Mayo Clinic launches social network


(Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic)

For years, the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic has been at the forefront of using social media, with a popular YouTube channel, a Twitter account, and more than 53,000 connections on Facebook.

The Clinic also produces its own podcast and blog, and in 2010, created the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media to help the clinic and other health care providers adopt social media tools.

Now, officials at the clinic have created their very own social media community. Clinic officials believe the Mayo clinic online community is the first such online community created by a medical provider group or hospital system.

The goal of the online community is to connect people who have already been through the Mayo Clinic with future patients facing similar health concerns. It’s meant to be a place for community members to share information, support and encouragement.

According to the Clinic, more than 500,000 unique patients from every U.S. state and nearly 150 countries visit one of the Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida or Minnesota for diagnosis and treatment each year.

The Mayo Clinic online community is comprised of content from various Mayo Clinic blogs, health and medical videos, and links to news articles about Mayo Clinic research and treatment advances. It also features a discussion forum where members can connect with others who have similar interests or concerns.

The community is free and is open for anyone to join.