The risks and benefits of social media in the South African healthcare sector

The use of social media in healthcare practice has produced numerous benefits to the modern healthcare sector, but simultaneously has also created a range of previously unknown risks. In this first of a series of articles, we highlight the benefits of social media in healthcare as well as the risk the medium poses.

There is no doubt that modern medical practice is challenging. The field of medicine is vast and everchanging, while having to manage a busy medical practice and treat individual patients can prove to be complex. Furthermore, ongoing technological advances and pharmacological innovation add to the numerous difficulties faced by healthcare practitioners. In South Africa there also remain practical concerns related to healthcare delivery, logistical challenges, managerial ineptitude as well as various resource deficiencies.

The latest trends in lifestyle and preventative methods pertaining to cardiac health

The WHO and World Heart Federation remind us at every opportunity that cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer. Strategies to reduce the global cardiovascular pandemic necessarily should focus on the 80% of all cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASCVD). It has been estimated that 90% is preventable with optimal cardiovascular risk factor reduction (Figure 1).

Heart transplantation and LV assist devices. A cardiologist’s review of current practice in South Africa

There have been significant advances in prevention measures, as well as early diagnosis and management of heart failure, with new medical drugs available that clearly are beneficial in improving outcomes and decreasing hospital admissions. The use of pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, as well as valve and coronary interventions may be of benefit in appropriate settings. Despite this there are still many patients reaching end stage heart failure.

The role of HS-CRP in cardiovascular risk

Inflammation is at present considered an integral part of Cardiovascular Disease Development. Multiple biomarkers have been investigated and there is a definite association with cardiovascular disease to be found with hs-CRP. There is a great variance of levels amongst the different cultures, patients with different habits, and different inflammatory conditions.


Health Professions Council of South Africa


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Heart Matters Vol 15 No 1 - 2024