Penn Heart Study

Leveraging Twitter to conduct and examine interventions to improve heart health

We are exploring new ways to use Twitter to conduct interventions with patients to determine if social media can be leveraged to improve patient care.  

This project evaluates social media for both its efferent and afferent pathways—as a source not just to communicate to communities, but also to learn from them. For individuals with chronic illnesses, automated self-management support (e.g. mHealth) and online communities have been shown to improve clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and reduce health care costs and utilization.  This project seeks to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the burden of disease by uncovering how patients communicate about their cardiovascular health online and improving their ability to manage the disease.

The Penn Heart Study is currently engaging patients with hypertension and diabetes using social media tools.