462.2K views | +1 today

Teens and tech: Diabetes information generally not shared on social media #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Despite their connectedness online, teens generally appear to be less inclined to share information about diabetes on social media, according to a speaker here.

“When we’re thinking about asking teens to share with us, potentially as providers or when we’re working with parents of teens, we need to think about the kind of information that they’re willing to share,” Korey K. Hood, PhD, professor of pediatrics (endocrinology) and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Lucille Salter Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University, said during a presentation. “It shouldn't just be a completely open book, what they share.”


Hood discussed a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2017, which included a sample of teens and young adults at a primary care clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. Approximately half of the participants had posted about their health on social media within the previous 6 months. Three-quarters posted about their moods, while a smaller number (42%) pertained to acute medical conditions. Sharing of health information was more common among patients with self-reported poor health. Few teens and young adults used social media to connect with their health care providers; rather, these younger patients preferred texting. The researchers concluded that “adolescents and young adults maintain their privacy on social media regarding their health.”

In another study, for which Hood was an investigator, social networking accounted for only 27% of teens’ online connection activities.

“Teens are well-connected, but it’s a small number of them who use social media to share health information. ... We’re seeing this theme that text messaging and some of these other activities besides sharing on social media might be a better way of getting to these teens” and young adults with social media, Hood said.

In the same study, Hood and colleagues found that teens are willing to share information about the “how” of their diabetes regimens, but are less willing to share details of how often they perform self-management tasks. Moreover, in this study, teens were reluctant to share information about diabetes measurements.

“They’re willing to share about how they carry supplies and count carbs, but when you get into things like glucose values and HbA1c, they are less likely to share that kind of information,” he said.

While teens generally tend to have positive attitudes about technology in general, attitudes about diabetes technologies are less favorable, according to Hood. He discussed a potential device readiness solution for teens and adults, which matches the characteristics of a person with type 1 diabetes with the device and technology to which they would be best suited.

Among the profiles Hood outlined are the following:

  • The “diabetes eraser” — These patients overcome barriers, have relatively positive attitudes toward technology, and relatively high device uptake and low diabetes distress. For this group, the goal is simply to maintain the efforts they are making.
  • The “wary wearer” — These patients endorse a high number of barriers, have average attitudes toward technology, have low device uptake and have high diabetes distress. For these patients, Hood advocates providing education, problem-solving and support.
  • The “data minimalist” — These patients use continuous glucose monitoring very infrequently, and while they have relatively average tech attitudes they do not use diabetes devices. These patients require “regular problem solving or technology problem solving,” Hood said.
  • The “free rangers” — These patients endorse few barriers, have negative technology attitudes, and have above-average diabetes and hypoglycemia distress. These patients may benefit from simulated situations, as well as general education, Hood said.

“Barriers are common, but it’s important to think about this concept of device readiness,” he said. – by Jennifer Byrne


Hood KK. Tech and Teens: To Share or Not Share, Do Teens Care? Presented at: American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions; June 22-26, 2018; Orlando, Fla.

Hausmann JS, et al. J Adolesc Health. 2017;doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.12.025.

Disclosure: Hood reports financial ties with Dexcom, Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute and Lilly Innovation Center.

No comment yet.

Twitter Docs: How Researchers and Clinicians Navigate Social Media #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


What should my first tweet be?”

It’s a question John Barbieri, MD, was thinking about just after he created his account on the social media platform. The Dermatology chief resident decided to take the plunge and sign up with the goals of building a network, learning more about the latest from other researchers in his field, and promoting his own work. These specific inspirations were echoed by all of the doctors interviewed for this story as they started out on social media, but the challenges they face can be very unique to their profession.


No comment yet.

Trending: using social media to understand your pharma market - #esante  #hcsmeufr  #digitalhealth


Social listening is a powerful tool for generating valuable insights into your customers from social media conversations. Stakeholders for pharmaceutical companies, such as HCPs, patients and payers, are becoming more present on social media and this gives us new data for understanding their needs and preferences.

At Blue Latitude Health, we identify the role of social media in the overall brand or communications strategy. We do this by finding the right social platforms and clarifying the specific objectives for each of those platforms. Within each social listening project, we utilise tools that crawl through large amounts of data on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Then we analyse this data to reveal insights that can be translated into actions. The top insights revealed through social listening are:

Key topics

By monitoring the topics driving customer conversations, we gain a better understanding of customer needs, pain points and trends.

 We can develop differentiated content in response to these needs, pain points and trends.

Competitive intelligence

Through social listening, we gain valuable insights into competitor activities. By monitoring conversation volume and sentiment, we can better understand customers’ opinions about our brands and our competitors across the globe.

 This helps us make informed decisions on brand management.

Digital opinion leaders

Social listening helps identify relevant digital opinion leaders, their backgrounds, and interests.

 These insights provide further opportunities to target relevant opinion leaders and leverage their influence in the social media space. It is important to make sure these insights are meaningful. This can be achieved by validating them with existing or further market research, cross-referencing with internal sources of information and liaising with the insights department or brand teams.

Through social listening, pharmaceutical companies can make use of additional data sources and generate insights. Organisations also have more opportunities to engage with stakeholders online and offline, which informs tactical multichannel marketing planning. Social listening is becoming a source of competitive edge in pharmaceutical marketing – make sure you’re a step ahead.

How to drive a product launch with social media

In a recent project, we conducted social listening for a product that was about to be launched. Having monitored a large volume of online conversations, we found that topics around efficacy had the highest number of retweets, and content focusing on a specific piece of data, which showed the superior efficacy of the product, was popular.

As a result, we gained the insight that content about trial studies results on a specific aspect of efficacy are more likely to engage customers. We could immediately and precisely use this information, giving us huge benefits in the hyper-competitive environment and saving us substantial time and effort in conducting primary research. We worked closely with the brand managers to apply the insights to brand planning, this helped us shape the messaging of the launch strategy.

No comment yet.

How Social Media is Changing Medicine  #hcsmeufr #esante #digitalhealth


It is hardly news anymore to say that online communities like Facebook and Twitter are changing how the world works, but it may surprise you how these social media platforms are improving the health care that you receive. We often think that our physicians live in ivory towers that operate in a rarified atmosphere of intellectualism and rationality, but like all people they often have differences of opinion. When these arguments appear on social media, they can not only help advance the field of medicine but also provide valuable insights into how the medical community really thinks.

In most situations, physicians want to appear authoritative and assured. After all, it rarely helps patients to get medical advice from someone who seems uncertain about how best to proceed with their case. So, doctors rarely present more than one side of an issue, at least, in a clinical setting.

Unfortunately, only providing one opinion may help reassure patients, but it may not be the best way to treat a health condition. Like any field of study, medicine is constantly advancing and undergoing revision. What may have been rock-solid advice last year may be debunked by the latest investigative study. That is why listening to a wide range of medical experts on a particular topic of interest is so important—and one of leading forums for medical debate in the 21st century is social media.

How Twitter Has Changed the Medical Landscape

Before the advent of the internet, the medical community primarily reserved their spirited differences of opinion to private lounges, medical conferences and esoteric research journals. However, with new social media platforms that can bring together medical professionals from around the globe, many of these heated debates are entering a very public sphere. No longer can physicians pretend that they are a monolithic community speaking in one voice.


It may not seem like the ideal forum to discuss highly sophisticated medical matters with its limited character input and highly publicized interactions, but Twitter has become the platform of choice for medical debates. Like others in elite professions, the lure of abbreviated remarks easily punched in on a smart phone has made Twitter highly appealing, and like most Twitter discussions, those involving highly opinionated medical experts who are eager to tout their version of the “facts” often lead to denigrating the arguments of their adversaries—as well as them personally.

Although the language used by clinician and researcher participants may be more egalitarian than the pedestrian Twitter feud, the emotions are very similar. After being selected, trained and promoted for their intellect and passion for medicine, most physicians naturally have strong opinions on many health-related issues. That passion may translate into exceptional care in a clinical setting, but online it can be as rancorous and petty as any barroom confrontation.

Is Social Media a Viable Platform for Medical Debate?

There is considerable concern about the use of Twitter and other social media apps to discuss life and death issues that make up medicine. While many argue that these forums lower the level of debate by encouraging personal attacks and “trolling,” but there is also the undeniable fact that in the 21st century, online debate is the forum of choice for the majority of the public. It is true that much of the behavior would be considered unacceptable in other venues, but these digital spaces allow an unprecedented level of participation that foster unconventional input and honest dialogue.

Since launching in 2006, Twitter has exploded in popularity. In 2018, the total number of users on Twitter reached 336 million worldwide. While that is not as large as Facebook with it 2.2 billion users in 2018, Twitter offers real-time engagement that promotes honest and compelling discussion. This aspect of Twitter enables physicians and medical authorities from around the world to participate in emerging conversations and really influence important debates.

Doctors no longer have to travel to medical conferences to learn about the latest research or engage with prominent medical figures. Live tweeting allows speakers to disseminate their knowledge to all corners of the globe instantly and obtain feedback from the global medical community just as quickly. This can generate critical analysis in a fraction of the time it once did, as well produce cooperation on a global scale.


The Downside of Twitter

While many important discussions about medicine are being conducted on Twitter, there is some concern that social media is damaging the medical community. Many of the more spirited discussions can expose fault lines in the community that may center on sexism, ageism or other underlying issues. These issues have always been present in the medical community, but the advent of social media has shone an unflattering spotlight upon them. While it may color some medical professionals as biased, consciously or unconsciously, the medical community as a whole may benefit from publicly airing some of these taboo issues.

Another troubling issue related to Twitter of other social media is that people may say virtually anything. For the typical person who doesn’t have advanced degrees in medicine or biology, it is easy to become confused and walk away with the wrong message about a pressing health matter. Often this results in ignoring a physician’s advice or taking time away from a busy doctor’s schedule when they have to correct a mistaken impression. This may even lead to serious health complications if a patient is unwilling to listen to reason.

Finally, there is the concern with patient privacy. Many patients are eager to obtain medical advice online and may divulge sensitive information in an effort to get it. This may lead to privacy infractions by a responding physician which could prove problematic if it violates HIPAA or other regulations. There is also the concern that any advice provided online may be misinterpreted by other patients, putting their health at risk and putting the advisor in legal jeopardy.

To learn more about how the medical community is using social media, please contact Boost Health Insurance and speak with a licensed health insurance agent.

Art Jones's curator insight, July 5, 10:09 AM

Is Social Media a Viable Platform for Medical Debate?

Excerpt: Listening to a wide range of medical experts on a particular topic of interest is so important—and one of the leading forums for medical debate in the 21st century is social media.

Doctors advised not to connect with patients on social media


Doctors cannot start social media relationships with their patients, but if they accept such relationships initiated by patients, their behaviour “should be of the highest standard”, said the Singapore Medical Council in its handbook on medical ethics to doctors released on Wednesday (Sept 14).


“Engaging in social relationships with your patients through the use of social media platforms can blur the professional boundary between you and your patients,” the handbook states. “Although superficial and casual interaction on social networking sites may appear innocuous, you should be aware that the power imbalance between you and your patients may influence your patients’ decision to enter into online relationships with you.” 

While doctors may enter into such relationships initiated by patients, “perhaps in order not to give offence, or simply out of politeness”, they must take care not to inappropriately share personal information that “might breach patient confidentiality or privacy”.

Noting that others may have access to confidential medical matters shared online, the council added: “Social media is not an appropriate medium for medical consultations or for patients to discuss with you any medical matter.”


The Handbook on Medical Ethics, running over 150 pages, is more than double the length of the updated Ethical Code And Ethical Guidelines (ECEG), which is referred to for disciplinary matters involving doctors. The handbook is meant as an educational resource on the ECEG, and the latter will still be the primary document on which doctors’ behaviour will be judged. 

In the handbook, the SMC also recommended that doctors with a strong Internet presence be careful “that any exposure of your personal life and actions does not diminish your professional standing or the trust and confidence that patients have in you, or bring the profession as a whole into disrepute”. 

This included appearing intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, engaging in lewd or inappropriate behaviour, and posting personal or derogatory comments about patients or colleagues.

Other matters elaborated on in the handbook include the non-discrimination of patients. 

“You are obliged to avoid making moral judgments about your patients’ habits or lifestyles in deciding whether to provide treatment and how you would treat,” the SMC recommended. “There will be patients whom you believe have lifestyles or habits that may have contributed to their illnesses or whose illnesses you deem to be ‘self-inflicted’ ... 

“Your responsibility is to manage these patients according to clinical needs and outcomes. You have no role in ‘punishing’ patients for their lifestyles or habits.”

No comment yet.

Les réseaux sociaux, une nouvelle source d’informations pour les médecins #sante #esante #hcsmeufr #SocialMedia


Certains chercheurs utilisent les réseaux sociaux comme base de données pour leurs études. Avec plusieurs milliards d’utilisateurs, ils sont désormais une source d’informations non-négligeable pour la science.
GIE_GERS's curator insight, July 3, 8:33 AM

Certains chercheurs utilisent les réseaux sociaux comme base de données pour leurs études. Avec plusieurs milliards d’utilisateurs, ils sont désormais une source d’informations non-négligeable pour la science.

Les réseaux sociaux de plus en plus scrutés par la #recherche médicale #SocialMedia #hcsmeufr 


Les études scientifiques fondées sur des données de vie réelle issues des réseaux sociaux se multiplient afin de mesurer l'impact des maladies sur la qualité de vie, d'identifier des effets indésirables ou de détecter des mésusages du médicament, suscitant à la fois l'intérêt des industriels de santé et des pouvoirs publics.
GIE_GERS's curator insight, June 29, 4:02 PM

Les études scientifiques fondées sur des données de vie réelle issues des réseaux sociaux se multiplient afin de mesurer l'impact des maladies sur la qualité de vie, d'identifier des effets indésirables ou de détecter des mésusages du médicament, suscitant à la fois l'intérêt des industriels de santé et des pouvoirs publics.

Enquête sur les community managers en France, les résultats 2018


Pour la huitième année consécutive, nous publions les résultats de l’enquête sur les community managers en France. Cette année, 1150 professionnels ont répondu à nos questions. Leurs précieuses réponses nous permettent de mieux connaître leur profil, leur environnement de travail, leur rémunération et leurs pratiques
No comment yet.

Etude Social Selling : la place des réseaux sociaux


La première édition du Baromètre 2018 sur l'impact des réseaux sociaux sur l’acte d’achat en B2B nous offre une vision des tendances du social selling.
No comment yet.

Comment les community managers utilisent les réseaux sociaux en 2018  #esante #hcsmeufr


Les community managers préfèrent-ils Facebook, Twitter ou YouTube ? Diffusent-ils des vidéos en direct, publient-ils des stories sur Snapchat et Instagram ? Sur quelles plateformes obtiennent-ils les meilleurs résultats ? Nous avons interrogé 1150 community managers en France pour mieux connaître leurs pratiques. La
No comment yet.

«Sur les réseaux sociaux, l’information sur la vaccination n’est pas filtrée»  #esante #hcsmeufr



Pour le sociologue Jocelyn Raude, il est compliqué de motiver la population à se vacciner alors qu’elle n’a pas conscience de la menace.

No comment yet.

Les antivaccins contaminent les réseaux sociaux #esante #hcsmeufr



Les opposants à la vaccination sont très actifs sur Facebook et Twitter, éclipsant les messages officiels...

No comment yet.

Professions de santé : vers la fin de l'interdiction de publicité  #esante #hcsmeufr 


Les infirmiers, médecins, kinésithérapeutes, sages-femmes et dentistes pourront-ils demain vanter leur expérience et détailler leur
No comment yet.

JMIR-Using Social Media to Target Cancer Prevention in Young Adults: 


Cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States and a major growing public health burden. Primary prevention is an important strategy of focus as the burgeoning scientific research supports the notion that a large portion of cancer is preventable [1,2]. Although the etiology of cancer is multifactorial and complex and differs across specific types of cancer, it has been well established that approximately 50% to 60% of all cancers can be reduced with behavior change such as vaccination, physical activity, weight control and maintenance, reducing alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation [3,4]. Given this context, it is critical for public health efforts to prioritize the fostering of positive health behaviors to reduce the future burden of cancer.

Many of these health behaviors are considered modifiable risk factors, and to an extent, may be more susceptible to change and influence during critical age periods over one’s life course. Cancer prevention efforts have traditionally focused on older adults aged 40 years and over, who tend to be eligible for most cancer screenings and have more health awareness as they naturally experience more health issues with aging. However, much less attention has been paid to cancer prevention strategies targeted to younger age demographics, such as those aged 18-29 years, and, in particular, to strategies tailored through the use of new media. It is imperative to target young adults to promote cancer prevention behaviors before cancer develops. This younger age group is a critical developmental period that can set the stage for forming mindsets and worldviews that will ultimately shape future health habits and lifestyles [5,6]. Although cancer does not commonly occur in this age group, it is important to focus on prevention earlier in life, as cancer exposures are generally thought to occur earlier in life and contribute to cancers that are more commonly diagnosed among those 40 years and older (eg, lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate). Cancer prevention behaviors include these upstream behaviors, which can be modified earlier in life and directly relevant to young adults, as well as the more proximal action of completing recommended cancer screening, which is generally not relevant to young adults for the most common cancers (breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers).

The generation of young adults born from 1995 onwards are considered digital natives and defined as people “born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the internet from an early age” [7]. Young adults aged 18-29 years are the most frequent users of social media; in 2016, 86% of them used at least one social media site [8] and 92% engaged with 2 or more devices simultaneously including mobile phones, tablets, PC, and TV [9]. Social media must be considered as a public health strategy in young adults, simply because it is embedded in their everyday lives. To effectively reach them, health communication must occur where they are, engaging in online platforms, and must also be tailored using effective cancer prevention messaging uniquely suited for particular online platforms. For example, Twitter messages are limited to 280 characters and cancer prevention messaging to younger populations must take into design the linguistic and cultural factors in how to effectively communicate and engage young adults through Twitter.

In this viewpoint paper, we focus on social media and past use in primary cancer prevention in the general population and discuss how these studies can be applied to young adults to reduce the burden of cancer in the next generation of older adults. We reflect on the current state of the field and offer discussion on how previous research has implications for considering measurement and theoretical issues in future directions of research. Specifically, we provide an example of theoretical considerations from our current work (Lyson et al. Social media as a tool to promote health awareness: results from an online cervical cancer prevention study. Under review, submitted April 2018), describe various types of studies using social media for health communication with young adult digital natives with supporting examples, highlight methodological considerations in conducting studies in this field, and propose to integrate the life course perspective of cancer prevention with new forms of media, both of which overlap in the focus on young adults and lifestyle behavior change to present a unique opportunity for researchers to test effective cancer prevention strategies using social media.


Theoretical Considerations

Theoretical considerations are an important component in conducting rigorous research in social media and health. Specifically, behavior change interventions are most effectively guided and tested by conceptual frameworks appropriate for the target audience. As an example, in our past and current work, Bandura’s social cognitive theory, an interpersonal-level health behavior theory [10], has been the most relevant theory to apply to research questions focused on social media influences on health behaviors. This theory encompasses social influences on health in a wide variety of settings and can naturally be extended to the social media environment. Social cognitive theory is used to explain how people learn behaviors by observing others and through vicarious reinforcement. It emphasizes reciprocal causation of behaviors between the self and society, in which personal factors in the form of cognitive, affective, and biological events, behavioral patterns, and environmental events all operate as interacting determinants that influence each other bidirectionally, that is, “reciprocal determinism” (Figure 1). As part of the environment, Web-based social media frames and reinforces social norms; social media sites have their own “rules” for reinforcement of messages and content in terms of likes, shares, and comments that are much more explicit than in everyday life.

When applied to social media communication, social cognitive theory suggests that new ideas, values, behavior patterns, and social practices are rapidly diffused worldwide through observational learning, in part through social networks. The concept of reciprocal determinism is critical to behavior change via Web-based social networks. Not only do individuals learn facts and information from social media but they are also actively shaping the social media sites to be broader networks for social change or political movements through their participation. This reciprocity sets the stage for peer-to-peer influence, as in studies in which groups interact via Web-based social media to address health issues. Furthermore, social media enriches the availability of public health data in the environment; in Bandura’s model, social media provides a “socially mediated pathway” to disseminate communication by linking people to social networks and community settings that provide natural incentives and continued personalized guidance for desired change. The social media activities of public health organizations, such as vaccination campaigns from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) delivered via Twitter, allow for dissemination and reinforcement of health behaviors. The concept of “observational learning,” that individuals learn from watching others perform a given behavior, informs how behavior can spread via Web-based social media.

Figure 1. Reciprocal determinism in Bandura’s social cognitive theory for behavior change. View this figure


Current Research in Social Media and Health

Public health research using social media takes place on a spectrum ranging from using social media as a real-time data source to engaging target populations online to influence health behaviors. Automated analysis of passively collected social media data can be used for disease or behavioral surveillance, including for early identification of disease outbreaks [11]. Public health organizations also deliver health information and health promotion messages using social media. In fact, the CDC has a social media toolkit intended to facilitate public health communication efforts via social media by partners and stakeholders [12]. This approach is unidirectional; experts deliver content to lay participants. The assumption in this approach is that populations at risk are willing and able to engage with health-related content and subsequently modify behavior. More recently, public health researchers have used social media to deliver health interventions that harness the immediacy of Web-based communication as well as the influence of Web-based social networks [13]. In social media intervention research, researchers interact with participants online, and participants may interact with each other. To augment our viewpoint discussion, we highlight various study designs that have been employed using social media data sources, provide supporting examples from the literature, and discuss implications for future research in social media and health.

Observational Studies Using Social Media Data Sources

Because individuals, especially young adults, publicly share health information online, social media data can provide a robust data source for behaviors that are difficult to characterize and health data that are unavailable through traditional surveillance methods. This method of “mining” social media data for public health purposes is perhaps the most widely developed type of social media health research [14]. This type of observational research may be less prone to bias as people on social media typically do not act as though they are being observed for the purpose of research, in contrast to traditional research methods that explicitly recruit people to participate in research in academic settings and ask people to report on health-related behaviors. Myriad examples of this type of work exist across disparate public health domains including substance use [15], body weight-associated stigma [16], and infectious disease surveillance [11,17]. For example, Lyles et al performed this observational type of analysis for cervical cancer prevention discussions among young women on Twitter [18]. The analysis demonstrated that women do share publicly their experiences with cervical cancer screening, often with language encouraging peers to undergo screening as well. These user-generated health promotion messages are useful for characterizing public sentiment and informing public health messaging content. More recently, we analyzed Instagram data to characterize misuse of codeine on social media and found that codeine misuse was commonly represented with the ingestion of alcohol, cannabis, and/or benzodiazepines [19]. Our findings suggested that codeine misuse was represented as normalized behavior and found in mainstream commercialization of music and cartoons on social media. Because health behaviors are often difficult to capture in traditional observational research studies that rely on self-reported survey data, social media provides a unique lens through which stigmatized behaviors can be observed through a “fly on the wall” perspective.

This literature demonstrates that public health professionals can learn about community perceptions of cancer prevention-relevant behaviors by examining social media content. There is still much unrealized potential for connecting social media content and sentiment to real-world health behaviors. Thus far, one effective use of social media data has been in the area of “infoveillance” such as in influenza forecasting [20] and real-time outbreak identification [21]. Using geocode tags from social media data content could likewise be used to geographically pinpoint challenges and opportunities in cancer prevention behaviors; this methodology has been previously applied to infectious disease outbreak research. However, as a typical methodological concern for all self-reported data, the information on the user’s location is largely based on what is provided in their user profile, which may not be complete or accurate information. For Twitter data, it is estimated that about 1% to 2% of tweets are shown to be geotagged [22].

Observational studies using social media data have the advantage of accessing vast amounts of public data readily available in real time. This immediacy is a major advantage of using social media data to inform public health surveillance. However, methodological challenges remain in conducting rigorous and unbiased studies using social media data. Social media data are user-driven data and depend on the population who chooses to publicly share information. This is a self-selected group and may not represent the general population. Access to the internet and privacy concerns influence the likelihood of posting information online [23]. Internet access, particularly on mobile devices, is growing rapidly among young adults, and mobile internet is well suited to social media use. Privacy concerns are common, but younger adults compared with older adults are more likely to have shared personal information online [23], potentially enhancing generalizability in this age group. A second limitation of social media content as a public health data source is its unstructured nature, making comparisons across platforms or even individual messages challenging. Moreover, it is often impossible to verify the identity or other relevant details about individuals who post online. In general, social media posts often lack identification, demographic information, and other details. Social media data analysis must be interpreted in light of these inherent limitations.

Unidirectional Mass Communication Health Promotion via Web-Based Social Media

Governmental organizations such as the CDC and the National Cancer Institute have used social media marketing strategies to deliver a wide array of health promotion content through multiple dissemination channels and platforms, such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook [24]. Researchers have also used an online marketing approach for cancer prevention. As an example, Cidre-Serrano et al used Google AdWords to display skin cancer prevention messages on individuals’ search results page when users searched for tanning beds [25]. These prevention advertisements were displayed over 200,000 times over 2 months with a click-through ratio of 1%, which is generally considered sufficient for commercial purposes. Google for NonProfits and other Web-based platforms provide a limited amount of free advertising for nonprofit organizations, making this a low-cost approach for qualifying organizations. In general, the unidirectional strategy of “pushing” content at individuals has the advantages of being low-cost with a significant reach, as well as the ability to target content to specific high-risk groups (eg, young women who use tanning beds). However, data are lacking about the effect of health promotion messages delivered online. An example of planned work to address this gap would be to learn whether a Facebook advertising-based intervention aimed at reducing indoor tanning would shift knowledge and attitudes about indoor tanning and reduce individual intent to use tanning beds to ultimately prevent melanoma in high-risk groups.

Web-based social media is a powerful advertising and marketing tool as 88% of businesses use social media [26]; however, commercial entities have been shown to use social media to promote unhealthy behaviors. For example, Ricklefs et al documented the indoor tanning industry’s use of social media as a strategy for maintaining relationships with customers and to offer pricing deals that promote high-frequency tanning [27]. Similarly, e-cigarette advertising is prevalent on Twitter, particularly in states that limit other forms of tobacco advertising [28].

Provision of public health information or promotion via social media is subject to many of the same limitations as mass-media public health campaigns [29]. Social media messages are well integrated into the lives of users and can be easily accessible when they need it the most. The potential for health campaigns to go “viral,” increasing the audience size and impact, is a theoretical advantage of social media campaigns compared with traditional approaches, but it cannot be predicted or planned. Insomuch as content is easily accessible, it is, however, also easy to turn off. As with billboards, it remains unclear whether health content is reaching its intended audience. On social media, for example, many public health and medical professionals follow CDC on Twitter, but the extent of dissemination to the lay public is unknown. As with all unidirectional public health messaging, it is challenging to accurately assess the effect of such campaigns on health outcomes amidst the many other health influences in the individual’s environment. To measure the effectiveness of public health messages, innovative sampling and methods and proxy outcomes may be needed.

Web-Based Social Media Interventions for Cancer Prevention Behaviors

Social media can also be used as a delivery platform for conducting intervention studies aimed at promoting health and wellness [13,30]. Web-based interventions have significant advantages: cost, ease of participation, and ability to scale up. These interventions can also harness the interaction dynamics of Web-based social networks and create positive peer-to-peer momentum for behavior change. For instance, in the area of smoking cessation, the Tobacco Status Project (TSP) is a Facebook intervention for young adult smokers combining messaging, peer-to-peer interaction, online counseling sessions, and group cognitive-behavioral sessions. A feasibility trial achieved 72% follow-up rates and an 18% rate of reported 7-day abstinence at 12 months (9% verified) [31]. Importantly, engagement in the intervention was high, with 92% participation in the full 3-month intervention [32]. These results demonstrate that Web-based social media platforms can be used to deliver behavioral interventions; however, the content, mode of delivery, and network structure all require careful planning and evaluation [33,34]. A clinical trial testing the efficacy of TSP on biochemically verified smoking abstinence is underway [35]. We believe that conducting interventions via social media platforms requires further study to understand the specific components that contribute to intervention effectiveness, such as the ideal intensity/timing/duration of the intervention, how/which Web-based social networks to access (general social networking vs disease-specific sites), the mix of peer-to-peer versus expert support for behavior change, how to escalate to “real-life” interventions such as pharmacologic treatment for tobacco (eg, nicotine replacement), and how to address Web-based misinformation and foster trust of information.

One of the major challenges in social media research is the rapid pace at which social media platforms evolve online and gain and lose popularity for certain segments of society. For example, Facebook has gained more users in the older age groups and has lost favor with younger age groups who have migrated to other platforms such as Snapchat. Research involving specific social media platforms can quickly become outdated as it can take several years for research studies to be funded, implemented, and ultimately published. This can be a frustrating challenge for researchers engaged in social media and health studies; although there are no easy solutions to this, there are possibilities to reframe the research questions to be more platform-agnostic and thus more widely applicable to the understanding how social media affects health behaviors. A more conceptual approach, driven by conceptual frameworks, to the research question can shed insights on constructs underlying social interactions that influence health behavior, as opposed to relying on specific platform. In considering the choice of platforms, researchers should prepare to be nimble and course-correct if they realize that the target audience or research question does not match the intended platform. Funded research should consider alternate platforms as part their research strategy and anticipate potential problems and alternative solutions to meet the needs of the research question.

Although social media interventions have the significant advantage of reaching people where they are, more complex health behaviors such as quitting smoking may require more intensive interventions beyond online social interactions. For instance, replacing in-person tobacco cessation counseling with online counseling allows participants to receive content without consuming transportation time, and at their convenience; however, there is a concern that delivering interventions online may dilute their effectiveness, especially because of the lack of personal connection. Moreover, many evidence-based interventions developed to be delivered in-person or via telephone require significant adaptation for Web-based social media [33], and reach, efficacy, and implementation may differ significantly. Future studies should incorporate rigorous methodological approaches in the design and evaluation of social media interventions by drawing on appropriate conceptual frameworks and evaluation methods from implementation sciences [36] regardless of whether they are newly developed or are adopted from existing interventions, because the “rules of engagement” online are so different from traditional health intervention environments.

Measuring outcomes is a methodological challenge in all types of studies. For social media and health research, there are various ways in which outcome measures can be obtained: (1) enrolling participants online and obtaining informed consent to follow participants for behavior change, (2) partnering with platforms to examine online actions (social media analytics such as click-throughs, page-viewing behaviors, purchases, etc), and (3) partnering with health systems for data linkage and online/clinic-hybrid interventions (linkage with electronic health records). These approaches combine traditional research methods of data collection (ie, direct data collection from participants through surveys) with innovative partnerships with social media platforms and health systems to provide a more comprehensive collection of outcome data to ascertain intervention effectiveness.



In this new era of communication, social media has tremendous potential to improve public health as it has permeated society across all socioeconomic strata and races/ethnicities [37]. Young adults comprise a diverse population on social media, which has implications for addressing future disparities in cancer. The range of research described in this viewpoint paper harnesses a variety of disciplines, ranging from data science to social science. There is a need to ensure that multidisciplinary research teams have the appropriate expertise to conduct the research; the team’s composition should be driven by the expertise needed for the proposed research questions (data science, disease-specific/clinical expertise, behavioral science, communication sciences, public health professionals, social marketing experts, and qualitative and quantitative methods). Furthermore, research is needed to understand the effects as well as risks of using social media for cancer prevention in young adults to determine the impact on reducing the future burden of cancer. Use of social media as a health promotion tool seems most relevant to modifiable behavioral risk factors in young adults and warrants further research to prevent cancer in the next generation.

No comment yet.

Want to score on social, pharma? Follow Sanofi's lead, experts say | FiercePharma



Sanofi could have just let it go. When actress Roseanne Barr blamed its sleep aid Ambien for a racist post, the pharma company could have simply ignored it and let the Twitterverse call out the inaccuracy. Instead, Sanofi seized the moment and responded with a pithy, yet relevant and product-accurate tweet response that wryly noted: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

That sort of real-time social media response isn't easy to pull off effectively. Consumer brands like Moon Pie, Wendy's and Oreo do it regularly, but there are also plenty of big brand social media flops to make companies think twice about going for the clever retort.


Which makes Sanofi’s leap even more significant: It's a regulated pharma company that has to send its messaging through compliance reviews. But Sanofi’s U.S. communication team moved fast enough to write, vet and post the response within hours of the original tweet, stepping into the cultural conversation as it happened.


Social media experts applauded and consumers responded—the post has been retweeted 68,800 times and liked by 186,000 accounts. It also garnered more than 6,100 comments with many people replying  “thank you,” “well done” or posting congratulatory memes. The previous top performing post from @SanofiUS garnered 78 retweets and 241 likes.


Pharma marketing insiders, meanwhile, praised Sanofi for its message, timing and boost to pharma social media credibility overall.

Julie Hurvitz Aliaga, vice president of social media at CMI/Compas said via email, “They tackled it before it had an opportunity to be an issue, educated about their drug and what it does not do, and won praise for doing so—as being a company who is not going to sit back and watch—but take action to educate.”

The balance of humor and seriousness was important, noted Klick Health’s senior director of social practice Brad Einarsen in a blog post: “The dry wit that infuses the tweet itself is fantastically balanced. There are many very serious issues surrounding these events, and we cannot lose sight of that, but the understated facts really pull off the corporate message and provide just the right amount of spark for others on Twitter to carry it along.”


RELATED: Pharma's social media strategies are growing up—and working better, too, report finds

Wendy Blackburn, vice president at healthcare and pharma agency Intouch Solutions, added her own kudos and hope for the industry: “Good for Sanofi for standing up and speaking out. I applaud their ability to react with swift action. Done the right way, we’d all like to see more of this from pharma.”

For pharma companies that might be interested in doing that, she offered a few tips. Companies should listen especially for well-known people or celebrity mentions of their brands because whether positive or negative, those get a lot of attention on social media. She also advised setting up an action plan so that the company can act quickly in those moments. And finally, just do it.

“Respond as immediately as possible. Current events move too quickly. Tomorrow is too late,” Blackburn said.

No comment yet.

Is Social Media Changing the Doctor-Patient Relationship?  #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Results from two recent surveys reaffirm longstanding trends in the ways patients of different ages use social media and the internet to access health information and communicate with physicians. The surveys' findings also illustrate the growing importance of social media in the doctor-patient relationship and underscore the communication challenges family physicians face while trying to meet the needs of a diverse patient base.

Social Media: To Friend or Not to Friend?

The first survey,( conducted on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), asked questions about social media use and the sharing of health information. Of the 2,204 U.S. adults surveyed, 551 were ages 18 to 34 and were categorized as millennials by the AOA.

Among the results:

  • 54 percent of millennials and 42 percent of all adults either are or would like to be friends with or follow their health care professional on social media.
  • 65 percent of millennials and 43 percent of all adults think it is appropriate to use social media to contact their physician about a health issue, either by posting a message on the physician's web page or via direct message.
  • 32 percent of those surveyed have taken a health-related action such as modifying their diet, taking a dietary supplement, changing their exercise routine or trying an alternative treatment based on information they read on social media. (The survey did not indicate whether adults consulted with their physician before taking a health action.)
  • 15 percent of parents with children younger than 18 have self-diagnosed a health concern based on information they read on social media.
  • Results from two surveys show the effects of social media and the internet on the ways patients of different ages choose to access health information and communicate with their physicians. 
  • Younger patients appear to be more comfortable communicating with their physician directly on social media and looking up health information online.
  • Many older patients seem to be more comfortable speaking with their physician by phone, although some also use online patient portals to communicate and for other services.

Communication and Access

The second survey,( part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging, asked a group of 2,013 older adults ages 50 to 80 about their experiences using secure online patient portals to obtain and exchange health information.

Among the findings:

  • Only 51 percent of those surveyed have actually set up an account on a patient portal. Higher rates were seen in women (56 percent compared to 45 percent for men) and adults with more education (59 percent for those with some college versus 40 percent for those who graduated from high school only).
  • When asked why they had not set up a patient portal account, 40 percent of respondents said they did not like communicating about their health by computer; 38 percent didn't think it was necessary to set up a portal account; and 26 percent said they were not comfortable with technology.
  • Among those who had set up an online portal account, 84 percent used it to view test results, 43 percent used it to refill a prescription, 37 percent used it to schedule an appointment, and 26 percent used it to get advice about a health problem.

Although online portals may solve some communication issues, many older adults appear to be more comfortable contacting their physician's office and speaking with the physician or a staff member. Poll results showed that under some circumstances, older patients thought that talking by phone was more effective than using a patient portal.


  • 47 percent of patients rated the phone as a better way of communicating in terms of having the ability to explain their request to a health care professional, compared to 21 percent who rated the portal as better.
  • 36 percent of patients said the phone is better with regard to how long it takes to get a response, compared to 34 percent for the portal.
  • 30 percent of patients rated the portal as better in helping them understand the information received from their health care professional, compared to 27 percent who said the phone was better and 43 percent who rated them as about the same.

In addition, some adults who had not set up a patient portal account cited specific concerns about doing so:

  • 26 percent reported being very concerned about a greater chance of error with a portal compared with talking to a health care professional in person or by phone.
  • 18 percent were very concerned that they would not know who was answering their questions.
  • 16 percent were very concerned that it would take a long time to receive a response.

"Many older adults still prefer telephone contact with their providers," explained Preeti Malani, M.D.,( a professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the poll's director. "We hope providers, and health systems, will take these findings into consideration when designing the ways patients can interact with them," she told HealthDay News.

Putting Online Communication in Perspective

Although people who use social media to speak with their physician or obtain health information make up only a fraction of the total number of people who use social media, it's important to see how those numbers stack up with the general population.

According to the Pew Research Center's Social Media Use in 2018 survey,( 88 percent of American adults ages 18 to 29 use some form of social media. That share drops with age, falling to 78 percent among adults 30 to 49, 64 percent among those 50 to 64, and 37 percent among those 65 and older. The most popular platforms among all adults are YouTube (73 percent) and Facebook (68 percent). However, more than half of young adults also use Snapchat and Instagram (68 percent and 64 percent, respectively).

In many instances, people are accessing social media throughout the day. Seventy-four percent of Facebook users, 63 percent of Snapchat users and 60 percent of Instagram users visit those sites one or more times per day.

And people aren't restricting their social media use to just one platform. The survey found considerable overlap between users of different services. For example, the survey results showed that 87 percent of people who use Facebook also use YouTube, and 90 percent of people with a LinkedIn account also use Facebook. As with overall use, the average number of social media platforms used was highest among adults 18 to 29 (four), decreasing to three platforms among adults 30 to 49, two among those 50 to 64, and one among those 65 and older.

How Family Physicians Are Meeting the Challenge

Family medicine is sometimes referred to as a "cradle-to-grave" specialty. At a given moment, the typical family physician's waiting room may contain patients of virtually any age. This diverse mix can make it difficult for FPs to find ways to effectively communicate with their patients on social media without overstepping the bounds of privacy and confidentiality.(  

Fortunately, evidence from the latest AAFP Member Profile(14 MB PDF) suggests that family physicians are already stepping up to meet the challenges in communication that come with treating such a diverse group of patients. Profile survey results indicate that:

  • 69 percent of active AAFP members have a web portal that allows for secure messaging;
  • 57 percent have a web portal for prescription refills;
  • 51 percent communicate with patients via e-mail;
  • 44 percent have a web portal to schedule appointments and share health information; and
  • 12 percent offer direct text communication with patients.

In addition, 20 percent of AAFP members report using telehealth services in their practices. The two main reasons for implementing these services are to improve patients' access to care (78 percent) and to provide more convenience and flexibility for physicians and office staff (61 percent).

Significant numbers of AAFP members also report using a phone or mobile device regularly for direct messaging (81 percent), checking e-mail (78 percent), going online (76 percent), and accessing social media (45 percent).

The Bottom Line

As these surveys show, the way patients and physicians interact has forever changed as increasing numbers of patients communicate using e-mail, a social media platform or a web portal. Younger patients -- in particular, those under 30 -- are far more comfortable texting or e-mailing their physician; they also are more comfortable looking up health information online. Older patients, although willing to use online portals for some services, nevertheless remain satisfied with more traditional methods of communication.

Family physicians are responding to these trends by adjusting their own communication methods to best address the needs of their patients. As patient demographics shift, FPs will want to continue to take these considerations into account and plan their communication and patient outreach strategies accordingly.

Jean-Christophe Lévêque's curator insight, June 12, 2:05 PM

Etude intéressante sur l'impact des Social Médias entre patients et praticiens. Des chiffres plutôt prometteurs sur les intentions, à suivre sur leur réalité opérationnelle. #MBAMCI #hcsmeufr #Esanté

Mining Patients' Narratives in Social Media for Pharmacovigilance: Adverse Effects and Misuse of Methylphenidate #hcsmeufr #esante #digitalhealth cc @evedrug @evepie


Background: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have recognized social media as a new data source to strengthen their activities regarding drug safety.

Objective: Our objective in the ADR-PRISM project was to provide text mining and visualization tools to explore a corpus of posts extracted from social media. We evaluated this approach on a corpus of 21 million posts from five patient forums, and conducted a qualitative analysis of the data available on methylphenidate in this corpus.

Methods: We applied text mining methods based on named entity recognition and relation extraction in the corpus, followed by signal detection using proportional reporting ratio (PRR). We also used topic modeling based on the Correlated Topic Model to obtain the list of the matics in the corpus and classify the messages based on their topics.

Results: We automatically identified 3443 posts about methylphenidate published between 2007 and 2016, among which 61 adverse drug reactions (ADR) were automatically detected. Two pharmacovigilance experts evaluated manually the quality of automatic identification, and a f-measure of 0.57 was reached. Patient's reports were mainly neuro-psychiatric effects. Applying PRR, 67% of the ADRs were signals, including most of the neuro-psychiatric symptoms but also palpitations. Topic modeling showed that the most represented topics were related to Childhood and Treatment initiation, but also Side effects. Cases of misuse were also identified in this corpus, including recreational use and abuse.

Conclusion: Named entity recognition combined with signal detection and topic modeling have demonstrated their complementarity in mining social media data. An in-depth analysis focused on methylphenidate showed that this approach was able to detect potential signals and to provide better understanding of patients' behaviors regarding drugs, including misuse.



Patients use social media to seek information, to receive advice and support from other Internet users in order to better manage their own health care and improve their quality of life (Lamas et al., 2016). Patients and their family share information about drugs in social media; they report on the outcomes and the impact of the drugs on their health and day-life; they describe their attitudes toward the drugs, including adherence to the treatment, adverse events and sentiment (Laranjo et al., 2015). Consequently, social media data mining has been recognized by drug agencies as a potential approach to identify patient reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADR), and to analyze the attitudes and knowledge of general public and patients on medicines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)1 in the United States and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)2 are considering social media as a new data source to strengthen their surveillance activities. Several authors have compared traditional data sources and social media. They demonstrated similarities between these sources to detect signals about adverse reactions but suggested that social media sources contained different information (such as less serious events and more adverse effects related to their quality of life) and were used by patients. As healthcare professionals mainly report to drug agencies, social media may be a complementary source about drug use and safety. This conclusion was shared by, e.g., Duh et al. who analyzed posts related to atorvastatin, a lipid-lowering agent and sibutramine, an appetite suppressan drug (Duh et al., 2016), and by Pages et al. who focused on oral antineoplastic drugs (Pages et al., 2014). However, we still lack a deep understanding of the characteristics of patient reported information about ADRs and patient attitudes regarding drug therapies, which hinders clear guidance on how to adapt text mining tools for social media and how to use them for decision in public health and drug safety (Golder et al., 2015). Dedicated tools may help experts to extract relevant information from the data available in different sources without spending time to explore manually the data (Lardon et al., 2015Nikfarjam et al., 2015Sloane et al., 2015). Nevertheless, Sarker et al. showed that the most popular algorithms in the published studies were supervised classification techniques to detect posts containing ADR mentions, and lexicon-based approaches to extract named entities from texts (Sarker et al., 2015). We believe that such approach still requires enhancements to support data mining in pharmacovigilance, particularly in making the data generated by patients more prominent, explicit, and accessible to experts in pharmacovigilance. Moreover, data mining should not be limited to ADR detection but rather integrate all kinds of information reported in posts, like patients' attitudes toward the treatment, compliance, and misusage.

The main objectives of the ADR-PRISM project (Bousquet et al., 2017) were to perform text mining and visualization tools to enhance our understanding of patient reported information in social media and to assess how it could be used for pharmacovigilance purpose. In the context of ADR-PRISM, we conducted an in-depth content analysis of the anonymized data publicly available on methylphenidate on five open French patient forums. This study is used in this article to present the methods that we developed to mine social media and to illustrate their results. The research done in the framework of ADR-PRISM has been supported by an Ethics Advisor Board. The Ethics Advisory Board was composed of scientists with different scientific backgrounds: Gaby Danan from Pharmacovigilance Consultancy; Alain-Jacques Valleron from INSERM UMR1169 and Paul-Olivier Gibert from Digital&Ethics, and provided independent advice on the project.

No comment yet.

19 Outstanding Hospital Social Media Teams | Convince & Convert  #hcsmeufr #esante #digitalhealth


In many ways, spearheading social media for a major U.S. hospital is like spearheading social for any brand. Telling stories, engaging an audience, managing community feedback, and analyzing your efforts are part of every social media marketer’s job. Hospital social teams, however, face the unique challenge of operating in a highly regulated industry. Audiences look up to them as community leaders and educators. The patient stories they tell and feedback their receive often carry life-changing consequences.

Social teams at these institutions have to be exceptional listeners and top-notch strategizers. We set out to identify the teams going above and beyond on social media—the truly exceptional in this challenging field. Below you’ll find the 19 best social media teams from the nation’s top hospitals, each one responsible for some of the most successful and engaging social media content in the health industry 

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


Emily Berkowitz, Social Media Associate

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital boasts the most engaging social media presence of any hospital in the U.S., according to our latest research. As Social Media Associate, Emily masterminds NYP’s social strategy and upholds the hospital’s status as a supportive and educational community cornerstone.

Cleveland Clinic


Nada Youssef, Social Media Coordinator


Stephanie Petrucci, Social Media Manager


Shelby Simmons, Social Media Coordinator


Tyler Maddox, Physician Social Media Coordinator


Chandra Lubben, Social Media Coordinator

Cleveland Clinic is lucky enough to have a large team of pros heading up its social media efforts. This stellar team generates twice as much social content as the average U.S. hospital and boasts one of the highest engagement rates in the country.

Mayo Clinic


Audrey Laine Seymour, Social Media Specialist

Rounding out the top three is Mayo Clinic’s Audrey Laine Seymour. Mayo Clinic stands head and shoulders above its peers when it comes to social video content and was responsible for one of the most “Loved” Facebook video posts of any hospital this past February.




Shannon Shields, Social Media Strategist

Shannon has been with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since 2015. In her time with UPMC, she’s built one of the most engaging social presences in the hospital industry, reaching audiences on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and—yes—even Pinterest.

IU Health


Daniel Woody, Associate-Senior Social Media Strategist

Daniel took charge of social media at Indiana University Health last year. Like its peers in the top five, IU Health maintains a prolific social presence and attracts a striking amount of engagement.

UCLA Health


Linda Ho, Director, Digital Marketing


Georgiana Masgras, Web & Social Media Strategist


Ashley Anderson-Dinielli, Social Media Manager

The top-notch social media team at UCLA Health places special focus on uniting their institution’s silos under a strong, unified brand voice. According to Digital Marketing Director Linda Ho, they’re devoted to their social media monitoring, which helps them take a proactive approach to engaging with their audience and stay aware of the social conversation surrounding the hospital.

One such proactive strategy is the UCLAMDChat series. This webinar series connects audiences with doctors and medical experts via Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitter. Viewers tune in to get the latest information on medical advances at UCLA, conditions, and treatments.

Linda offers this advice to social media teams in heavily regulated industries: “Have a process in place to manage content as well as content contributors. Be patient as you work towards establishing a formal policy towards achieving your goals.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine


Elena Meadowcroft, Web Content Specialist


Breana Fischer, Internet Marketing Specialist

Elena and Breana both joined Johns Hopkins in 2016. In addition to running the hospital’s social presence, the team also maintains a successful email marketing strategy with a robust subscriber base.

UCSF Medical Center


Marc Fredson, Director, Strategic Marketing


Diana Silva, Associate Director, Digital Marketing Projects


Rob Odom, Vice President, Marketing and Brand Management


Sarah (Chan) Fan, Marketing Manager


Jeanne Zielinski, Marketing Manager

The social team at UCSF Medical Center caught our eye when they turned a Facebook link post—usually one of the worst-performing types of social content—into a major point of engagement. Rather than let comments simply accumulate on their announcement post, the UCSF team personally thanked every well-wisher.

Massachusetts General Hospital


Monique Tremblay, Digital and Social Marketing Manager

Since 2016, Monique has spearheaded Massachusetts General Hospital’s social strategy and even worked with local colleges to show students what hospitals are doing in digital marketing.

Mount Sinai Health System


Kavya Rathi, Communications and Marketing Associate


Danielle O’Malley, Assistant Director of Marketing


Courtney Seck, Marketing Manager


Christine Chung, Digital Marketing Manager

Rounding out the top ten is the team at Mount Sinai, serving the New York City community.



Katie Rosenblum, Digital Specialist, Social Media


Agata Smieciuszewski, Social Media Coordinator


Carrie Yutzy, Associate Director, Digital Strategy

Cedars-Sinai’s growing social media team engages its audience and manages community feedback across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Blake Stuck, Social Media Coordinator


Francesca M. Rutherford, Access Specialist

This small team does it all for the Vanderbilt community: brand management, blogging, analysis, social, and more.

Memorial Hermann


Princess Nwaohuocha, Social Media Specialist


John Dabkowski, Marketing Manager


Ali Vise, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Communications

The powerhouse team at Memorial Hermann serves their Houston community across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

No comment yet.

Patient engagement or social media marketing?  #hcsmeufr #esante #digitalhealth


The rising use of social media creates an obvious opportunity for certain parties, such as pharmaceutical companies, to engage with the public in new ways.

Advocates of pharmaceutical companies reaching out to potential customers online suggest the industry has been too reluctant to invest heavily in social media strategies, mainly because of a vague regulatory environment. But skeptics of the practice say the pharmaceutical industry is already gung ho about social media, which some companies appear to be using to circumvent restrictions on direct-to-consumer advertising, a practice legal in only the United States and New Zealand.

In a recent report called “Engaging patients through social media,” the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics states that “the strategies that pharmaceutical companies use to engage with social media could be categorized as low-risk and less innovative than those employed in other industries.”

The report notes that use of social media among US adults has grown from 8% in 2005 to 72% by 2013, and that Facebook is the fourth most popular source of health information in the United Kingdom. These numbers are sure to increase, the report suggests, as so-called digital natives — those as comfortable texting and tweeting as they are walking and breathing — grow into adulthood and become more concerned about their health.

Yet the pharmaceutical industry has been slow to embrace social media, claims the IMS Institute, a company based in Danbury, Connecticut. One reason is the lack of guidance from health regulators — in the US, Canada and Europe — about using social media. In the US, for example, the only restriction seems to be on the promotion of off-label uses of drugs. Some companies may be reluctant to invest heavily in a social media strategy for fear of wasting time and resources should strict regulations come into force.

The rising use of social media creates an obvious opportunity for certain parties, such as pharmaceutical companies, to engage with the public in new ways.

Image courtesy of MicroWorks/Thinkstock

Other concerns include how — or whether — to handle claims of adverse events received through social media and how to measure return on investment. New strategies would also be required to respond much more quickly to consumer concerns. A slow response can escalate into a public-relations nightmare with tweets, Tumblr and Facebook comments going viral in hours.

“Users of social media now expect to be able to have a conversation with pharmaceutical companies when they face uncertainties,” states the report. “If there is no conversation, or only a standardized answer, it could lead to frustration and be of little overall benefit to both involved parties.”

But what does engaging patients really mean in this context? “When you talk about engagement, it is really about direct marketing to the consumer,” says Timothy Mackey, an investigator for the San Diego Center for Patient Safety at the University of California San Diego.

In a 2011 paper entitled “Prevalence and global health implications of social media in direct-to-consumer drug advertising,” Mackey and colleagues looked at the social media presence of the 10 largest global pharmaceutical corporations. All were active on Facebook, Twitter, sponsored blogs and other social media platforms, and 80% had YouTube channels. Many individual drugs also had dedicated Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

This has led to a new form of direct-to-consumer advertising, developed for interactive social media, which the researchers have dubbed eDTCA 2.0. Though some of these websites state they are intended solely for US residents, the Internet transcends borders. These websites don’t appear to restrict access to web users from outside the US, Mackey and colleagues note in their paper.

“The new consumer is one that is global and connected online, a profile that precisely fits the patient/consumer of eDTCA 2.0,” the paper states. “Public health policy must take into account this new consumer and the rapidly developing digital environment.”

Some websites set up by drug companies (and medical-device manufacturers) to create communities of potential consumers have scant corporate branding and appear to exist primarily to offer free services. These sites, called patient-engagement portals, might offer guidance on how to manage a particular medical problem, such as high blood pressure. They may offer risk assessment tools for sleep apnea or any number of conditions. Some even offer online patient coaches.

“What they are really doing is engaging directly with patients and collecting consumer information, which they may or may not categorize as PHI, or protected health information,” says Mackey. “It’s about getting information directly from the consumer, mining data and using that for their own marketing purposes. That’s why these websites exist.”

No comment yet.

101 Healthcare Hashtags to Target Doctors & Patients on Social Media  #hcsmeufr #esante #digitalhealth


80 Healthcare Hashtags to Build Your Social Media Following


Add healthcare and medical hashtags to your social media posts to target discrete niches of consumers and doctors. They’re also helpful for finding other people and influencers that share your interests.

Better know your healthcare hashtags

Hashtags are words inserted into social media posts preceded by the pound sign. On platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, they’ll help you target communities interested in your brand.

Click a hashtag, and it will summon all the posts throughout Twitter that use the same identifier. You can also search social platforms for specific hashtags. For example, search for #lupus to view all the posts on the topic.

Search #mhealth, a very popular hashtag, and see what pops up.

The marketing benefits

  1. Build your audience outside of your current following. One retweet from the right person may reach thousands of additional accounts.
  2. Refine messages for your audience. Users who search for a hashtag are engaged and actively looking for a solution or information you can provide. For example, many medical device manufacturers want to target multiple audiences with a single feed.
  3. Cement your branding. You are your content, and tagging your posts can proclaim your expertise to doctors, patients and their influencers.
  4. Almost free. Once you develop a list of popular hashtags for your social media posts, tagging them is only a few more keystrokes.
  5. Geo-targeting is crucial for hospitals, and others providing services to patients. Patients in Bismark won’t benefit from your Tweets from your Brooklyn ASC.

SC. Solve by adding a hashtag that defines the geographic location of a hospital or practice. #Bariatric #Cincinnati. Easy!

Where do I find hashtags?

Get started by selecting from the healthcare hashtags below. The online tools below will help you match the right hashtags to your brand.

Find new hashtags research tools at

Hashtag Research Tools for Instagram

Incorporating Hashtags in Your LinkedIn Articles

Top hashtags for Hospitals

Common healthcare tags

#FOAMed (Free open access meducaton)
#mhealth (mobile health)
#hcsm (healthcare social media)
#MedEd (Medical Education)
#doctors20 (How Doctors are Usng Social Media and Web 2.0 Tools)
#HCR (Health Care Reform)
#Hitsm (Health Care IT Social Media)
New hospital hashtags sprout up like weeds. The list below is merely a snapshot. Every disease, condition and specialty is a potential hashtag.

Tags for medical devices

There are no rules, but a best practice is to tag the specialty or subspecialty your targeting and the product category, for example, “We found a bobblehead doll in the patient’s abdomen #ultrasound #ER”
This example features a product that could be used in a number of different settings, so write multiple tweets and tag them for other specialties.

Target Diseases and Conditions

Illness hashtags aboud, too. For targeting purposes, notice the difference between the terms used by patients and doctors. Long, scientific tags are generally not for consumer use, but they’re a strong signal to physicians or other medical professionals. Patients may seek suggestions for car and/or use their symptoms in a hashtag.


The Twitterverse is huge but tagging your posts can shrink it down to a narrower target audience of a manageable size. Sign up for BioNews to learn more about healthcare social media.
No comment yet.

Medical Marketing: how to properly disclose social media endorsement according to the Federal Trade Commission Guideline #esante #hcsmeufr


When thinking about transparency, those of us at a certain age will probably reminisce about the clear sheets of paper used for projector demonstrations your teacher drew on during high school biology class. Others may correlate transparency to the demanding call-to-action in the aftermath of the Enron scandal or Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns during his Presidential bid in 2016. Transparency is a word tossed around (usually in a post-corporate scandal cleanup) in most major industries—banking, real estate, and government. The healthcare industry is not dissimilar. Politicians call for transparency for drug pricing, consumers call for government accountability on healthcare coverage, and the FTC seeks transparency from healthcare marketers promoting their products to the public.

Many advertisers rely on the influence of celebrities, medical professionals and satisfied patients to positively impact the perception and sales of their brand’s product. With the increased focus on impacting patient behavior, especially through personalized product endorsements, healthcare marketers must adhere to transparent, ethical methods of providing education to consumers. As medical marketers navigate social media, they must balance a new world of effective influencer marketing with increasingly well-regulated government guidelines.


The basic premise of the FTC’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” is that, if there exists a material connection between the influencer who is endorsing the product and the company that is marketing the product (e.g., a payment, a free product sample or procedure, a family connection, etc.), that connection must be disclosed.

The FTC provides guidelines for the use of promotional endorsements and testimonials and has in recent years clarified their stance to encompass social media promotion. The FTC offers a number of guidelines that brands can follow to convey a reasonable degree of transparency to digital media/social media consumers.


The FTC recognizes the difference between paid endorsements and unsolicited content created by a product user. For example, RealSelf, a thriving community of individuals who share their experiences with particular products, procedures and physicians within the aesthetic beauty industry, is a perfect example of unsolicited consumer-generated content. When engaging in a paid or endorsement-related relationship with a brand ambassador or influencer, the FTC outlines the following key guidance:

    • Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the endorser. Furthermore, an endorsement may not convey any express or implied representation that would be deceptive if made directly by the advertiser.
    • The endorsement message need not be phrased in the exact words of the endorser, unless the advertisement affirmatively so represents. However, the endorsement may not be presented out of context or reworded so as to distort in any way the endorser's opinion or experience with the product.
    • When the advertisement represents that the endorser uses the endorsed product, the endorser must have been a bona fide user of it at the time the endorsement was given.
    • Any material connection between the advertiser and endorser must be disclosed.
    • Advertisers must balance any consumer endorsement with "competent and reliable scientific evidence" as well as "conspicuously disclose the generally expected performance" of the endorsed product.

Based on FTC research, even a consumer testimonial with the disclaimers of “results not typical” or “testimonials are based on the experiences of a few people and are not likely to have similar results” do not sway an audience from taking the claims as usual or typical. A strong disclaimer could be effective, and the impression left with the audience non-deceptive, however… do you really want to tempt the FTC these days?


In keeping with the digital times and the constantly morphing use of social media as a viable healthcare marketing tool, the FTC released an April 2017 letter to over 90 influencers and marketers reminding them to:

    • Conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.

If the connection is not adequately disclosed, consumers might give the endorsement more credence than they would have given it otherwise, and the endorsement is considered by the FTC to be a deceptive business practice in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

    • Disclose their material connection in "unambiguous language" and make the disclosure "stand out".

Because of the recent crackdowns on Instagram sponsorships, many influencers on the platform are becoming even more conservative with disclosing brand partnerships—even those that are unpaid. Sponsored promotions can no longer rely on unclear or cryptic language or hashtags to legitimize a product endorsement. For example #sp, #partner or "Thanks [brand]" are not sufficient to express the post is sponsored. On Instagram in particular, many brand ambassadors are adding the word "sponsored" and/or their brand partners name front and center where a location tag would normally go.

    • Ensure that the disclosure of an endorsement is readily visible and not hidden below a "More" button, particularly on Instagram.

Consumers viewing Instagram posts on mobile devices typically see only the first three lines of a longer post unless they click "more," which many may not do. The FTC goes on to clarify that hashtags delineating sponsored posts cannot be hidden in the midst of 20 other hashtags but must be easy to identify. Similarly, sponsored Instagram Stories must include a superimposed disclosure that is easy to notice and readable within the timeframe (or length) of the story, and cannot be hidden within other hashtags or text.


Patient testimonials and endorsements on social media can be incredibly helpful to you and your brand. This is especially true if the patient is writing about how much they like something they bought on their own and they are not being rewarded. Consumers have many opinions and personal experiences with a product or brand. Depending on the circumstance a marketer should not shy away from social engagement with a “thank you” response or an acknowledgment of the patient experience. We recommend not engaging with Internet trolls or bots. However, if the patient is writing that review as part of a sponsored campaign or are being compensated in any way—for example, getting a discount on a future purchase or being entered into a sweepstakes for a significant prize—then a disclosure is not only appropriate, it is imperative. 

We recommend fostering online relationships with those who are the most vocal of your users or patients. With proper engagement those individuals can become an additional source of information to potential patients and consumers. People trust peers more than brands and there is value in influencers extoling your product or procedure to ring loud. Be sure there is always transparency surrounding the relationship by including visible disclaimer language. 

Social media is rapidly changing and keeping up with the rules and regulations can feel like a full-time job—but in healthcare we’re used to that! Hopefully, the recommendations in this blog will help you navigate FTC guidelines—in addition to Regulatory guidelines—on social media for your life sciences brand. With the right attitude and clearly defined relationships about the content you’re publishing on your channels, social media’s benefits can hugely outweigh the risks.

No comment yet.

Future of Cardiology Will Be Defined by Digital, Mobile Advances #esante #hcsmeufr


Three JACC articles examine how new technology will change the prevention and treatment of heart disease
Art Jones's curator insight, June 6, 3:22 PM

Excerpt: The future of cardiovascular care will be transformed by advances in artificial intelligence, digital health technology and mobile devices as a means to prevent and treat heart disease

Richard Platt's curator insight, June 8, 10:56 PM

The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Cardiology:  As the type and breadth of data available to cardiologists and the cardiovascular care team continues to grow more sophisticated, physicians are increasingly being asked to provide more rapid and personalized interpretations of data to their patients. One solution to providing this level of personalized medicine efficiently is artificial intelligence, also known as machine learning. researchers analyze select applications of artificial intelligence in cardiology and identify how the specialty could incorporate more artificial intelligence in the future to enhance the capabilities and experiences of clinicians and patients.  “(Artificial intelligence) has clear potential to enhance every stage of patient care — from research and discovery, to diagnosis, to selection of therapy,” said Joel Dudley, Ph.D., senior author of the review and director of the Next Generation Healthcare Institute at Mount Sinai. “A key next step to incorporating artificial intelligence into cardiology is to align available data and technologies with clinical and business use. This way, we can prioritize short-term opportunities and understand gaps in available data or algorithms that are holding back applications of artificial intelligence in areas of high clinical need.”  According to the review, artificial intelligence is currently only performed by those with specialized training, but in the future, these methods will be increasingly easy and widely available. It may eventually be incorporated into day-to-day practice by interacting with electronic health records and billing.

Seven Steps for Managing Adverse Events in Social Media


In an ever-changing pharma environment staying connected is vital. Amidst regulatory challenges and uncertainty of new channels, the pharma industry is beginning to embrace social media to empower patients and healthcare providers. Social platforms are uniquely designed to support patient and provider needs perhaps more directly and efficiently than traditional channels. Social technologies can be leveraged to support patient engagement, ultimately leading to healthier patient outcomes.



No comment yet.