The role of social media in communicating
and raising patient expectations
Barts and The London
Topics to be covered
1. What is social media?
2. Why is it important for clinicians?
a. Two-way communication
b. Saving time
c. Moral responsibility
d. Clinical practice
3. Why is important for patients?
a. Raising patient expectations
b. Patient engagement
4. Future trends
Why is it important for clinicians to
engage with social media?
Prof Giovannoni is working hard for you!
8 new & 20 follow-up slots per clinic
Running between consulting rooms A & B
The 5-min history & 5-min neurological examination
The NHS is working hard for you!
Time is your most precious resource?
Case study 1, 2, 3, 4, ……… n
42 year old male diagnosed with RRMS aged 32
• Interferon-beta for 8 years
• Relapse free for the last 4 years
• Last 2-years noticed increasing difficulty walking;
now using a walking stick
Question: “Prof G, have you heard about liberation
therapy? Would you recommend I have
Four types of AIDS denialist:
1. The ‘dissident scientist’ who lends
2. The ‘cultropreneur’ who peddles quack
3. The ‘living icon’ or ‘long-term survivor’
4. The ‘praise-singer’ or ‘journalist’ or
‘politician’ who sows doubt about HIV
The HIV/AIDS community
1. Patient activists / organisers
2. Access to media
3. Conspiracy theories
BARTS-MS Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 2014;3(2):143–146.
Question: “Prof G, I have had RRMS for 7 years;
4.5 years on interferon-beta until pregnancy, no
medication for 2.5 years, mild symptoms once a
year. I have been offered GA by my consultant.
Should I start GA?”
• Social media and eHealth are here to stay
– It is your choice; you can either join the movement and benefit from the technology or
remain a spectator
• Adoption is occurring very rapidly in some sectors
• Advantages are obvious
– Improved efficiency (cost and time-effective)
– Better outcomes (adherence, social capital, self-management)
– Higher satisfaction
– Innovation in multiple areas (asynchronous, new trial designs, automation, etc.)
• Disadvantages are not so obvious
– Time-consuming; need to be up-to-date and change posts regularly
– Need to be disciplined
– Use to make sure you work within your national guidelines
• Hurdles to adoption of eHealth are not insurmountable
– Privacy, data protection and medico-legal issues are being resolved
– Numerous guidelines are helping adoption