Many hospitals and clinics have joined the social media revolution, turning to Twitter to dispense information to patients and their families. Individuals living with illness, medical students and those simply interested in lifestyle tips now have access to everything from advice about eating mindfully to health insurance. Here are ten healthcare providers of special interest that deliver the best tweets around.
Mayo Clinic’s history dates back to the 1800s. Tweets include techniques for managing stress, healthy eating tips, links to their blog and job postings. The clinic also promotes contests like Minnesota’s Brand Madness, which gives fans a chance to vote for the state’s beloved brand.
Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon and professor at the Emory University School of Medicine and also CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent. Items of interest include a weekly medical mystery contest and links to his blog posts on CNN Health. He is respected by high-profile individuals like President Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
NIMH is dedicated to worldwide mental health research. Tweets include statistics about depression, tips for managing chronic pain and links to its blog. Subjects include reducing suicide rates and lessening the stigma of living with mental illness. NIMH also promotes posts written by other professionals in the mental health field.
Famous for providing free treatment to children with devastating illnesses, tweets from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital often concern fundraising efforts. Founded by the late actor Danny Thomas, St. Jude has numerous supporters, including Cindy Crawford and snowboarder Shaun White. Thomas’ children, most notably Marlo Thomas, continue their father’s work.
Though not classified as official medical advice, Medline Plus – the website of the National Institute of Health – tweets health and medicine news for patients and their families. Maintained by the National Library of Medicine, wellness information includes finding relief from snoring, statistics about eating disorders and facts about breast cancer.
Followers of this account are privy to safety communication about over-the-counter drug use and breaking news about drug approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also promotes a drug safety podcast. The account is a gateway to FDA accounts, such as the Center for Tobacco Products.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers a variety of health tips, including how to stay healthy while on vacation, parenting tips, news about cancer screenings, and, especially important now, how to prevent heat-related illnesses. Additional tweets highlight the benefits of breastfeeding and how to lower sodium intake.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardiac surgeon and author who rose to prominence on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The Emmy Award winner now hosts “The Dr. Oz Show” and tweets advice to his followers, including motivational information about smoking cessation and how to avoid temptations like the overconsumption of soda.
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RememberItNow supports its followers with medication and event reminders – very helpful for patients and their caregivers. They also provides tweets on care giving, eHealth news, mobile health news, and even suggestions for lowering a hospital bill. For those interested in specific advice about one subject, RememberItNow! also provides patients with reminders from their Tweets4Wellness, Tweets4Heart, Tweets4Baby, Tweets4Diabetes, Tweets2Succeed, and Tweets4Care accounts.
The variety of information available by following these accounts will help consumers make more informed decisions about their healthcare needs, save themselves money, and will make wellness information shared among family and friends more reliable and accurate. Here’s to improved health!
*This post was written by Nan Gibbons. Nan is a fitness expert and marketer who loves traveling the world to advise at sporting events. When she’s stateside, she enjoys spending time volunteering at environmental organizations and spending time with her lab mix, Cody.