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Population Studies using Social Media


Physicians are using Social Media to study Populations.

The engagement of Social Media and Population Health by Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor Elyse Weitzman M.D. 

The presentation was sponsored by OREILLY Media, a niche electronic publishing firm is an American media company established by Tim O'Reilly that publishes books and Web sites and produces conferences on computer technology topics. n 1992, O'Reilly Media published one of the first popular books about the Internet, Ed Krol's Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog.[1] O'Reilly Media also created the first web portal, the Global Network Navigator ("GNN") in 1993; it was sold to AOL in 1995, one of the first large transactions of the dot-com bubble.


Goal is how to engage populations and cohorts patients, children and adolescents. Communities according to disease, not just young demographic.

Working with 2Diabetes (online community-virtual) of individuals and families with….run by Diabetes Hand Foundation.

Individuals with most helpful information find one another in online communities. Much less expensive than classical population studies. “Goldmine” of treatments, side effects and questions. Peer-Peer information is unstructured, but can be organized with software. Open loop vs closed loop system.

2Diabetes software authorizes a personal health record controlled by  the individual. It is interactive similar to informed consent and transparency.

Diabetes management, tracking GIS maps for HgA1C. along with social status. Software also allow observation of regional  information, de-identified, with several different graphic presentations.  The information of the individual is overlayed against the regional or state level.

Social Media is an alternative means of gathering population data other than telephone survey, door-door interviews.

Despite skeptics who are naysayers about the use of social media in medicine, Professor  Weitzman proves its utility for population studies.  And the fact that OREILLY MEDIA sponsored this presentation says it all.

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