Are you a subscriber to medmonthly?  If not, you may want to consider it.  The digital issue comes out once per month and deals with all aspects of medical practice from practice tips and how to run a medical office, to the latest in medical techniques.  This article  is a reprinting from this month’s medmonthly.

Opportunity to Get in on the Ground Floor!

Written by  on September 1, 2015 in Practice tips
iPhoneWEBImagine if you started a website for your medical practice back in 1985?

Records show that the number of online sites reached 600.  Without all the noise of your competition, you would be visible merely by virtue of having built a site. If you added information to educate your viewers, you would have been perceived as a guru- the authority in your field.

What if you could get in on the ground floor now? What if the opportunity mirrored the one in 1985?

Change to a New Channel

In the multichannel approach to health marketing a medical practice or healthcare facility, Facebook, Twitter and Blogging have been the typical places where time and marketing dollars have been spent Yet, surprisingly few have entered the arena of Instagram.

Instagram is Soaring Exponentially

Only within the last 6 months, statistics show that Instagram actually surpassed Twitter in the number of active users each month.

Two Active Medical Companies on  Instagram

Union Square Partners, a venture capital megafirm is taking advantage of this popularity.  They invested $4 million in a startup Canadian company targeting the medical industry, by enabling physicians, nurses and other health professionals to distribute and view medical images between them.

Critical care specialist, Joshua Landy, noticed in 2013 while working at the hospital with patients in the emergency room, “the workflow habits of young physicians on their iPhones”.  This prompted him to create “Figure 1”.  Medical students and residents were sharing work-related images.

Figure 1 app. is currently available in 19 countries and has more than 150,000 users.  As many as one-third of medical students in the United States currently utilize the application.

Security Issues

Since data from Figure 1 concerned specific medical data, privacy laws including those of HIPAA and regulations globally, restricted the implementation and usage of Figure 1.  Amassing patient waivers for the data on each patient was arduous and overwhelming.

While viewing of images is open to the public, only professionals can enter information and comments. A medical officer and team pour over images to ensure omission of patient names and specific case information.

ReelDx is another young company who capitalizes on uploading videos that are compliant with HIPAA guidelines.

The company formed an alliance with education providers, enabling training EMTs to view the educational videos for learning purposes.

The founder of ReelDx, Bill Kelly points out “Having cases on video is superior to simulations created by actors where feedback isn’t possible.

Both companies are thriving because people in the health field relish taking, and sharing both images and video to improve diagnosis and treatment options.

How does Instagram Work?

Instagram works on mobile devices- smartphones and tablets.  Photos are taken and uploaded.  The real benefit is the amount of space allotted to text, links and hashtags beneath the image.

The name of the person posting the image is listed in the top left corner above the image and the time on the top right corner.  On the bottom right, you can link to other users or followers with the @ symbol and their names.

Posting options

Prior to hitting the share button, Instagram offers distribution to followers on other social platforms like:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • Tumblr
  • Shortened url for blogs


With much less competition as opposed to the typical social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube), actively posting on Instagram and amassing a large volume of views and fans, really strengthens your brand, makes you more visible and helps promote you and your services.

There’s never been a better time to launch instagram- and YouTube-inspired services for doctors. If you need help with medical content, creative ideas and images along with digital strategies, please contact me to discuss your needs at:

Let’s get you started!

By Barbara Hales, M.D.