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Social media in paediatric heart disease: professional use and opportunities to improve cardiac care*

  • Kurt R. Schumacher (a1), Joyce M. Lee (a2) (a3) and Sara K. Pasquali (a1)


Social media is any type of communication utilising electronic technology that follows two guiding principles: free publishing or sharing of content and ideas and group collaboration and inter-connectedness. Over the last 10 years, social media technology has made tremendous inroads into all facets of communication. Modalities such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are no longer viewed as new communication technologies. Owing to their tremendous usage, they are now common ways to conduct a dialogue with individuals and groups. Greater than 91% of teenagers and 89% of young adults routinely use social media. Further, 24% of teenagers reported being online “almost constantly”. These forms of communication are readily used by individuals cared for in the field of paediatric cardiology; thus, they should carry significant interest for cardiology care providers; however, social media’s influence on medicine extends beyond use by patients. It directly affects all medical providers, both users and non-users. Further, social media has the ability to improve care for patients with paediatric heart disease. This article details social media’s current influence on paediatric cardiology, including considerations for professional use of social media and potential opportunities to improve cardiac care.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: K. R. Schumacher, MD, MS, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 1540 East Hospital Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-4204, United States of America. Tel: 734 615 2369; Fax: 734 936 9470; E-mail:


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Presented at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cardiology 2015: 18th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease: “Challenges and Dilemmas”, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America, Wednesday February 11, 2015 – Sunday, February 15, 2015.



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