TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION, vol.12, no.3, pp.277-294, 2011 (ESCI)
Like in all areas, virtual communities make their presence felt in the area of healthcare too. Virtual communities play an important role in healthcare in terms of gathering information on healthcare, sharing of personal interests and providing social support. Virtual communities provide a way for a group of peers to communicate with each other. In the health context, they may also be referred to as electronic support groups. They include forums, discussion boards on websites, mailing lists, chat rooms, or newsgroups. This paper provides an overview and discussion of virtual communities in health care. In this paper the state of marketing implications in virtual communities in the health care sector is reviewed. The case study method was used. Data were collected from a web site about health care, as content analysis. CRM, customization, marketing research and database, e-word of mouth, e-services and promotions as marketing tools were used in the virtual community. The findings indicate that members of the reviewed web site used forums heavily as a means of interactivity and gathering of health related and social based information.