Health Social Networks
Health social networks do wonders to help inform and has an added bonus of actually interacting with others who are dealing with the same health challenges or who have already gone through it.
Checking out a health social network in the waiting period of a test or just to find out more is such a blessing in this age of the Internet. Searching for specifics is often difficult. The time taken while sorting through the masses of results given when trying to locate helpful sites on, for instance, cancer, can be overwhelming. Going to a interactive social networking site focused health and wellness issues generally will gain far greater and more case specific search results.
While doing searches for these health related social networks, I noticed that they were actually few and far between with most being forum style set ups. These are useful as they allow interaction, but are also a bit limited and sometimes difficult to sort through a 1000 plus thread post topic. Which member of the forum posted the best information and will we then need to read through all 1000 plus posts to find our answer?
There were only a few health social networks that really stood out. One being Trusera. A recent event has left them in need of partners, but they will be alive and well until at least late April, 2009. Trusera is a true health related, topic oriented, information filled social network. Interacting with like members who are either going through or have been where others are now in their health challenges. Remaining anonymous is easy or you can choose to be as open as you wish while connecting in a social setting to find answers to your health questions or to offer up a health related experience of your own. Getting practical answers and insight from others just like yourself during stressful times is calming.
The power of having been there is incredible to someone who is currently "going through" a health related situation. The site for breast cancer that I found is a forum based interaction site to gain knowledge of side effects, get answers to your testing questions, treatment choices, and research information related specifically to breast cancer issues. BreastCancer.org comes complete with support and community connections.
WebMD is probably the most well known social type health network for not only finding and connecting with other people like you, but for the wealth of health related information at their fingertips. From blogs to message boards to being able to ask the experts, this health stockpile has it all covered. Discover links to other health issue sites, meet a multitude of individuals from all over the Internet, and get a peace of mind that only detailed knowledge can bring. WebMD has headline news, polls, a pill identifier, locate a doctor or hospital in your area, or browse through the health centers topic list to find the answers you are looking for.
Google Health, while not exactly a health social network is an outstanding resource for communicating your total health information to your newest doctor or at an emergency room visit to keep the physician aware of what treatments you are getting or have received in the past. This awareness is paramount especially if you are taking medication. Google Health allows it's users to input securely their medical information from every individual hospital, doctor, or medical center, keeping all in one place to ensure the whole of it all gets to the eyes of each health care provider you encounter. A system like this absolutely will stop medication conflicts if filled in correctly and could head off problems before they can begin. Google Health puts you in charge of your health information safely, securely, and best of all it is free.
Locating other health social networks, forums, and information is easy when you know which search engine to use. Google has topic specific search engines as a starting point, but I found MedStory. A health information search engine currently in Beta testing. If you need more avenues than mentioned here, check into MedStory for more.
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Stephanie Haile AKA Wavecritter Google Me :)