Social movements for health – Strength in people power
What are the current trends in the health sector? Turquoise found that a large-scale social change is occurring as people become empowered to improve health and well-being through social movements. There are many many stories of the resilience of passionate people coming together to drive change within the healthcare sector and beyond.
In 2018 we will see more people grouping together to fight for better health and personal care
More people are searching for change in health and care issues that are crucial to them and their families. Are we becoming more demanding as patients or simply better informed and better educated? The internet as a platform has provided us with with a place to share our health fears and successes. As a result, we are actioning change in social movements that are ‘next generation’ in their use of digital tools and technology.
Where are these people collaborating to promote change? They are using social media, online forums, various campaigns, and are sharing and disseminating knowledge in order to change systems and attitudes.
What has changed?
Social health movements are gaining traction and becoming more accessible than ever before, thanks to the connectivity that has been realised through digital technology. Founders, users and members of forums and social media platforms discuss and interact across continents. Individuals can now reach-out with ease to a patient with a similar condition in Ohio, Korea or Italy, within seconds. Patients, sufferers, family members and friends get feedback, receive advice and reassurance, gain more knowledge and can ultimately rest easy as a result of shared knowledge and collective wisdom.
Gone is the need to meet in person. Members are able to reach international audiences speedily through digital platforms. Through such advanced digital technology, platforms such as Crohnology have become established where people with Crohn’s disease can participate in a global family, joining a network of other suffers that can help develop evidence bases.
Patients are encouraged to take control of their personal health and narrative
The other upshot is that increased distribution of digital platforms will also help social movements to effectively influence policy and research. Platforms like Patients Like Me and Patients Know Best are currently used to circulate and share information, and are having some success in refining care, by assembling a raft of medical specialists.
What we think
There is a clear trend forming around the power of people being able to improve their health and well-being through social movements. It is also clear that social movements based on health are both useful and effective at instigating change in systems by stimulating change and renewal. Healthcare organisations are moving towards greater patient-centricity and are therefore more likely to react and be guided by the experiences of patients given a voice through these movements.
‘What if we could learn from the collective experience of patients everywhere? ‘ – Chronology
What are the challenges and opportunities?
Although it is becoming easier to start social movements, for established care and health organisations, it remains a challenge to deal with people who are frustrated or who have something negative to say. For this to improve, we need to see new examples of engagement being set up, using the strength of examples like NHS Citizen and similar organisations.
NHS Citizen has seen over 4,000 online and offline contributions to discussions about the work of NHS England.
Organisations that are now adopting and investing in authentic engagement models will flourish, as this deliberate strategy to reward people by integrating them into the culture of the organisation can lead to a collaborative atmosphere that is beneficial to all. Research shows that highly engaged patients think, feel, and act in ways that reflect greater levels of commitment to the organisation as they contribute the full extent of their knowledge, skills and abilities to help the organisation succeed.
How can Turquoise help?
We have thirty years of experience helping companies in the healthcare sector engage with their patients. As part of our ongoing commitment to deliver unprecedented depth of insight, Turquoise has developed next-generation text analytics technology that can unearth key themes from any volume of text based data. In particular, we have developed a range of lenses for observing, categorising and analysing verbatim comments on forums, websites, social platforms, internal databases, written correspondence and call centre transcripts. With our Emotion Lens for example, we are able to highlight any issue that is frustrating patients around products or services, and then recommend improvements and innovation opportunities born directly from the experiences of patients themselves. This revolutionary market research tool is called Game Changer and you can find more details, along with specific healthcare examples here http://thinkturquoise.com/what-we-do/turquoise-game-changer/