The Need for Medical Professionals to Join Patients in the Online Health Social Media Discourse

Hamman Samuel, Fahim Hassan, Osmar Zaíane

Abstract

Health social media is frequently used by e-patients for seeking health information online for self-diagnosis, self-treatment, and self-education. Health social media also provides various benefits for patients and laypersons, such as allowing users to be part of virtual support groups, having quick access to advice, and the convenience of access via the Internet. At the same time, it raises concerns about misinformation being propagated by laypersons without professional medical expertise, especially during pandemics like COVID-19, leading to an infodemic. There are only a handful of health social media websites that allow medical professionals to participate in discussions with patients online. We postulate that the modern face of medicine and healthcare needs medical professionals to be included in the online patient discourse so misinformation can be addressed early on and head on. To this end, we propose a new and free health social network named Cardea that is under development which aims to bring patients, laypersons, and medical professionals together on the world wide web. Users can share experiences, ask questions, and get answers in three streamlined environments: Patient to Patient (P2P), Patient to Medic (P2M), and Medic to Medic (M2M). While there are several forums that cater specifically to patient-patient discussions or medic-medic connections, Cardea’s added value is in providing a unified portal for both patients and medics, as well as enabling interactions between patients and medics. Moreover, Cardea applies machine learning, information retrieval, and natural language processing methods to promote credible health information and demote misinformation. At the same time, with enhanced veracity, anonymity, and privacy controls, the vision of Cardea is for e-patients to confidently share experiences and opinions without being stigmatized or compromising their right to privacy. Our hope is to generate discussion and gather insights from other researchers on developing Cardea.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Samuel H., Hassan F. and Zaíane O. (2021). The Need for Medical Professionals to Join Patients in the Online Health Social Media Discourse.In Proceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: HEALTHINF, ISBN 978-989-758-490-9, pages 637-644. DOI: 10.5220/0010325806370644


in Bibtex Style

@conference{healthinf21,
author={Hamman Samuel and Fahim Hassan and Osmar Zaíane},
title={The Need for Medical Professionals to Join Patients in the Online Health Social Media Discourse},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: HEALTHINF,},
year={2021},
pages={637-644},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0010325806370644},
isbn={978-989-758-490-9},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: HEALTHINF,
TI - The Need for Medical Professionals to Join Patients in the Online Health Social Media Discourse
SN - 978-989-758-490-9
AU - Samuel H.
AU - Hassan F.
AU - Zaíane O.
PY - 2021
SP - 637
EP - 644
DO - 10.5220/0010325806370644