University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Preventing Disease Through Social Media: UCSF Doctor Gets Creative with Health Interventions

By Sukee Bennett | | November 4, 2017

Preventing Disease Through Social Media: UCSF Doctor Gets Creative with Health Interventions

Eleni Linos, MD, DrPH, has focused how technology, including social media, can influence our behaviors related to health. Photo by Alexandros Kolokythas

Smartphones and emotional crises, social media and tanning beds are seemingly disconnected – but UC San Francisco researcher Eleni Linos, MD, DrPH, has started to make an impact on health by her focus on how technology can influence our behaviors.

Watch Dreamforce Talk

Eleni Linos, MD, DrPH, will be presenting at the 2017 Dreamforce conference with her talk “Connection as Cure - Bringing Together Tech and Healthcare."

The talk will stream live Monday, Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m.

“Major, long-term shifts to improve public health worldwide require strong collaborations with technology, media, design and policy experts,” Linos said.

Her collaborative research already has been credited with helping to raise the awareness of cancer risk associated with tanning beds as well as leading major smartphone companies to change their digital assistants’ response to inquiries about sexual abuse.

Her work, for which she recently was awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health New Innovator award, is again leaning into technology to study changing tanning bed use through digital intervention. The project aims to reach more than 1 million young Americans, making it one of the largest rigorous online public health studies to date.

A Wide Range of Cancer Research

Linos, a member of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, is foremost a dermatologist. With her current mentor, UCSF professor of dermatology Mary-Margaret Chren, MD, she has studied optimizing the quality of life of older adults with skin disease, finding that intensive treatment is often suboptimal for some these patients.