Social Media in Healthcare


To find evidence which supports the idea that social media (in particular public social media) is used and engaged with by different healthcare stakeholder groups (primarily patients and healthcare professionals) as a first priority.


  • A 2016 survey-based research study concluded that "web-based social health networks offer an opportunity to expand patient knowledge and increase involvement in personal health, thereby increasing patient activation".
  • The Mayo Clinic developed and operates the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN) which was designed "to help bring the social media revolution to health care".
  • Mayo sees the 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".
  • Mayo has developed a program called the Social Media Residency which "is a one-day program for those interested in developing a social media strategy aligned with their professional or organizational priorities" and also offers a follow-up program, Social Media Fellows, to further guide in "developing and implementing social media strategic plans".
  • A 2018 study of stakeholders in Saudi Arabian healthcare found that 80% "agreed with the benefits of using social networks in health-care services and considered that the use of these technologies in the provision of health services improves their professional knowledge and is a suitable tool for patient education and public health awareness".
  • A study published in November 2018 drew conclusions that social media was important insomuch as it "can serve as [an] efficient tool for clinicians and healthcare leaders to communicate with patients especially in areas of population health".


Initial research indicates that it is quite likely that multiple studies have been completed, or are being completed, which look into the use of social media by stakeholders in healthcare. The suggested path of research would look at (1) statistics and insights surrounding the hows and whys of social media by patients; and (2) statistics and insights surrounding the hows and whys of social media by healthcare professionals. (6 hours, $150)

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.