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Dr. Matthew Katz Pioneers Research Efforts on Social Media Communication with Patients

Dr. Matthew Katz, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology, has been recognized for his research regarding the usage of cancer-related Twitter hashtags in social media. With a goal in mind to provide patients and caregivers access to reliable health information, Katz and several colleagues from healthcare institutions throughout the country researched the usage of oncology terms, and providing valuable information and answers regarding a variety of different cancers.

For several years, cancer advocates and survivors sparked discussions using hashtags like #BCSM (breast cancer social media). Dr. Katz’s theory was that disease-specific cancer hashtags may be a way to access accurate health information and facilitate positive interactions with patients. His theory proved to be correct; when his study was finalized there were a total of 531,765 tweets from 77,454 users regarding the cancer-specific hashtags.

After finalizing the study, Dr. Katz unveiled a poster at the 2015 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting. In addition to participating in the ASTRO annual meeting, Dr. Katz was featured in a story for Oncology Live (Onclive). The story discusses Dr. Katz’s interest in understanding the relationship between doctor-patient communication, particularly on how patients understand their disease and treatment. Dr. Katz is an active user of social media in his professional practice, whether it’s responding to Twitter posts or answering questions about Oncology on Yahoo! Answers. Click here to read the full article.

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