The COVID-19 public health emergency may be a thing of the past but medical misinformation isn’t going away any time soon.
In response to the stickiness of health misinformation online, Healthline Media and Healio announced Thursday morning that they have teamed up to position healthcare professionals (HCP) as “disruptors” and bridge the gap with patients.
The two organizations are joining forces to launch Social Checkup, which will feature targeted content for HCPs and patients. Healio will handle creating articles and videos on specific disease states and therapeutic areas to inform HCPs while Healthline will supply patients with “medically vetted resources” to patients.
Additionally, Healio will take the learnings from Healthline’s topics and content to create resources for HCPs so that they can be better informed about what patients are discussing in their communities. Similarly, Healthline will produce multimedia video content to show how patients and HCPs can more effectively communicate with each other.
Social Checkup will be an exclusive offering to Publicis Health Media clients.
“We’re excited about this partnership because it directly aligns with our commitment to providing HCPs with valuable tools they can use when caring for their patients,” Christine Martynick, SVP of advertising solutions and agency partnerships at Healio Strategic Solutions, said in a statement. “While social media has assisted the healthcare community in delivering important information to wider audiences, it has also contributed to false beliefs about medical conditions and treatments. Social Checkup will help fix knowledge gaps, enabling HCPs to optimize their limited time with their patients.”
The emergency phase of the pandemic officially wrapped on May 11, but the past three years have shown how easily medical misinformation can spread among patients and result in detrimental effects on the healthcare system.
Between the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (which axed its COVID-19 misinformation policy shortly after Elon Musk bought the platform last fall), the healthcare community has had their hands full attempting to correct inaccurate or misleading health information.
In an interconnected age marked by the power of social media networks, HCPs have increasingly sought ways to repair the relationship with patients and establish trust through a more regular and transparent dialogue.
“This trend is real and we’ll continue to see it, so we need to accept it,” psychiatrist Jessica Gold recently told MM+M. “Both sides need to communicate better around it. It’s time to tear the walls down and have open conversations, rather than dismissing everything new as a phenomenon.”