1). Please tell us a little about yourself
My name is Krestina Amon and I’m a Lecturer in Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health and part of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at the University of Sydney.
2). What is your research on?
My research focus is on the use of social media and health. At the moment I’m working on a few projects in this area. One of those projects is exploring how healthcare professionals use social media, in particular the image and video based platforms Instagram and TikTok. How Instagram and TikTok are used is different to other text-based platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Whilst there is some evidence of how the general public use such platforms for health, the literature on how healthcare professionals use it is lacking. So what this study aims to do is to identify which health care professionals are using these platforms, how they are using it, and what the benefits and challenges are.
3). What are the real world consequences of your research?
With a lot of information, and often times misinformation, readily available on social media platforms, it is important that health care professionals are present in the spaces that the public are searching for answers regarding their health. In combination with the literature on how the public and patients use Instagram and/or TikTok for health and the results from my study, we can report how health care professionals can successfully use these platforms (eg. through the types of posts, and platform functions, showing the most engagement) to communicate and educate patients, as well as connect with other health care professionals, with evidence based information.
4). What does digital health mean to you?
To me, digital health is quite broad. It is about the use of technological devices to track, monitor, and share health information – ranging from individual personal use such as Fitbits and apps, to electronic medical health records shared within a patient’s multidisciplinary healthcare team. But, it is also about looking at the impacts of the use of technology on someone’s health – such as social media and virtual reality games – and how these can also be used to improve health and not only be considered detrimental to one’s health. It is often said that technology evolves too quickly for researchers to keep up, but its such an interesting space encompassing a variety of technological tools for health and people working in different health areas, I feel really lucky to be surrounded by people with big visions in this field.
5). Do you have any resources or links you would like to share?
I am part of the Cyberpsychology Research Group, and you can find out about us and our research on our page: https://www.sydney.edu.au/medicine-health/our-research/research-centres/cyberpsychology-research-group.html You can connect with me via the following: