What is your main social media platform for health, fitness and medical information? Please take our poll

What is your main social media platform for health, fitness and medical information?

Healthcare and Social Media
Healthcare and Social Media

A few years back now we ran a short poll about the types of social media people use for health information.

Since then both the healthcare landscape and the social media world have change vastly.

So we thought it might be interesting to revisit the whole area of social media platforms and medicine with a new poll. Hopefully we will be able to identify some of the new ways that people are using the internet. Hopefully this will allow us to communicate better with our readers and the larger health community.

One final thing if you use a platform not mentioned in the poll below please do tell us which one in the comments section below. It would be great if you could share a link as well.

Many thanks in advance for your help!


Healthcare and Social Media – How one hospital is using social media to highlight its surgical breakthroughs and achievements.

Healthcare and Social Media – How one hospital is using social media to highlight its surgical breakthroughs and achievements.

Healthcare and Social Media
Healthcare and Social Media

As many of you know by know I’m a massive fan of social media and really believe that it can, and will, revolutionise healthcare.

On Wednesday 28 October, Leicester’s Hospitals will be using social media to showcase the pioneering techniques and hard work undertaken by staff each and every day in the Theatres and Intensive Care Units at the Royal Infirmary, General and Glenfield Hospitals.

The aim of the day is to give the public a behind-the-scenes look into our Theatres to highlight how our staff treat and care for patients who need an operation or intensive care. We will be sharing facts and figures, along with footage of new technology and procedures, information about job opportunities and a closer look at the roles of the staff that patients might meet on their journey through an operating theatre.

Phil Walmsley, Deputy Director of Operations for Theatre Services at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Theatres are rarely seen by the public so we want to demystify what goes on and celebrate the excellent work done by our staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are also keen to show what we have to offer to anyone who wants join our team to make a real improvement to patient care, but also to help explain to the public what happens in what can be scary places.”


The day will start at 8am with Chris Fowkes, Charge Nurse in Theatres, giving a virtual tour of the recently refurbished Theatres Arrival Area at Leicester Royal Infirmary via the Trust’s social media channels, followed by an introduction to a patient being shadowed for the day to explain the patient journey through our hospitals’ theatres.

Throughout the day, videos will be shared revealing pre-surgery ‘fitness tests’, real patient experiences, pioneering surgery, and advanced robotic surgery techniques. Those following the social media day will see behind the scenes in the Clinical Sciences Lab, the Theatre Matron’s Office to find out more about Operating Department Practitioners, and visit the Recovery Theatres where patients who were admitted earlier in the day will be recuperating from their operation.

In the afternoon there will be a chance to find out what it’s like to ‘manage floor control’, how many patients our reception staff see each day, and explore the role of Healthcare Assistants in the department. This will lead on to a video tour of the Cardiothoracic Theatre where behind-the-scenes images from the Cardiac Surgical Services at Glenfield will be showcased.

The social media day will culminate in a live Q&A session on Twitter (@Leic_Hospital) between 5-6pm with Phil Walmsley, Deputy Director of Operations, Dave Kirkbride, Consultant Anaesthetist and Warren Berman, General Manager, giving the public an opportunity to ask any questions about Theatres and Intensive Care Units at Leicester’s Hospitals using #UHLTheatres.

How often, if at all , do you use Facebook for health related or medical information and discussion?


Facebook for healthcare?
Facebook for healthcare?
As many of you will have picked up by now I am very interested in the whole area of social media and healthcare.

Obviously as somebody who runs a healthcare blog I axiomatically believe it to be a “game changer” as our American cousins put it.

But I’ve been wrong before , it will shock you to find, and I will be wrong again!

So to help we find out how we now use social media I am running a series of polls on the subject of which this is the first.

Today I’d like to explore the question “How often, if at all , do you use Facebook for health related or medical information and discussion?”

I’ve set up a poll below and it would be great if you could take part.




I’m also very interested in your views on privacy on Facebook. In particular on how this could/does impact upon your healthcare discussions on the site itself. It would be great if you could share your thoughts on this matter in the comments section below.

Thanks very much for your help on this matter.

Carers could be using smartphone to help them organise support says government!


Healthcare and social media
Healthcare and social media
As readers will have noticed by now I’m fascinated by using technology to improve healthcare!

So I was presently surprised to discover the UK’s government actually doing something useful for once.

It seems caregivers could soon be using smart phones, email alerts and pop-up care centres to help them plan and co-ordinate formal and informal support. The ideas will be trialled as part of £1.6 million of pilot projects announced .

It seems that there are 5.4 million carers in England and 57.7% are women . Caring responsibilities fall most heavily on women aged 50-64 and 12.1% of women work full time alongside their caring responsibilities.

There are more than three million people who currently have work and family caring responsibilities. Giving them support to manage caring alongside paid work would benefit them and their families and give British businesses and the UK economy potential saving of up to £1.3 billion a year.


The nine pilot areas will explore how technology can be combined with professional support from the Local Authority and the assistance of informal networks of friends, neighbours and Time Bank volunteers to ease the pressure of caring. For example, one pilot will monitor cared for adults by telephone every day at an agreed time, then contact the carer by email or text to confirm that they do not need assistance.

The pilots will also explore how businesses can give employees with caring responsibilities more help, for example by promoting flexible working patterns and setting up carers ‘surgeries’. One pilot will also set up a pop up business school to help carers set up in self-employment.

There will be nine pilot sites across the country: North Tyneside; Northamptonshire; Cheshire West; Gateshead; Bury; North Somerset; South Gloucestershire; Staffordshire and Stoke; and Sefton.

Healthcare, Social Media and People Power – How patients are helping to find a cure for a rare heart condition called Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)


Healthcare and social media
Healthcare and social media

Rebecca Breslin, 36, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, was struck down in March 2012 by spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) – a condition that results from an abnormality in the coronary artery causing the lining of the wall to tear resulting in a heart attack. Despite her diagnosis, her condition is so rare that cardiologists were unable to answer many of her questions and so she took to the internet to find more information.

She discovered just one research project in the world into the condition run by the Mayo Clinic in Massachusetts, USA.

As part of the US study, the research team were trying to establish a virtual registry of SCAD patients. Keen to share her case, Rebecca joined this registry but also saw the potential for other researchers to collaborate with this study, so she also began searching for other British female patients with the hope of establishing a project here in the UK.

Thanks to her efforts in identifying more than 100 patients from the UK, and a further 80 internationally, a grant from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is now funding a two year study into the condition. The study will be undertaken by a team of researchers at the NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, part of the University of Leicester, based at Glenfield Hospital.


Rebecca said: “This is a great example of people power. SCAD is a devastating condition; some sufferers have been left with heart failure and in other cases, sadly it’s proven fatal. We need answers as to why this happens to people and we hope this project will deliver on that. I’m delighted that we as patients have been able to get this off the ground.”

Dr David Adlam, cardiologist at Leicester’s Hospitals and lead researcher for the project, added: “This situation is unique. We usually struggle to find patients for our studies but this is a highly motivated group of patients who are understandably committed to finding out why this has happened to them and what it means for them and other people in the future.

“What we currently know about SCAD is largely anecdotal. The grant from the BHF will allow us to provide information based on solid science to the medical community and patients, improving diagnosis and management of the condition for patients in the future.”

SCAD is known to affect mostly women and in the majority of cases occurs in women under 50 who are otherwise healthy. In a significant number of cases, the condition occurs around the time of pregnancy or recently after giving birth.

Senior Cardiac Nurse at the BHF, Maureen Talbot explains: “Thankfully this condition is rare. But it can have devastating consequences – particularly in younger women who’ve probably never thought about their heart health before. We hope this research will help to understand this condition better, so we can develop better treatments for it and perhaps even prevent it in the first place.

“In the meantime, if you’re a woman and you’re worried or curious about your heart health, you can visit our Women’s Room – a dedicated online hub full of practical information and where you can talk to other women, just like you. Just visit www.bhf.org.uk/women.”

Patients with this condition can also register their interest in the research program on the SCAD-UK/EU website http://scad.lcbru.le.ac.uk/ or visit http://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/view-publication.aspx?ps=1002532 for further information on SCAD.