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Shawn Amos

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WATCH: 60 Seconds of Social Media

Posted: 08/31/2012 6:14 pm

Admit it: you go online when you've got an ache or pain, don't you? Don't be embarrassed, most of us -- in fact, 80 percent of Internet users -- look online for health info.

And we're not just viewing; we're sharing. Whether it's posting symptom and treatment stories on PatientsLikeMe or just Tweeting about our allergies, we're contributing a lot of information, at a time when technology and big data are poised to possibly make significant breakthroughs in medical research.

IBM, for instance, recently teamed with the CDC to help parse patient records to more quickly identify disease outbreaks, while Britain's NHS is hoping its access to data from 52 million patient records will yield life-saving information.

While much of the medical profession is still trying to navigate the social media minefield for legal and ethical complications, some organizations are lighting the way forward.

The Mayo Clinic gets it, and they have for a while, establishing themselves as the standard-bearer for the fusion of social media and health care.

What's next for social media and medicine? Watch the latest episode of Freshwire's "60 Seconds of Social Media" below.

Missed last week's episode on social media and the travel industry? Catch up here.

 

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