Maria Fontanazza, managing editor of MD+DI (Medical Device + Diagnostic Industry), interviewed Bunny on the eve of the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media conference in May 2012. She wanted to understand why more device manufacturers were not engaging in social and mobile media. Read the article: Mobile Apps, Smartphones, and Social Media. Why Aren’t Device Manufacturers More Engaged? An excerpt appears below.
MDDI: What current challenges does social media present to how doctors are interacting with patients, hospitals, and device manufacturers?
BE: Social media is being adopted more and more frequently by physicians, and they’re using it in some ways with patients. But I think the biggest issue right now is, what does social media represent? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks? The benefit for physicians is that it gives them a voice. Historically there haven’t been a lot of open outlets where they could talk about issues that are important to them in a public way. Social media gives them a way to correct a lot of the misinformation that proliferates, whether it’s on apps, in newspapers, or on the Web. There’s a tremendous amount of health information available, but not all of it is accurate. Being able to be part of the conversation gives them a way to provide their patients with good content that’s vetted and validated.
[There are] some disadvantages –you’re on all the time, and none of us, whether [you’re] a doctor, lawyer, etc., want to be on all the time. That’s a challenge. How much do you really put yourself out there? Then there are regulatory and legal [concerns]. Honestly, from what’ I’ve seen, that’s a very small part of the reason why people may normally or may not engage. I think it’s really about time, and also some people don’t want to be exposed.