My Talk With a Smart Guy About Smart Phone Apps for Healthcare and Hospitals

flickr: Brianfit

Last Friday at a lunchtime gathering of public relations, marketing and strategy professionals, the conversation was mainly focused on new media.

We compared our assessments of new tools and the new strategies we’ve employed because of those tools. We both delighted in the wide range of new opportunities and commiserated over the fast-paced changes that have demanded more of our time to keep up-to-date with these quickly evolving tools. Read more

Reputations Easily “Burned” if Clinics and Hospitals are Slow to Adopt Mobile Technologies

Over the holidays I ended up in urgent care when my helpful husband suffered a bad burn due to a scalding accident. Let’s just say cooking garlic mashed potatoes for 35 dinner guests requires using lots of heavy pots filled with boiling water, and the lids aren’t always as secure as you think they are.

We’ve invested in bandages and ointment and he’s healing well, but I couldn’t help think that an already unpleasant experience could have avoided being even more unpleasant if the clinic had taken advantage of mobile phone technologies and paid attention to their web presence. Read more

Rid Yourself of ‘Windex Advice': There’s an App for That

flickr: D’Arcy Norman

Remember in 2002, when My Big Fat Greek Wedding became the sleeper comedic hit of the year? And remember what Gus Portokalos recommends for almost every ailment in the film? “Put some Windex on it.” That’s right, the familiar odorous blue glass cleaner. On your skin. I’ve always wondered how many unsuspecting citizens tried this remedy at home after the movie…

Well, although the Windex theme in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was obviously a joke, it reflects the variations of bad advice many of us carry around as we try to navigate health issues. I had a friend whose mother told her never to sit on cold cement or she would be infertile. I had another friend who thought giving her child more cold medicine than the recommended dosage would help her or him get better faster. And I can think of multitudes of bad nutrition advice that has been doled out, practiced, and then discarded through the years (“Eating fat-free cookies won’t make you fat!”).

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Wherever You Go, There You Are: Geolocation in Hospital Social Media

flickr: St_A_Sh

My husband is the mayor of our wonderful local bookstore, Third Street Books. Oh, and he’s also the mayor of Oil Can Henry’s, the local library, Thai restaurant (yum!), aquatic center, Golden Valley Brew Pup, fabulous Red Fox Bakery, and our daughter’s Montessori school, among many others.

If you’re wondering why or how in the world my husband would have a random honorary position with local businesses, you’re probably not familiar with Foursquare, a geolocation app that allows people to check in just about anywhere. Users can earn mayoral statuses, badges and points (which can lead to free or discounted goodies) and leave reviews for the venue, whether a restaurant, retail store or, yes, hospital. Other geolocation apps are Gowalla and Brightkite, while Facebook Places and Google Places also draw on the idea of letting friends know where you are or finding recommended businesses based on location. One of my favorite apps, Instagram, lets you share beautiful pictures and offers you the option of revealing your location, which most of my friends do indeed choose to do. Read more

Text4baby Uses Text Messaging to Connect With Moms

Last year many of my friends became moms for the first and second time. And whether it’s their first or second baby, they all have something in common: they love to surf the Internet for information related to caring for their babies.

They often post questions on their Facebook pages, directed at fellow moms. They ask questions ranging from what kind of medicine to give their coughing infant, to how to soothe them after a trip to the doctor for shots, or even suggestions for brands of cloth diapers.
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