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Mobile Health 2010: How the CDC used video to take its HIV testing campaign mobile

2 min read

Digital Technology

Today’s guest post is from Doug Naegele, an avid SmartBrief on Social Media reader and inveterate entrepreneur. His firm, Infield Communications, lives at the intersection of Health 2.0 and mobile solutions. This week, he attended Mobile Health 2010 at Stanford University.

Inspired by National HIV Testing Day, Dr. Scott Shamp of the University of Georgia’s New Media Institute recently lead an effort to create homegrown public service announcements using college students, volunteer producers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The project was sponsored by Verizon, Nokia and the CDC.

The catch? It was all done in one day. At 8 a.m., 23 college students each received a Nokia video-enabled cell phone and were told to go out into the community to film a 30-second piece about HIV testing. As the students roamed the campus and surrounding towns, professional video editors from six local universities, along with health experts from the CDC, were on hand to edit and compile the incoming video. By 4 p.m., all the video was shot, and by the end of the day, eight PSAs were edited and ready for publication. Each PSA included instructions to text a ZIP code to “KNOW IT” (566948) to find a local testing center.

The PSAs ran on Verizon’s V-CAST channel and were later published on the CDC’s CDCStreamingHealth channel on YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.  Shamp said that the 18- to 25-year-old demographic is best reached on mobile devices and YouTube. “That’s where they get most of their information. We have to go where they already are — not ask them to come to us.”


What other ways can young people receive public-health information via social media? Have you seen any examples of social media spreading the word about better health?