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Helicus: les premiers vols de drones médicaux pour l’automne 2019 à Anvers  #esante #hcsmeufr 


Le tout premier centre de contrôle pour des vols de drônes médicaux a ouvert ses portes en Belgique à Anvers. Helicus espère pouvoir effectuer les premiers vols de drones entre hôpitaux anversois à l’automne 2019.

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Frontiers | Possibilities and Pitfalls of Social Media for Translational Medicine #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


We live in an age where the sharing of scientific findings and ideas is no longer confined to people with access to academic libraries or scientific journals. Social media have permitted for knowledge and ideas to be shared with an unprecedented speed and magnitude. This has made it possible for research findings to have a greater impact and to be rapidly implemented in society. However, the spread of unfiltered, unreferenced, and non-peer-reviewed articles through social media comes with dangers as well. In this perspective article, we aim to address both the possibilities and pitfalls of social media for translational medicine. We describe how social media can be used for patient engagement, publicity, transparency, sharing of knowledge, and implementing findings in society. Moreover, we warn about the potential pitfalls of social media, which can cause research to be misinterpreted and false beliefs to be spread. We conclude by giving advice on how social media can be harnessed to combat the pitfalls and provide a new avenue for community engagement in translational medicine.



The emergence of social media has changed the way we communicate and allows for knowledge and ideas to be shared with an unprecedented speed and magnitude. Similarly, an exponentially increasing amount of research about social media is being published (Figure 1). Social media come in a variety of forms, including collaborative projects such as Wikipedia, (micro)blogs like Twitter, content communities like YouTube, social networking sites like Facebook, and gaming communities like Second Life (1). These platforms are accessible to all and provide forums where people can freely share thoughts, opinions, and knowledge without—in general—any form of censorship or fact-checking.


Figure 1. Number of publications found on PubMed with the search term “social media,” as shown by publication year.


Several groups have addressed how social media are used by the research and medical communities. Medical researchers have shown doubt about professional use of social media, describing it to be incompatible with research (2). Social media are mostly used for personal and less for professional purposes (34). Yet, on the level of society, social media have great potential. There are many examples of its use for public health and prevention purposes (56). Additionally, the rapid dissemination of research findings and the spreading of knowledge to society has increased public interest and involvement in research. Consequently, patients increasingly can and want to be part of developing solutions for their illness (37).

The use of social media for purposes of implementation and translation of research is still in its early stages. At the same time, social media are clearly being used by both patients and professionals for personal content and information sharing. Various efforts of using social media for research are also increasing. Thus, it is important to raise awareness and understanding of the possibilities and pitfalls that social media present to the research and medical communities as well as to regulatory bodies, patients, and industries. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to address both the possibilities and potential pitfalls of social media for translational medicine. We aimed to provide a brief and broad overview of this topic that could steer the community to be more mindful when using social media. A comprehensive review of all different aspects relating to social media and translational medicine is beyond the scope of this perspective article.

Possibilities of Social Media for Translational Medicine

Rapid and Easy Dissemination of Research

Social media are widely used all over the world. Facebook, for example, had an average of 1.45 billion daily active users and 2.20 billion monthly active users in March 2018 (8). With this many users, social media provide platforms for researchers and institutes to quickly disseminate their research plans and findings to a greater public. Through online pages of journals, associations, newsgroups, and direct-sharing, it is relatively easy for researchers to reach a broad audience compared to the more “conventional” sharing of knowledge through publishing in scientific journals. Relevant research findings that are interesting to the community may rapidly spread through social media and go viral. This way, social media may be used to rapidly spread and implement public health findings to the general public. An additional benefit is the easier recruitment of traditionally “hard to reach” populations for medical research (911). Furthermore, it increases the chances of research being picked up by peers and stakeholders (4). Faster dissemination of research findings might also prevent other research groups from repeating the same research, decreasing the potential waste of resources. Recently, tools were developed that visualize the magnitude of impact of social media on scientific publications. This is important, as number of tweets within the first 3 days after publication of an article was found to predict which articles would be highly cited on Google Scholar or Scopus (12). The most commonly used tracking tool is Altmetric, which tracks the amount of rumor about an article on nearly all professional and social media outlets (13). For example, an article about the association of fats and carbohydrates with cardiovascular disease published in medical journal The Lancet was at time of writing only cited by 21 articles (14). However, the real “buzz” was generated by 8,313 tweets, 450 Facebook posts and 168 news stories, adding it to the top 5% of the most discussed publications of the year (14).

Critical Review of Existing Articles and Raw Data Sets

In this era of exponentially increasing numbers of publications, using the reviewing power of the scientific community is an opportunity that should not be missed in order to improve overall research quality. As an extension of recent developments toward more transparent peer reviewing, several social platforms that allow open peer review have been developed, encouraging readers to critique existing publications in-depth. In addition, users are stimulated to upload raw data sets as well, including negative results that might otherwise never have been published, thereby counteracting the effect of publication bias (15). However, the scale of impact of open review might be limited to high-profile work that raises concerns, as those are more likely to attract attention (16).

Possibilities for Raising Funds for Research

With its fast dissemination of information and large number of users, social media platforms have the potential to broadly raise awareness for medical research and specific diseases. Social media platforms have been demonstrated to play an important role in reaching potential donors and raising money in crowd funding campaigns (17). In 2014, $115 million was raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook for research into new treatment strategies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (18). In 2016, a 6-year old Dutch boy who was recently diagnosed with a pontine glioma raised € 2.6 million for the Dutch Red Cross by daring people to paint their nails and post a picture on social media (1920). Moreover, a social media-based fundraising contest launched by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) raised more than $1 million for the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, surpassing their initial fundraising goal 10-fold (2122). Thus, with the large audience that can be reached through social media, new opportunities for raising funds arise.

Networking Between Clinicians, Researchers, and Patient Groups

Keeping an up-to-date online presence on social media may prove valuable for clinicians and researchers. Social media create an accessible platform for peer-to-peer discussions and form an increasingly important networking tool. Depending on the platform used, potential target audiences include professionals as well as patient representatives.

Social media outlets also enable patients and patient representatives to efficiently unite into groups. This may be especially beneficial for patients with novel or rare diseases (23). In addition to providing guidance, advice, and support to peers, these platforms may be used to exchange and seek medical information from each other and from medical professionals (24). A unique opportunity for clinicians and/or researchers lies in initiating these groups, which facilitates immediate contact with patient groups. This can provide the researcher with valuable first-hand information and enable patients and their representatives to directly influence research and prioritize projects (25). Similar collaborations on social media between patients, clinicians, and researchers have been shown to contribute to overall scientific knowledge (25).

Big Data Analytics for Prediction Models and Assessing Trends/Outbreaks

Social media outlets have the potential to be used as exponentially growing, observational datasets (2627). A well-known example of big data research performed on online data is the prediction of global influenza outbreaks by analyzing the number of searches of the word “influenza” or symptoms of influenza-like illness on Google (also known as Google Flu Trends, currently discontinued) (28). The same can be done using data social media such as Twitter. For example, based on data from Twitter posts (tweets) researchers were able to detect increases and decreases in influenza prevalence with a 85% accuracy (29). Another example is a study that found that a model that analyzed language expressed on Twitter was better at predicting atherosclerotic heart disease mortality than a model that combined 10 common risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and hypertension (30). Social media have also been demonstrated to contain information on health-related behaviors, such as smoking (31), sexual risk behavior (32), and sedentary behavior (33). Finally, they could be used to monitor public opinion on important health topics, such as vaccines (34) and opinions on specific projects or studies (35).

Potential Pitfalls of Social Media for Translational Medicine

Lack of Peer Review and Filtering of Quality

The increased speed and magnitude of the spread of scientific findings through social media comes at a price. There is no system for peer review or filtering of social media, which means that any idea can be spread; even if it is fabricated or not supported by evidence. The vast majority of social media users do not have a scientific background and may be ill-equipped to judge the quality of evidence and sources. For example, people might perceive a blog or advertisement stating “proven by science” as just as trustworthy as a research paper in a peer reviewed scientific journal. However, most people will never read the latter; full research articles are simply not as fun and easy to read as readily digestible news items on social media.

Fake News Spreads Fast and Is Difficult to Refute

Fake news often disseminates rapidly through social media. A recent study compared the differential diffusion of ~126,000 verified true and false news stories through Twitter. Worryingly, the study revealed that false stories spread much faster, further and more broadly than did true news stories. True news stories rarely spread to more than 1,000 people, whereas false stories often reached up to a 100 times more people (36). Similarly, false stories spread several times faster (36), proving what Charles Spurgeon's already asserted in 1855 “a lie will go around the world while truth is pulling its boots on” (37). False stories are generally more novel and trendy than true stories, which are often more sober and nuanced, and it is part of human nature to be attracted to novelty (38). Novel information is most valuable to decision-making (39), and surprising content can induce physiological arousal that encourages people to spread information and cause content to go “viral” (40).

Once a fake story has spread, it becomes increasingly difficult to refute it. This principle is generally known as Brandolini's law, or the “Bullshit Asymmetry Principle”: the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it (41). Often, the fake news being spread is relatively harmless and primarily amusing. For example, a story by a doctor about a baby boom in Iceland 9 months after a football victory has gone viral, even though it was debunked by statistical analyses (42). Unfortunately, there are also examples of pervasive fake news stories that endanger public health. Perhaps the most famous of these stories is the case of Dr. Wakefield, who wrote an article that suggested a link between the MMR-vaccine and autism (43). The study was soon discovered to be fraudulent, the article was officially retracted, and Dr. Wakefield's UK medical license was retracted (44). It is now 14 years after the retraction of this article, but its fraudulent results continue to refrain people from taking vaccinations (45). A search on Facebook reveals 109 public pages and 94 discussion groups about vaccines with collectively more than a million members and followers, such as @thetruthaboutvaccines (136 k followers) where daily memes are posted to warn people about putative risks of vaccination, including autism. Psychological studies have shown that incorrect memories continue to influence decision making even when you are aware that the memory is false (46), which may explain part of the persistence of these stories. Similarly, most strategies to correct vaccine misinformation are ineffective and could even backfire (47). With fake news being this difficult to refute, it invites the question whether the dangers of the fast and broad dissemination on social media outweigh the advantages.

Misinterpretation of Research

Aside from fake or fraudulent research being spread on social media, there is also the risk of genuine research findings to be misinterpreted. Conclusions of research findings are often simplified and overly extrapolated in the media. A prime example of this happened in 2015, when a study on cancer risk was published (48). The authors concluded that 65% of the variation in cancer risk among different tissues could be explained by the total number of stem cell divisions and thus “bad luck” (i.e., random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, non-cancerous stem cells). Even though the study did not explore the causes of cancer, major news headlines (mis)interpreted: “most cancers are caused by bad luck–not bad judgement, says study” (49), “most cancers are ‘caused by bad luck–not lifestyle”” (50), and similar titles (51). Six days after publication, an additional press release addressed these erroneous conclusions, but they had already been shared on social media extensively. This exemplifies the damage that can be done when research findings are misinterpreted and spread to the general public.

Dissemination of Pseudoscience Through Social Media

The line between science and pseudoscience is often blurred and it is difficult to determine what is true and false (5253). Sometimes, pseudoscientific information can give false hope to patients with disease. Moreover, while pseudoscientific supplements are often relatively harmless, there are also dangerous advices and practices, which are readily being spread through social media. For example, the use of alternative treatments and supplements without proven efficacy (52) are often promoted through social media. Moreover, multiple procedures for tampering with existing drugs can be obtained via the internet (53). These procedures are illegal and unconfirmed to result in the drug formulation of interest, which in some cases can even lead to (fatal) intoxications (54). This makes the spreading of pseudoscientific findings a potentially harmful situation.

With the increased use of social media, the public is paying closer attention to bloggers and celebrities—regardless of their medical or scientific background—than to experts in their respective fields of interest. For example, Dr. Mercola, an osteopathic physician, has almost 2 million followers on Facebook, a strong online presence and daily emails to subscribers where he pushes “alternative” or “miracle” supplements to the masses. However, in 2016, Dr. Mercola, was ordered to refund customers up to $5.3 million for the false advertisement of his own company's tanning beds that he claimed would reduce chances of getting cancer. This was not his first trouble with regulators: the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned him three times between 2005 and 2011 for violating federal laws for marketing a device he claimed was an alternative to mammograms and for making unproven claims about dietary supplements (55). Dr. Oz is another proponent of pseudoscience and “miracle cures” for an array of conditions. He has 6 million Facebook followers and his own television show. Perhaps most notable is his persistent advertising of “miracle” weight loss supplements that will be effective with little to no exercise. He was criticized by the Senate in 2014 for such unsupported claims for specific supplements and was called to be removed from the faculty at Columbia University, where he worked as a cardiothoracic surgeon. During his testimony, Dr. Oz acknowledged that many supplements he lends support to would not stand up to scientific scrutiny (56) and a recent study confirmed that most of his claims were not supported and, in some instances, contradicted by evidence (57). These instances are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to examples of pseudoscientific ideas being spread to a large audience.

How to Best Use Social Media

In 2016, politician Michael Gove famously claimed “people have had enough of experts” (58). This assertion was confirmed when the majority of the UK voted to leave the EU against all expert advice. What does this mean for us as a research community, the “experts” on healthcare, and how can we use social media to combat fake news and pseudoscience that could endanger translational medicine and public health?

We believe that we, as a research community, have a responsibility to use social media to spread research findings of public interest and to combat fake news that can be harmful to society. One way to counter the dangerous spread of misinformation is for scientists to critically evaluate the scientific news stories and report inaccuracies in order to correct or refute them. As news media outlets are more likely to report data that are compelling or sensational, it is essential to provide information that is interesting to the general public while at same time maintaining standards for reporting the accuracy of the relayed information (59). Another possibility is for the scientific community to use a rating and online review system similar to travel-review websites such as TripAdvisor, in order to establish consensus about the validity and quality of research and health claims that are circulating on the internet (41). Moreover, several social media groups have been established specifically for refuting false news, such as the Facebook and Twitter group “Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes” (@RtAVM), which has 233,871 members that aim to refute fake news stories about anti-vaccine movements by responding with rational arguments and counter-memes that dispel false-beliefs. However, confirmation bias can be strong and it remains to be seen whether people with opposing views will be convinced or even read such pages with opposing views.

Another approach for scientists to reach people with opposing views is to think small and to begin with sharing information within their immediate social network. Many scientists have several hundreds of social media connections, 519 on average, and these personal connections could mean that people trust and value their opinions, especially in their field. It has been suggested that every scientist can be a “nerd of trust” within their network of friends and family, and collectively, we as a scientific community could have the potential to influence the opinion of a large part of society (60).


We live in an exciting age, where social media allow for unrestricted spreading of scientific findings at an extraordinary pace, which brings major advantages for translational medicine, but comes with several potential dangers and pitfalls as well (as summarized in Table 1). We hope that this perspective article helps translational researchers to tackle the challenges and harness the possibilities of social media for the advancement of science.

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Medical Students Are The New Wave Of Social Media Influencers #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Instead of turning in their stethoscopes for a digital career, these medical students are leveraging their expertise to become social media influencers.

Dr. Pimple PopperDr. Miamiand Dr. Ghavami may have unknowingly inspired the current generation of medical students to become social media celebrities or ‘Influencers.’  The aforementioned medical professionals get candid about their day to day lives as surgeons and dermatologists on YouTube and Instagram.  They have no problem showing all the gory and often gooey aspects of their jobs.  But is it wise for medical students without proper experience, certification, or an official MD title to do the same?  One current medical student and writer, Vishal Khetpal, doesn’t seem to think so for a few reasons.

1. Glamorizing the mentally draining and sometimes private aspects of medical school seems unethical.  Mixed between these posts are also ads or sponsored content for medical related products and supplies.  When it comes to the study material, equipment, and even clothing that a doctor or aspiring doctor promotes, most would hope that it would be due to how accurately and safely it helps them care for their patients. 

“these accounts posted long reflections after anatomy lab sessions, video stories of students huddled around a defibrillator during a CPR training session, pictures of neat study spaces featuring board-prep textbooks next to cups of artisan coffee, and 5 a.m. selfies taken in the surgery locker-room before assisting with a C-section… interspersed, and even integrated, into those relatable moments were advertisements and discount codes for study materials and scrub clothing brands,” Vishal wrote for

2. Often medical students are tapped to promote products that are unrelated to their expertise.  Once they reach a certain level of success, any brand will reach out including brands hocking “supplements” and products labeled as “healthy.”  

“Some accounts featured sponsored posts advertising watches and clothes from Lululemon; another linked back to a personal blog that included a page that allowed followers to “shop my Instagram.” A popular fitness-oriented account, hosted by an aspiring M.D., promoted protein powder and pre-workout supplements. A future dermatologist showcased skin care products. Another future M.D.’s account highlights the mattressescustom mapsfurniture rental services, and food brand that, according to the posts, help her seamlessly live the life of a third-year med student.”

3. Students don’t always have enough life experience or the knowledge to responsibly pursue a social media career which requires them to showcase their profession, promote questionable products, and somehow maintain the ethical standards required of doctors.

“But for less experienced medical students, the story becomes more complicated. We, only beginning our careers in medicine, sit at the bottom of medicine’s totem pole, lacking the volume of clinical experience of practicing physicians.”

“It practically invites us to share professional opinions alongside personal views, where posts and tweets can easily get misinterpreted. Is a doctor’s personal devotion to a product an endorsement that it’s a good medical choice for everyone? The uncharted ethics of social media are already confusing, and that’s before you add in the influence of outside interests, many of which are ready to take advantage of students’ ability to offer some stamp of medical authority to the general public about a product or idea without asking too many questions.”

Seeing the day to day lives of doctors and aspiring physicians is interesting but is it blurring the line of ethics?  Hit us up on social media @trendallday to let us know your thoughts!

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Ferreting out prescription drug scams on social media  #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Are you in pain?”

Millions of Facebook users saw an ad asking this question and suggesting that relief was available by clicking here. Those who clicked were presented with a pop-up survey that sought more information about their pain condition, along with insurance and personal contact information. For the unsuspecting folks who filled out the survey, their involvement in a multimillion-dollar fraudulent prescription drug scheme had just begun.

I head a team of investigators at Express Scripts. We spend each day identifying and tracking social media scams that target vulnerable individuals looking for relief from pain and other ailments. Facebook and other social media platforms are the latest breeding ground for prescription drug fraud perpetrated by physicians and pharmacies who’ve been recruited by third-party “marketing firms” posing as telemedicine companies to sell high-cost medications at extra-inflated prices to consumers’ health insurance plans.


The scheme often works like this: Once you’ve given your phone number, you get a call from the marketing firm. A representative asks questions about your condition and your health insurance provider. Most states have a patient counseling prerequisite that requires a patient to have a consultation with the clinician prescribing a medication and/or the pharmacist filling it. Sometimes this conversation, or a perfunctory telemedicine call with a health care provider, is claimed to fulfill the patient counseling requirement.

With little or no understanding of your medical history or condition, a physician who is in on the scam writes a prescription for an expensive pain drug, typically a topical application such as lidocaine cream, that is usually available over the counter at a fraction of the cost. The prescription is sent to a specific mail order pharmacy that is also involved in the scam. Some days later, you receive the medication at your doorstep. Most often the copay has been waived, and the insurer is left to pay the bill for the medication.

Medicare used to be the primary target of this type of fraud. But as the government aggressively pursued these schemes, the perpetrators shifted their sights to consumers with commercial insurance. The schemes take advantage of widely varying state laws governing pharmacy and telemedicine practices. They can blur both legality and law enforcement jurisdictions when prescriptions are sent across state lines through mail order pharmacies. Telemedicine, which provides some people with much-needed access to health care practitioners, has been harnessed for these prescription drug scams and contributes to their proliferation.

In some cases, the scammers prey specifically on people with insurance plans that do not allow the insurer to restrict the prescription of specific medications. Such restrictions are often absent in plans that allow a more generous benefit, such as union-provided plans.

In one case that our team investigated, a physician in the Dallas area wrote almost 3,000 suspect prescriptions for patients, almost all of them during a nine-month period, costing more than $4 million. To put this into perspective, the average cost for each of these prescription claims was around $1,400, whereas many of these medications could be purchased over the counter or as a prescription for less than $50 each.

Using advanced data analytics that compared prescribing patterns of specialists in the physician’s area, we were able to identify his prescribing behaviors as potentially fraudulent and reported him to the FBI for investigation. Once aware that he was under scrutiny, the physician ceased writing all prescriptions for these high-cost drugs.

Yet the scam continued. Another Dallas-area doctor, likely recruited by the same “marketing firm,” began writing an excessive number of high-cost prescriptions for the same patients as the doctor originally involved in the fraud. In a four-month period, he wrote more than 1,000 prescriptions for drugs that cost a total of $1.75 million. Our investigative team followed the prescription trail to this second physician, who we also reported to the FBI.

So far this year, we have referred 12 prescribers to 18 separate state medical boards who racked up more than $17 million in prescriptions. We have also shared information with the FBI about an additional eight prescribers with a combined drug spend of almost $14 million. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Leveraging big data to identify the perpetrators of prescription drug scams has been an essential tool in ferreting out these fraudulent players.

An even better way to halt these scams is for consumers to never click on beguiling ads in the first place — and, if they do, to never give out personal or insurance information when asked for it online. Also be wary of anyone offering free medication on social media or rewards such as gift cards for filling a prescription. And as we enter an age when telemedicine is becoming a more common form of care, it’s especially important to make sure that the clinician on the other end of the line is trustworthy.

If you’re solicited by a physician on social media, assume he or she is more interested in money than in your health.

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$2M Grant Expands Social Media Intervention to Reduce Skin Cancer Burden #esante #hcsmeufr


A five-year, $2,074,932 grant (R01CA221854-01A1) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Associate Director for Cancer Prevention, Control and Population Research Sharon L. Manne, PhD, will support the expansion of a behavioral intervention delivered through the social media site Facebook. The aim is to improve skin exams and sun protective behaviors among young melanoma survivors and their families.

“According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the risk of developing melanoma is more than six times higher among young adults than it was 40 years ago. Melanoma is the most common malignancy for young adults aged 25 to 29 and the second most common malignancy among persons 15 to 29. Having a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) with melanoma more than doubles the relative’s own melanoma risk. Therefore, the population of family members at elevated risk is also growing at an increasing rate,” notes Dr. Manne, who is also a professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

As a group, young onset melanoma survivors have been identified by the NCI as a unique and growing population. They are at higher relative risk for a second malignancy than adults diagnosed with cancer over age 39. First-degree relatives of young melanoma patients are at increased risk for melanoma (Lee, J. S., et al., Cancer, 2016). It is recommended that melanoma patients and their first-degree relatives engage in regular total skin exams, comprehensive skin self-examinations, and sun protection.

“Research has shown that despite their increased risk, these first-degree relatives pay little attention to sun protection and skin surveillance behaviors. Although the vast majority of young onset melanoma patients engage in regular total skin exams, many do not engage in regular self-exams or sun protection,” adds Manne. With little intervention research targeting the unique and growing population of young onset patients and their family members, Manne’s group hopes to shed additional light on the topic.

The intervention will examine the impact of two types of private Facebook groups. One group will receive education about skin cancer and recommended sun protection, skin self-checks, and physician skin exams, along with working on improving these behaviors by setting goals and providing both group and family support. The other group will receive general health and wellness information. Nearly 600 young melanoma survivors and nearly 600 of their first-degree relatives will be randomly assigned to one of these two groups. Manne and colleagues aim to show that a closed social media platform is an effective tool to increase sun protection, skin self-checks, and physician skin exams among young skin cancer survivors and their family members. 

The award period runs through May 2023.

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, along with its partner RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including bone marrow transplantation, proton therapy and CAR-T cell therapy.  Along with clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not widely available – patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital in Newark, as well as through RWJBarnabas Health facilities.

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Social media as a tool for assessing patient perspectives on quality of life in metastatic melanoma: a feasibility study #esante #hcsmeufr


Development of innovative drugs for melanoma is occurring rapidly. Incremental gains in overall survival amongst innovative products may be difficult to measure in clinical trials, and their use may be associated with increased toxicity profiles. Therefore, HTA agencies increasingly require information on HRQoL for the assessment of such drugs. This study explored the feasibility of social media to assess patient perspectives on HRQoL in melanoma, and whether current cancer- and melanoma-specific HRQoL questionnaires represent these perspectives.


A survey was distributed on the social media channels of Melanoma Patient Network Europe to assess melanoma patients’ perspectives regarding HRQoL. Two researchers independently conducted content analysis to identify key themes, which were subsequently compared to questions from one current cancer-specific and two melanoma-specific HRQoL questionnaires (i.e. EORTC QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-MEL38, FACT-M).


In total, 72 patients and 17 carers completed the survey. Patients indicated that family, having a normal life, and enjoying life were the three most important aspects of HRQoL for them. Carers indicated that being capable, having manageable adverse events, and being pain-free were the three most important aspects of HRQoL for patients. Respondents seem to find some questions from HRQoL questionnaires relevant (e.g. ‘Have you felt able to carry on with things as normal?’) and others less relevant (e.g. ‘Have you had swelling near your melanoma site?’). Additionally, wording may differ between patients and HRQoL questionnaires, whereby patients generally use a more positive tone.


Social media may provide a valuable tool in assessing patient perspectives regarding HRQoL. However, differences seem to emerge between patient and carer perspectives. Additionally, patient perspectives did not seem to fully correlate to questions posed in cancer- (i.e. EORTC QLQ-C30) and melanoma-specific (i.e. EORTC QLQ-MEL38, FACT-M) HRQoL questionnaires examined

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How Social Media Usage Affects Doctor To Patient Relationships #esante #hcsmeufr


Social media has made a significant impact on every aspect of our lives. Healthcare is no exception. The increasing usage of social networks among both practitioners and patients has proven to cast a positive impact on the overall healthcare quality.

Specifically, social media largely contributes to how we choose our healthcare providers. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 41% of patients said that social media content impacted their choice of hospital or physician.


Another massive study conducted at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, indicates that social media has even a stronger impact on doctor-patient relationships. After analyzing over 1,700 articles, researches identified that the patients' use cases of social media can be grouped into six categories:

  • Emotional
  • Informational
  • Esteem
  • Network Support
  • Social Comparison
  • Emotional Expression

Each of these use cases presents different effects on patients and, at the same time, affect their relationship with the healthcare provider in the following manner.

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Social media usage leads to more equal communication between doctors and patients

Social media has become a popular tool for patients to expand their knowledge about their condition and treatment options. For example, 29% of patients peruse social media to view other patients’ experience with their disease and 42% browse social media platforms to discover health-related consumer reviews according to PwC.

Consequently, by increasing their knowledge, patients come more prepared to the consultations. They can communicate with their doctor better and know what kind of questions to ask. According to Kevin Meuret, CEO of Mantality Health, “Social media usage makes patients more inclined to actively communicate with their doctor during the medical consults in the first place. Growing conversations on social media about  ‘stigmatized’ conditions such as low testosterone levels or psoriasis send a powerful message to other sufferers and encourage their willingness to seek medical attention.”

For instance, the Psoriasis Association has launched a massive awareness campaign on Instagram, encouraging users to share images of their condition using #getyourskinout and #psoriasiscommunity. Dominic Urmston, digital communications officer at the charity, explained that “Users can find people who share similar experiences who they can chat to and support one another. Also, it empowers them so they can share images of their psoriasis and post about their experiences too”. As a result, the condition becomes less stigmatized and more people are encouraged to weigh in on various treatment options and speak about them with their healthcare providers.

Social media contributes to increased switching of doctors

On a less bright note, social media can contribute to the patient’s likelihood to change their provider multiple times. 44% of users look up information about doctors or other health professionals before scheduling a visit. Patients now pay more attention to negative reactions shared by other users. And can choose to switch doctors after participating in an online discussion with another patient. Social media reviews have had the most effect on provider choice for patients who are coping with a chronic disease, try to manage their diet or stress.

Social media helps develop more harmonious doctor-patient relationships

“Social media often empowers patients to follow physician's recommendations and stick with the proposed treatment plan, especially if they become part of a social media support group,” said James Bayliss, CEO of Vaper Empire. “This, in turn, creates less tension between the doctor and the patient during clinical interactions.”

Additionally, social media often provides patients with space to "vent" their negative emotions and frustrations with the condition, instead of doing so in front of the doctor.

However, the research further identified a missed opportunity – patients tend to rarely empower one another to seek alternative treatments if their current one doesn’t bring the results they want.

Social media content can result in suboptimal interactions between doctors and patients

Social media and online publishers have given us accesses to an enormous amount of scattered health information. Millennials, in particular, are more inclined to follow online health advice and rely on information shared by their peers, instead of scheduling necessary appointments with specialists.

“When patients bring social media content to consultation, along with their strong opinions on the matter, healthcare professionals are forced to spend time on sorting and verifying that information,” said Dali Dugan, CEO of HealthworxCBD. “As a result, they feel that their expertise is being challenged and that can impact their behavior with the patient during the session. Negative reactions from the doctor can affect the patient’s subjective well being, making them feel disempowered.”

And those professionals, who are willing to take an extra mile for their patient and look through the information, face an increased risk of making the wrong judgment by being presented incomplete or questionable data from unverified sources.

The bottom line is this: as a patient you should treat information sourced online with extra judgment. While it can be helpful to increase your overall understanding of the condition and guide you towards asking the right questions from your practitioner, it should not be treated as the ultimate source of truth or leveraged to question the doctor's expertise.

I am a writer and lifestyle entrepreneur. After working in the corporate world for over 5 years, I resigned and took to consulting entrepreneurs and companies, including Fortune 500 companies like LinkedIn and Cisco. I have particular interest in how people and businesses ha...

Art Jones's curator insight, December 4, 4:38 PM

Excerpt: The increasing use of social networks among both practitioners and patients has proven to cast a positive impact on the overall healthcare quality.


Specifically, social media largely contributes to how we choose our healthcare providers. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 41% of patients said that social media content impacted their choice of hospital or physician.

Winning The Social Media Game, 99% of Doctors Do It Wrong #esante #hcsmeufr


If you have ever wondered how to make social media work for you, you are not alone. 99.9% of doctors do social media wrong! In this webinar, you will lear
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Stratégie digitale et réseaux sociaux : 13 tendances à surveiller en 2019 #esante #hcsmeufr 


Les tendances réseaux sociaux 2019 vues et commentées par les meilleurs experts digitaux du marché
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Preferences and interests of diabetes social media users regarding a health promotion intervention  #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Preferences and interests of diabetes social media users regarding a health-promotion intervention Elia Gabarron,1 Enrique Dorronzoro,2 Meghan Bradway,1,3 Octavio Rivera-Romero,2 Rolf Wynn,3,4 Eirik Årsand1,3 1Norwegian Centre for E-health Research, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway; 2Department of Electronic Technology, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain; 3Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT – Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway; 4Division of Mental Health and Addictions, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway Background: Nowadays, rapid and accessible participatory research on diabetes can be carried out using social media platforms. The objective of this study was to identify preferences and interests of diabetic social media users regarding a health-promotion intervention targeting them. Methods: Social media followers of the Norwegian Diabetes Association were invited to participate in the creation of a health-promotion intervention on diabetes by expressing their opinions through an online questionnaire posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The questionnaire asked participants about their demographics and preferences regarding type of health content: format, frequency, and channels to deliver content. Questions regarding the perceived quality of diabetes-related information and satisfaction with content on social media were also included. Results: The questionnaire was answered by 346 participants: 332 (96%) of those were reached via Facebook, 66.5% of respondents (n=230) identified themselves as women, 54% (n=187) as individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and 71% (n=235) were aged 30–64 years. The preferred type of content was “research and innovation on diabetes”, selected by 78.0% of the respondents. “Text format” was the choice for 93.4%, and 97.3% would prefer to find health-promotion content on Facebook. There was heterogeneity in the desired frequency of this content. In a scale ranging from 0 to 100, the perceived quality of diabetes-related information on social media was 62.0±1.2 and satisfaction with such content 61.9±1.3. Conclusion: The approach used in this study was successful in reaching and involving participants quickly, and could also potentially increase diabetes patients’ engagement and satisfaction with health-promotion interventions, enhance their sense of community, and thus help people attain healthier lifestyles. It is a limitation that our sample might not have been fully representative, as the most interested social media users might have chosen to participate. Keywords: community-based participatory research, diabetes, health promotion, health education, social media
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Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and “Fake News”  #esante #hcsmeufr


New threats to effective scientific communication make it more difficult to separate science from science fiction. Patients can be harmed by misinformation or by misplaced trust; for example, patients with cancer using complementary medicine are more likely than patients not using it to refuse evidence-based therapies and have higher mortality.1 Researchers who produce objective science can no longer focus on simply disseminating the message. Now they must also defend that evidence from challenges to the validity and interpretation of their research and, at times, be proactive to ensure that unsubstantiated messages do not compete with the correct message. For instance, the unfounded, and yet persistent, beliefs linking autism with vaccination demonstrates both the health dangers of misinformation and the effort required to counteract that misinformation. The adversarial stance seems destined to decrease trust in the scientific enterprise, but the alternatives seem worse.

Contributing Factors

Three related factors contribute to current circumstances. One is the rapid decrease in the cost of publishing information. When getting information to the public was expensive, communication could come only from governments or highly resourced private interests. Communication also came from publishing houses that developed editorial processes to protect the value of their capital investments. These organizations could communicate correct or incorrect information as they saw fit, but there were fewer of them, and they were typically identifiable, which made their biases easier to understand. Now, anyone can Tweet or post on Facebook. Social media is indeed democratizing, but its novel dynamics allow strategic content to infiltrate trusted social networks, posing and propagating as influential commentary.

Second is the increasing ability to select what information is heard. When the public was restricted to the local newspaper or radio station, everyone heard the same thing. The powerful urge to favor information that confirms prior views paired with a new ability to filter out the alternative creates the echo chamber of contemporary media. Twitter accounts presumed to be bots have generated positive online sentiment about the use of e-cigarettes.2 Clinicians and scientists are also vulnerable, with the increased ability to selectively expose themselves to confirming evidence.

Third, and more recently, is that the ubiquity of misinformation has created a tool to perpetuate it. Opponents of the content of a report or a message need only decry it as “fake news” to invoke a conspiracy against that content. This single phrase almost seems to initiate an anamnestic response among those disinclined to accept or believe the content, automating cascades of disbelief and dismissal. Misinformation has no constraints and can be strategically designed for spread. For instance, false information about the Zika pandemic had greater uptake than accurate posts.3

Social media has created an unprecedented ability to spread sentiment and exert influence. Individuals exposed to fewer positive expressions on social media are then more likely to post fewer positive expressions on social media.4 The world has been alarmed at revelations of the politically motivated release of misinformation through social media channels and the reach that information has achieved. Science and health are just as vulnerable to strategic manipulation.


How can scientists and institutions that communicate scientific information anticipate and respond to these threats to their value? What countermeasures can they deploy?


When accounts surfaced about the use of Facebook to influence political thought, the evidence was largely from 2 avenues: either by revealing the identity and motives of groups who have used these media strategically or by revealing the provenance of specific messages that have propagated through it. The ability to credit information from scientific journals, and, in turn, to discredit information without such sources, is perhaps the most conventional countermeasure to misinformation. Information from journals usually comes with explicit identification of sources and their conflicts of interest, and is curated through peer review.

Although each of these steps occasionally fails, journals offer provenance structurally designed for the precise purpose of separating fiction from nonfiction and helping readers understand the difference. Because of this critical role, journals may be the ally in greatest need of support. If the peer review process did not exist, one of the first actions scientists would take to counteract misinformation would be to invent it. Thus, it is surprising that some scientists are now embracing preprint publication that eliminates many of the protections between the creation of information and its dissemination.5 Science may benefit more from strengthening the reality and perception of its review than sacrificing these factors for the sake of speed.


Scientists engaging thoughtfully on social media is important but incomplete. Uncoordinated efforts of individual scientists cannot take on resourced interests with fleets of bots. The bot capable of reaching millions will generate more messages and activity than the researcher with 1000 followers every time. What is needed is a campaign, engaging the platforms that patients use. In some cases, fake news could be seen as a teachable moment and an opportunity for researchers to clarify scientific findings. Significant occurrences of misinformation may require stronger responses. Recently, the task has required defending good research from attack. The more aggressive stance is disabling misinformers. However, because moving down that slope puts credibility at risk, evidence-based organizations that trade most on that credibility must consider those risks.


One element that makes misinformation so potent is that it can target those who are most receptive to the information. Precision marketing recapitulates precision medicine. When individuals share their symptoms, diet, medication usage, and medical histories, they leave enough digital residue to define a targetable persona. Facebook posts can be used to predict a diagnosis of depression.6 Because there is an increased focus in research to return findings to patients,7 there could also be a concerted focus to assist patient access to the information underlying these personas and how those personas may distort their world view.


Evocative stories are typically far more emotionally persuasive than multiple tables reporting systematic findings. In experimental settings, participants randomized to read about a person who is experiencing poverty donated more money than those randomized to read ostensibly more systematic and objective statistics reflecting the broad extent of that poverty; however, more concerning is that participants randomized to read both donated an amount intermediate to the other 2 groups.8 Evocative anecdotes are not necessarily more emotionally persuasive than systematic data, but instead data often weaken emotional appeal rather than strengthen it.


Social media is leaving peer-reviewed communication behind as some scientists begin to worry less about their citation index (which takes years to develop) and more about their Twitter response (measurable in hours). Science is not supposed to be a popularity contest and yet humans delight in competitive rankings. Published college rankings have used more dimensionalized criteria to unseat what are, literally, old schools. At the same time, the organizations that produce such rankings may have merely substituted their own metrics to elevate themselves rather than the cause of higher education. Some journals now link to aggregators like Altmetric, which report Tweets about articles with the immediacy of stock tickers. The appeal is irresistible: Altmetric ratings deliver fame in 15-minute doses. Like the college rankings, these alternative metrics broaden the understanding of the value of a scientific contribution. One approach is to develop additional indices that offer immediacy and yet are not so subject to flights of fancy.


Scientific information and misinformation are amplified through social media. As those channels become vulnerable to scientific integrity, there are opportunities to develop countermeasures and specific strategies for vigilance and response.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Raina M. Merchant, MD, MSHP, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (

Published Online: November 19, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.18416

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Asch reported being a partner and part-owner of VAL Health, a behavioral economics consulting firm. No other disclosures were reported.

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Concerns over social media and clinical trials #Esante #Hcsmeufr #digitalhealth



I am concerned about the content of an article I read in Nature relating to the world of clinical trials and social media. I’m sure many of our readers working in pharma feel strongly about this, as these crucial studies are part of their day-to-day efforts and a progression of work done in the lab.

How Facebook and Twitter Could Be the Next Disruptive Force in Clinical Trials” describes how patient groups are increasingly having greater influence on the way clinical trials are designed and run through their use of social media channels.

Before the advent of social media, individuals taking part in these kinds of studies did not necessarily know anything about other people taking part—for example, who they were and how they were responding to treatment. Enter Facebook and Twitter. Participants in trials can now gather, form networks, and organize on social media sites. The goal is to join forces, share information, and offer support, all of which have clear benefits.

But there are also unintended consequences that have the potential to damage the integrity of the trial. The story shares, for example, how the ­mother of a boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy heard via Facebook that the trial her son was participating in had been stopped. A failed trial is no doubt upsetting, but finding out this way must have made it even more difficult. And it gets worse: Individuals in those forums ­openly discuss side effects or the lack thereof, leading participants and their families to speculate on who is receiving the placebo. This practice could result in inadvertent “unblinding” of the study and lead individuals to make the decision to stop participating, affecting its outcome.

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I understand how we got into this situation. People are desperate to find treatments for diseases affecting themselves and their loved ones. But from the point of view of the researchers running trials, it’s a big problem. This practice has the potential to compromise the results of trials, weakening their findings.

What’s to be done? One option is to insert a clause in the documents that people are asked to sign before their participation with language that prevents them from sharing data or information about the trial online. This approach seems heavy handed. Another option is to allow patients and families to be part of a moderated group in which they are steered away from sharing data that may compromise the integrity of the study. Patients, however, could oppose an intervention that compromises their privacy.

Related to clinical trials, the Science & Technology Committee appointed by the U.K. government to advise on clinical trials in relation to research integrity released a reportin October asking—yet again—for greater transparency.

The problem is old and known. Around half of clinical trial results go unreported, even when the European Commission has required since July 2014 that all trials recorded in the EU Clinical Trial Register have their results submitted within one year of completion. The need for clinical trial transparency is critical, but compliance is poor. (Pharma companies are not the worst offenders, in case you are wondering.)


Trials are large, expensive research projects used to generate knowledge that is used in clinical practice to make vital decisions. Luckily, the problem is not fraud but incomplete or inaccurate reporting. Regardless, not reporting is a waste of money and distorts the evidence underpinning medical practice.

So what should the modern clinical ­trial look like? Is there a role for social networks? Their evolution, whether driven by patients’ use of technology or by the need for transparency, is necessary to retain public trust in science and medicine.

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

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Les Centres Hospitaliers Universitaires (CHU) sur Twitter -


Les Centres Hospitaliers Universitaires (CHU) ont bien évidemment investi les réseaux sociaux depuis plusieurs années. Quatre réseaux ont en particuliers été investis : Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin …
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BioCentury - Patients: Trust and transparency key to using social media, apps to gather data #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Members of an FDA committee agreed that social media and digital technologies could help companies and the agency gather real-world data on adverse events and patient-reported outcomes, but the parties must be transparent in the intended use of the data and share outcomes with patients.

The Thursday meeting of the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC) was intended to provide FDA with patient input on the best methods to collect postmarket data for devices beyond its existing tools of postmarket studies and patient registries. At the meeting, the agency said these existing tools have limitations including under reporting of adverse events, lengthy study timelines and challenges enrolling trials. The increased availability of mobile devices and sensor technology as well as social media could provide new platforms to enrich its existing tool kit to collect this information post market, the agency said at the meeting and in its briefing materials.

Members of PEAC agreed that they'd like to see more input from patients to inform how a device performs in the real world, including its benefits on symptoms of concern to patients, as well as any potential risks or safety issues. And they feel the near ubiquitous nature of mobile technology should be harnessed to provide some of this information, including real-time mobility data about joint replacement or increased insulin levels.

However, they believe this data should be considered complimentary to and not replace existing tools.

"I'm fine with the idea of FDA and companies using digital health technology, but it should not supplant others. Heart failure affects people between the ages of 60-90 and the likelihood that they are conversant in this technology is not strong. Some will and some won't," said Cynthia Chauhan, a patient advocate on the panel. Additionally, this data should be "corroborated with patient reports. [Sensor] devices can be wrong," said Mary (Suzanne) Schrandt, a committee member from the Arthritis Foundation.

The panel agreed, however, that when these mobile applications or social media campaigns are deployed to patients, there must be transparency about the data that will be collected, how it will be used and for how long.

"Just be upfront with me and I will then decide whether to engage with you or not," said Necie Edwards, a healthcare advocate for pain management.

"There has to be some understanding of how the data is being used and applied," said Chair Paul Conway in summarizing the panel's perspective on using these tools and platforms. "Nothing about me, without me," he added. Conway is a patient advocate with the American Association of Kidney Patients.

To maintain or build trust, the panel recommended that companies and FDA work with patient groups as third parties to help gather data via social media.

Patients agreed that companies and FDA should be upfront about all potential uses for the data and that there be a limited time frame around which the data would be used. They also said they want FDA and/or the company to share the aggregate data and/or outcome of what is found with their individual data.

The panel was not asked to vote but rather discuss and provide its input on these platforms and technologies to collect real-world data.

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Addressing Health-Related Misinformation on Social Media #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth #socmed cc @giomarsi


The ubiquitous social media landscape has created an information ecosystem populated by a cacophony of opinion, true and false information, and an unprecedented quantity of data on many topics. Policy makers and the social media industry grapple with the challenge of curbing fake news, disinformation, and hate speech; and the field of medicine is similarly confronted with the spread of false, inaccurate, or incomplete health information.1

From the discourse on the latest tobacco products, alcohol, and alternative therapies to skepticism about medical guidelines, misinformation on social media can have adverse effects on public health. For example, the social media rumors circulating during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 created hostility toward health workers, posing challenges to efforts to control the epidemic.2 Another example is the increasingly prevalent antivaccine social media posts that seemingly legitimize debate about vaccine safety and could be contributing to reductions in vaccination rates and increases in vaccine-preventable disease.3

The spread of health-related misinformation is exacerbated by information silos and echo chamber effects. Social media feeds are personally curated and tailored to individual beliefs, partisan bias, and identity. Consequently, information silos are created in which the likelihood for exchange of differing viewpoints decreases, while the risk for amplifying misinformation within a closed network increases. However, research suggests there may be ways to lessen the echo chamber effects by deliberately enabling social learning and engagement of different perspectives.4

Regarding the diffusion of information, mounting evidence suggests that falsehoods spread more easily than truths online.5 Meanwhile, these trends are occurring at a time of low trust in institutions, with a 2016 Gallup report indicating that only 36% of individuals in the United States have adequate confidence in the medical system.6 Although the scientific community generally still enjoys relatively high levels of public trust, 1 in 5 individuals expresses skepticism about scientists.7 These realities make it a priority for medicine to identify and mitigate (when appropriate) health misinformation on social media. This Viewpoint outlines a framework that includes priorities in research, public health, and clinical practice.

Gaps in Understanding the Effect of Health Misinformation

Health misinformation can be defined as a health-related claim of fact that is currently false due to a lack of scientific evidence. This misinformation may be abundant on social media and some evidence has linked the sharing of misinformation with health-related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. However, more research and data are needed to evaluate potential links between exposure to misinformation and health behaviors and outcomes.

In addition, there is little information about how to help clinicians respond to patients’ false beliefs or misperceptions. Public health communicators similarly struggle to know whether and how to intervene when a health topic becomes misdirected by discourse characterized by falsehoods that are inconsistent with evidence-based medicine.

Developing a Framework for Research and Practice

Medical, public health, social science, and computer science experts must begin working together via interdisciplinary research to address health misinformation on social media, with a focus on the following themes.

Defining the Prevalence and Trends of Health Misinformation

Millions of users contribute to social media platforms daily, generating a massive archive of data for health communication surveillance. It is important to assess the extent of misinformation related to critical vulnerable topics (ie, those topics for which misinformation is most likely to generate negative health consequences). For instance, vaccination, new tobacco products, and so called miracle cures generate large volumes of misinformation.

Deployment of innovative methods on a broader scale is needed (including natural language processing–assisted data mining, social network analysis, and online experimentation) to track the spread of misinformation. Surveillance endeavors must be nimble and adaptable to capture dynamic data and social media posts containing photos, images, and videos.

Understanding How Health Misinformation Is Shared

Receptivity to health misinformation can vary greatly depending on the motivations of the source of the message (eg, promoting a disinformation campaign, endorsing a conspiracy theory, selling a product) as well as the recipient’s social network, sociocultural identity and values, emotions (particularly fear and anger), levels of trust, and concomitant social media use patterns.

Visible attempts at creating and legitimizing controversies (eg, Russian bots generating a vaccine debate) may foster skepticism and mistrust in certain communities.3 Understanding the context of misinformation exchange (such as the social network in which the message is embedded) and the intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics involved in the processing of the message can help determine the extent of the problem and suggest appropriate remedies.

Evaluating the Reach and Influence of Misinformation on Health

A key challenge for health and medicine is determining the threshold at which an intervention is needed to ameliorate the negative health consequences of misinformation. Assessing the reach and unique health consequences of a message for specific populations (eg, communities most vulnerable to misinformation) is important to inform when and how to respond.

A range of measurement and methodological approaches such as physiological measurements, real-time behavioral data (eg, ecologic momentary assessment), linkage to medical records, marketing research, and mixed-methods approaches offer promising solutions that can help improve understanding of how individuals evaluate and internalize a message. For example, observational studies (eg, eye tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging, or cognitive interviews) can help assess how quickly people accept a claim before internalizing it.

Developing and Testing Interventions

It is necessary to determine when and how to intervene. How can clinicians and experts in communication create and sustain public trust in evidence-based health information? How can partnerships among clinicians, trusted social media influencers, and industry leaders be created? Can the public be taught health literacy to help them discern facts from opinions and falsehoods? Importantly, broader investments in health and science literacy and the cultivation of trust in the medical community may create more systemic improvements than attempts to debunk or correct individual pieces of misinformation on social media.

In addition, tangible support for clinicians is necessary as they continue to interact with patients who have been exposed to or have questions about health misinformation from social media. Understanding the underlying causes of patients’ confusion, concern, and mistrust could help clinicians foster patient-centered communication, rather than dismissing patients’ concerns or superficially categorizing them as skeptics.

Research is needed that informs the development of misinformation-related policies for health care organizations. These organizations should be prepared to use their social media presence to disseminate evidence-based information, counter misinformation, and build trust with the communities they serve.

It is also vital for social media platforms to develop and implement mechanisms for vetting and validating the credibility of information on their platforms. Misinformation has the potential to undermine progress in medicine and health care, and it requires a proactive approach for understanding its prevalence and potential influence rather than labeling misinformation as a fad or wishing it away.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou, PhD, MPH, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Dr, 3E614, Rockville, MD 20892 (

Published Online: November 14, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.16865

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Disclaimer: The views expressed reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the National Cancer Institute.

Additional Contributions: This Viewpoint is a result of extensive discussion with leading health communication experts. We thank Joseph Cappella, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), Anna Gaysynsky, MPH (National Cancer Institute), Bradford Hesse, PhD (National Cancer Institute), Dannielle Kelley, PhD (National Cancer Institute), Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD (Cornell University), Emily Peterson, PhD (National Cancer Institute), and Brian Southwell, PhD (RTI International) for their unpaid insights and contributions.

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Jones  B, Elbagir  N. Are myths making the Ebola outbreak worse? Accessed September 13, 2018.
Broniatowski  DA, Jamison  AM, Qi  S,  et al.  Weaponized health communication: Twitter bots and Russian trolls amplify the vaccine debate.  Am J Public Health. 2018;108(10):1378-1384. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304567PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Guilbeault  D, Becker  J, Centola  D.  Social learning and partisan bias in the interpretation of climate trends.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115(39):9714-9719. doi:10.1073/pnas.1722664115PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Vosoughi  S, Roy  D, Aral  S.  The spread of true and false news online.  Science. 2018;359(6380):1146-1151. doi:10.1126/science.aap9559PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Saad  L. Military, small business, police still stir most confidence. Accessed September 13, 2018.
Funk  C.  Mixed messages about public trust in science.  Issues Sci Technol. 2017;34(1).Google Scholar
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How Facebook and Twitter could be the next disruptive force in clinical trials #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Participants in medical research are more empowered than ever to influence the design and outcomes of experiments. Now, researchers are trying to keep up.
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Dépêche Vétérinaire N°1454 : E-réputation Google  #esante #hcsmeufr 


Dans ce cas pratique paru dans la Dépêche Vétérinaire 1454 du 20 au 26 octobre 2018, VOKARE partage l’expérience d’un cabinet vétérinaire qui a décidé de mettre en place une politique de développement de sa réputation Google. La plateforme Vokare propose automatiquement à vos clients satisfaits de partager leur avis sur Internet. Lors de l’inscription, …
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LinkedIn et Twitter : des lieux numériques propices au BtoB  #esante #hcsmeufr 


Les réseaux sociaux LinkedIn et Twitter sont de véritables aubaines pour travailler en B to B. Il y a plus …
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Social media for medical journals operates in 'wild west,' needs more support to succeed  #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


Much of the published medical research goes unread by the general public and medical community, despite being largely funded by the federal government and private foundations. To reach more people, medical journals have begun using social media to promote new research.

A new Northwestern Medicine study has found social media editors lack established best practices and support from their journals and home institutions, making it difficult for them to successfully promote new research.

In general, the median citation rate for journal articles -- when one paper refers to another paper -- is zero, meaning a lot of new research isn't being read even in the medical community. If utilized correctly, social media could help journals increase awareness of new research, according to the study. But first, social media editors need more resources and support.

"American tax dollars are paying for research the public never hears about," said senior author Dr. Seth Trueger, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a practicing physician at Northwestern Medicine. "I'm optimistic we can get the word out through social media, but we first need to explore and develop tried-and-true methods to distribute this information to the public."

Study authors urge medical journals to define social media editor roles and responsibilities more clearly and provide more resources to social media editors.

The study was published this week in the journal Academic Medicine. It is the first study to examine this specific role of social media editor at medical journals.

Journals may be able to help social media editors to more effectively get the word out and determine which strategies are most effective, study authors said. Doing so will help journals and social media editors better focus their limited resources.

"Many journals have been building social media editor positions, which is great, but as a relatively new niche, our study found journals didn't really know what these people should be doing," Trueger said. "They would tell new editors to 'take this job and do what you can with it.' It's the wild west."

The study also found: (1) monetary support for these roles is lacking; (2) journals use different metrics to measure engagement and success; and (3) there is no consistency in editor responsibilities among journals.

In addition to his role at Northwestern, Trueger previously was the social media editor for the Annals of Emergency Medicine. He is now the digital media editor at JAMA Network Open and said his goal is to "get eyeballs on the science."

Something Trueger has learned in these positions is how impactful social media can be for medical research, if done properly.

"If you have a paper on a Medicare program, you don't just have physicians looking at that research; there are health economists, patient groups and the general public who have an interest in it," Trueger said. "If we can determine which strategies work for online dissemination, a social media editor's success rate for sharing new information to a wide audience can skyrocket."

Medical schools and universities should better incorporate social media engagement with more tangible support, such as academic credit toward promotion and tenure, according to the study.

Given the overall lack of tangible support reported by social media editors in the study, medical journals should consider providing non-physician staff to help manage social media accounts to support editors in their positions, the study suggested.

Twenty-four social media editors from 19 medical journals participated in the study. The study was funded by the Summer Research Program at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, which is in part funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Northwestern University. Original written by Kristin Samuelson. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Melany Lopez, Teresa M. Chan, Brent Thoma, Vineet M. Arora, N. Seth Trueger. The Social Media Editor at Medical JournalsAcademic Medicine, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002496
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Social media scheme boosts breast cancer screening uptake  #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


An NHS project using social media has driven a 13% increase in first time attendances for breast screening in Stoke-on-Trent over four years.

Under the local initiative, information about screening was posted on Facebook community groups, in a bid to reduce anxiety surrounding breast examinations.

NHS Digital said the move empowered women to make appointments and also allowed them to communicate quickly and easily with health practitioners to ask questions about the screening process.

The initiative is part of NHS Digital’s Widening Digital Participation Programme, commissioned by NHS England, which aims to make digital health services and information accessible to everyone.

Across England attendances for breast screening are declining and most recent figures, from 2016-17, show the proportion of eligible women taking up breast screening in dropped to its lowest level in a decade.

According to NHS Digital, in the last financial year 7,938 women in Stoke-on-Trent failed to attend a breast screening appointment, “meaning around 65 cases of potential breast cancer were not detected”.

Through the project, the North Midlands Breast Screening Service promoted their Facebook page on local community groups which their target group - women aged over 50 - regularly visited.

Posts to the Facebook site, which included information such as patients explaining the screening process and videos showing the rooms where it takes place, were designed to encourage women to share them and so spread the message about the importance of screening.

Data on attendances for first time appointments at the North Midlands Breast Screening Service has shown they increased by an average of 12.9% between three-year screening cycles from 2014 to 2018.

“This is a fantastic idea and the community aspect of the group is so powerful that we now have 1,138 followers,” commented Gina Newman, health improvement practitioner at the North Midlands Breast Screening Service.

“We have seen an increase in the number of ladies who have booked and attended their appointments, who might not have done otherwise”.

“The Stoke project is an example of how digital channels can be used to communicate with patients, providing local advice and answer key concern,” said Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer at NHS England.

“This work is part of the NHS’s wider commitment to digitally transform the way we work with all of our patients, improving the information we provide and empowering the public to take charge of their own health and care.”

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Optimizing Social Media Use in Health Care: The Mayo Clinic Social Media Network #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


In this interview, EP Lab Digest talks with Farris K. Timimi, MD, Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN), and Lee Aase, Director of the MCSMN and Communications Director of Mayo Clinic’s Social and Digital Innovation (SDI) Team, about social media strategies in health care. 

Tell us about your medical background. How did you become involved with the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN)?

I am a cardiologist specializing in heart failure, and through that work have had an interest in patient involvement, such as with creation of our Patient and Family Advisory Committees. On major initiatives and in our basic structure, Mayo Clinic uses an physician/administrator model of shared leadership, with the administrator managing day-to-day operations and the physician leader helping to ensure medical relevance.

When the Mayo Clinic created what is now MCSMN, I was very interested in taking on the role of Medical Director.

What is the purpose of the MCSMN? When and why was it formed?

In 2011, Mayo Clinic created our Center for Social Media, which is now the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, to help bring the social media revolution to health care. Our first goal was to ensure that Mayo Clinic staff and stakeholders had the guidelines, training, and resources to apply social media tools in support of clinical practice, education, and research. We also saw an opportunity to share globally what we were developing with colleagues, as well as learn alongside them as we navigated issues and concerns with these new technologies.

We see MCSMN as a catalyst to reduce the activation energy required to apply social media in health care organizations. By using our resources, colleagues can advance in their knowledge and capabilities more quickly than they would on their own.

Our association with Mayo Clinic also helps members gain internal buy-in; with these resources, they will be building on an approach and philosophy that has been shown to be safe and effective.

What is the role of social media in healthcare today? Additionally, what is the role of social media in healthcare education, research, and practice?

Social media has had a transformative impact on society as a whole, and health care is no exception. Through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others, patients and caregivers can share their experiences as well as look for support and answers. They are able to overcome barriers of space and time to connect with others like them, even if they have a rare condition that is not shared by anyone in their immediate geographical area.

The patients were there first, but now medical professionals and organizations are seeing opportunities to listen, serve, and educate using these tools. 

Tell us about the Social for Healthcare Certificate from the Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite. How did this collaboration come about? What does this training program help achieve? 

The Social for Healthcare Certificate from Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite ( provides focused and trustworthy training for busy professionals who want to safely and effectively learn to use social media. We developed this course with Hootsuite because we wanted to keep it up to date, reflecting on the latest changes in social platforms. Hootsuite markets to its clients, while we offer it to MCSMN members.

Because of its modular design and online delivery, participants can choose the elements they find most valuable and that fit their busy schedule, and it’s available on-demand, 24/7.

This course is our front-line training for any Mayo staff interested in using social media for professional purposes.

Physicians obviously could figure out elements of using social media on their own through trial and error, but our goal is to condense what they need to know into brief modules that they can apply to create their own professional presence, and to avoid missteps they otherwise might make.

What is the Social Media Residency? How long is the program, and what topics are covered?

Social Media Residency ( is a one-day program for those interested in developing a social media strategy aligned with their professional or organizational priorities. Some participants are social media managers for hospitals and are developing overall organizational strategies, while others are clinicians or scientists interested in narrower applications. Our online training provides the foundation, and then in Social Media Residency, we go beyond those basics and dig into strategy, providing guidelines for plan development.

In addition, what can you tell us about the Social Media Fellows Program?

The Social Media Fellows program ( is for those who have gone through Social Media Residency, and want guidance in developing and implementing their social media strategic plans. It’s also a way for them to give back by sharing their experiences with the Network.

How many people have completed the Social for Healthcare Certificate, Social Media Residency, and Social Media Fellows Program thus far? Who is best suited to participate in these programs? 

We’ve had more than 2,000 participants in the Social for Healthcare Certificate, and more than 700 in Social Media Residency. The Fellows program is much smaller, as it involves developing a strategic plan and submitting for review.

The Social for Healthcare Certificate is appropriate for anyone in health care, whether in a clinical or research role or in administration, marketing, and communications. It helps those who aren’t familiar with social media to get up-to-speed quickly, and for younger staff who have personal experience in social media, it introduces important elements of professionalism that are necessary in the health care context.

Social Media Residency is mainly for those who are advocates for social media and who are interested in promoting strategic use of these platforms.

Which programs are available online or onsite? What costs are involved with these opportunities?

As mentioned earlier, the Social for Healthcare Certificate is our online, on-demand program. While the retail price for the course is $250, we include it in both Premium Individual and Organizational memberships.

Registration for Social Media Residency is $795, and includes the Social for Healthcare Certificate. Organization members save 25 percent, and also may have the opportunity to host Social Media Residency, which can enable broader participation by their staff.

What the benefits of MCSMN membership? What other opportunities are available? 

In addition to the Social for Healthcare Certificate, premium members of MCSMN have access to a members-only discussion board where they can safely and confidentially get feedback and answers from fellow members. They also have access to our monthly webinars (regularly $95 each) and save 25 percent on any of our in-person events, including our Annual Conference and Social Media Residency.

In addition to Premium Individual membership, we also offer Organization membership at an affordable flat rate, which gives full premium membership to anyone on the organization’s email domain (e.g.,

Tell us more about the upcoming annual conference in November.

Our Annual Conference will take place from November 14-15 in Jacksonville, Florida, with four compelling keynotes and three tracks of case studies and opportunities for networking and expert consultations. We’re also offering Social Media Residency on our Mayo Clinic campus in Jacksonville on November 13, with special bundled registration available.

Who is involved with Mayo Clinic’s Social and Digital Innovation (SDI) Team?

Our Social and Digital Innovation Team is led by my administrative partner, Lee Aase, and includes representatives on our campuses in Florida and Arizona as well as several members in Minnesota. The SDI team maintains Mayo Clinic’s overall social media presence and also consults with Mayo stakeholders interested in professional or specialty accounts. It also provides the foundation for what we offer through MCSMN. (Editor's Note: See interview with Lee Aase in sidebar.)

Why is important for healthcare professionals to engage on social media? Also, what brief tips do you have for healthcare professionals about how to build a digital identity?

Health care professionals at least need to understand the importance of their online reputation, and the role social media presence can play in shaping what people find when they Google your name. Doctors should all claim and complete their profiles on Doximity, and should also consider how presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social networks can affect search results.

Beyond that, they should explore how they can use these tools to accomplish their life’s work. These are powerful tools for communication that enable us to have a much bigger impact than we otherwise would. 

At the same time, digital tools used incorrectly can do more damage than analog communications. But just as with other tools, with proper guidelines and training, these can do immense good.

What main social media platforms are doctors currently using?

Twitter and LinkedIn are probably the most important participatory platforms for physicians. 

Using Twitter hashtags related to diseases or scientific meetings enables physicians to participate in niche conversations that interest them, highlight their expertise, and learn more about patients’ experiences.

LinkedIn provides a platform for longer-form writing and sharing in a more professionally-oriented environment.

Presence on both of these can strongly influence online search results for the physician’s name, pushing some of the unreliable rating and review sites down the page.

Why should organizations and individuals utilize the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network?

The recent PBS documentary by Ken Burns, The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science (, begins with an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

Through the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, we help our members go both farther and faster. By using our guidelines, templates, and training materials, our members can jumpstart their social media involvement with trusted resources. And by collaborating with like-minded colleagues from around the globe, they can get new ideas and perspectives to help shape their own initiatives.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The Mayo Clinic Social Media Network is a modern-day manifestation of our founders’ philosophy and practice. Drs. Will and Charlie Mayo recognized that to provide the best care to every patient, they needed to travel and learn from others, and bring that knowledge back to their rural Minnesota practice. Dr. Will visited 25 countries on five continents at a time when travel was arduous.

They also welcomed physicians to visit and observe them in surgery, and in the period from 1908 to 1918 alone, nearly 3,400 physicians came to Rochester to observe them and become part of what became known as The Surgeons Club.

We see the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network as the health care social media version of what the Mayo brothers did in surgery, and we’re glad that we can connect with colleagues both face-to-face in our in-person events, and on a continuing basis through the MCSMN community.

I would invite anyone who is interested in these resources to contact my administrative partner, Lee Aase. We’d be glad to be of service.

For more information, follow along on Twitter: 




Interview with Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN) and Communications Director of the Mayo Clinic’s Social and Digital Innovation (SDI) Team

Tell us about your background, and how the MCSMN came about. 

My background is in media relations, and I was the manager of Mayo Clinic’s media relations team when we began dabbling in “new” media with podcasting in 2005. We were early adopters of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube when they started becoming available, because we saw them as ways to directly reach patients instead of only indirectly through traditional media.

The MCSMN arose as our colleagues at other hospitals saw our leadership in adopting these new platforms, and were interested in learning from us how to navigate this space. We developed tools and training for our Mayo staff, and through MCSMN, we make them available to our colleagues everywhere.

What can you tell us about the Mayo Clinic Social and Digital Innovation (SDI) Team? 

Our team represents Mayo Clinic as a whole, with team members on our three campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida, and Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. We maintain Mayo Clinic’s enterprise-level accounts on the major social platforms ( Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) as well as our community and blogging platform. We also consult with stakeholders interested in specialty-focused social accounts and provide training for them, as well as a central management platform for governance of the accounts. 

How can social media help promote health and improve health care?

Social media provides platforms for listening to both patients and consumers as well as physicians and scientists to share knowledge and the latest research. They are experts in the science of various diseases and conditions, and the patients are experts in the day-to-day challenges of coping with those health issues. For example, I have celiac disease and can benefit from videos from Dr. Joseph Murray (, our leading expert on the science of celiac disease. Through social media, I can connect with fellow patients to get recommendations on restaurants with gluten-free menus when I’m traveling. We like to say that patients are experts by experience, and we’ve collaborated with on a series of blog posts ( featuring those patient insights. 

Why should health care professionals and organizations engage on social media? 

People of all ages are increasingly engaging in social media — particularly when they’re looking for information or support when facing a health concern. If health care professionals aren’t engaged, others who are spreading unscientific remedies or positions, such as the anti-vaccine advocates, will be unchallenged in the online space.

It’s also important from a reputation management perspective; by having social media presence, providers and organizations are equipped to share their perspectives and have a vehicle for telling their side of the story.

How do you see the use or the role of social media evolving? 

I think the opportunity to engage in conversation online is an increasing expectation, and that organizations will be finding ways to hold those conversations not only on broader social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but on their own digital properties as well. 

What are some of your tips to health care organizations for developing a social media strategy?

Social media strategy needs to be an element of business strategy. With few exceptions, every communications or marketing initiative should have a social media component. The first step to social media strategy is developing an understanding of the nature of the social media platforms, the audiences they attract, and their core capabilities. Then, map those to what you are trying to accomplish, whether it relates to building a clinical practice, improving communications efficiency, promoting clinical trials and other research, or recruiting a top-tier workforce.  

Which social media platforms have you found to be most beneficial or effective for doctors to use? What do you consider to be a “balanced social media diet” in 2018?

We recommend that physicians use social media to help with their online reputation management, because these accounts tend to show up high in search results. Our top recommendations include claiming and completing your account on Doximity (, which powers the U.S. News & World Report search engine, as well as creating accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Filming and uploading informational videos to YouTube can also introduce you to prospective patients and begin to build empathy.

Any final thoughts? 

Don’t miss the Social for Healthcare Certificate from Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite (, which we created to provide on-demand basic training in social media for health care professionals. It’s what we use as front-line training for our busy Mayo Clinic staff, so they can choose modules that are most helpful to them. For example, a doctor who wants to create a Twitter account can go through that module in 20-30 minutes and feel confident in setting up a professional account, knowing how Twitter works in the health care context. 

This course is available to any of our premium individual Mayo Clinic Social Media Network members, and for a flat fee, we can make this same training available to anyone in an organization. We’re excited that now we can say any employee of our organization can have access to the same social media training that our Mayo Clinic staff depend upon.

For those who want to dig deeper and take a leadership role in social media in their organization, please check out our Social Media Residency (, a one-day course offered a few times each year, as well as our Annual Conference ( taking place November 14-15 in Jacksonville, Florida.

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A new frontier for drug ads: patient 'influencers' on social media #esante #hcsmeufr #digitalhealth


A new industry will link drug makers with "influencers" — patients with devoted followings who might promote their products or share their insights.
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11 Things Health Leaders Need To Know About Social Media & Marketing #hcsmeufr


Of the more than 7 billion people on Earth, the number of mobile phone users is approaching 5 billion devices, while toothbrush ownership is closer to 4 billion. Indicating that both marketing of technology and public health have great disparities, but also that leadership in health care are not executing on their brands, social media or marketing. But in the U.S., hospital identity and health branding are paramount for success in a community. By listening to patients, getting feedback on wants and needs, and creating new incentives to engage individuals, increased revenue, greater trust and improved health might be achieved.

Here are 11 surprising things to keep in mind when health care and hospital leadership plan marketing efforts for 2019:

    1. The brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text. Additionally, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Whether it’s growing your brand identity or improving medication adherence through instructions, visuals are a key to interacting with and empowering patients.
    2. Surprisingly, Grandparents love Twitter so much their presence on the platform doubled last year. They are also replacing young people who are choosing to leave Facebook. Not only does this indicate they are here to stay for some time, but they are a great place to target our aging population who consume a majority of our health care services.


    1. An estimated 31 billion eCoupons will be redeemed in 2019That means almost 60% of U.S. internet users have redeemed digital coupons or codes at least once. With so many new retail clinic and other hospital services that can use coupon-like strategies for patient cost-savings, this is a must in the new year.
    2. Voice search on devices like Alexa, Siri and Google Search already account for 20% of searches . Depending on the product or service in question, voice search via virtual assistant is certain to play an increasing role in consumer purchasing.



Yemen Is A "Living Hell for Children"

  1. In 2017, it was estimated that 62% of emails were opened on a mobile device. Checking email is the top mobile activity among smartphone and tablet users. So be sure those emails are appealing and informative, as they’ll be consumed on the go.
  2. The number of devices connected to the Internet now exceeds the number of humans on earth. This means health companies and hospitals need to be intentional about marketing on multiple platforms and for many different devices.
  3. Social media influences 74% of shoppers final purchase decisions. Further, 90% of consumers indicate that they trust peer recommendations. Therefore, previous patients and reviews like those on Amazon are your greatest allies.
  4. Instagram has 500 million viewers every single day. And 71% of those are millennials. While plastic surgeons and fitness experts have driven the health trends on this platform, there is a significant opportunity to appeal to and educate the under 35 crowd as they begin making life-long health decisions.
  5. More than 78% of U.S. Internet users research products and services online, and every month, there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches. What your top hits say about your product, organization, or providers will influence your bottom line.
  6. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and, per dollar spent generates about 3X as many leads. When creating a marketing strategy for particular service lines, services, or physician groups, think about exactly who needs to see that ad.
  7. 70% of people surveyed claim they would rather learn about a hospital or company through articles or reviews rather than direct advertisements. Therefore, not only are advertising campaigns important, but so are the patient experience testimonies, community reviews, and visual or print articles. It will pay to make sure your company is being written and talked about.

Nicole Fisher is the founder and CEO of HHR Strategies, a health care and human rights-focused advising firm. She is also a senior policy advisor on Capitol Hill and expert on health innovation, economics, technology, and reform - specifically as they impact vulnerable popul...

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