Austin Kelly* Austin Kelly*, Penn State University -UP, State College, United States

Track: Business
Presentation Topic: Building virtual communities and social networking applications for health professionals
Presentation Type: Oral presentation
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Building: LKSC Conference Center Stanford
Room: Lower Auditorium 120
Date: 2011-09-18 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-08-15

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How I founded
Originally was created to help fight Pediatric cancer while using a new alternative to the already available Facebook. The reasoning behind this new platform of a medical social network was to improve the visual communication Facebook and other sites lacked. To be more specific I wanted to have a medical social network that included “tele-health” communication. Another reason for this concept was to have the capability to broadcast information that would allow all users to expand a topic or group beyond the venue of one social network, i.e. if a little boy had pediatric cancer, and his mother created an event to raise money for her son’s surgery, she can post it once on Medstr. The mother can then expand that one event to multiple social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkdin etc. The original goal was to implement this along with other features like Cooliris, which enables users including physicians and patients to instantly find videos and images to support any given information that they may have written on their wall. is currently in operation and is being used by real users. currently has 395 members. was developed without user interaction.
What is's intended use?
The goal of Medstr is to allow people from all aspects of the medical field to come together. Health is one of the most important issues that people are concerned with, good or bad. This network is not just for those who are ill. Diets, workout plans, and leading a healthy life would be additional areas of interest to consumers. Everyone has their own unique lifestyle, and therefore their medical social network should be the same way. Doctors, physicians, and other certified medical personnel will be a huge part of this social network. This will allow for timely responses to patients questions, problems, and comments. Another intended use of Medstr, involves bringing experienced medical employees together, to enable rich community of knowledge of medical issues people may be experiencing.
How is it different to many other online communities for healthcare professionals and patients?
Medstr will give users the ability to feel secure when discussing their medical situations. Unlike networks such as “patientslikeme,” we will not associate people with the medical problems or treatments they may have or seek. Instead Medstr will strive for medical professionals and users or patients to maintain their privacy. What sets Medstr apart from any other medical social network thus far is our Tele-Health video chat capability. The video chat will permit users to communicate all at once in the form of a “grid." Users have found the grid format easier to use than traditional video chat format. Medstr is available to everyone to utilize, unlike sites such as “Sermo” which is exclusively used by doctors.
Concluding Thoughts
The Key ideology of is to connect medical professionals with patients and other concern parties to form a community where users can have access to physicians and other medical professional via video chats and/or text messages. The patients and other concern parties can receive instant updates from the physician, thus the physician can update his patient by providing a voice to communicate to his patient via

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