SPPH 581H - Social media in health & medicine (Student Projects)
Gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) people experience several health inequalities which are not always recognized in the health care setting. One estimate puts lack of recognition of GLB patients by health providers in 5,500 premature deaths in Canada every year and costs $8 billion in lost productivity. In Canada, a significant barrier is a lack of government-funded research programs targeting the GLB community. One remedy I explore specifically in this project in order to improve GLB research uptake is the potential value of using Facebook in the recruitment of study volunteers.
Physicians of the future will need hi-tech skills in medical informatics, health and business. Information and communications technologies (ICTs) are increasingly important in medical education and recognized as a key component for the future by the Association of the Faculties of Medicine in Canada (AFMC). Due to its considerable untapped communicative and collaborative power, emerging, global social tools such as Facebook will likely play a critical role in medical education. This project examines Facebook’s use to date and whether any consensus has emerged in the medical literature as to its relative value in medical education.
Devastating events such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami , and Hurricane Irene have demonstrated the power and reach of social media in emergency situations. Mission 4636, launched in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, can offer us a powerful case study to examine how social media can bring together various organizations to mobilize resources and save people’s lives. We will discuss this project and the potential application of social media as an integral part of a coordinated response to emergencies in the future.