Symplur in the Media

How to Use Twitter to Find a Treasure Trove of Real Patient Voices

Center for Health Journalism, April 8, 2019

Thousands of patients spend time on Twitter talking about their cancer, or diabetes, or psoriasis, or almost any diagnosis you can imagine. As a reporter, you can find patients to interview while absorbing valuable background here. You can find an individual to be the face of your story, or sharpen your perspective on a chronic disease by reading about the experiences of dozens of patients living with it. (…) If you know the right hashtag, you can find knowledgeable patient leaders and followers talking about newsworthy topics. (…) Begin your search at the Healthcare Hashtag Project at a website called Symplur. Symplur is a for-profit company that sells information about social media analytics, but maintains some free data, including the hashtag project. Search for a disease to see the tags related to it. Once you settle on one, you will see individual “names” or Twitter handles, sorted mathematically to show the most influential first.

— Center for Health Journalism
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