I was excited to read this week that Google has joined the battle to provide accurate health information on the web – and that they’ve enlisted the doctors at Mayo Clinic to help.
I’m a big fan of Mayo Clinic. With the help of Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, Mayo has pioneered social media for health care.
I first became aware of Lee and Mayo’s work about four years ago, and I soon joined the Social Media Health Network (SMHN), a member organization that provides education, training, and peer-to-peer connections.
Mayo Clinic’s External Advisory Board
Our relationship deepened as I spoke at a couple of conferences and served as an instructor and chief resident at Mayo’s Social Media Residency – a one-day intensive training in social media. In January Lee asked me to serve on the External Advisory Board for the SMHN, which I consider a real honor. Some of the trailblazing thought leaders in health care social media are part of that board, and I love associating with them.
I’ve written before about my concerns about the enormous amount of inaccurate health information on the web. One reason I champion online patient communities is because they provide the perfect platform for sharing accurate, useful, peer-reviewed health information.
Here’s an example of how Google is treating a search for pinkeye.
Hence my excitement about Google’s announcement, which includes the following points:
- We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is – whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more.
- For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators.
- Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor.
- We worked with a team of medical doctors to carefully compile, curate, and review this information.
- All of the gathered facts represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.
So thank you, Google, and thank you, Mayo Clinic, for taking another important step to improve health literacy on the web.
If you’re a social media or digital marketing pro with interesting case studies or new ideas, please consider submitting a speaker’s proposal for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit scheduled for June 16-17 in Rochester, Minn.
Mayo is also accepting proposals from providers, patients, or caregivers who have developed effective tactics for using digital tools to work collaboratively to deliver — and receive — diagnosis and treatment.
Submit your proposal by March 9.