Smartphones for Health

Social media, doctor’s orders

by Helen Holter
Smartphones for Health

Smartphones and social media like Facebook help low-income pregnant women stay connected to healthcare providers.

Seattle → Head east over the mountains = Washington State’s playground: wine touring, hiking, river rafting, golfing, and fishing, from Chelan to Wenatchee and beyond. It’s the “world’s apple capital,” along with grapes, peaches, pears, and more. In the midst of this rich natural beauty and wealthy bounty are migrant and immigrant laborers, working those fruit fields.

Without question, healthcare’s a struggle for these fruit orchard laborers, not unlike developing regions of the world with limited access or language barriers to medical care. But now an experimental social media platform may help pregnant workers stay in touch with their doctors through smartphones and Facebook.

“We see the potential in this [social media]. We can make it work, and if we have to stumble down that path, we will.”  –Malcom Butler, M.D.

This innovation is detailed in Eric Wicklund’s article, “Putting Social Media to Good Use,”  focusing on the pioneering work of Columbia Valley Community Health in Wenatchee.Signature_80

[The area mentioned in Wicklund’s article is along Highway 97, from Wenatchee north to Chelan.]

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