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Koita: Will Facebook Revolutionize Healthcare? 

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Ted Aljibe | AFP | Getty Images
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As a leading healthcare technology company, CitiusTech operates in an industry that is probably the most resistant to technological change. However, the healthcare industry is being significantly impacted by Facebook and social media. The use of these social media channels has led to a significant shift in the way we engage internally as well as with the external world.

Facebook and social media are being actively used at CitiusTech to enable more active and richer engagement with three sets of stakeholders – our employees, hospitals/healthcare providers and patients/end-consumers.

  • Employees: Manage our internal organization (recruitment, retention and communication with employees and alumni)
  • Clients: Engage with healthcare technology clients and hospitals
  • Consumers: Develop healthcare applications that are in sync with patients and consumer needs

Stakeholder: Employees

As a 750 employee organization, CitiusTech has always had an open, transparent, non-hierarchal work culture.

And since we have grown by 50% every year, our culture remains fluid and open to rapid change, but informality and consensus continue to be the fundamental drivers. That is what has probably helped us foster a credible social media communication channel on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn .

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Facebook is giving employees (and CitiusTech alumni) a platform to build longer, deeper conversations online as well as offline, and incorporate a variety of unexpected work styles, viewpoints and approaches. We are seeing increased commitment to collective work goals, and people have been more than willing to contribute opinions and thoughts around work related issues.

Stakeholder: Hospitals and healthcare technology companies

We offer hospitals and healthcare providers an extensive set of tools that help enrich user experience and integrate social media tools into the healthcare delivery system. For example,

  • Collaborative tools to share healthcare information and enhance caregiver/physician education around specific areas in healthcare
  • Creation of collaborative online resources of medical information, with the ability to share knowledge and expertise with medical professionals across the board
  • Providing enriched intelligence and decision support tools that leverage massive amounts of unstructured data arising from consumer conversations, thus improving the effectiveness of population care practices (new area of focus)

We see social media platforms such as Facebook as a highly effective way for hospitals and healthcare providers to connect with patients and consumers.

Stakeholder: Patients and healthcare consumers

Many Facebook based applications are emerging which help patients and consumers enhance their involvement in care management processes. These tools help promote self-help and awareness – a key success factor in population health management. For example,

  • Tools to track personal health
  • Tools for continuous wellness management, such as exercise, fitness related tools
  • Social groups for self-help and experience sharing, for groups with shared concerns, like cancer patients, diabetes patients

Facebook and social media are likely to play a decisive role in healthcare over the next 5 to 10 years.

Rizwan Koita is the CEO and co-founder of CitiusTech Inc. (www.citiustech.com) – a global provider of healthcare technology solutions and services. CitiusTech today has over 750 technology professionals world-wide and has had a consistent growth rate of over 50% per annum over the past 3 years. CitiusTech brings strong healthcare domain expertise – across technologies, applications and standards – and has the highest number of HL7 certified professionals worldwide. CitiusTech is the winner of the 2011 Red Herring Award (North America) for leadership in healthcare technology and has recently been selected in the Top 50 Best Places to Work 2012 by the Great Place to Work® Institute.

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