University of Pennsylvania logo

Twitter

Social Media and Health Innovation Lab Blog

Posted:
Jan 13, 2017

Author:
Emily S

Tags:

Hospitals Try Giving Patients a Dose of VR

When Deona Duke woke up from a medically-induced coma to begin recovering from burns that covered almost a third of her body, one of her treatments was hurling snowballs at penguins. The 13-year-old was set on fire when a bonfire exploded on her and her friend. To prevent infection, burn victims need their bandages changed and dead skin scraped away. Sometimes, even morphine isn’t enough to make that tolerable.

At the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Duke’s doctors gave her a virtual reality headset. Slipping it on, she was immersed in “SnowWorld,” an icy landscape where she got to lob snow at snowmen and igloos. The Texas hospital is one of the few trying out virtual reality to relieve pain.

Link to full article

Here's What Your Instagram Feed Says About Your Mental Health

Instagram can be a good indicator of a person’s mental health. At least that’s what two researchers, Harvard University’s Andrew Reece and the University of Vermont’s Chris Danforth, have written in a recent report. The study was based on 166 volunteers who were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, where you can make money by completing “Human Intelligence Tasks,” and it looked at their entire Instagram histories, which came out to about 43,950 photos. Read More 

Read More

Posted:
Aug 18, 2016

Author:
Christina

Tags:

The Best New Way to Read? Novels Told Through Text Messages

BRIANNA HOWARTH IS a 22-year-old who writes stories that vibrate with eerie tension. In one, a babysitter suddenly discovers that the children she’s sitting have vanished; in another, several teenagers break into their school to pull a late-night prank, only to find something seems to be hunting them. Classic YA horror, right?

Read More

Medical Providers Try Uber, Lyft For Patients With Few Transportation Options

Edith Stowe, 83, waited patiently on a recent afternoon at the bus stop outside MedStar Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia. It’s become routine for her, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  Stowe, who lives about five miles from the hospital, comes into the medical center twice every three months to get checkups for chronic kidney failure. She doesn’t own a car and relies on buses. During rush hour, buses are more frequent, and she can keep the commute to about 30 minutes.

Read More

Posted:
Aug 12, 2016

Author:
Emily S

Tags:

Forget cops. Should doctors and teachers wear body cameras?

Body cameras have become the solution of the day for stomping out discriminatory behavior against minorities by police officers. Cameras provide a neutral record of events, so we have a better idea what happened during an encounter. Some research even suggests that the presence of body cameras steeply reduce the use of force by officers and the number of citizens' complaints.

Read More

Senior citizens rarely consult Dr. Google for medical advice, study says

Senior citizens need more medical care than anyone else in the United States. And the Internet is chock full of health information. Yet seniors are far less likely than other adults to tap into it, new research shows.  A report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. found that only about 18% of participants in the National Health and Aging Trends Study got health information online in 2014.

Read More

Federal Officials Seek To Stop Social Media Abuse Of Nursing Home Residents

Federal health regulators have announced plans to crack down on nursing home employees who take demeaning photographs and videos of residents and post them on social media.

Read More

Posted:
Aug 9, 2016

Author:
Deirdre

Tags:

An Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri for healthcare: Closer than we think?

In the musical "Hamilton," George Washington exclaims: “We are outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, outplanned. We gotta make an all-out stand. Ayo, I’m gonna need a right-hand man.” I recently saw this performance and the remark made me think to myself: Like George and his nascent collection of militia trying to defend New York City from a British armada and 32,000 troops, are clinicians about to face an overwhelming onslaught with respect to digital health and cognitive computing? 

Read More

Posted:
Aug 8, 2016

Author:
Remi

Tags:

Watch out, ladies: Your period-tracking app could be leaking personal data

For years, millions of women have used mobile apps to help track their menstrual cycles and get a better handle on their fertility. But now, it turns out, some of those apps may have been leaking this intimate information.

Read More

Posted:
Aug 8, 2016

Author:
Emily S

Tags:

How Your Health Data Lead A Not-So-Secret Life Online

There are apps that can help people with diabetes keep track of their blood sugar and apps that can attach to a blood pressure cuff and store blood pressure information. I use an app called ZocDoc to schedule and manage doctor's appointments. Every time I see a therapist or a primary care doctor or dentist, the data get stored in my personal account.

Read More

Pages

The Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation engages interdisciplinary teams to reimagine health care delivery for dramatically better value and patient outcomes.

The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is Penn's center for research, policy analysis, and education in health systems. Its 200 Senior Fellows analyze the medical, economic, and social issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered across the U.S.

We are passionate about pursuing impactful research and eager to explore opportunities that will enable a culture of social media and health innovation at Penn, Penn Medicine, and beyond.  Have an idea for a project?  Interested in collaboration?  Click here to learn more about how to contact us.