Using social media for health advocacy

In the last  three #HealthXPh tweet chat/ Hangouts On Air,  we discussed the use of emails, sms and social media to engage patients, physicians and institutions regarding health care.  In those discussions, most agreed these tools are useful especially in the context of archipelagic Philippines. Guidelines should include exploring other ways in which these tools may bridge gaps in the Philippine healthcare system.

The use of social media (#SoMe)  in healthcare is not a new thing in the Philippines. We’ve read blogs, tweets and status updates that touches on healthcare issues since social media gained ground in the Philippines some five years or so. Despite the fact that the Philippine’s is the social media capital of the world, the healthcare industry seem reluctant to use #SoMe for health purposes. The undetermined number of medical professionals in the Philippines who have social media accounts probably rarely use it for healthcare purposes.

One popular usage of #SoMe among medical professionals here in the Philippines is health advocacy. Remember the sin tax law campaign that stirred discussion on social media? Or the iwas paputok program of DOH just recently? Dr. Iris Isip-Tan (@endocrine-witch) an endocrinologist-medical informatics guru explored ways to increase diabetes (and related diseases) awareness via social media.  An example of her health advocacy campaign is this picture:

Diabetes awareness campaign using SoMe in the Philippines. (Photo credits to Dr. Iris Isip-Tan)

Diabetes awareness campaign using SoMe in the Philippines. (Photo credits to Dr. Iris Isip-Tan)


How effective are these campaigns that employed social media? What are the tools used (if any)  to measure the impact of health advocacies the employs social media in their campaigns? Is it possible to use social media to measure the effectiveness of these health advocacies?

In the February 1, 2014 (10:00 AM Philippine Standard Time/ UTC +8 )  edition of #HealthXPH tweetchat/Hangouts on Air, we will try to answer these questions related to social media’s use in health advocacy

  • T1: How can health advocacies benefit from SoMe tools?
  • T2: How can we assess impact of health advocacies using SoMe tools?
  • T3: Tips for health advocacies wanting to use SoMe tools

Take home thoughts: What’s one thing you’ve learned today that you think will help you use social media for your health advocacies?

Join us at #HealthXPh on February 1, 2014  10:00 AM Manila Philippines time!

(Header photo credits to Stephanie Baum of MedCity News in this article)