Recently, Kansas State University released a PR about how one of their research teams is investigating whether social media may serve as a tool to reduce and prevent diseases from spreading.
For instance, can correct timing on when to get a flu shot help stop the spread of influenza if posted to say Twitter of Facebook?
The research team is made up of a mixture of public health scientist, experts in dynamical systems theory and control, computer engineering, psychology of decision making, and experts on family studies and dynamics. Data is being collected via surveying college-age students on SoMe and what prevention they take on illness. Target groups are also being identified that can be reached and may benefit from SoMe intervention.
For example, one demographic the research group thinks may benefit the most are those involved in public endeavors such as teachers or public officials. Similar to a pyramid effect, these individuals can be made aware of issues to then disseminate to the public. So far the group has released one study and will be conducting further research into this area.
I think this may be a great way to engage a population that is heavily using the internet and social media to gain access to health care information via such services. However, would it be possible to collaborate with Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter to create health endeavors at the time of year through advertisement to reach such a large population as well? I feel approaching this endeavor with these social media giants is crucial in order to get noticable results.
source: Kansas State University Release