From the International Medical Informatics Association

New IMIA Working Groups (1) – Social Media

At the recent 2010 IMIA General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa (Sept. 12), IMIA approved the formation of several new Working Groups (WG), and sanctioned work aimed at the re-activation and reconstitution of several others.

A new Social Media WG has been established, with Dr Chris Paton (New Zealand) as Chair, Francisco J Grajales III (Canada) as Vice chair, and Luis Fernandez-Luque (Norway) as Secretary.

The Social Media Working Group (SMWG) aims to be IMIA’s vehicle for stakeholder engagement in Social Media. Its membership will be international, inclusive, and multidisciplinary. The Social Media Working Group (SMWG) will build on the work completed by the IMIA Web 2.0 (exploratory) Task Force. The term “Social Media” has entered regular usage and reflects the social nature of many modern web sites and web-based tools. Beyond the web, social applications such as Second Life are continuing to advance in both technological features and user uptake. Taskforce members have met regularly at a variety of informatics conferences over the past 2 years and continue to disseminate information about the field to the Health Informatics profession.

The IMIA SMWG will engage members from the international health informatics community, across sectors, to identify, explore, collaborate, and disseminate research on the use of social media for health. Of particular interest are the drivers of change, barriers, facilitators, and policies necessary for the application of the various social media categories in the health domain. These categories include: 1) Social Networks (e.g., Facebook); 2) Professional Networks (e.g., LinkedIn); 3) Thematic Networks (e.g., PatientsLikeMe, TuDiabetes); Microblogs; 4) Blogs; 5) Wikis; 6) Forums/Listserv’s; 7) Social Photo and Video Sharing Tools; 8 ) Collaborative Filtering Tools (e.g., RSS, recommender systems, tagging); and 9) Multi-User Virtual Environments (e.g., Second Life) 10) Social applications and games; 11) Integration of Social Media with Health Information Technologies (e.g. EHRs, PACS, SNOMED); 12) Other (e.g., FriendFeed).

The sectors that will be engaged and invited to participate in this group, include (but are not limited to): 1) IMIA Member Organizations; 2) Academic Bodies; 3) Industry; 4) Governmental research institutions (e.g, US CDC); and 4) Intergovernmental Organizations (e.g., WHO, PAHO, ITU, WMA). The applications of social media will be explored with particular applications to: 1) health care delivery, 2) health care professional education; 3) public health; 4) clinical and disaster medicine; and 5) research.

The WG has already had one meeting in Second Life (early October) and plans to meet at the forthcoming Medicine 2.0’10 conference in Maastricht, The Netherlands (

The WG has set up the following channels for interaction and communication and invites interested people to become members:


October 5, 2010 - Posted by | IMIA, WG | , , , , , , , ,

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