Top 10 Social Media Influencers in Healthcare
Healthcare Global takes a look at the Top 10 Social Media Influencers within the healthcare sector.
What is an influencer? An influencer is someone who has:
- the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
- a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche.
Over the last decade or so, social media has grown rapidly. It is reported that there is over 3.8 billion people actively using social media. To put that into context, that is nearly 50% of the world's population. With mobile users at 5.19 billion, this number is more than likely to grow consistently.
10 | Matthew Holt
Holt is best known as the founder of The HealthCare Blog and (with Indu Subaiya) the Health 2.0 conferences, he now splits his time between them, Catalyst @ Health 2.0 (not owned by HIMSS), and the SMACK.health Advisory service for health tech startups,
Health 2.0 is the leading conference series showcasing frontier technologies in health care. In April 2017 HIMSS bought the conference side of Health 2.0 which he continues to work on.
The Catalyst @ Health 2.0 division (not part of HIMSS) runs challenges, code-a-thons, innovation programs, and market intelligence, and owns the SourceDB which has more health tech companies in it than you can imagine!
The HealthCare Blog has been a leading source of opinion, news and interviews about health and health technology since 2003. It also features his short but sweet "Heath in 2 point 00" videos with Jessica DaMassa.
And at SMACK.health he advises over 25 startups navigating the healthcare world.
During his career he has spent nearly 30 years in healthcare and health care IT as a generalist forecaster and strategist, having worked for renowned forecasting (IFTF) and polling (Harris) organizations, conducted several groundbreaking in-depth studies about many aspects of healthcare and delivered several keynote addresses all over the world. He knows a few people too.
Holt is also on the board of the Society for Participatory Medicine
9 | Halle Tecco
Halle Tecco is the founder of Natalist, an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, a founder and former CEO at Rock Health, an investor at Techammer, and a philanthropist and investor mostly active in the health sector.
Natalist, The Charleston, S.C.-based startup, which launched in August 2019, announced it has raised $5 million from a host of angel investors and venture capital firms. They include Rock Health, which Tecco founded in 2011, Katrina Lake, the founder of online personal shopping service Stitch Fix, Evidation Health co-founder Christine Lemke, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and Goldman Sachs partner R. Martin Chavez. Tecco, who’s also an active angel investor, says so many investors wanted in that she didn’t personally invest in Natalist.
While she doesn’t see herself creating something like the app Glow, which both offers information and data through various stages of pregnancy and a community of women working on becoming pregnant, she does see the value of collaboration with these types of communities on various fertility apps and would like to reach out to those founders to see if there might be something there they can work on in the future as well.
For those interested in checking out Natalist’s products, the “Get Pregnant” bundle starts at $90 for a one-time purchase or $75 per month for the subscription plan. You also can add products from the site à la carte, should you want more tests or vitamins than what’s in the one-month package.
8 | Nick Adkins
Bio: Kilt-wearing pink furry bike riding healthcare MBA. Love More. Fear Less.
“Ego is like dust in the eyes. Clear the ego and see the world.” This quote describes the unfolding path of Nick Adkins from healthcare executive to kilt-wearing digital health evangelist.
Nick Adkins is a former suit wearing MBA for the Vanderbilt Health Plans in Nashville, Tennessee. He was the COO at two Nashville based healthcare companies. In 2012 he set out on a new journey that took him to Portland, Oregon where he was a co-founder at a health tech startup. He currently serves on the advisory board at Cloudbreak Health, the leading video remote interpreting pioneer, and the first telemedicine market network to deliver unified telehealth solutions to hospitals nationwide.
Adkins is also the founder of the global pink socks movement. We see the good in the world! When you believe it, you see it. Keep doing that!
Adkins’s passion for seeing the awesomeness in people, connecting with them on a personal level, and sharing in their stories is what sets him apart from other leaders in healthcare. He has helped to push the industry to remember that patients/people/us are at the centre of our work. His commitment to being present and open, listening to understand, and sharing heart speak, allow us to see the best of ourselves in each other.
7 | Dave deBronkart
Bio: International patient engagement activist, speaker, author of Let Patients Help: A Patient Engagement Handbook, blogger
Richard Davies deBronkart Jr, widely known as e-Patient Dave, is a cancer patient and blogger who, in 2009, became a noted activist for healthcare transformation through participatory medicine and personal health data rights.
Before and during his illness he had been writing journals and blog posts about his experiences. On the hospital's blog, he signed himself "Patient Dave".
Upon recovery from near-death, he started a blog "The New Life of Patient Dave." In January 2008 he learned of the so-called "e-Patient White Paper" by Dr Thomas William Ferguson, which described how patients are using the Internet to participate actively in their care. He recognized it as a match for his own actions during his illness and renamed himself "e-Patient Dave," and his blog The New Life of e-Patient Dave.
He became the most active blogger on e-patients.net, a blog founded by the late Dr. Tom Ferguson, which he now manages. In February 2009 Ferguson's e-Patient Scholars Working Group elected him founding co-chair (with his physician, Dr Danny Sands) of the Society for Participatory Medicine. At conferences and meetings he is a frequent speaker about the "e-Patient" movement, also referred to as "patient engagement" and "participatory medicine”.
6 | Dr Kevin Pho
Bio: Physician, author, keynote speaker, USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Social media’s leading physician voice.
Kevin Pho is an American physician of internal medicine, media commentator, public speaker, and author. He is the founder and editor of KevinMD.com, a website aimed at medical professionals.
Pho writes on issues of medical technology in practice, doctors and patients engaging one another online, and how physicians can cultivate online reputations. His writings have been published in USA Today, CNN.com, and The New York Times, among others. He is also the co-author of the book Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices.
In 2004, Pho started the blog, KevinMD, in response to positive feedback from patients who read his blog post about the Vioxx recall. He had previously worked as a researcher for Google Answers, where he would answer questions by patients, and realized that patients did not seem to be getting the information they needed in the examination room.
Pho frequently writes about the benefits of physicians using social media as a way to help patients locate reliable information about healthcare and to communicate issues with medicine to the public and among colleagues. Over 1,000 healthcare professionals contribute articles to KevinMD.com.
In 2009, his blog received 1.4 million unique visitors. That year, Pho raised $1,000 to support the United Way of Greater Nashua by using his Twitter and Facebook profiles.
Pho received criticism for posting an article about a surgeon whose supervisor intentionally harmed a patient during vascular surgery in order to provide a teaching opportunity. Pho removed the story after it was determined to be fiction and apologized for not vetting its truth
5 | Dr Mike Varshavski
Bio: Board Certified FM Doctor in NYC/NJ 🏥👨🏻⚕️ 8+ Million Followers Strong
In early 2012, Varshavski joined Instagram to document his life as a medical student and combat the notion that "you can't have a life in medical school". He has said that he was not popular in high school and struggled to talk to girls and that he was disorganized and unable to speak well in public.
In college, however, he committed himself to learn how to talk to girls and put himself outside of his comfort zone, including reading the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Varshavski gained media attention in August 2015 when Buzzfeed published an article about him titled "Um, You Really Need To See This Hot Doctor And His Dog" that highlighted his good looks and his relationship with his dog Roxy. That November, People magazine named him "the Sexiest Doctor Alive" in its Sexiest Man Alive issue, and his Instagram account went viral.
In late 2015, Varshavski established a foundation, Limitless Tomorrow, to provide scholarships to students, and he has raised money for it by auctioning experiences with himself through his social media accounts] In January 2016, the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel collaborated in a $10 raffle for a date with Varshavski; the campaign raised $91,000 for his foundation.
After his residency, he joined a family practice with Atlantic Health System in Chatham, New Jersey.
4 | Jennifer Arnold
Bio: Mom, neonatologist, simulation educator, cancer survivor & co-star of #LittleCouple.
Arnold, MD, MSc, FAAP completed her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology at the University of Miami in Florida. She then completed her medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD and graduated in 2000. She attended a Pediatric Residency Program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
During her fellowship in neonatology, she obtained a Master's of Science in Medical Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She is Board Certified in both Pediatric and Neonatal Medicine and is currently the Medical Director of a state-of-the-art simulation centre at Texas Children's Hospital and is a practising neonatologist at the largest NICU in the country.
Dr Arnold has been involved in simulation education for the last 7 years. She was an NIH postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's Safar Center for Resuscitative Medicine from July 2006-July 2007 (NIH Training Grant # T32 HD40686). She has been funded for her simulation educational research through the Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine. Prior to coming to Texas Children's Hospital, Dr Arnold completed a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of a simulation-based training program on pediatric resident neonatal intubation success and competency.
She has spoken both nationally and internationally on healthcare simulation education. She has made numerous speeches for avenues such as the Texas Conference for Women, Shiners Hospital, March of Dimes and many more. She has received numerous awards including the Ray E. Helfer Award for innovation in medical education from the Academic Pediatric Association, Compassionate Doctor Recognition in 2010, 2011 and Patients' Choice Award for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 from Vitals.com.
She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association, Society for Simulation in Healthcare, the Children's Hospital Association, and has served on the Education Council for the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI)..
3 | Glen Gilmore
Bio: TIME "man of action" FORBES Top 20 Social Media Influencer | Author Speaker
Named a "man of action" by TIME magazine, Gilmore is a Forbes Top 20 "Social Media Influencer". He is also ranked as a top influencer in digital transformation, emerging tech and travel.
Gilmore is an international speaker providing Digital Marketing strategy and training to the Fortune 500. He has a proven record of collaborating with leading companies including Amazon, Intel, Lenovo, Huawei, Omron, Verizon, NASA, NATO, Viking & Fathom Cruises, Wines Of Sicily, Jordanian Tourism, FedEx, and IBM. The latter has previously referred to Gilmore as a ‘futurist’.
Gilmore advises clients on strategy, trends, digital marketing and transformation best practices, online community building, influencer relations, online reputation management, compliance, and governance. He is a member of the International Food, Wine, Travel Writers Association, and is ranked a top 1% Travel influencer - @TravelEsquire has over 110,000 followers and on Instagram 18,000, for example.
Gilmore has previously served two terms as mayor of Hamilton, NJ, and as a result of his activities was called a ‘high energy mayor’ by The Washington Post. Chairing NJ's League of Municipalities Economic Development Task Force, he won his city recognition by Money magazine as one of the best places to live in America. He served on RWJU Hospital Bd of Directors.
2 | Doug Ulman
Ulman is a three-time cancer survivor and globally recognised cancer advocate. After overcoming chondrosarcoma during his sophomore year of college and malignant melanoma twice since, he and his family founded the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to supporting, educating and connecting young adults, their families and friends, who are affected by cancer.
With funding from an Echoing Green Fellowship, Ulman served as Executive Director of the organisation for four years before joining the LIVESTRONG Foundation in 2001 as Director of Survivorship. He went on to lead LIVESTRONG as President and Chief Executive Officer, establishing the organisation as the global leader in cancer survivorship.
In November 2014, Ulman became President and Chief Executive Officer of Pelotonia, a grassroots organisation that has raised more than $130mn for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC). In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the strategic vision and direction of Pelotonia and also serves as an advisor to the OSUCCC.
Ulman speaks frequently at some of the nation’s most acclaimed festivals and conferences including the Social Good Summit, the Inc. 500|5000 Conference, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Clinton Global Initiative University, TedxAustin and SXSW Interactive, and YPO Chapters across the country. He has also spoken to, and consulted with numerous Fortune 100 companies and fast growing startups.
Ulman’s personal story, and his leadership accomplishments, have been featured across most major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, NBC News, ABC News, MSNBC, among many others.
He has been honored with many accolades including twice being named on the Non-Profit Times Power and Influence Top 50 Non-Profit Executives list bestowed on the top non-profit leaders in the United States; he also currently holds numerous civic and charitable board positions for organisations such as the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and C-Change.
1 | Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Bio: Staff Neurosurgeon, Emory Clinic; CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
Gupta is widely recognised for his many TV appearances on health-related issues. He is the chief medical correspondent and host of CNN show Sanjay Gupta MD, for which he has won multiple Emmy Awards. He is a frequent contributor to other CNN programmes such as American Morning, Larry King Live and Anderson Cooper 360°. He is also a special correspondent for CBS News.
Gupta’s reports from Charity Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina led to him winning a 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast.
In September 2019 Gupta, in collaboration with Marc Hodosh (Co-Creator of TEDMED) announced a new event called Life Itself, set to launch in 2020 in partnership with CNN. Both will act as hosts and organisers for the event.
Gupta is also known for his work in print. For example, he publishes a column in Time magazine and has authored several best selling books, including Chasing Life and Cheating Death. In April 2019, the former was adapted as a six-show TV miniseries on CNN that took Gupta to Japan, India, Bolivia, Norway, Italy, and Turkey.
His novel Monday Mornings became an instant New York Times bestseller on its release in March 2012 and was later adapted as a television series in 2013, with David E. Kelley and Gupta serving as executive producers.
From 1997 to 1998, Gupta served as one of 15 White House Fellows, primarily as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. In January 2009, he was reportedly offered the position of Surgeon General of the United States in the Obama administration but withdrew his name from consideration. In January 2011, he was named "one of the 10 most influential celebrities" by Forbes magazine.