How Google+ Hangouts Will Change the Future of Collaboration in Healthcare

Aug 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by Ashley Wetmore

It’s impossible to have an active account on Google+ without witnessing the exponential growth of communities and group discussions whether it’s on a post, discussions within communities or through Hangouts.


I recently connected with Kathi Browne, healthcare social media evangelist and #glassexplorer, to further explore the significance of Hangouts and their contribution to industry collaboration.

Her responses gave me much more insight than I could have expected and stirred a bit of inspiration for what hangouts can bring to our consultants and the healthcare IT profession.


Google Hangouts Improving Interactions within Social Media for Healthcare

Kathi explained to me that in her experience with healthcare professionals, they are more likely to interact face to face and less interested in leaving a comment.

She utilizes hangouts as a way to bring people together in a setting where collaboration is born from panelists and viewers interacting over common interests and thoughts in the most ideal setting.

Anyone can watch Google Hangouts from Google+, YouTube or embedded in a website allowing different platforms to reach people at all angles and bind them to one conversation.

When you have the common interest you can accelerate the conversation.

Google Hangout Significance in Moving Forward with Collaboration

Hangouts provide an inexpensive and in this case free exchange of information that in the past you could only get from a paid conference.

Before you would have to fly to a conference and pay a large fee to be a part of a panel discussion and hear from experts.

Kathi has brought those experts into a panel from all over the world for conference level conversation while including audience participation.

Through these discussions the audience can gain valuable insight into the subject matter from the experts.

As enlightening as these discussions have been to viewers, she has also witnessed the occurrence of panelists finding valuable information provided by the audience members who are able to interject their ideas and expand the conversations tremendously.

Recently, Kathi interviewed Variance, Inc. after reading an interesting article about NODE Platform technology.

Prior to the Google Hangout Variance hadn’t explored healthcare applications in-depth.

She recognized the potential of NODE Technology in healthcare and wanted to explore it.

She then hosted a hangout with the creators of the technology where they provided a description of what it was capable of. Kathi offered individuals the opportunity to join live and others the ability to comment.

Together, Kathi, Variance, panelists and the viewing audience began discussing the capabilities of NODE in healthcare.

The collaboration of physicians, developers and the creators lead connections being made offline. Those relationships are leading the way to further research into using the technology as a tool in healthcare.

“It was much more than even I expected it would be. I didn’t expect there to be people who were looking to include us in their research”

“It was amazing to see those connections come out of one brainstorm that was broadcast.” – Kathi Browne

Biggest Takeaways from Hosting, Participating and Viewing Hangouts

“Even when I think I know what information I’m going to get out of the hangout whether I’m the broadcaster or the viewer I’m continually surprised by the value of the content."

"I know that the people who are going to come will have a basic, strong or even expertise level knowledge about what we are discussing, but it’s the unexpected guests that come in and ask questions or provide information that further develop that discussion and otherwise would have been absent.” – Kathi Browne

Key Influencers Recommended for People Interested in Following Google Hangouts

Healthcare Talk - with Kathi Browne 

Healthcare IT - with Brian Ahier

Healthcare IT - with Tim Cook

Keep an eye out for Kathi’s Google+ Healthcare Glass Explorers community where she is exploring opportunities within healthcare. Explorers have already begun presenting various applications of Glass in a series of hangouts beginning with medical education and live demonstrations for students

General, Tips for Traveling Consultants, Industry News


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