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6 Google+ Positives for Healthcare

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, July 12, 2011

Still in beta, Google’s latest foray into social networking, Google+, is already generating better buzz than its previous attempt, Google Buzz,  and although there are some skeptics, many early adopters are simply gushing about it.

I count myself amongst the skeptics—but then again I always count myself amongst the skeptics. Some years ago, I didn’t believe smartphones would be that big a deal, either. And in the early days of Facebook and Twitter, I was guilty of being somewhat dismissive of social media.

I may have finally learned my lesson; you can indeed find me posting about healthcare technology on Google+.

The platform does, in fact, hold promise for healthcare organizations. Just keep in mind that Google+ is still in a limited trial phase and isn’t open to commercial accounts yet—although Google promises it will offer additional functionalities for business users eventually. 

Here are six reasons I like Google+ for businesses, including healthcare organizations:

1. Social Media Networking
It has more features than other social media sites

Google+ does have a lot of functions that its main competitor does not, although there’s no doubt that Facebook will adapt to compete with the new service. Multi-person video chats are just one example—healthcare organizations could use them to conduct small group meetings among remote employees or even as focus groups among patient advisors.

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3 comments on "6 Google+ Positives for Healthcare"


Gienna Shaw (7/25/2011 at 4:19 PM)
Dan[INVALID]agree on all points. Kevin[INVALID]You can add anyone you want to a circle[INVALID]if they do not add you back nothing you send will reach them (much like Facebook). Another solution may be to have patients opt-in[INVALID]they would sign up for one or more of your circles.

Dan Hinmon (7/22/2011 at 10:55 AM)
Bring on the competition! So many of these features could be easily incorporated into Facebook. If nothing else, the entry of the Google+ gorilla will push Facebook even harder to innovate. For now, though, most healthcare marketers are fetter fishing where the fish are (Facebook) than chasing this shiny new object.

Kevin (7/13/2011 at 11:26 AM)
As stated, "The keystone feature Google+ is the ability to sort your contacts into groups" and send "to all patients or only to those who are interested in one particular topic." But what about your contacts' rights to not be included? Maybe that does not matter for social interactions, but if this is going to be used in healthcare, shouldn't it be a two-way street, where both parties agree to be in a "circle"? In other words, a patient may not want to be in your Diabetes circle.