Although our attention may be distracted from time to time by a health-related smartphone or tablet app, a health tracking device, a quantified self peripheral, or some other piece of shiny, soon-to-be-outmoded future junk, I hope it is becoming obvious by now that the best digital health app currently available is conversation.
It is the health conversation on the social web that can best interpret, filter and respond to our need for high quality information regarding disease symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.
It is conversation that conveys the insight of trusted voices to inform our shared healthcare decision-making.
It is conversation that can offer peer support, solidarity, care, and love and that can help deal with the difficulty, isolation, and occasionally the despair of living with or managing disease.
The health conversation on the social web is inverting norms, challenging protocols, and confounding expectations.
As #gbdoc, #bcsm and others demonstrate on a daily basis, a tweet chat about diabetes or breast cancer can be a vector towards outcomes-improving, life-saving, transformative change not only for individuals, nor even entire communities, but perhaps for the future of healthcare design and delivery overall.
So, in order to contribute to the transformation of healthcare practices, for all our sakes: let’s talk.