Doctors should add patient vlogs to their therapeutic toolkit

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Physicians should acknowledge that vloggers do a better job of engaging some patients, said Dr Albert Wu of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Patient vlogs, or video journals, that chronicle specific medical conditions, can provide a novel way to get the attention of certain patient cohorts and can be particularly helpful in engaging with patients with chronic illnesses under 50.

That is according to the authors of a new commentary in The Patient , which explores the value of vlogs in patient engagement.

Online videos continue to grow in popularity. Accessible to viewers when and where they want, such videos provide a platform for patients with chronic illnesses and their families to connect with others in similar circumstances, notes the commentary. Vlogs can reach those who are too ill or isolated to participate in support groups.

The authors said, given the potential impact of online information like this, doctors should consider familiarising themselves with key vloggers who can provide a window into the patient’s experience. “Physicians should acknowledge that often they [vloggers] do a better job of engaging some patients, especially younger ones, and should be willing to add vlogs to their therapeutic toolkit,” said Dr Albert Wu of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior author of the paper.

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