Social Media Icons

January 23, 2013

Social Media and the Future of Public Health

Researchers all over the world, as evidenced in this article, are beginning to explore when and how people respond to the use of social media for communications regarding various types of public health issues. While this exploration is important, sufficient evidence of the usefulness of these social media resources needs to accrue before we can expect public health agencies to devote precious financial resources toward leveraging them. 

It’s a diffusion of innovation problem – we’re at the early stages of the innovation, where a few ground breaking organizations and people will experiment, using social media to collect public health data. However, most organizations are still wary of investing too heavily in the data gathered by social media sites. We need more evidence and experience with these social media resources and technologies before we can push for wide-scale adoption.
 
 

David A. Ross, ScD

President/CEO of the Task Force for Global Health, former director of PHII