“Social media has been clearly changing the way medicine is practiced and healthcare is delivered. Medical professionals must be able to meet the special needs of technology-aware patients and use digital technologies in their work and communications properly. Each physician should find the tools that will assist them in their workflow, and patients need to be educated how to use the internet. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to contribute to this process.”

So reads the back cover of Social Media in Clinical Practice, a book by Bertalan Meskó MD, PhD.

Meskó is a medical futurist and acts as managing director of Webicina.com, a service that curates the medical and health-related social media resources for patients and medical professionals. He is also the author of the award-winning medical blog, Scienceroll.com. The book was published recently (August 2013) by Springer and now at iMedicalApps we’ll take a close look at it.

Sometimes it’s nice to read a good old fashion book, so the iMedicalApps team decided to get our hands on a printed version instead of an ebook. It’s a softcover book that fits nicely in your white coat, handy for those who read between patients.

Dr-Mesko_Social-Media-in-Clinical-Practice-Cover[1]

The book is organized as a series of chapters encompassing the following topics:

  • Social media is transforming medicine and healthcare
  • Using medical search engines with a special focus on Google
  • Being up-to-date in medicine
  • Community sites Facebook, Google+ and medical social networks
  • The World of E-Patients
  • Establishing a medical blog
  • The role of Twitter and microblogging in medicine
  • Collaboration online
  • Wikipedia and Medical Wikis
  • Organizing medical events in virtual environments
  • Medical smartphone and tablet applications
  • Use of social media by hospitals and medical practices
  • Medical video and podcasting
  • Creating presentations and slideshows
  • E-mails and privacy concerns
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Conclusions.

Most chapters take an introductory approach, giving grounds to the notion that this book is intended as a handbook for healthcare providers who are new to social media. One such example is that of The role of Twitter and microblogging in medicine, a chapter whose contents include information on what microblogging is and how to set up a Twitter account.

There are other chapters that deal on subjects with an appeal to those of us with a more developed technological sense such as Organizing medical events in virtual environments and Medical smartphone and tablet applications. The first covers how users are giving and receiving Medical lectures in virtual worlds like Second Life; while the second provides background on common medical apps.

The strongest point this book has is its evidence-based approach. All chapters contain plenty of statistics of use and case studies with references available at the end of said chapter allowing the reader to find more information on them. While Social Media in Clinical Practice might not be a book that all our readers will find enlightening, it surely is a book to recommend to physicians looking to discover what’s all that fuss about social media as well as medical students who want to see what’s out there.