Over the last few years, social media has become one of the major sources of news and information. Young people prefer online sources over traditional newspapers. With the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forcing people to stay at home, access to medical information regarding the disease was largely through social media. While not necessarily a bad thing, gaining information from unverified sources has its pitfalls. Being a future doctor myself, I decided to ask my father, who is a healthcare professional himself, about his views. .How has technology led to a change in healthcare services?Advancement in technology has created novel opportunities for healthcare services. Paradoxically, it has also created new obstacles to healthcare.On one hand, technology allows us to disseminate and share appropriate health education and medical services. On the other hand, it creates avenues where misinformation can be peddled to influence healthcare-related behaviour negatively. By creating useful tools for screening, diagnosing, treating and monitoring diseases, technology has helped us bring down mortality for many of the common diseases. However, the same gadgets, if used inappropriately, can lead to misadventures in the health arena.How have different types of media impaded healthcare services?Various types of media have impacted health care services significantly. Traditional media such as radio, television and newspapers have been used to popularise governmental health programmes. Newer social media like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and lnstagram tend to discuss lifestyle issues and chronic disease management. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have increased the role of mass media and social platforms in disseminating healthcare-related information. Adding a compulsory caller tune informing us about the lockdown and hygiene practices, is a good example of disseminating information to all people.What role does print media play in the spread of information?Print media plays an important role in the spread of health-related information.Newspapers and health magazines enjoy a high level of credibility among their readers,who look towards them as trusted sources of information. General readership magazines frequently publish health-related articles and supplements to cater to this demand.How has digital media shaped the sharing of information?Digital media have re-shaped the health information ecosystem over the past few years. Sharing of information has become so convenient and instantaneous now. This means that one can spread the right messaging related to health and that one has to constantly safeguard against misinformation.The concept of sharing information and preventing misinformation has been termed as quinary prevention.How medical podcasts and websites, social media videos, posts and live-streaming of information can be of help to people?Medical podcasts and websites are good means of sharing medical information with health care professionals and the public at large.Ms Kriti Kalra, a soon-to-be doctor, interviews her father Dr Sanjay Kalra, a renowned endocrinologist and physician on the role and influence of media in disse Social media videos and posts are effective ways of getting one's viewpoint across, and of advertising one's skills and products. Live-streaming such as Facebook and lnstagram Live allow two-way communication between the expert and the audience. Such interactions are beneficialin dispelling myths and clearing queries related to healthcare.What are the things to keep in mind while looking for information?It is imperative to filter information from misinformation. While looking for technical information, choose a website run by a professional organisation. If you are watching a social media video or reading a post, check the origin of the information. Note whether the author has declared his or her conflict of interest. See if there are advertisements that promote commercial use of a particular product or service.How do these sources address mental health issues, especially in people with long-term health conditions?Mental health challenges seem to be ubiquitous in society. This malady has increased manifold due to the stress of living with COVID-19 and people living with long term health conditions like Diabetes, are more susceptible to mental health issues.Digital media platforms serve as an excellent way of accessing support. One can go online to search for peer support and professional counselling. Many interest groups and advocacy organizations offer help and assistance to those living with chronic diseases.How can one avoid false information?One can avoid false information by following what we term 'common info sense' Do not believe everything that you read or see on the internet. Seek professional organizations websites: many of these have dedicated sections for public awareness.Check the degrees and affiliation of the person delivering lectures or imposter posts: they may be imposters. Cross-check various sources to verify the information and when in doubt, post questions on interactive channels, or ask knowledgeable friends or your doctor, for guidance.What unique challenges do healthcare professionals face in this age of information?A healthcare professional faces a unique challenge in this age of information. From being the only and undisputed, source of than advice for the patient, he or she now has to compete with multiple sources of knowledge.The best way to do so is by learning how to serve as a trusted guide for the patient and community. One must be able to build trust by sharing the right information, through the right interaction and with the right involvement. We term this as 'diabetes therapy by the ear' inspired by Abraham Verghese's book 'Cutting for Stone'. The modern healthcare professional should be able to communicate with the patient and public, through channels of their choice, in a language or medium of their understanding.What are the suggested ways to bridge the information gap in rural and urban areas?Better e-connectivity is the key to bridge the rural-urban information gap. Once this is achieved, the next step would be to empower rural healthcare professionals in harnessing modern technology, not only to source and share information, but also to use e-medicine portals for diagnosis.The key message We need to master information. Earlier, the best doctors were the ones who could memorize and recite most of the information. Now, however, the successful health care professional is the one who can access information, and utilize it, faster others.