Background: Today, social media seems to be a common forum for sharing information, discuss ideas and knowledge. The number of social media users are at increasing trend even in developing countries. The importance of using social media, especially in delivering healthcare services information, include the creation of awareness and firsthand information of health and health-related issues (effect of adverse drug reactions, reporting, among others). Purpose: The main objective of this work is to outline and discuss the opportunities and challenges of using social media in the health area. Specifically, the objectives of this paper are to compare the role of health professionals and consumers with special reference to social media; detect the validity of the information available in social media, and understand how to deal with incorrect/false information, and to analyze the main characteristics of the publications on the subject social media in healthcare.
Methods: This article is a narrative review, also a descriptive quantitative research, using the techniques of bibliometrics and sociometry in order to obtain information relevant to the subject in question. Results: The results presented the countries, researchers and universities that produced the most on the subject, and demonstrated the efficiency of bibliometrics and sociometry techniques for health research, going beyond a narrative review.
Conclusion: It is concluded that social media is a competitive differential in the provision of health services. To this end, institutions should empower their employees, encourage them to seek and convey reliable and accurate information, monitor routines, and evaluate results through user feedback. Suggestion: To this end, institutions should empower their employees, encourage them to seek and convey reliable and accurate information, monitor routines, and evaluate results through user feedback.