By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A lot of people share their lives on social media, what they eat, where they go, so this doctor figured it’s a good way to check on patients online to help keep them healthy.

Dr. Vicki Bralow is checking up on her patients via social media. On Instagram, she sees a patient at a concert and suggests the person uses ear protection in case the music gets too loud.

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“I’m trying to find different ways that i can reach out to my patients,” Dr. Bralow said.

The Society Hill primary care doctor says social media provides a more comprehensive view of how her patients’ lives and it covers a lot more than usually gets discussed with in-person visits.

“Social media is a great way to connect on what’s going on in people’s lives at the time, which is very important,” Dr. Bralow said.

“Social media is a way to connect with people that aren’t sitting in front of me.”

Facebook and Instagram checkups are meant to augment regular doctor appointments.

Kim Verdell, who had stomach cancer, says Dr. Bralow’s interaction on social media has helped her keep her diet in better shape.

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“I was really happy to see her do it,” she said. “It was a way that I could really keep in touch with her.”

Verdell, who is 55 years old, says she likes sharing her life with friends online and with her doctor, keeping her health in good shape.

“I love it i love it,” she said.

Dr. Bralow says because social media isn’t private, she’s very careful about what she says, never revealing anything personal or embarrassing about patients, and there’s never any shamming if she sees bad behavior.

Stephanie Stahl