People engage with social media as a matter of do-it-yourself (DIY) life. Increasingly, patients are engaging with social media for HealthcareDIY.

As a member of the HIMSS eConnecting with Consumers Committee, we’re committed to seeing that people-patients engage more with their health and the health of their loved ones. At the same time, we advocate for health providers to engage in shared decision making, collaborative and participatory medicine and health. This is not only a key component for Meaningful Use under the HITECH Act, but greater patient engagement breeds greater health, better outcomes, and can bend the cost curve for an episode of illness.

Over one-third of U.S. adults use social media for some aspect of health care. Underneath that macro number, health consumers do many things for health via social networks, some of which are organized in the chart based on survey data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project‘s ongoing polling of consumers and online health. For example, 1 in 4 caregivers get friends’ health updates via social networks, and 12% of patients get health information via social media.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: My blog, Chronic Disease and Social Networks, on social media and health engagement, went live on the HIMSS Blog this week. Click here and learn more about this growing intersection.