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ABSTRACT: Ethical issues in using social media for health and health care research

The dramatic growth of social media in recent years has not gone unnoticed in the health sector. Media such as Facebook and Twitter are increasingly being used to disseminate information among health professionals and patients but, more recently, are being seen as a source of data for surveillance and research, for example by tracking public concerns or capturing discourses taking place outside traditional media outlets. This raises ethical issues, in particular the extent to which postings are considered public or private and the right to anonymity of those posting on social media. These issues are not clear cut as social media, by their nature, blur the boundary between public and private. There is a need for further research on the beliefs and expectations of those using social media in relation to how their material might be used in research. In contrast, there are areas where the ethical issues are more clear cut, such as when individuals are active participants in research, where traditional considerations apply

via Ethical issues in using social media for healt… [Health Policy. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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