Veronica With Four Eyes

Options For Sharing Medical Updates Without Social Media

When I had major surgery, a lot of my friends and family wanted to remain updated for what was going on during the procedure and the days I spent in the hospital while I didn’t have access to my phone. While a lot of people choose to create social media pages or other online groups to keep people in the loop, I was looking for options for sharing medical updates without social media, since I do not have any personal social media accounts and didn’t want random people to find my medical updates. Here are options for sharing medical updates without social media to a group of trusted friends and family.

Make it easier to locate emergency contacts

When I was hospitalized in college, it was helpful to have all of my medications and emergency contacts available for quick access with my phone’s Medical ID feature. With Medical ID, I can quickly press two buttons on my phone and display important information such as my name, blood type, medical history, allergies, and phone numbers for emergency contacts, which is helpful when I am in the hospital unexpectedly or need to fill out paperwork.

Related links

Create a SMS/MMS group text

Group texts are a great way to get information across quickly without having people download additional applications or having to learn a new tool. Text messages can be displayed in large print or read out loud with a screen reader, or be composed with assistive tools such as dictation. Users can set up a text group chat by adding multiple people to a new text message thread on their phone.

Related links

Use a tool like Remind to send messages to a group

Remind is a free tool that allows users to send messages via text or email to people in a designated group, or to use the free Remind app for messages. This was helpful when I had a particularly long surgery as I could set my parents or a trusted friend as the admin(s) to send out messages, and recipients could choose whether to get updates over email or text. Users can also send and receive images, which was helpful for when I was receiving pictures of animals from friends. Messages are written in the Remind app and sent out to participants using the contact information they include when signing up for the group.

With my Remind settings enabled, participants could not reply to each other or see what other people were writing- if someone had a question or wanted to send a message, it would be sent directly back to the admin in the Remind app, and the admin could reply to individual messages.

Related links

Download a group messaging app

One of my friends likes the idea of using a group messaging app that isn’t necessarily connected to a social media account, like Messenger or GroupMe. This is another option for sharing medical updates without social media, though Messenger does integrate with Facebook and give users the option to add contacts that don’t have Facebook accounts. 

Have a password-protected blog

There are a lot of online services that allow people to post medical updates, though many of these are public by default and can be read by anyone. When one of my friends was going through an extensive medical treatment, they shared updates on a password-protected blog that only family members and friends could access, and that wasn’t indexed by search engines. My friend appreciated being able to easily write blog posts and include pictures/links for more information, and had fewer safety concerns since the blog was not something that others could find. Blogs can be hosted on platforms such as BlogSpot or WordPress with free accounts.

Related links

Use encrypted messaging tools

Another update for medical group chats and sharing medical updates without social media, encrypted messaging tools such as WhatsApp provide additional security features compared to standard text messaging services. Another benefit of WhatsApp is that users can text, call, and video chat with international phone numbers- I’ve used this when talking to friends who are in India, Peru, and England without paying extra for international calls/texts.

Other tips for sharing medical updates without social media

  • While Discord technically is a form of social media, it provides additional privacy features compared to other websites like Reddit or Facebook pages, and can allow users to create group chats, servers, or channels within a server that are only accessible for specific users
  • Since I had trouble using my phone after surgery, I would use dictation or ask a family member to write out specific medical updates or things that I wanted to tell my friends- it was hard to type on a phone with multiple tubes/cables
  • Many messaging apps and services support audio messages, which can be fun to record and also listen to- it’s lovely to hear the voices of my friends!
  • I ask my friends and family to refrain from posting on social media on my behalf or talking about procedures in real time
  • For one of my major surgeries, my parents would text updates to a trusted friend who shared updates to a group chat on their behalf, so that my parents didn’t have to monitor the chat

Here is how I kept family and friends in the loop while in the hospital by sharing medical updates without social media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *