Digital health communication has become one of the fastest ways to spread awareness and expand knowledge. From advertising breast cancer and HPV vaccination campaigns to mental health checks and blood drives, social media platforms work as a global notice board. And with advances in technology, more people are using digital platforms to access medical information, connect with health providers, and even receive virtual care. Effective health communication on digital platforms is essential for providing high-quality care and promoting health literacy.
Here are three ways digital health communication makes a difference in the world:
Digital health communication can make medical care more accessible to people in remote or underserved areas. By creating awareness about prevalent diseases and relevant health services online, people are better informed about their care options. And when such media are theory-informed, they are mindfully created for the most underserved or relevant group.
Digital health communication can also help bridge the gap between providers and their patients by allowing for quicker, easier communication. Since 2015 TFQ has proudly helped healthcare professionals connect with their target audiences through accessible design and actionable language. I’ve designed posters and improved health information leaflets for healthcare academics and helped make occupational health and safety accessible to anyone online. These posters and posts live forever on the internet and the overwhelmingly positive response to the accessibility reminds me of the need for good design and simple language.
Improved Patient Engagement
Digital health communication can help to engage patients in their healthcare. By providing educational materials, interactive tools, and personalized messages, healthcare providers can help patients take a more active role in their care. This kind of informed accountability for one’s health is empowering because patients and domestic caregivers can respond to questions from their healthcare providers with confidence.
Digital communication also makes it easier for providers to stay connected with their patients and quickly respond to any questions or concerns. This way, people can be anywhere in the world. All they need is a decent internet connection and basic digital literacy.
Increased Health Literacy
For those who are digital natives — or have a working knowledge of how to use the internet — digital health communication promotes health literacy by providing novel, reliable, and up-to-date information. Patients can use digital platforms to access information about their health and treatments, which can empower them to make informed decisions about their care. Digital health communication can also help to reduce health disparities by making health information more widely available to all.
Back when I was conducting my MA research, my participants only knew about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from the misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs (like taking antibiotics for a common cold — it doesn't cure the cold). But when I designed the infographic and video about a new topic, AMR from food sources, I helped make this information accessible, clear, relevant, and actionable to them. And now they use it as a digital educational material (its intended use) to teach their peers about food safety measures against this problem.
Overall, digital health communication is important for providing accessible care and promoting health literacy. By mindfully leveraging digital platforms, healthcare professionals can help to engage patients, provide reliable information, and improve the overall quality of care because patients arrive with awareness.
And if that kind of accessibility is your goal, TFQ is here to bring your vision to life. The agency offers script writing, video editing, educational design, and more! TFQ is a small enough agency that you get dedicated attention to your vision, and a bold enough one that your ideas can be shared with a global audience.
Still not sure? Take a look at my collaboration with healthcare professionals who worked with me through Impact17:
Get in touch with me and let’s create accessible health information together!