The use and application of social media in the healthcare industry is attracting the attention of the researchers worldwide. The usage and application of social media in health communication has presented a new dimension in healthcare for potentially improving health outcomes. However, there has been widespread critique of its application due to the lack of sufficient information, and grounded with a common myth that social media is limited to social interaction and has not found a beneficial usage of its application in the industry. This paper focuses on identifying the real time benefits and limitations which include the social, ideological, and technological usage of social media in the healthcare industry unlike other industries where-in a widespread application has changed the dynamics. The diverse range of social platform which entails collaborative projects, content communities, social networking sites, virtual games and social worlds have been in use already in the healthcare industry but lacks the wider acknowledgement as deserving. Information Technology acceptance has been widely researched in the extant literature. However, studies focusing on the acceptance and usage of social media from the perspectives of healthcare professionals are sparsely represented. To add to the growing work in this arena, we propose a conceptual model appropriate for determining the drivers and barriers of social media usage in the healthcare industry. The study applies unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model by identifying the existing gaps in the prevalent literature. Some modifications to the extant model were required to fit the purpose of the study. The study shall entail the examination of the drivers and barriers of social media usage of healthcare professionals with some key recommendations for future research. The results of this research will contribute immensely to the limited research available in literature and will have significant implications for practitioners and healthcare professionals in Australia and comparable parts of the world.
Key Words: Social media, Social media in Healthcare, TAM, UTAUT, Information Systems, Information Technology, Australian Healthcare.
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