Closing the gap with social media

NEW digital platforms and social media are transforming opportunities for health innovation and promotion in indigenous communities.

In recent years, a growing number of health professionals, institutions and providers have been turning to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), social media and new interactive devices.

Where there were once disparate voices, with social media and other emergent technologies we can create real-time conversations.

This will continue to have significant implications for remote and hard-to-reach communities.

As Melissa Sweet in the Medical Journal of Australia points out, particular areas of the Indigenous health sector in Australia have been at the forefront of the innovative use of these mediums.

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, for example, uses Twitter to drive access to important policy submissions, and uses social media daily to disseminate health news alerts.

The power of these platforms is not just in the ability to disseminate information, however. New digital media enable us to better listen to and learn from communities, and to nurture and build richer, multi-way conversations.

It drives community engagement and in doing so often facilitates social inclusion, and digital and health literacy.

Aboriginal Drawing