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On this year’s Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit, six researchers conferred their studies during the oral research presentation.

Included in the list were Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan of #HealthXPh, Mr. Kennedy Espina of the Ateneo de Manila University Department of Information Systems and Computer Science, Mr. Ralph Jason Li of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Mr. Rick Jason Obrero of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine Medical Informatics Unit, Ms. Ann Meredith Garcia of the Blessed Family Doctors General Hospital, and Mr. Nelson Tiongson of the UP Manila Medical Informatics Unit.

Isip-Tan presented her research entitled “Content Analysis of Tweets of Pregnant Women with Diabetes” which aims to describe health beliefs of pregnant women with diabetes using tweets and discussed how information on diabetes in pregnancy is shared on Twitter. According to Isip-Tan, Twitter can be an expressive tool for women who have preexisting diabetes and Gestational Diabetes (GD) as this has identified issues that are important to the patients.

Espina discussed his master thesis which presents the use of real-time latent data from social media, particularly from Twitter, to complement existing disease surveillance efforts. He mentioned using Infodemiology to predict a range of possible disease incidences of dengue and typhoid fever within the Western Visayas region.

Li presented his study on the main sources of anxiety and dissatisfaction of gestational diabetes patients as determined by the content analysis of their blogs using the online tool Symplur. Results from his study showed that 422 out of 2,787 sentences from the 56 blogs expressed anxiety or dissatisfaction on symptoms or side effects (18.96%) and treatment (18.25%).

Obredo, on the other hand, discussed his research project wherein he gathered comments from Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan’s highest commented Facebook post on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). He recommended using a better pre-processing algorithm for the study.

Garcia presented her study on lung cancer-related Twitter activity among patients and healthcare-related professionals. She explained that Twitter can be used to describe aspects related to hashtag #lungcancer as well as the top concerns of patients by using cross-sectional internet-based study involving the analysis of all publicly available tweets posted by patients and healthcare professionals.

Tiongson explained that his study hopes to provide an initial assessment on how Facebook is being utilized as a health communications platform. Data from the Department of Health (DOH) Facebook page was consolidated and compared along with the standards defined in the Process Evaluation Framework by Neiger et. al. (2012). Based from the findings, the DOH Facebook Page has not been fully utilized, mostly in terms of engagement principles of social media.

The 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit is a summit organized by the Council, in partnership with the #HealthXPh.

During the 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 25 April 2017 in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, health experts cited possible ways in ensuring ethics in health research such as the following:

  • Safeguard participant privacy and confidentiality
  • Secure free and informed consent
  • Protect vulnerable populations
  • Draft ethical guidelines
  • Review Data Privacy Act

The said health experts included Dr. Pacifico Eric Calderon of the San Beda College of Medicine, Mr. Aldren Gonzales of the University of the Philippines Manila Medical Informatics Unit, and Prof. Maria Minerva P. Calimag of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

Calderon also mentioned the challenges in maintaining physician-patient relationship such as poor quality of information, damage to professional image, violation of patient privacy, and blurring of professional and patient boundaries.

Gonzales added that social media is being utilized today in fields such as participatory medicine, behavioral studies, and public health promotion. According to Gonzales, the impact of social media can be measured through key performance indicators which include insights, exposure, reach, and engagement.

Meanwhile, Calimag discussed the social media ethics framework by the University of Aberdeen, the association of internet researchers (AoIR) 6 key guiding principles, and different scenarios and solutions to problems in research in healthcare and social media.

CEBU CITY- The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the #HealthXPh has teamed up again to hold the 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 25 April 2017 at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Hotel. 

With the theme “Social Media & Health Research: Connections that Matter,” this year’s summit focused on research with its six tracks following the research process from thinking of a topic (Track 1), ethical guidelines in research (Track 2), literature review (Track 4), software tools (Tracks 3 and 6), to research dissemination via social media (Track 5).

During the summit overview, Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan, #HealthXPh Co-Founder, announced that the Summit was again a certified “Patients Included” explaining that patients were not only speaking at the summit but were also able to register to attend as healthcare workers can.

Dr. Isip-Tan added that it was also the first time that the Summit has an unconference, a participant-driven session.

In his message, Dr. Jaime Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director, emphasized that social media is now a widely used tool to create content, share ideas, show interests, and facilitate expressions.

It [Social media] connects individuals, organizations, and agencies to build relationships and form communities online. Thus, it is important that we discuss the need to do research on social media as well as the ethical issues on its use as a tool in health research,” he said.

Healthcare professionals, patients and advocates, researchers, and students nationwide participated the Summit.

Social media makes it easier to quickly share information and mobilize large number of people towards a shared goal- greater process in health. This was emphasized by Mr. Merlita Opeña, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Chief, during the 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 25 April 2017 in Cebu City.

During her opening remarks for the summit, Ms. Opeña noted the relevance of social media as a tool for crowdsourcing, defining and refining the research agenda, mobilizing resources and experts, ensuring ethics in research, disseminating results to a wider audience, and doing big data analytics.

I am certain that we will all rise to the challenge of balancing the communication opportunities provided by social media with the risks of misinformation, breach of patient privacy, violation of personal-professional boundaries, and other legal issues,” she further said.

According to Ms. Opeña, the Council has been maximizing the use of social media to increase awareness of its stakeholders on health research, provide health information, and develop the health research’s network and sub-networks.

Social media is an asset which organizations, including research organizations, should put into good use. It is my hope that our dynamic involvement in this conference will, together, enable us to translate research into policy, action and better health care services, even products,” she emphasized. 

The 3rd Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit is a summit organized by the Council, in partnership with the #HealthXPh.

12th National Medical Writing Workshop and 5th Writeshop for Young Researchers
7-8 August 2017
Organized by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the
Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE)
Endorsed by the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME)


Application deadline: July 15, 2017
REGISTRATION IS FREE (limited slots only)

The Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), in cooperation with Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME) is organizing the 12th National Medical Writing Workshop and 5th Writeshop for Young Researchers on 7-8 August 2017 in Cagayan de Oro City. The workshop aims to help young investigators in health and health social sciences acquire practical knowledge and skills in preparing a scientific article for publication in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. Successful applicants will be granted free workshop registration, accommodation for participants and meals during the workshop, and assigned to a mentor-facilitator who will guide them in preparing their articles for a brief presentation.

Requirements for participants

The workshop is designed for a maximum of forty (40) researchers in health sciences and health social sciences, aged 35 years old and below, who have a research project completed not more than 2 years ago and have drafted a manuscript for submission to a scholarly journal. The selected draft manuscripts will be reviewed and revised during the workshop, based on the lectures and exercises, under the guidance of the faculty and mentor – facilitators. All participants are expected to present a 7-minute power point summary of their revised manuscripts on the second day of the workshop, and agree to submit the article to an appropriate scholarly peer-reviewed journal within three (3) months after the workshop.


Applicants should e-mail the following requirements to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before 30 June 2017:

1. Application forms (incomplete forms will not be considered)
2. Conforme slip
3. Abstracts
4. Draft Journal Manuscripts
5. Instructions to authors (This is a free document downloadable from the website of your prospective journal.)

Please use this subject format in your email: Application_12th Wrtieshop_(Surname)
Please save your documents in this format: Application form_(Surname), Conforme Slip_(Surname), Abstract_(Surname), Manuscript_(Surname), ITO_(Surname)

The results of the selection of participants for the Workshop will be communicated on July 15, 2017.

If there are any questions about the Workshop, please contact Ms. Ciaren Itulid at tel.no. (02) 837-7534.