Collaborating Authors

Social health: The future of healthcare marketing


With advertisers preparing to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are increasingly (and carefully) engaging trusted health social influencers to connect more authentically with consumers. As pharma starts to leverage a multitude of high-engagement channels like influencer marketing, online communities and virtual health services, the industry finds itself in a unique position to reimagine traditional direct-to-consumer (DTC) efforts and peer-to-peer communication. That means going beyond TV ad celebrities or one-off Instagram relationships limited to short-term PR value. When it comes to motivating consumers to take action with their health, and especially inspiring people to speak to a doctor, pharma needs to be thinking about new ways not just to reach patients but to activate them. Social health--the digital means by which health consumers engage with each other and their health--has broad applications for the healthcare industry overall.

Being Unpopular Is Bad For Your Health, Study Finds

International Business Times

People who are more socially awkward might also have worse physical health than their more popular counterparts, all because they are stressed out and lonely. Although previous research has linked social interactions and factors to mental health, a new study in the journal Health Communications also draws a connection between poor social skills and poor physical health, based on a survey of adults across a broad range of ages.

Machine learning in the social and health sciences


The uptake of machine learning (ML) approaches in the social and health sciences has been rather slow, and research using ML for social and health research questions remains fragmented. This may be due to the separate development of research in the computational/data versus social and health sciences as well as a lack of accessible overviews and adequate training in ML techniques for non data science researchers. This paper provides a meta-mapping of research questions in the social and health sciences to appropriate ML approaches, by incorporating the necessary requirements to statistical analysis in these disciplines. We map the established classification into description, prediction, and causal inference to common research goals, such as estimating prevalence of adverse health or social outcomes, predicting the risk of an event, and identifying risk factors or causes of adverse outcomes. This meta-mapping aims at overcoming disciplinary barriers and starting a fluid dialogue between researchers from the social and health sciences and methodologically trained researchers.

Instagram 'worst for young mental health'

BBC News

Instagram is rated as the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people's mental health, a UK snapshot survey suggests. The poll asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 to rate which of five popular social media platforms had the most negative effect on their users. They were asked to score each platform on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image. Mental health charities urged companies to act to increase users' safety. The Royal Society for Public Health study says social platforms should flag up heavy social media use and identify users with mental health issues.

Cash for faster mental health training

BBC News

The Department of Health is giving 10m to a fast-track scheme training graduates to become social workers in community mental health teams. The scheme run by charity Think Ahead aims to recruit 300 graduates by 2018 to work with nurses and psychiatrists. They will receive specialist training on supporting individuals and families with mental health problems. Graduates are paid while training on the job and qualify as social workers a year earlier than normal. Those who secure a place on the scheme become mental health social workers, working with psychologists, nurses and doctors to support the everyday needs of those with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.