Opyl Limited and AAMRI launch COVID-19 Social Media Guide to provide support to the Medical Research Institute sector

14 May 2020

Opyl Limited​ and the ​Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes​ (AAMRI) today launched a comprehensive Social Media Guide to support medical researchers in amplifying critical information through global digital communication channels, like social media, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As specialists in social media for the health and life-sciences sector, Opyl has been monitoring online platforms since the COVID-19 outbreak, noting an increase of 188 per cent in pandemic-related clinical and research findings being discussed and shared by medical researchers and healthcare professionals, and considerably more of them participating on social networking sites.

As the pandemic continues to escalate, global reliance on reputable medical and scientific intelligence is rising, creating a demand for information-sharing at a faster rate than published research papers can provide.

To help the sector, AAMRI and Opyl Limited have worked together to create a best-practice guide for medical research institutes to navigate social media during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

Social media plays a critical role in a crisis, be it a bushfire or a pandemic, and its role in saving lives during COVID-19 should not be underestimated.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ​61 per cent​ increase in social media engagement since the beginning of April. The need to disseminate trustworthy medical research, both quickly and broadly, has never been greater.

Michelle Gallaher, CEO of Opyl Limited, said:​ “Australia is renowned as a medical research and biotechnology global centre of excellence, contributing huge value to the global scientific effort. It’s vital that Australian researchers know how to promote their research beyond the journals and ensure the new knowledge they’re creating gets noticed by a global audience. I hope our support helps Australian research go viral – for all the right reasons.”

Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM, President of AAMRI, said: ​“Now more than ever we’re seeing an increase in everyday people turning online for solutions. For medical research institutes this is a real opportunity to share our knowledge and also demonstrate the huge amount of work we are undertaking for COVID-19 across Australia.

At AAMRI we represent 56 different medical research institutes, with varying degrees of resources to allocate during this time. Being able to provide free tools from experts while we’re all navigating these new waters is extremely valuable.”

Professor Jonathan Carapetis is the Director of the Telethon Kids Institute and a leading paediatrician and infectious diseases specialist.

Professor Brendan Crabb AC, Director of the Burnet Institute, said:​ “A social media connected world should be an overwhelming force for good in fighting a global pandemic. But as we see with COVID-19 – this is often far from the reality. Misinformation and uninformed opinion are commonplace. More than ever we need highly respected, up-to-date and unselfishly analytical voices to dominate the medium, to rise above the static. Medical research institutes are full of such voices. This guide will greatly help us all be as effective as we can be in delivering the messages; of conveying the hope, and ultimately the solutions, that only science brings.”

Professor Brendan Crabb AC is Director and CEO of the Burnet Institute an infectious disease researcher.

Read the full media release.


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