Something very interesting happened at one of my sites that really made me more aware of how social media will be impacting clinical research in the future. We have a research assistant at one of our clinics who is relatively young, she is 21 years old. We were casually talking about social media, namely Snapchat, and she was telling me how many followers she had on there. Compared to the numbers I’m used to, she had a ridiculous amount. Just to put things into perspective, when I put up a Snapchat Story I get about 30 views. When she puts one up, she gets around 200. She’s extremely popular on Snapchat because she has had it for 4 years and most of the people she knows are on it too. So I said to her, “Let’s try something new. Most of your followers are your friends, family, or people you just ran into. Regardless of how well you actually know them, your followers are part of a demographic that are perfectly suited for several studies that we currently have.” I told her to make a quick 10 second video telling her followers about our current studies along with our contact information, and urging them to call if they happen to be interested. She did this and believe it or not, within minutes of her posting it we got 3 phone calls at the clinic. This just goes to show how the future of clinical research will be shaped by social media. Patient recruitment will be significantly impacted in ways that are totally unexpected. Today we have Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, all of which can be used to reach out to potential patients. Who knows what social media platforms will come out in the future, but it is important to recognize that they are valuable tools at our disposal for patient recruitment. It’s perfectly fine if you yourself aren’t active on Snapchat or other social media platforms. Though I would highly recommend that you invest in them, you don’t necessarily need to in order to reap the benefits they have to offer. You can do so by hiring someone and asking them what social media networks they’re currently active on and how many followers they have that might come in handy for recruitment. In this way, you can use social media to your advantage.