Health care conferences: patient participation through Twitter

People and physicians


Engaged patients increase information flow, expand propagation, and deepen engagement in the conversation of tweets.

The study

A study by Larry Chu, executive director of Stanford Medicine X, demonstrated the benefits of including patients in medical conferences through Twitter in terms of engagement and dissemination of information.


Background Health care conferences present a unique opportunity to network, spark innovation, and disseminate novel information to a large audience, but the dissemination of information typically stays within very specific networks. Social network analysis can be adopted to understand the flow of information between virtual social communities and the role of patients within the network.

Conclusions Although engaged patients are powerful accelerators of information flow, expanders of tweet propagation, and greatly deepen engagement in conversation of tweets on social media of health care conferences compared to physicians, they represent only 1.4% of the stakeholder mix of the top 100 influencers in the conversation. Health care conferences that fail to engage patients in their proceedings may risk limiting their engagement with the public, disseminating scientific information to a narrow community and slowing flow of information across social media channels.

Full study on Journal of Medical Internet Research: Patient Participation at Health Care Conferences: Engaged Patients Increase Information Flow, Expand Propagation, and Deepen Engagement in the Conversation of Tweets Compared to Physicians or Researchers.

Let's do it

FreeMedSoft can get your health care conference the engagement it deserves from physicians and patients alike. We will manage your Twitter account with our tailored bots and human specialists, give you and your participants precise metrics and make your conference hashtag trend in #MedTwitter.