In this episode of JUICE TRENDSPOT, Forrest King and Ted Shimizu share their learnings about the function and purpose of online health-related communities, as presented at SXSW 2013 by Brad Davidson, GM Behavioral Insights, Ogilvy Commonhealth Behavioral Insights, and Rob Malouf, Associate Professor, San Diego State University.
Online communities can be highly beneficial for patients. For example, people with rare disorders who have no access to a “real-world” support group can turn to the Internet and find the support they need from an online community comprised of others who share the disorder. Online communities foster open communication, providing participants with a needed outlet or forum. Healthcare providers have even begun to offer on-line communities for their patients.
The examination of these virtual communities—and how they have evolved—can help illuminate the physical needs of patients, providers, and their families. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, Davidson and Malouf assess the role online health-related communities play in “real-world” healthcare.
Trend: Online Community Affects Real-World Health
This JUICE TRENDSPOT episode features: Forrest King, Managing Partner, Chief Innovation Officer, and Ted Shimizu, Senior Digital Producer, of JUICE Pharma Worldwide
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SXSW Description: Digital Primitives: The Anthropology of Social
Presenters: Brad Davidson, GM Behavioral Insights, Ogilvy Commonhealth Behavioral Insights, and Rob Malouf, Associate Professor, San Diego State University
Session Details: From the beginning, the Internet has allowed patients and caregivers to create online communities that provide something offline communities cannot. In the case of rare genetic disorders, it is a chance to connect with others who know what you are facing; in the case of debilitating disease, a chance to talk openly with others who know what it is like to live in an able-bodied society. The same way that deaf communities sprung up throughout the world, online communities lack formal institutional structures, and come in a number of shapes and sizes, with different cultural norms, interactional rules, and languages. Anthropology and linguistics, as sciences focusing on society and communication, are ideally suited to unpack and understand these communities. We explore real-world examples of online health-related communities, the belief structures of groups, the fault lines that exist, and what these analyses tell us about the real-world needs and experiences of community members.