Medical information is easy to get now that so much of it is on the Internet. But how about getting medical information from a doctor, a real doctor, using FaceBook?
That is not happening yet but consider that if you do go on facebook, take a picture of some injury or bodily condition, what is to stop that picture from being used to contact a doctor who might make a diagnosis and even prescribe some medicine.
I don’t think it is far fetched but it does lead to some interesting views of medical information. If so much of it is so readily available, why stop there; why not go the extra step and contact a physician who can speak with you and make a diagnosis? Clearly some elements must be addressed in order to go that far.
First is privacy. Do you really want all of your Facebook contacts to know about your medical conditions? Probably not. So there would have to be some specialized structure that allows you and your doctor to communicate privately. Second, will you be able to get a full or complete diagnosis? In some cases, sure, if you will only have an easy medical condition which can be diagnosed with two or three questions from the doctor. He/She may be able to make a prescription and call it in to a pharmacy. But for more advanced conditions, a FaceBook or Internet medical meeting will not work very well. The doctor will probably say, “make an appointment to see me at my office, or go to the emergency room at a hospital.”
So in the end, the problem with Facebook medical diagnosis, is that it is good for small problems, but not for larger ones. In some ways, this may be good, because a doctor can see or talk to a patient and make medical recommendations. But I wonder how many doctors are going to make a prescription recommendation without having seen the patient personally. There is the question of legal liability that doctors may be thinking about, and limit their involvement to just those patients that they have seen or know about or have treated before. Otherwise, the doctor will probably not be inclined to make a diagnosis.
See also: ZDNet