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Title: The impact and applications of social media platforms for public health responses before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: systematic literature review
Authors: Gunasekeran, Dinesh Visva
Chew, Alton
Chandrasekar, Eeshwar K.
Rajendram, Priyanka
Kandarpa, Vasundhara
Rajendram, Mallika
Chia, Audrey
Smith, Helen
Leong, Choon Kit
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Gunasekeran, D. V., Chew, A., Chandrasekar, E. K., Rajendram, P., Kandarpa, V., Rajendram, M., Chia, A., Smith, H. & Leong, C. K. (2022). The impact and applications of social media platforms for public health responses before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: systematic literature review. Journal Of Medical Internet Research, 24(4), e33680-.
Journal: Journal Of Medical Internet Research 
Abstract: Background: Social media platforms have numerous potential benefits and drawbacks on public health, which have been described in the literature. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our limited knowledge regarding the potential health impact of these platforms, which have been detrimental to public health responses in many regions. Objective: This review aims to highlight a brief history of social media in health care and report its potential negative and positive public health impacts, which have been characterized in the literature. Methods: We searched electronic bibliographic databases including PubMed, including Medline and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Xplore, from December 10, 2015, to December 10, 2020. We screened the title and abstracts and selected relevant reports for review of full text and reference lists. These were analyzed thematically and consolidated into applications of social media platforms for public health. Results: The positive and negative impact of social media platforms on public health are catalogued on the basis of recent research in this report. These findings are discussed in the context of improving future public health responses and incorporating other emerging digital technology domains such as artificial intelligence. However, there is a need for more research with pragmatic methodology that evaluates the impact of specific digital interventions to inform future health policy. Conclusions: Recent research has highlighted the potential negative impact of social media platforms on population health, as well as potentially useful applications for public health communication, monitoring, and predictions. More research is needed to objectively investigate measures to mitigate against its negative impact while harnessing effective applications for the benefit of public health.
ISSN: 1438-8871
DOI: 10.2196/33680
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
Rights: © Dinesh Visva Gunasekeran, Alton Chew, Eeshwar K Chandrasekar, Priyanka Rajendram, Vasundhara Kandarpa, Mallika Rajendram, Audrey Chia, Helen Smith, Choon Kit Leong. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 11.04.2022. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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