The diffusion of social media is having profound impacts on the relationship between government and citizens in many areas of government service provision. In the area of healthcare the emergence of new venues of interaction between patients and between patients and doctors is challenging the government-established digital channels for healthcare service provision. In this paper we present a classification scheme with four types of online health forums and use this framework to explore data from the Danish case that illustrates trends of cost, use, and transformation of each of the types of online health forum. Although this paper is a research in progress, we put forward the hypothesis in the paper that the uptake of social media in the health sector is being used as a way for governments and corporate forces to increase control and reinforce legitimacy, rather than empowering citizens. In the conclusion, we suggest venues of future research on this emerging trend.
Normann Andersen, Kim and Medaglia, Rony, "Masked Or Informed Citizens? Social Media And Online Health Consultations" (2012). PACIS 2012 Proceedings. 25.