Heart Failure Awareness Day: a time to come together online?
Heart Failure Awareness Day is a day designed to raise the profile of heart failure (HF) among the general public, with particular note to its symptoms, need for a timely diagnosis and optimal treatment.
The seeming lack of oversight and leadership in HF Awareness Day (not to mention the other 364 days of the year) further enables this chronic condition to be neglected by policymakers.
Social media activism and awareness raising activities often receive a significant amount of criticism – some campaigns deserve criticism and others less so. Certain social media health awareness campaigns provide little more than lip-service to a cause and with little in the way of information on the topic or any way where people can find out more, for example, changing the colour of a profile picture does not necessarily inform others about a cause. Without a way of linking the action on social media with information, it is difficult know what the new found ‘awareness’ actually is within the individual.
Awareness day activities, for heart failure or any other health area, must be able to engage confidently with concise and interesting content online.
Looking towards our next milestones, it is important to understand the remit of the HF Policy Network that awareness of the condition is necessary to drive policy change. Social media is a key part of the puzzle when trying to bring about greater awareness of HF at all levels of the healthcare continuum, from policy makers to the general public, who all have a part to play in the policy process. But it is vital that these different groups work together and mutually re-enforce activities to increase awareness of HF overall – which should be the ultimate goal. With greater leadership, oversight and cohesion we will #changeHFpolicy.
[i] Remme WJ, McMurray JJ, Rauch B, et al. Public awareness of heart failure in Europe: first results from SHAPE. European heart journal 2005;26(22):2413-21.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of The Health Policy Partnership.