Pew Internet & American Life Project: Leveraging Social Media and the Mobile Internet in Health Messaging

Last week the Pew Internet & American Life Project Exit Disclaimer published a report about mobile access Exit Disclaimer. They found that more and more people are using their mobile phones, laptops, and other wireless devices to access the Internet. People who own a cell phone are also more likely to use it for activities other than talking, such as taking photos, sending text messages, playing games, recording videos, playing music, and sending or receiving email. The report also states that African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos continue to be among the most active users of the mobile web. More African-Americans (87%) and Latinos (87%) own a cell phone compared with whites (80%) and they are more likely to access the Internet from their phones.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project continues to be a source of information and guidance for’s new media activities. Susannah Fox Exit Disclaimer, Pew’s Associate Director for Digital Strategy, recently gave a presentation to the HHS Web Council. View her slides and listen to a recording of her presentation, Leveraging Social Media and the Mobile Internet in Health Messaging. Download the transcript. (PDF 184.2K)


  1. One of the most innovative and exciting approaches to mobile phone is their use in healthcare to create a continuum of care in rural regions where lack of health workers, distance, and poverty can prevent patients and families attending health facilities. In a number of palliative care programmes in Africa, patients, and volunteers “flash” community and palliative care nurses on their cell phones, – letting them know that they need to speak to someone, but not using up the small amount of valuable credit they have by letting the call go through. The nurses then call the patient or volunteer back and provide care and advice, or organise a visit.

  2. Thank you so much for posting my presentation! I think our recent mobile findings will resonate across many fields, but especially in the delivery of health information and health care.
    I thought you might also be interested in a presentation I put together for the senior staff of the National Library of Medicine.
    Here is a link to the handout: Mobile, Social Health
    And here are my notes from the meeting:

  3. Interestingly, World Aids Database employs the technologies you discuss, but in Africa. Health messaging and remote health care are easily handled by wireless broadband networks, so as to be mobile. A basic distrust seems to be prevalent there, and approaching patients away from government hospitals is much easier, it seems.

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