Non-Social Media for Healthcare

The needs of healthcare run deep. We need people, talent, resources, processes, technologies, leadership, fellowship… Healthcare depends on science, which anymore depends on technology. But healthcare also depends on Art and so healthcare instances of technology will need to be furnished through the lens of artistic vision. Social is Art.

Social Media certainly has garnered more than its share of attention (although there are still pockets of unawareness). There’s lots to work out and social media will continue to evolve, revealing new opportunities for re-purposing.

One interesting thing about social media are their non-social uses. And beyond social media, novel technologies – from augmented reality to tag readers to RFID – open up new territories of healthcare provision and delivery to explore.

The wonderful thing about these non-social technologies is that eventually they will not only be linked to social uses, they’ll actually open up new doors for human connection.

That is, paradoxically: non-social technologies can reveal social design spaces.

In future posts, I’ll illustrate with specific examples. For now, I urge you to stretch your imagination.

As healthcare technologies and social media evolve in their adoption and re-purposing, providers will have to strive to bring forth an artistic approach to their deployment.

Why? Because a purely technological worldview shadows our deeply human natures and values and purposes. Art and Technology are so similar as to almost be the same thing when examined too closely.

The difference, whatever it is, is the difference between being alive and feeling alive. And it’s feeling alive which is the noblest goal of health care.

In healthcare, non-social uses of social and other media will increasingly become cornerstones of its technological foundation.

The trick will be to maintain a steady, artful hand when designing and using them. In a way, what we call social media may turn out to be more than just the kinds that connect you and me: they may be what connects everything in the web of things.

For health to be social, we must create, not just make.

Health is social. It’s also an art.


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0 Replies to “Non-Social Media for Healthcare”

  1. Phil,

    Nice work!

    “Phil”osophical pondering of pioneering processes, perfectly pursued 😉

    The realization that interconnectedness potentiates a manifestation of idealized reality that may become commonplace is a profound insight that encourages a humanistic, even artistic, approach to conceptualizing the future of global health and humanity. Thoughts and actions that spring from these deep examinations of inter-related concepts can lead to changing paradigms, models and systems of industries, populations and behaviors. One example is our “vision” of as the communications “glue” that interconnects non-social media technologies like sensors, with pioneering ePatients and eProviders and the social groups involved in their wellness, friends, families, neighbors, caregivers, and others as defined by these new realities. The Art that results is iPodish in nature; easy to use, distilled to simplicity and eventually ubiquitous.

    Phil, I look forward to the Art that results from your “vision!”

    and am honored to be a participant, both socially and non-socially 😉


    1. Thanks, Matthew!

      I like “iPodish”. I will have to work that into a sentence soon!

      It’s important that Art not be left out. I’ve received some backchannel comments about what it means to have “art in healthcare”. My response has been that art and science and technology need to be inter-related – otherwise we’re creating a cold mechanical world.


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