their doctors. If a patient has a question, they can tweet the hospital and get live answers from doctors immediately. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has even brought social media into the operating room, allowing doctors to answer questions as they perform medical procedures.Hospitals must stay on the cutting edge at all times. As technology advances, people want to become more informed, especially about the health topics that affect our lives on a daily basis. Luckily some leading institutions are taking the lead, which will hopefully prompt smaller hospitals to follow suit.Do you use any health/medical apps? Have you ever had any social media interactions with a hospital?About MediaSource:MediaSource specializes in creating and delivering multimedia content that achieves measurable results. The Columbus, Ohio-based firm is one of the few companies nationwide that offers the unique combination of multimedia content creation with media relations outreach. With a focus on healthcare and retail, MediaSource works with some of the most notable names in these industries. Visit www.mediasourcetv.com to learn more.
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