Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Bringing the social media revolution to healthcare – Lee Aase and the 7th HARC Forum

(Hospital Alliance for Research Collaboration)***

Excerpt from the blog item  by Dr. Kishan Kariippanon at Youth Health 2.0

Have you heard of a person by the name of Lee Aase? His only formal qualification is a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. I heard him say in reference to it that “BS and Political Science go together”, just last week in Sydney. He traveled all the way from Austin, Minnesota so that he can meet and bring the success of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media in the flesh, to dispel the doubts and illustrate how the healthcare revolution will be Tweeted.

An auditorium of interested people from various backgrounds within healthcare and beyond  attended the 7th HARC Forum “Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Healthcare”. Lee Aase may seem like an ordinary person (he has never refered to himself as an expert) but his contribution to health communication innovation is priceless. That is the beauty of social media – anyone can make significant contribution on a global scale….

[From interview with Lee Aase by Dr. Kishan Kariippanon ]

“Social Media University Global (SMUG) started as my personal blog. I would always say “go to my blog” whenever I was asked about social media. Eventually I created a step by step practical or hands on learning space for anyone to learn how to use social media,” subsequently naming himself Chancellor. “It’s not only about or for  healthcare, but we have built on it through the Mayo Clinic Centre for Social Media. There are now 1300 people from 6 continents who join the SMUG Facebook Page“, he says.

“People in low resource and developing countries can also benefit from a blog like this. Having a blog like this creates tools for people with interesting ideas to find others with interesting ideas.”

“Public Health bloggers have an opportunity to find creative ways to raise awareness of issues that have public health impact or huge societal impact. A video that we made called Know your numbers‘ was used to illustrate the importance of knowing your heart related numbers (blood pressure, lipids and BMI) in a fun way. So it is not preachy or talking down to people. Maybe a kind of clever way of getting the word out. We are using basic tools like YouTube and Facebook and blogs to help communicate a message that could make alot of difference for lots of people in helping them prevent a heart attack.”

“Blogs can play a huge role in disseminating information in two senses:

Firstly, in spreading the word about the things that are available in peer-reviewed journals because there is so much showing up in the journals but are locked away. If it isn’t mobile or getting to the frontline practitioners, it’s not doing the practical good that it could. So there is a huge opportunity for these tools.

We do YouTube videos on articles that are published in peer-reviewed journals, where the doctor involved is talking about what was behind the study, what does this really all mean to patients. Then getting the patients who were really active and engaged around a disease to help spread the word too. You don’t have to subscribe to the journal to have access to this information.

The journals are going to be under increasing pressure to move faster in publication. I think that is a great benefit and that there are alternate ways.  There are  other ways of disseminating research information, a good example would be our “spontaneous coronary artery dissection”  that was published on the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. An example of how patients are turning upside down the process in that they are helping to initiate ideas for how research can be done. We are using social media to recruit for more people to be part of a study, especially in rare a disease. A virtual registry can help out and social media is making this possible.”

Related Articles and Blog items

Read more:

Article by Lee Aase on The Conversation: Move over Dr Google, the future of health is social

Medical Observer article: Social media can protect patients


An interview with Lee Aase by Dr Norman Swan from ABC Radio National’s Health Report.

Listen and watch the podcasts:


***From  the 7th HARC forum summary

7th HARC Forum

Topic: “Bringing the social media revolution to healthcare”
Keynote speaker: Lee Aase
Founder and Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media
Date: 9 November 2011

Social media is used increasingly as a personal and professional communication tool. The purpose of this Forum was to consider how we can improve healthcare delivery using social media tools.

The keynote speaker, Lee Aase, is a pioneer in using social media tools in the hospital environment and an advocate for social media adoption in healthcare. Lee is a founder and Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, a first-of-its-kind social media center focused on healthcare that builds on Mayo Clinic’s leadership among healthcare providers in adopting social media tools.

Lee’s presentation was followed by responses from two local experts: Melissa Sweet, an independent health journalist and editor of Crikey’s health blog, Croakey; and Hugh Stephens, a social media expert and medical student enrolled at Monash University.

December 18, 2011 - Posted by | Public Health | , , ,


  1. […] Bringing the social media revolution to healthcare – Lee Aase and the 7th HARC Forum ( […]

    Pingback by The Love-Hate Dynamics of Social Media and Healthcare — Maneland Media | December 21, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi Janice,
    Just wondering if you would like to update the links in this article? I work at the Sax Institute and we’ve moved websites so the links to that info has moved to here:

    Comment by Frances Gilham (@FrancesGilham) | September 26, 2013 | Reply

    • Hello Frances,

      Happy to oblige, but a bit dense on which link(s) to redo.
      Will change with info on
      —Which phrase(s) has/have broken links
      —URLs of correct links.

      Thanks for all you do at Sax Institute,


      Comment by Janice Flahiff | September 26, 2013 | Reply

  3. Hi Janice,
    Sorry for the delayed response!
    Under ‘Related Articles and Blog Items’, the ‘7th HARC Forum summary’ should link to
    And one link under that:
    Archived tweets:
    Greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Frances Gilham (@FrancesGilham) | October 24, 2013 | Reply

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